my impression is that Bart Spicer is a name forgotten...a writer whose novels have not survived the test of time. but way way back, he wrote a Mystery/Hard-Boiled series starring a guy named Carney Wilde. and how could I ignore forever a hero named Carney Wilde?? not possible!
it's funny how much it reminds me of a good Jack Williamson novel--and not just his key robot novel, The Humanoids, but sort of like that combined with Demon Moon, a much different book--because I just bucked up and added a lot of old Williamsons to my Read pile at BookLikes (some were a challenge to search, and add covers to, and sort through editions, etc.). The Alchemy Of Stone does not deal in a lot of action or violence, and is the better for i--that also reminds me a bit of several old Jack Williamson books. anyway, maybe China Mieville and Cherie Priest fans could appreciate Sedia; to me, she does pay quiet tribute to stuff that's even older. I really like this book, and its main character robot.
The Alchemy Of Stone, by Ekaterina Sedia (copyright 2008; quote is from page 11 of the Prime Books trade paperback edition).
wow. I already love Mattie, my new favorite mechanical girl, the emancipated alchemist automaton. this Steampunk tale also features characters called Soul-Smokers, and living, stone gargoyles--and I've only just started! I keep putting off the last book in a Fantasy trilogy, but even though I want to get that wrapped up so I can call it done, plus free myself up to new Fantasy and SF series, that twinge of regret I had over ignoring the Canavan book for a little while longer is now gone. so...this seemingly wonderful book starring an artificial girl who knows her potions, a nonfiction book, a couple of Crime & Mystery books, and then Canavan's trilogy wrapper-upper. even in the face of that, I'm already thinking about when I can get to the other Ekaterina Sedia book I have stashed--seeming like a wise investment.
this will be the first time I get a look at John Constantine as a main character in anything--certainly when it comes to graphic novels; he's shown up as a guest-star in at least one DC/Vertigo supernatural thing I've read, somewhere along the line. of course he seemed intriguing. now I'll put him in the spotlight...though I'm not sure where this story fits in with the main Hellblazer material. I'll learn--and hopefully enoy--as I go.
so much fun. the Terminator makes a strong, early impression; Raven will always be my favorite (every time she teleports and there's that big cloud billowing out all over everything, I'm in love); great development of Cyborg and Changeling, their personal lives; Starfire on fire, easily becoming a major DC force; now we just need a deeper focus on the underused Wonder Girl...ah! next plotline takes us amongst the Amazons on Paradise Island. best. timing. ever!
the lead character is an automaton (robot?), and I haven't done SF of that sort in a while. usually interesting. and this automaton is one of my favorite things: an alchemist! hello!
As some of you know from my angry ferret post already, I had a rough morning, a rare morning where I was prevented from reading due to unforeseen events...unforeseen events, and bipping into work early to write and print the following note, for the next-door coffee shop's edification. This will be my last rant on the subject...but when I don't get to read because of yet another scone coming towards me on a plate, I get a little wild and crumbly myself...
HOW MANY TIMES AM I GOING TO BE BROUGHT A SCONE, WHEN I ASKED FOR A MUFFIN?!
THEY DO NOT SOUND ANYTHING ALIKE.
HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO SAY "WILD BLUEBERRY CRUMBLE MUFFIN", BEFORE SOMEONE ACTUALLY KNOWS WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT?
HOW MANY TIMES IS THE TOTAL COST GOING TO BE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT, EVERY TIME I ASK FOR THE SAME TWO ITEMS??
HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO REPEAT MYSELF?
HOW DOES THIS GET A PERSON'S MORNING OFF TO A GOOD START ALL WEEK?!
FUNNY, THIS DOESN'T SEEM TO HAPPEN AT STARBUCKS--CERTAINLY NOT ON ANY KIND OF REGULAR BASIS.
EVEN AT OTHER ********* LOCATIONS, NOTHING LIKE THIS GOES ON.
IF THIS IS IS SOME KIND OF PERMANENT "TRAINING CENTER" LOCATION, WHERE THERE'S NEW PEOPLE STRUGGLING TO LEARN THE JOB EVERY FEW WEEKS, ANY CHANCE THAT CAN BECOME UN-PERMANENT, SO WE CAN ALL GET A BREAK HERE?? MAYBE ROTATE THE TRAINING LOCATIONS, SO THE POOR SOULS HERE AREN'T CAUGHT IN YOUR HORROR SHOW ALL YEAR??
PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO YOUR MANAGER/SUPERVISOR? I WILL BE FOLLOWING UP.
SINCERELY, JOE FED-UP.
oh my, this seems like it is absolutely my nasty cup of tea. normally I'd be into a Spy novel by now, but I looked this over and felt it would be a great alternative, with some of the same sorts of thrills. heck, its secrets may even be secrets that actually turn it into some bizarre Spy variant. I dunno; a feckless kid has found a phone that has dared him to play a game, and the first "stunt" he has performed as an initiation into the game--supposedly he has a choice at this point to back away after the try-out--has fed into his natural lust for shit-disturbing...with maybe a cash reward later. so, he's hooked. I glanced at some reader reactions to this book, and it seems some people didn't take to it due to the "unlikable" main character. my feeling on this is, the personality type seems to be the only one that really fits the premise, as opposed to someone like me who would ignore the phone while thinking "nothing good can come of this"; he seems almost guaranteed to keep me entertained, as a reckless fool who will do anything this mystery-phone (and the "Game Master") dares him to do. until someone loses an eye. well, you know what I mean; and when this turns awful, will his natural wiliness serve to get him out of the mess he is obviously going to get himself into. I hate cellphones, so I'm just going to sit back and enjoy how extra horrible this one is, if that's conceivable.
I truly feel that finally reading this classic Teen Titans run will be one of the highlights of my year. I live in awe of Mr. Wolfman; that's how I was when I was 12, and that's how it is today.
this reminds me a bit of The Names by Peter Milligan, except maybe even more condemnatory of the world's worship of money. greed tied to supernatural power and manipulation is a freaky, scary idea.
first, a graphic novel, and then straight on to this. and this sounds marvellous. a slacker finds a cellphone on a train, strange messages start coming through on it, and apparently nothing but madness and mayhem ensue.
shall wrap this fun Mystery up later today--still not sure what rating it will get, because the whodunit and why angle is, I think, not fully revealed, and hopefully will yet provide surprises...