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Bits & Book #24

Black Gate’s Goth Chick had an interesting article on jinni: Pursuing the Jinn. In my opinion, jinni are one of those things that aren’t used often enough or well enough in speculative fiction. One of the few urban fantasy series I’ve found palatable is Rachael Caine’s Weather Warden books, mainly due to the djinn. I also came across a teaser/trailer/short film a while back that was pretty intriguing.

This is the type of thing that I’d love to see more of in the land of electronic books: Dracula Soundtrack app. I’m not saying that I’d necessarily want all my books to have a soundtrack, but it’s an area that can set electronic books apart from their paper versions. No one seems to be taking advantage of the interesting things that an electronic text could do.

Book #24 – The Reel Stuff edited by Brian Thomsen & Martin H. Greenberg

The Reel Stuff is an anthology of short stories and novellas that have been adapted for the silver screen. Honestly, I have seen only about half of the resulting movies. The standout pieces of this anthology for me were Donald A. Wollheim’s “Mimic” and Clive Barker’s “The Forbidden,” the latter being the basis for Candyman. Wollheim’s story is tight and succinct and packs a good wallop for its word count. Barker’s “The Forbidden” has the best “deep” idea of these stories, playing with the notion of stories not only creating monsters, but also keeping them at bay. Other observations:

  • I wonder if the model number problems in Philip K. Dick’s “Second Variety” influenced the Battlestar Galactica re-imagining.
  • The number of characters that write-off strange occurrences is staggering.
  • That William Gibson thought that microfiche would be the way old information would be archived is slightly befuddling. Born in 1974, I have never once used microfische.
  • I also wonder if the narrator character from Lovecraft’s “Herbert West–Reanimator” influenced in inclusion of a mad scientist’s assistant in Universal’s 1931 Frankenstein. There is no such assistant in Frankenstein the novel.
  • I could probably write a treaties how female characters, or in the case of Barry Longyear’s “Enemy Mine” lack of female characters, are treated in this anthology that has no woman writers. I might revisit this it when I understand better how well-regarded women writers treat their female characters (and their male characters, for that matter).