12 July 2010

Readercon Book Haul

I'm just back from Readercon and too tired to write up all the various fun that was had -- some great panels, lots of wonderful conversations with more folks than I can possibly remember to mention, not nearly enough time with even more folks than I could ever mention, etc.  Paolo Bacigalupi was so horrified that I had not yet read (or even procured a copy of!) his new novel Ship Breaker that he challenged me to Jell-o wrestle him to the death.  (I like his work so much that I swallowed my pride and declined to wrestle him, because, of course, being the monster of human strength that I am, I would crush him within seconds, and he, being dead, would no longer be able to write.)  Later, a young fan named Junot Diaz and I talked for a while.  He seems like a smart kid, likely to accomplish something one day -- keep your eyes on him.

A more comprehensive Readercon post will appear soon, but for now, here are some of the items I came home with, either from the dealers' room, from friends, or from a used bookstore I visited with Eric Schaller, Liz Gorinsky, and Brian Slattery...



The old green Harvard Classics book (which is in good shape and cost $1!) is Emerson's Essays and English Traits, which I got because I don't have a complete copy of English Traits, and I've just been reading about it in Nell Irvin Painter's The History of White People.  The book to the right of it is an advance copy of The Wonderful Future That Never Was, which will be published sometime around October.  The galleys are in black & white, though the finished book will be in color and include a poster.  The layout is marvelous, the text a heckuva lot of fun, so this is one you'll want to order dozens of to give to your friends and family during the holidays.  Here's a snapshot of one of the interiors, just to give a sense of some of the layout (some pages have much more text, but this one was photogenic):



I'm really looking forward to seeing a full-color finished copy.  And now for some more books that pretty much speak for themselves...


4 comments:

  1. I'm a big fan of Junot Diaz. His portrait of the cruel dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo in Republica Dominicana is awesome. And that is only a footnote in his book about Oscar Wao. Tolkien stuff: Mordor in the Caribean.

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  2. Stray thoughts:

    The Last Samurai doesn't get nearly as much attention as it deserves.

    Joanna Russ took a class from Vladimir Nabokov. Meaningful? Who knows.

    Even though I already own it, I'm strangely jealous to see the Avram Davidson book in your pile. I think it's because it took me a while to track down a copy. It's one of my favorites of his.

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  3. Trouble with the Davidson is that you have to decide whether to read the stories in ToC order or in order of publication. See, the second half of the book comprises stories published earlier, with a much different tone and in a less fantastic genre.

    I once heard a scholar at MLA say that, to understand Oscar Wao, she had to ask a male colleague to explain all the Jack Kirby references. Surely there's plenty of younger female readers who could do that?

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  4. Yes, Josh, you're absolutely right -- I was just thinking about that, actually. I've got a copy of the old paperback with the pre-1980s stories, and have read most of it, but my memory of any of the details is hazy, and I was just looking at the book and thinking ... hmmmmm.....

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