Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Me, YA and a Little SciFi

Laura Eno at "A Shift in Dimensions" provided a neat link yesterday to an amusing little test (11 quirky questions) to determine which science fiction writer you are. You can find that here. I discovered that I am, in fact, the late Stanislav Lem (shown left). I must admit that I have heard of Mr. Lem before, but could not name any of his books. According to Wikipedia, his books "explore philosophical themes; speculation on technology, the nature of intelligence, the impossibility of mutual communication and understanding, despair about human limitations and humankind's place in the universe." That sounds very deep...I aspire to fitting those themes in my stories in the near future. His novel "Solaris" was twice made into a motion picture.

We were out at the mall last night, shopping for items we'll need on our holiday in about 4 weeks (more about that soon). While waiting for V to try on stuff at Winners (do they have them in the US or the UK or OZ?) I was skimming through the YA books on the bargain books table in the children's department. I found three books that either myself or Sean would like:

The first is an account of Phineas Gage of Vermont. He was the unfortunate railroad worker who, in 1848, had a 3 foot spike go right through his head. He lived for another 14 years but, sadly, had changes to his personality. The book is called "Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science" by John Fleischman. We had barely made it through the door before the ghoulish child had hold of the book and was devouring its contents. Oh, and it was a thin hardback for $3.00.

The second book was a paperback called "Artemis Fowl" by Eoin Colfer. What's not to like about a book who's back cover says: "Twelve year old Artemis Fowl is a millionaire, a genius--and, above all, a criminal mastermind. But even Artemis doesn't know what he's taken on when he kidnaps a fairy..." That book was also $3.00.

The third was a hardback called "Skullduggery Pleasant" by Derek Landy (yes, another Irish author). The novel's protagonist is an undead wizard and detective and the book combines the horror, comedy, mystery and science fiction genres. I'm just a big kid at heart and I'm sure I'll enjoy all three of them. That novel was $4.50.

I was inspired by my last post to write a first draft of a flash story about UFO's. I have tomorrow off work (work slow down) and hope to finish it for Friday. Maybe.

11 comments:

Natalie L. Sin said...

I'm Robert A. Heinlein. Is that good?

Also, I bought that Phineas Gage book last week!

Anton Gully said...

Artemis Fowl is great for the first couple of books but I think they get a bit dreary from the Lost Colony onwards.

"Skullduggery Pleasant" is on my radar but haven't read it yet.

YA is full of incredible ideas right now.

Cathy Olliffe said...

I got all nervous when you mentioned shopping. Glad to hear you made it home ok.

Laura Eno said...

"Skullduggery Pleasant" sounds intriguing.

I see that Anton has been resurrected...

Jeremy Kelly said...

Going to google Phineas Gage RIGHT NOW...

Jeremy Kelly said...

Wow.

Aaron Polson said...

Phineas Gage gets a mention in Loathsome, Dark, and Deep. There's a good article about him in last month's Smithsonian Magazine. Weird but true, eh?

Alan W. Davidson said...

Natalie-A SciFi genius. That's quite a coincidence about the book.

Anton-Welcome back. I probably won't go beyond the first book as there's so many others to get to.

Cathy-Shopping makes me nervous too. But at least the Christmas/Boxing Day rush is over.

Laura-Yeah, the odd subject matter really caught my attention. And Anton...it doesn't surprise me that anyone who looks like Nosferatu would come back to haunt us!

Jeremy-I remember some sort of documentary about him years ago. Doesn't hurt to introduce the boy to horror at an early age.

Aaron-I didn't know that. I am guessing Loathesome is set about the same time frame?Looks like another reason to purchase the book (signed by the author, of course) when it becomes available...

Rebecca Nazar said...

My girls loved Artemis Foul. Why can't I thinking up character names that cool?

katey said...

Oh wow, some fabulous finds! Can't wait to hear what you think of them-- I get so excited about bargain buys. :D

I'm Olaf Stapledon. Now I just need to go and find some of his stuff, since I have no idea who he is. I'm so embarrassed!

Cate Gardner said...

I'm William Gibson. I keep meaning to add Skullduggery Pleasant to my leaning tower of books.