I read Little Star because the first chapter was on offer at Tor.com and the description intrigued me. I am so glad I did. It is a dark, disturbing thriller. It’s indisputably a horror novel, but it’s up to the reader to decide whether it’s truly supernatural, because the characters are at once profoundly alien and yet they live in our world, and their lives take a direction where real people go.
(I will note that Alex Brown was less impressed by this ambiguity.)
Written by John Ajvide Lindqvist, author of Let the Right One In, and translated into English by Marlaine Derlagy, Little Star has the same clipped quality of Stieg Larsson’s Girl Who Went Boom books, but the prose is overall less clumsy and the story was deeply compelling.
This book, and the two by Christopher Beuhlman I’ve mentioned earlier, make me hope that straight-up horror, in the grand Eighties style of the books I reread last summer, might be making a comeback. What do you all think?
Here’s the cover:
Facebook is messy; this probably will be too.
I initially signed up for Livejournal because Spike was there, and I loooooove Spike. And it was Keff who encouraged both Kelly and I to get Facebook pages.
I looooove Keff. So you see the trend here.
I decided, at the time, that the page should be a public space. So it has remained. Anyone can friend me and will stay that way unless they spam, flood or set off my Creep Alert. And if it ain’t fit for the whole Interwebs to hear, I don’t say it there. (This has become my policy, speaking very generally, about posting anything, for reasons that should be obvious. But in case they’re not, heeeere’s Scalzi!)
What I put into Facebook is largely generated elsewhere. Status updates, often in the form of Tweets. Pictures from Instagram and Flickr. Lately, pins from Pinterest. Notes that are links to blog entries. I also answer any e-mails that come to me there.
What I take back out of the great blue river of updates, posts, videos, pictures, game invites, event invites, and you name it?
First and no big surprise: with OMG so much fiddling!, I’ve learned to have Facebook forward, to my e-mail, what the Close Friends list is up to. Many of the people I used to read on LJ are Facebookians now. I want to know every little thing going on with my beloved peeps. (We may need a new word for benign stalkage of willing loved ones. Following seems imprecise.)
Second: I like to make ten or twenty Scrabble moves a day and I have a handful of friends who humour me in this. If you play the official Scrabble app on Facebook and you’d like to say you creamed a novelist who can’t learn not to make cool words like LIZARD or VORTEX, even when HA would yield twice the points, this is the one game invite I will notice and accept.
And in most cases I won’t even send you this shot of myself waiting for you to make your next move. That kind of nagging is reserved for poor, dear, much put-upon Liz.
Third: A reasonable percentage of my inlaws and nearly all of my genetic relations are on Facebook. I have wonderful filtered lists that let me check out baby pictures, complaints about the weather in Alberta (land of snow, guys, come to the coast where we have crocuses in January!!) and whatever else they’re thinking about. Which is just damned nice. It’s not as good as being there in May or June. It beats the hell out of being there in February. (Daffodils! Tulips! The first cherry blossoms!)
As for all the other lovely people who aren’t my best buds and family? I look at the updates, if somewhat randomly. I get writing links, political stuff, news items, cat macros, videos of Kristen Bell bawling her eyes out over sloths, announcements to the effect that McKinley has a bear in her backyard tree, David Gerrold’s recent juicing disasters, Hallowe’en costumes and other stuff. If I like them, I even “Like” them.
But Facebook is something I often need to sieve: lots pours through it, and I’m trying to find stuff I connect to personally.
I read Between Two Fires by Christopher Beuhlman recently, and it’s really quite remarkable and wonderful. And I mean wonderful in a horror novel that freezes your blood and turns your stomach, but somehow brings you to the edge of tears at the end way. It’s especially effective if you dig medieval history, stuff about the Black Death (who doesn’t dig a little plague?) or feel any sense of interest in or any connection to the Catholic Church or Christian mythology.
The link to my Tor.com review of the novel is here.
The rest of this year’s reading list, so far…
1. The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt
2. Among Others, by Jo Walton
3. Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories, by Simon Winchester
4. Stone Spring by Stephen Baxter
5. Kat, Incorrigible (Unladylike Adventures of Kat Stephenson), by Stephanie Burgis
6. Remote, by Donn Cortez
7.The Pattern Scars by Caitlin Sweet
8. one awesome draft novel by a dear friend
9. Property of a Lady, by Sarah Rayne
10. Hark a Vagrant by Kate Beaton
11. Black Blade Blues, by J.A. Pitt
12. Redshirts, by John Scalzi
13. Broken Harbour, by Tana French
14. Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn
15. Are you My Mother? By Alison Bechdel
16. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
17. Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins
18. Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins
19. On Conan Doyle or The Whole Art of Storytelling, by Michael Dirda
20. Falling Angel, by William Hjortsberg
21. Between two Fires, by Christopher Buehlman
22. Black Diamonds: The Rise and Fall of an English Dynasty by Catherine Bailey
23. (Reading now!) The Warlock’s Curse, by M.K. Hobson
“Men Who Would Drown,” by Elizabeth Fama
“Six Months, Three Days,” by Charlie Jane Anders
“Nell,” by Karen Hesse (http://www.tor.com/stories/2012/09/nell)
Faithful Place, by Tana French
Into Thin Air, by Jon Krakauer
Yes, I made it through “Beer Bad,” and “Wild at Heart.” Here’s the essay.
And… I’ve now rewatched all of S3. The Graduation Day 1 & 2 rewatch can be found here. Next week Buffy starts college, which is uncanny timing given that September’s wafting its chilly breath all over us.