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9/18/10 02:51 pm - evilhippo - Fanmixes Galore

It seems that one thing that catches my brain and actually keeps hold lately is the desire to fanmix. Or, at least, to tenuously relate bunches of songs to things I'm fond of. So, it follows that the thegameison_sh bonus challenge led to a bit of overindulgence. The fanmix I ended up posting was complete crack, but pretty much unavoidable once I discovered that I had some nearly-forgotten songs that were a perfect fit. And so I ended up with this:

Dedicated to Science: An Elegy for Those in Sherlock's RefrigeratorCollapse )

The others I'm just going to list, and they don't come with artwork because there are other things I have to work on (like the actual challenge for this month). So, there's the original plan:

Songs Connected to the Eventual Mental Collapse of Sherlock Holmes Regarding the Solar SystemCollapse )

And then there's this EP, which just appeared while I was scrolling through my playlists:

the Moriarty EPCollapse )

If you don't happen to know the songs, let me know and I'll see what I can put together for you. (-;
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9/13/10 10:00 pm - evilhippo - 15 Songs Rough Draft: The Ghost Story One

15 Songs for a Displaced Doctor
Title: The Ghost Story
Rating: PG
Warnings: Aftermath of character death.

Meant to sort of go with Braid of Voices by DM StithCollapse )

9/13/10 09:52 pm - evilhippo - 15 Songs Rough Draft: The Post-Apocalypse One

This is the "project" I started working on last Sunday. It will probably never be finished (I doubt I'll get all the way to 15). The general idea, though, is a series of pseudo-songfics/a fanmix for a litany of alternate universe John Watsons. I've only managed a short list so far, and these are rough drafts, but whatever.

15 Songs for a Displaced Doctor
Title: Post-Apocalypse
Rating: PG
Warnings: Destruction of a major city?

Based only on the first line of Half Light II (No Celebrations)Collapse )

1/27/08 02:14 am - evilhippo - Review: Tom Bedlam by George Hagen

I'm going to have to admit it now (and I will probably admit it again, often): I like to pick out books based on which covers catch my eye. And the cover of Tom Bedlam stood out amidst the less... cityscaped new books at the library, and so I picked it up. Usually this doesn't lead to good reading--which might be obvious after my review of Vurt. But there's a reason these two reviews are getting posted so close together (other than the fact that I finished the two books only about a day apart). Tom Bedlam is actually good.

The dust jacket claims that Tom is looking to "create the family he dreamed of in childhood." This is my complaint right now. This is basically the only one. The dust jacket kind of lies. This book is the story of Tom Bedlam's life, from taking care of his mother in a tiny London tenement to searching London after years abroad for his friends, daughters, and relations. There is no conscious searching for something as pie-in-the-sky as an ideal family. In fact, those things mostly fall into place in a flurry of coincidences that, thankfully, never become overwhelming enough to break the suspension of disbelief. The novel is full of interesting and varied characters, and Tom is just pliable enough to take them all in stride.

There are also Shakespeare references, which is just a shining gleeful thing for me, because they're subtle and done well. The whole thing, actually, could be twisted into a sprawling, thoroughly observant adaptation of King Lear. To explain exactly how would spoil things, and to read it as King Lear would involve a lot of twisting, but the option is there. And literately so. George Hagen has a great deal of my appreciation for that.

The women in Tom Bedlam are, perhaps, the most colorful characters. Each one is a Cordelia in a way--honest, sharp-witted, and with a unique personality. Audrey, one of Tom's childhood friends, grows up with him through letters and remains a powerful force throughout the book. Tom's daughters each have an echo of Tom's past in their actions, but grow into truly unique people. Perhaps this slack-jawed wonder at characterization is a symptom of me having my nose in science fiction and fantasy and other less character-driven genres too often, but I can't help but think Tom Bedlam does its characters well. And speaking of genre, let me thank the muses for pointing me at a novel that does genre (period fiction, woe of the people) without making it suffocating. The novel spans the Victorian Era to the first Great War and there isn't a hiccup in style. It's easy to read, yet the characters are true to their times.

Now, I suppose before I say "This is completely worth reading!" I should warn that it's not a fast-paced book. The hops in time are occasionally sudden, and sometimes the story drags its feet in a period for no immediately discernible reason. I forgave it for that, because it was pleasantly light reading. Even though the book is Serious, it doesn't take itself seriously, and there are moments in it that actually made me laugh out loud. Yes, these were somewhat dorky moments that were usually a result of some wordplay or another, but that's just how I am.

1/27/08 01:22 am - evilhippo - Review: Vurt by Jeff Noon

Recently, I finished reading Jeff Noon's first novel, Vurt. I picked it up from the library not because I'd heard anything about it, but because I'd seen Pollen in a used bookstore downtown. It was a textbook case of judging a book by its cover: it was electrically bright in a way that usually only trade paperbacks can be. I'm beginning to wonder about the pervasiveness of such colors, after observing how the phrase "electric blue" can make its rounds independent of any clear connection. The book was a hardcover, so basically all of this is beside the point, which may have been that I read Vurt for no particular reason, except that it was also by Jeff Noon, and I was somewhat under the impression that Pollen was a sequel of some sort and so I should read Vurt first.

Vurt is, for lack of a better term to start this review with, strange. It's told a stream-of-consciousness first person that occasionally reminded me, in its turns of phrase and smattering of slang, of Snow Crash. The world is a piecemeal of present (being 1993-present) and future--the sort of future created by changing a few details here and there. In this future, for example, there are four kinds of "beings": shadow, vurt, pure (human), and dog.

Actually, let's get this down now, before I veer off track, because though this isn't exactly what bothered me about this novel, it's something that will bother other people. In places, you can boil Vurt down into two things: Incest and Furries. The internet has desensitized me to them (incest no longer shocks me because of the FMA fandom. It squicks me, but doesn't shock me. And furries are furries.) The main character, Scribble, is on a quest to retrieve his sister from the virtual reality she was accidentally traded into. Now, I read this for most of the novel as slang for close friend. Until Scribble jealously mentioned that his father had "had" his sister too. Yes, in that way. And so, I can only assume that, yes, there was meant to be a shock factor in this (and I imagine it would've shocked someone who wasn't raised on the internet).

This does lead me to my problem with it, though, which is this: It goes nowhere. (Spoiler cut)Collapse )

So, in the end... I was rather frustrated with this book. I don't think it knew what it was saying, or understood how it was trying to say it. It smacks of other drug culture books, but goes for shocking rather than entertaining in an attempt to make some kind of moral or philosophical point that just isn't there.

1/11/08 03:26 am - evilhippo - Lorem Ipsum

Lorem Ipsum should've been a Harry Potter spell. For testing wands. This post has no content. It is for taking up space. I am listening to Okkervil River. I can't afford to buy any more CDs. I need a good pen. Lorem Ipsum should've been a Harry Potter spell. For testing wands. This post has no content. It is for taking up space. I am listening to Okkervil River. I can't afford to buy any more CDs. I need a good pen. Lorem Ipsum should've been a Harry Potter spell. For testing wands. This post has no content. It is for taking up space. I am listening to Okkervil River. I can't afford to buy any more CDs. I need a good pen. Lorem Ipsum should've been a Harry Potter spell. For testing wands. This post has no content. It is for taking up space. I am listening to Okkervil River. I can't afford to buy any more CDs. I need a good pen.
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