Read, Listen, Watch

I am compiling a list of films and TV series I have watched, books I have read, and audio books or plays I have listened to.

I will likely make some comments to a fair amount of the entries in the list, some information on how or when I found the titles, whether I watched the film in the cinema or on video/DVD, whether the audio/books are purchased as downloads or on paper/tape/CD etc.

Dresden Files – Books and TV series.

A while ago I started to read the Dresden Files series of books by Jim Butcher.

At present I have read the first 3 books of the series, and enjoyed them thoroughly. I surely intend to read further in the series, and there is no lack of material. The series has, at present 16 books out, and the total series is expected to be around 25 books. Nor these books are not the massive tomes, such as the “Song of Ice and Fire” books, so reading a book at a time, mixed with other books, will be manageable. I have the first 12 books on the Kindle, so I don’t even need to buy them before I can read them 😉

Jim Butcher is the Guest of Honour at the Eastercon in Heathrow next year, and I am considering going there if time allows.

There is a TV series that ran for a single season, 12 episodes a few years ago. I found the DVD set and watched it the past week end.
Paul Blackthorne, also known from “Arrow” plays Harry Dresden, and I like his acting in this one, but I think he is better in “Arrow”.

I found the TV series quite entertaining, after a few episodes it started to find its feet. Harry Dresden is the only person in Chicago having his occupation in the phonebook stated as “Wizard”. He helps the local police out in the strangest cases that would normally have gone unsolved.
He is a rather powerful wizard, but has dabbled in black magic which was not too popular with “The Council”. He is under essentially constant surveillance and invariably accused of the worst of intentions.

The series follows him in a series of cases, the pilot episode “Storm Front” is relatively true to the first book in the series with the same title.

The TV series is “based on” the books, but after the pilot it deviates considerably from the books, so I should be relatively spoiler safe when I resume reading the book series.

I would rate the series at an enjoyable, slightly above average 7.5/10.

I rate the first 3 books a bit higher, at a solid above average 8/10

Hugo award voting and material, an overview

As a preparation for the voting for the Hugo Awards 2009 I downloaded the package of material from their website, and listened to some the short stories on a variety of podcasts, and watched what I could easily get hold of.

There was not enough time to read the rest of the material.

This is what I got to see or read before voting :

Dramatic presentations, short form :

Doctor Who : ‘Turn Left’
Doctor Who : ‘Silence in the Library’/’Forest of the Dead’
Battlestar Galactica : ‘Revelations’
I would have liked to see more, especially ‘Doctor Horrible’s Sing Along Blog’ . I was not aware that the DVD version from the US was Region Free, so missed out on that one. I will have to get it some time

Dramatic presentations, long form :

‘The Dark Knight’
‘Iron Man’

Novels :

Charles Stross : Saturns Children
Neil Gaiman : Graveyard Book
Cory Doctorow : Little Brother
John Scalzi : Zoe’s Tale

Short stories (audio podcast format) :

Ted Chiang : ‘Exhalation’
Michael Swanwick : ‘From Babel’s Fall’n Glory We Fled’
Mike Resnick : ‘Article of Faith’
Kij Johnson : ’26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss’

A bit of info on my preferences will follow when I get to the different categories.

I still have some novellettes and novellas on my reader that I will want to read, but at the moment I am busy reading a much older Science Fiction story, EE ‘Doc’ Smith’s ‘Lensman’ Series

More details when I get to watch/read more of the stuff, and a few more thoughts on the stuff I am reading/watching

To read or not to read …

That is the question.

Since the job requires a lot of reading, mainly technical, I have been reading less than I did when I was growing up. At thet time I was considered a “book worm” – eating stories by the page …. most of it science fiction. The first major fantasy work I read was the classic “Lord of the Rings” (no introduction necessary).

After moving to The Netherlands and having my present job I got to read less, but found more science fiction on video/TV, in the beginning Star Trek TNG, later much more.

I did read the occasional Star Trek and Star Wars book, but not much more, and sometimes had a series of books.

The first series I “discovered” was Raymond E. Feist’s “Riftwar Saga” which I loved. After one or two more sequel series the interest waned, and I have not read the later ones.

About 5 years ago a friend in Denmark introduced me to Anne McCaffrey’s writing. As a birthday present I received “Dragonflight”, “Dragonquest” of the “Dragonriders of Pern” series and the first of the “Acorna” series. Out of those I like the “Pern” series the best, but the other one is not bad at all. This lead to another bout of reading for me, then another hiatus.

In between all this came the “Harry Potter” series and I found that it appeals to the child in me as well as the more grown-up.

About a year ago I was talking to a friend I had not seen for a while. When I mentioned the blog and he heard the keyword “science fiction” he interrupted me and asked “You interested in books ?” well – yes, a few days later he arrived with 5 shopping bags full of books in the scifi and fantasy genre. I ended up with about 70 new titles – a considerable increase of my sf/fantasy book collection, some of which I may never get to read.

It looks like I am going to take a bit more time to do some reading, probably some short stories and an occasional novel. (Remember what I said the other day – time is a limited resource). Actually I have started this, having read a few novels lately. Some of the podcasts I am listening to are scifi/fantasy stories/plays, so I do get some fiction “reading” done. Listening to a podcast while walking to and from work sure beats trying to read a book in the traffic 😉 .