September 17th, 2003

The Librarian

New goodies!!!!

Such a happy event when I indulge myself in treats from Amazon.ca and the package finally arrives!

Watching the French black comedy "Delicatessen" (only available here on VHS) right now ... Jean-Pierre Jeunet's (known for "Alien Resurrection" and "Amelie") very first feature film. A delightful little tale of civilized cannibalism in post-apocalyptic France :-)

Then I have John Cleese's "Clockwise" (the tale of a schedule/clock-mad headmaster whose life falls apart on the day he misses a train) on DVD; the extras include a thirteen-minute interview with Cleese ... THAT ought to be good!

Finally, a novel that promises to be most intriguing ... Keith Hartman's first novel, "The Gumshoe, the Witch & the Virtual Corpse." Had to buy it because there isn't a library in Alberta that owns it ... SILLY LIBRARIES!!!!! Found out about it the way one finds out about all good things today ... accidentally while looking for something else on the Internet. I figger that any book that has won awards in the categories of mystery, science fiction and queer fiction has to have something going for it. And if I don't like it, I can always donate it to the local library ***grin*** But I doubt I'll give it up ... the author has been kind enough to post the entire first chapter at http://www.keith-hartman.com/GUMW.HTM and that sample was intriguing enough to make me cough up some cash. If it lives up to its promise, then I'll invest in the sequel.
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The Librarian

Update on alternate history fiction

Checked up on this because of the spinoff conversation from Allison's "Steam Trek" post regarding parallel universe/alternate history-type fiction.

This will by no means get you a complete list, but it's a good starting point. Go to http://catalog.loc.gov/ and choose "Basic Search", then choose "Subject Browse" as a search type. Type in "alternative histories" (this is a genre heading rather than a true subject heading, which means it will seek out all fiction coded to this genre). You'll get two hits right at the top of the results list (looks like the genre heading has been officially altered, but Library of Congress hasn't caught up on the housecleaning of old records yet, tsk tsk) ... there are 123 title hits under the first and 109 under the second. These will give you a good selection of authors who write this type of fiction. To narrow down further, go into the full record for any selected title and the subject headings listed will give you an idea of which era/time split the book is concentrating on. Hopefully you'll be able to find some of the titles that interest you in your local library (don't forget to politely hassle the staff for interlibrary loans of titles not locally available ... all public libraries ARE supposed to offer this service).

Happy hunting and reading!
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