Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Electric Church in One Minute

The Avery Cates books (The Electric church, The Digital Plague, and The Eternal Prinson) are among the best cyberpunk ever written, and certainly worth being ranked in top 3 best cyberpunk stories of last 5 years (as a trilogy). In this youtube video, Author Jeff Somers sums up his first book, The Electric Plague in under a minute. Warning: There are a few spoilers and loads of whit.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Books to film: The Lightning Thief Trailer

The first book in the Percy Jackson series is coming to film. Check out the trailer! It looks really cool!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How to read Science Fiction and Fantasy

Jo Walton has a tremendous essay at TOR.Com about how to read Science Fiction and Fantasy. Its an amazing peice of writing that looks at how we read. I love Scifi and its easy to see how my love of that genera has effected the way I read as a whole.

Here is a snippet:
"Samuel Delany suggested that rather than try to define science fiction it’s more interesting to describe it, and of describing it more interesting to draw a broad circle around what everyone agrees is SF than to quibble about the edge conditions. (Though arguing over the borders of science fiction and fantasy is a neverending and fun exercise.) He then went on to say that one of the ways of approaching SF is to look at the way people read it—that those of us who read it have built up a set of skills for reading SF which let us enjoy it, where people who don’t have this approach to reading are left confused.

If you’re reading this, the odds are overwhelming that you have that SF reading skillset.

(As I’m using it here, “science fiction” means “science fiction” and “SF” means “the broad genre of science fiction and fantasy.”)

We’ve all probably had the experience of reading a great SF novel and lending it to a friend—a literate friend who adores A.S. Byatt and E.M. Forster. Sometimes our friend will turn their nose up at the cover, and we’ll say no, really, this is good, you’ll like it. Sometimes our friend does like it, but often we’ll find our friend returning the book with a puzzled grimace, having tried to read it but “just not been able to get into it.” That friend has approached science fiction without the necessary toolkit and has bounced off. It’s not that they’re stupid. It’s not that they can’t read sentences. It’s just that part of the fun of science fiction happens in your head, and their head isn’t having fun, it’s finding it hard work to keep up."

Monday, January 11, 2010

Cory Doctorow - Makers Game

I'm working on a post about the top Sci-fi Fantasy book of 2009. While I haven't had a chance to read Makers yet, but I am looking forward too it. Here's a little game to keep you busy while I work on my net post, the Top Sci-Fi Novel of 2009.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Up in the Air - Walter Kirn

Up In the Air by Walter Kirn
Reviewed by Zack Frazier

Up in the Air by Walter Kirn is a frenetic novel, filled with all the “joys” of modern air travels. minus the thing the TSA makes you do with your shoes. It was published just months before September 11th, 2001. After that tragedy Kirn’s book was forgotten in the new anxiety over air travel. Year’s later director Jason Reitman has put Kirn’s narrator and hero Ryan Bingham back into the pseudo-friendly skys, and Kirn’s book is now back on the map.

On its face Up in the Air is about Bingham’s Quest for 1 million frequent flyer miles on the budget airline his company has forced him to travel on. The book begins with Bingham addressing you, his new single serving friend. Bingham begins telling his tale, and from the start things seem normal. The first chapters have a plucky, sane, and cheerful narrative that draw the reader into Kirn's novel.

A bit deeper is Bingham’s discontent for his job as a Career to Career Transitions Specialist, or a layoff consultant for executives. A large part of the book is focused on his quest to change his corporate destiny and work for Myth Tec, a marketing research company who’s work is never quite made clear, until the end of the book.

The real story though, and what makes this book incredible, is that Bingham is going mad. The steadiness of those chapter disappears gradually as Bingham opens up. With his admissions of sins and obsessions gaps begin to appear. The spreading gaps and erratic energy that grows in the narrative like a sting being pulled from a sweater. The question becomes not is Bingham sane, our his adventures normal, but how crazy is he?

In many ways we go mad with him, because while Bingham has a tragic excuse for his issues, we the reader don’t. Bingham is very much a cog in our society, a modern day corporate every man. When we pity him, when we hate him, when we are disgusted with him, we reflect that back on ourselves. Bingham like the nameless narrator in Fight Club, is un-located by the new modernity. Both Bingham, and the Fight Club narrator no longer have fathers, but more importantly both are employed for corporations doing work that demands detachment; personal, positional, and emotional. Both go mad slowly because of that detachment. Bingham is up in the air not only for us but with us. When we listen to his story we can come to realize what is un-situated with ourselves by society and modern capitalism. This ability to allow for meaningful reflection makes Up in the Air not just good art, but also art that is worth reading. Maybe understanding where we aren’t is as important as understanding where we are, or will be. Up in the Air provides the reader with a new perspective on all three.

Friday, January 1, 2010

This is Your Future!

Welcome to A Wild Book Chase. Wild Book Chase (WBC) is a blog about books, the search for books, and the joys that come from finding just the right book. WBC will do a few things:

1) Our goal is to be mobile. Literature is all over the place, you just have to look. WBC aims to be where the written word is alive. We'll be traveling to a variety of book related locations from libraries to publisher's offices, and we'll writing about what and who we find.

2) WBC has a Twitter presence with blips about the latest book read, breaking publishing news, or just re-tweets from some of our favorite authors. You can check the Twitter feed at

3) Book reviews providing a lens on literature. We'll be reviewing books with our own take. Book reviews should be about why a book is good, as well as about why you should read it. Too many book reviews just summarize the plot. We aim to go further then just posting what we read from book jacket. We'll let you know what books are worth a look.

Thanks for stopping by, enjoy your stay, and keep reading.