The best villains
ooooh another list!
This one lists the 50 worst villains of literature. I’m not sure if it’s meant to be a count down, but I think it does work that way. I haven’t read a lot of the books on the list, so I’m not going to start passing judgment; it is interesting to see what the compilers have to say about each one, though.
Yes, clearly there are names that I would add, and some I don’t think are necessarily that bad. But seriously, this is much more interesting than reading the Top 50 Heroes.
Lists – this time, of movies
While we’re on the subject of canonical lists (hugely entertaining discussion in the comments…), here’s an interesting one for you: the top 10 SF movies of the last decade.
I heartily disagree with a couple of choices, and haven’t seen one or two. What I do think is interesting is that she has outlined right at the start how she went about choosing her list – by number of personal viewings. This, while flawed, is a lot more honest than a lot of compilers of such lists tend to be.
And, while you’re here, tell me: what did you think of Fifth Element?
So I mooned a bit over Alastair Reynolds and Stephen Baxter while at Swancon, to the amusement and probably boredom of a number of people. I think they’re both utterly, utterly splendid – I love everything I’ve read of theirs – and they’ve made me love space opera. It’s occurred to me I need to add another name to that list.
Iain M Banks is a master.
This is not a revelation for me; more a rediscovery. I read Consider Phlebas when I thought that they were sequential… then discovered they weren’t, so just bought the first one than came to hand next time – Use of Weapons. Which has been sitting there, looking at me reproachfully, for… a while. With the release of Matter, I finally decided to go and read it.
This is one person where I am actually tempted to go into a shop and buy every single thing he’s written (scifi, at least… might have to test the mainstream first). I might go secondhand first, but still – I want to read it all! Now! might go on hiatus….
 Actually, two: Dan Simmons is also heroic. And I think that, if I deign to watch Hyperion the movie, I will have to go alone, since I may end up either piffing things at the screen or getting violent. Or both, escalating.
JJJ Hottest 100
My little sibs take voting in the Triple J Hottest 100 quite seriously. I think my bro, Kim, takes it most seriously – but with very little encouragement the squister, Kat, gets in on the act. And so do I. So we have a little email discussion about who’s voted for what, and perhaps get a bit competitive… my bro is quite smug about having guessed who will be No 1 for the last couple of years. Anyway, for the record:
Kat says –
Cog – What If
Foo Fighters – The Pretender
Birds Of Tokyo – Black Sheets
Butterfly Effect – Reach
Dead Letter Circus – Disconnect And Apply
Kaiser Chiefs – Ruby
Peeping Tom – We’re Not Alone
Mammal – Slaves
Josh Pyke – Sew My Name
Queens Of The Stone Age – 3’s & 7’s
Kim says –
Arcade Fire – Keep the car running
Birds of Tokyo – Wayside
Emilie Simon – Fleur de saison
Kings of Leon – On call
Muscles – Ice Cream
Muse – Knights of Cydonia
The Panics – Cruel guards
Silverchair – Straight lines
Spoon – The underdog
White Stripes – Conquest
I says –
Regina Spektor – Real Love
Beck – Timebomb
Bjork – Earth Intruders
Bumblebeez – Dr Love
Chemical Brothers – The Salmon Dance
Cold War Kids – Hang Me Up To Dry
Foo Fighters – The Pretender
Fratellis – Creepin Up The Backstairs
Jenny Wilson – Summertime (The Roughest Time)
Bluejuice – Vitriol
Note the almost complete non-correspondence. We’re not quite that dissimilar, but we certainly have been drifting apart recently in music. There are still some things that keep up together: Foo Fighters; Wolfmother (more the sis and me); Faith No More (I’m still being convinced of the heavier stuff); and Roy Orbison…
So, it’s exciting to be finished 2007 – the year and the reading – and I have already started on 2008, because I know there are going to be some hiatus…es? Hiati? Anyway, some breaks in reading. We are going to do a complete wrap-up of 2007 in the short fiction scene, hopefully soonish, but it will take some fiddling so bear with us. (If that doesn’t make sense, check out Last Short Story to see what kept me busy this year, amongst other things). To keep you going, below is my recommended list for the Aussie scene:
Alex’s Moderately Subjective Year’s Best – 2007 (in random order)
Martin Livings, “There was Darkness,” Fantastic Wonder Stories
Ben Payne, “Inside,” Ticonderoga Online 11
Tansy Rayner Roberts, “The Bluebell Vengeance,” Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 28
Kieran Morgan, “Finding Each Other Again,” Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 30
Sue Isle, “The Sun People,” Shiny 1
Grace Dugan, “Knowledge,” Interzone 211
Alex’s Equally Subjective Honours List – 2007
Trent Jamieson, “Cracks,” Shiny 2
Richard Harland, “Corpus,” Dark Animus 10/11
Dirk Flinthart, “Networking for Dummies,” The Worker’s Paradise
Nathan Burrage, “Black and Bitter,” The Worker’s Paradise
Rowena Cory Daniells, “Magda’s Career Choice,” The Worker’s Paradise
Cat Sparks, “Right to Work,” The Worker’s Paradise
Trent Jamieson, “Small Change,” Shiny 1
Terry Dowling, “Swordplay,” Rynemonn
Dirk Flinthart, “The Garden of the Djinn,” Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 31
Ben Peek, “Excerpts from Books Fifty Years From Now,” Overland
Darren Goossens, “Thyme Machine,” Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 30
Bren MacDibble, “Collecting Whispers,” Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine
Dirk Flinthart, “Truckers,” Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine
RJ Astruc, “The Perfume Eaters,” Strange Horizons July
Paul Haines, “Where is Brisbane and How Many Times Do I Get There?” Fantastical Journeys to Brisbane
Tansy Rayner Roberts, “The Pastime of Aunties,” Fantastical Journeys to Brisbane
Greg Egan, “Glory,” New Space Opera
Bren MacDibble, “A Complete Refabrication,” Orb 7
Shane Jiraiya Cummings, “Beneath Southern Waves,” Daikaiju 2
Rjurik Davidson, “Domine,” Aurealis 37
Garth Nix, “Holly and Iron,” Dark Alchemy
Stephen Dedman, “Sufficiently Advanced,” New Ceres 2
Cat Sparks, “The Bride Prince,” New Ceres 2
Robert J Santa, “A Jury of Peers,” Shadow Plays
Andrew J McKiernan, “Calliope,” Shadow Plays
DH Duperouzel, “Of Wind and City,” Shadow Plays
Stephen Dedman, “Centenary,” Cosmos 14
Rick Kennett, “The Dark and what it said,” Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 28
Jack Dann, “Cafe Culture,” Asimov’s January
Penelope Love, “Tell Him I too have known,” Fantastic Wonder Stories
Shane Cummings, “Yamabushi Kaidan and the Smoke Dragon,” Fantastic Wonder Stories
Simon Brown, “Lonely as Life,” Fantastic Wonder Stories
Rowena Cory Danieels, “Soulshaper,” Fantastic Wonder Stories
Kylie Seluka, “Burning Bright,” Fantastic Wonder Stories
Bill McKinley, “The Return of the Queen,” Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 27
Jennifer Fallon, “The Demons of Fear,” Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 27
Steve Duffy, “Truth in Sentencing,” Antipodean SF 103
1. Put your music player on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS!!!
-IF SOMEONE SAYS “IS THIS OKAY” YOU SAY?
Born to be a Dancer (Kaiser Chiefs)
-WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?
Brother Ray (Robert Plant and the Strange Sensation)
-WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?
Downside Up (eek!) (from Moonlight Recordings)
-HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
Fig Jam (oh yeh) (ButterFinger)
-WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE?
Love Foolosophy (Jamiroquai)
-WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
-WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
Hell (goodness I hope not) (Foo Fighters)
-WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR PARENTS?
Not to touch the Earth (Que?!) (The Doors)
-WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
Sometimes (John Butler Trio)
-WHAT IS 2+2?
Alone (from Chillout Sessions 9)
-WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BESTIE?
Ocean (again – que?) (Led Zeppelin)
-WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
We Haven’t Turned around (Gomez)
-WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
Lucretia MacEvil (Blood, Sweat and Tears)
-WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
Who Cares? (Gnarls Barkley)
-WHAT DO YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Freedom Fries (Robert Plant and Strange Sensation. Again)
-WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
165 Million Plus Interest (from Ocean’s 12 soundtrack)
-WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
Seven Days in Sunny June (Jamiroquai)
-WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
R-E-S-P-E-C-T (Aretha, baby)
-WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
Fade Together (Franz Ferdinand)
-WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR?
Ziggy Stardust (David Bowie)
-WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
She Caught the Katy (Blues Brothers)
-WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
Love Hides (in mysterious places) (The Doors)
-WHAT SONG WILL BE THE SUBJECT WHEN YOU REPOST?
This is hip (John Lee Hooker)
Hmm, doesn’t say much for the randomising technique of my music player, does it?
General observations on the day after Australia Day
I have just had a run in the rain. Well, I stood in our courtyard while there was a sun-shower, anyway. It was very pleasant. But it is still hot.
Bernard F won the Hottest 100. Who’da thunk it? Particularly with Ben Lee at no. 2. This year’s voters must have been a particularly sappy bunch – the ones I don’t know, anyway, since my circle were all arguing between Mind’s Eye and something by the Foos as the top song.
6/12 songs from one album in the Hottest 100. That is mighty impressive, especially for a first album. Well done, that Wolfmother.
Wil Anderson is a knob.
Spray bottles are a God-send on hot days with too many people in one place having a bbq.
Marcos Baghdatis is a hero.