jeregenest: (kale cold war)
With A Legacy of Spies being released on September 5th it is time for a big ole Smiley/Circus re-read.

Call for the Dead (1961) - by August 7
A Murder of Quality (1962) - by August 10
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1963) - by August 14
The Looking Glass War (1965) - - by August 18
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1974) - by August 22
The Honourable Schoolboy (1977) - by August 26
Smiley's People (1979) - by August 30
The Secret Pilgrim (1990) - by September 4

If time permits I shall read The Russia House (1989), which while it does not have an appearance from Smiley it does feature Ned (from The Secret Pilgrim and it fits into the Circus corpus.
jeregenest: (Default)
My review of John le Carré's latest, Our Kind of Traitor, is up at Drowned Books.
jeregenest: (oberon)
Other than Stress of Her Regard what are your favorite pieces of fiction involving the Romantic era.
jeregenest: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] peaseblossom asked me if there are every novels where the masons are the good guys and I had trouble remembering any. I think Avram Davidson's& Masters of the Maze (1965) counts, but other than that I'm not really thinking of any. Anyone?
jeregenest: (oberon)
Last night [livejournal.com profile] peaseblossom and I happened upon a list of fantasy involving Elizabethan characters and themes. Here's the list I came up with, retty sure its not complete

Aegypt by John Crowley: All about the Dee.

The House of Doctor Dee by Peter Ackroyd: Why yes Dee is quite popular. This one is my favorite with Aegypt.

Gloriana or the Unfulfilled Queen by Michael Moorcock: Alternate history Elizabeth, more mood then anything else.

The Alchemist's Door by Lisa Goldstein: More Dee, in Prague. With Rabbi Loew.

The Armor of Light by Melissa Scott and Lisa Barnett: Syndney and Marlow with magic.

Snow White and Rose Red by Patricia C. Wrede: Fairy tale (you know the one) with again some Dee action.

The Sandman by Neil Gaiman: Gaiman has some fun stuff to say about Shakespeare and faerie.

Strange Devices of the Sun And Moon by Lisa Goldstein: Faerie’s in Elizabethan court intrigue with some Marlowe and some arthurian stuff.

Maxie’s Demon by Michael Scott Rohan: Dee is involved in this novel in Rohan’s Spiral.

Ill Met by Moonlight by Sarah A. Hoyt: Shakespeare must rescue his wife & daughter from Faerie. She has some others that I’m not sure I’ve read.

The Black Canary by Jane Louise Curry: Time travel YA.
jeregenest: (Default)
Paul Di Filippo offers a slipstream canon from a panel discussion at Readercon

We all know what the means...meme! )
jeregenest: (sandbaggers)
From intrigue-filled fiction spurred by the Cold War to glamorous movies with twisting plots, the business of spying -- espionage, surveillance and sabotage -- has captured imaginations for decades. Occult fiction, especially occult detectives, have probably an even longer pedigree. And for me, as many already know, these are two great tastes that go great together.

Spies have in common with occultists is an uncanny ability to connect the seemingly unconnected, to notice what goes on behind the scenes and to see through misdirection. Both often use collaborators or confederates, and mentors. Each have their rules of engagement. Even some of the elements of tradecraft are the same. Both are cryptic, using encryptions and codes. Each has its own arcane language, symbols veiled from the profane. Remote Viewing is virtually identical with clairvoyance. Both are masters of disguise, the hidden environment, intelligence, espionage, and covert action. Both are Inside Outsiders, working at the fringes of the system. And both work sub rosa.

I’m working on a biography and I find it easier to think of more rpg entries than fiction.
To qualify a book has to involve both espionage and the occult. And frankly I have trouble finding nearly as many as I do occult detectives (like spy novels the sub genre demarcations can of course be difficult).

  • Tim Powers gives us Declare and Three Days to Never
  • Charles Stross, Atrocity Archives and Jennifer Morgue
  • Kim Newman’s Diogene Club cycle
  • Alexander Irvine’s The Narrows
  • There’s all of the Brian Lumley stuff (I’m afraid to read him again, I figure if my teenage self found him awful he can only have gotten worse)


It’s much easier for roleplaying. There’s Delta Green and Conspiracy X, half a dozen books from GURPS, Dark Conspiracy and who knows what else I’m forgetting.

For television I'd place Alias pretty strongly here.

So what am I forgetting, from both lists?
jeregenest: (Default)
Adventure in the style of TinTin. Very beautiful and a fun story besides. Set in what seems like the early 1920’s or so, it tells of a mystery adventure to seek out a beautiful and perhaps mythical orchid so that a man may win a competiton, a bet, and retain his family estate.  Oh but there are dastardly plans afoot to foil this noble adventure! With ancient languages on tablets of stone, missionaries with strange stories to tell, beautiful Hollywood actresses and plucky historian’s assistants - this is an adventurethat I'm enjoying catching up with! 

If this ever gets printed I'd buy a copy.

jeregenest: (Default)
Occult detective stories, that subgenre between detective (and other mystery subgenres) and fantasy (contemporary/urban flavor) is something I enjoy reading quite a bit. Probably no big surprise to most of the folks who read this journal.

I’m trying to get together a list, to figure out what I like and what I need to read. Feel free to add anything I might be missing:
Read more... )
jeregenest: (Default)
So I'm thinking about pirates, in partiular weird pirates. Here's what I have so far on my must read list.


  • William S. Burroughs, Cities of the Red Night: This book is a culmination of Burroughs's mythology of freedom through fantasy encompassing the entire earth, all of its peoples, both sexes, and all of human history. A retroactive utopia founded by eighteenth-century pirates is the basis for Burroughs's social criticism. A story about the dystopian cities of the red night focuses on the theme of the biological trap. And the writer's quest is conveyed through a contemporary detective story in which a private investigator uncovers the biological trap and finds he must rewrite history to escape it.

  • Tim Powers, On Stranger Tides:A pirate story with a Powers twist. This book is an excellent example of Powers' integration of supernatural elements into a well-described historical setting peopled with real characters from history.

  • William Hope Hodgson, The Boats of the Glen Carrig, the Ghost Pirates: William Hope Hodgson (1877-1918) spent nine years as a merchant seaman. Not all of his sea stories are supernatural but all atmospherically evoke both the remoteness of a ship at sea and the strangeness of what lies beneath the waves. Some good short stories include "The Voice in the Night" where castaways are overcome by a fungus; and "The Derelict" where an ancient ship mutates into a living organism. The Boats of the Glen Carrig is deadpan nautical horror which slowly turns ever more surreal and disturbing. If this can capture, at times, the atmosphere of dread in these books than it can be considered a success. This book is currently (together with Hodgson’s other books) fueling much of the thought about the Excrucians in the game. In The Ghost Pirates -- probably his most successful example of sustained horror -- a fated ship becomes haunted by an infradimensional craft.

  • Rafael Sabatini, Captain Blood: Captain Blood begins with Blood's settled domestic life and ending along with his career as a pirate. Along the way we learn how oppression drives men to desperate actions, how fate plays a hand in everyone's life and that love is possibly the greatest power of all. The book, in short, wants for nothing. Its pages abound with adventure, color, romance and even strong social commentary on the evils of slavery and the danger of intolerance. Not weird but definitely a classic pirate book that underpines a lot of the other stuff on this list.

  • The Spiral Series by Michael Scott Rohan: This series is comprised by Chase the Morning, Gates of Noon, Cloud Castles, and Maxie’s Demon. Sea adventure, Voodoo, and strange things out of time figure in this series of books. A fun and at times crazy series.

jeregenest: (Default)
I've read, and enjoyed, the comic book series Fables for quite a while now. Like most of my comcis I read them in trade and I always find myself eagerly anticipating the next book (someday I'll buckle down and buy these I think, they definitely have reread value). For those who haven't read it yet Fables is a Vertigo comic book series created and written by Bill Willingham.The series deals with various characters from fairy tales and folklore who have been forced out of their native lands by a mysterious enemy known as the Adversary (who ends up being someone very clever). They travel to our world and form a clandestine community in New York City known as Fabletown. The main characters are Prince Charming (who becomes mayor), Snow White, the Big Bad Wolf, and others. I find it an amusing series and enjoy its take on the characters, especially some of the lesser ones like Little Boy Blue.

Recently I've read the first two books of The Sisters Grimm: Fairy Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley and I find the similarities (and differences) interesting. Here we also have a town full of fairy tale entities in New York (upstate this tme not the city), but they are trapped. Prince Charming in the mayor. The Big Bad Wolf works for the main character's grandmother. Snow White teaches elementary school (she's good with little people, see?). This charming ya book is about two sister's whose parents are missing and find out they are the descendents of Wilhlem Grimm, who to save the world from fairy tale entities grown bitter and angry (or maybe to save the fairy tale creatures) had Bab Yaga cast a spell to trap them all in Ferryport New York. Like I said its cute and an easy read. A little too old for the boy perhaps, which is why I had originally got them (he likes detectives, everyone in the family likes fairytales).

I always find it interesting to read stuff where the authors are definitely dipping into the same well but drawing different stuff out.

Pirates!

Jul. 5th, 2006 07:31 pm
jeregenest: (Default)
As Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man's Chest rolls around (we'll be seeing it Friday night) a boy's thoughts turn to pirates and horror. Two great things that go great together. I picked up William Hope Hodgson's collection The Ghost Pirates and Other Revenants of The Sea from Night Shade Books at Pandemonium today, which [livejournal.com profile] peaseblossom is currently reading.

Anyone have a copy of the old Hammer film The Lost Continent that I can borrow?

What is your favorite work of Pirate fantasy weirdness? We'll just assume that On Stranger Tides is on your list, and if it is not I probably don't want to be hearing about it. Though I did just notice the Babbage Press edition came out when I wasn't looking, so I am ordering it.

New ezine

Jun. 15th, 2006 09:09 am
jeregenest: (Default)
A lot of folks are a buzz over Helix, with good reason, it looks good and has promise. My favorite story is The Sum of Things by Robert Brown which is a fun piece of aviation based alternate history.
jeregenest: (Default)
I just read volume 3 of Strangehaven, Conspiracies by Gary Spencer Millidge. I had originally read the first two volumes eyars ago and pretty much forgotten about this comic. But a few weeks ag wen I was selling other tpbs at comicazi in Davis Square I saw it there and picked it up with some of the credit I ahd gained. I'm glad I did.

I like Strangehaven, its a creepy little magical English village and the comic is well worth reading. Millidge spins a subtly weird tale that most of my friends would do well reading. We have secret conspiracies (at least two), ghosts, shamanism, ley lines, gaea weirdness and the vagaries of love. This is one comic book I heartily recommend.
jeregenest: (Default)
Why did no one tell me Christoper Nolan is directing an adapataion of Christopher Priest's The Prestige? And that Christian Bale is in it.
jeregenest: (Default)
"Abimagique" by Lucius Shepard is a beautiful, poignant story by one of those writers whose short stories always resonate and entrance me. He writes this one in 2nd person and it still works. A story of obsessive love with the backdrop of supernatural strangeness.

Go and read it.
jeregenest: (Default)
The next book on my hardcover SF shelf is an omnibus called The Fantasy Worlds of Peter Beagle which contains Lila the Werewolf; The Last Unicorn; “Come, Lady Death”; and, A Fine and Private Place. Do I really need to justify this? Its Peter Beagle!

Okay )
jeregenest: (Default)
I don’t buy many books these days, not even writers I love. I haven’t for example bought John Crowley’s Lord Bryon’s Novel even though I loved it immensely. Yet I have a sizeable bookshelf of hardcover fiction from the days I did buy lots of books (basically pre-kids). I’m sitting her wondering why I kept what I have (I’ve gotten rid of easily 3x the amount of SF hardcovers in recent years). So here’s the start of an endeavor that will probably not last long, justiy my books. Starting alphabetically I have….

Brian W Aldiss Common Clay

I love Aldiss’ command of language, his hopefulness, his lyricism. But I’ve only kept one collection by him and this is it. And that’s for his short story "If Hamlet’s Uncle had been a Nicer Guy." And that’s funny because even though its my favorite Aldiss story its not one of his critically recognized greats, and even funnier I don’t think I’ve ever shared this short story with [livejournal.com profile] peaseblossom. Though thats definitely changing now as I'm pretty sure I can count on ehr t read this short story, especially given her current readings.

Maybe I’m not so sure why this book is still on my shelf.

Ira Levin

Aug. 19th, 2005 05:54 pm
jeregenest: (Default)
Whats your favorite Ira Levin novel, movies count. Why? I'm curious.
jeregenest: (Default)
Since I'm seeking recommendations from you I feel I should reciprocate. So, go and read Chris Barzak's lovely "The Language of Moths". It is well worth your read this morning.

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