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Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Some More Goodies On My Cyber Bookshelf!

I've just acquired two Tansy Rayner Roberts titles which are currently free. One is her first book, Splashdance Silver, published yonks ago by HarperCollins, as part of the prize in the George Turner Award and long out if print, but now self published in ebook. It's the first of a trilogy, the most recent only published recently. Another is crime novel A Trifle Dead, published under the name Livia Day.

And for $1.99 I bought Tansy's Pratchett's Women: Unauthorised Essays On The Female Characters Of Discworld. I read it all this morning and afternoon, finishing about an hour ago. I found it very chatty and readable, though I didn't agree with all her thoughts on Terry Pratchett's female characters - but we all have our own feelings about those novels and the characters in them. Oddly, though she does mention the Tiffany Aching novels, they don't get any coverage of their own. A pity, because Tiffany is a character who develops and grows as a character as much as growing up in age and you can never complain, as Tansy R does about Susan Sto Helit, that she isn't the protagonist of her own novels!

The date of publication isn't mentioned, but it was written before Terry Pratchett's death, mentioning her hopes that some characters will return.

I have read some of this author's fiction, and it's good, but I actually prefer her non fiction, such as the posts on her blog, the ones that get on all those award short lists for good reason. So this book was like reading a set of her blog posts. It worked for me!

That was today. Yesterday and the day before I was in the mood for Ray Bradbury and Jules Verne. So I downloaded Something Wicked This Way Comes and Dandelion Wine, both of which have some autobiographical elements and remind you in case you've forgotten, what a poet he was.

And then I got the ebooks of Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea and Around The World In Eighty Days. I'm waiting for Sophie Masson to send me the copy of Michael Strogoff  which I ordered in her crowd funding thingie earlier this year - interestingly, it gets a mention in the intro to Twenty Thousand Leagues...

And today, I broke my own rule and bought a print book, while waiting for the tram on my way home. The stop is outside the Avenue Bookshop. I couldn't resist - it was a book of letters of Ian Fleming, The Man With The Golden Typewriter: Ian Fleming's James Bond Letters. It's edited by Fergus Fleming, who, as a very short note at the end tells you, is Ian's nephew. He's a non fiction writer and a publisher at the same press run by his uncle(but this book is published by Bloomsbury). I love learning new things, especially about writers; it's why I have way too many bios of Tolkien and C.S Lewis. Apparently, Fleming celebrated the sale of his first book with a gold-plated typewriter!

The introduction to the chapter about Casino Royale tells you that he started writing it because he had nothing else to do, having finished all the stuff he had to do for his day job and hating to be idle. and it says he wrote two thousand words a day and very sensibly refused to fuss around with rewrites or editing until the damn thing was finished. I keep telling my students to do that(not go back and rewrite till done, not the two thousand words thing). Maybe they'll listen if I let them know who else did it that way.

I can understand, anyway. Back then you had only a typewriter to use, not a computer. You just didn't have the option of deleting whole pages or cutting and pasting. Not unless you were willing to re-do entire chapters. I can actually remember typewriters and using one to put together my fanzines. Shudder! So he wouldn't  have finished anything if he'd done it that way.
A nice haul of books!

Back to work tomorrow. Dinner next, then early to bed. I just don't have the energy for a late night. Good night!

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