Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wednesday Paperback Cover

This cover for Hard Case's debut hardcover novel hit me right between the eyes.

New Dashiell Hammett

Are you ready to read some new short stories by Dashiell Hammett? I hope so, because 15 new stories have been discovered and are set to be published.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Stansberry's Noir Manifesto

Domenic Stansberry's Noir Manifesto has made it online. I'm not sure if it's really a manifesto. It reads more like an essay, but it's certainly thought provoking, and I'd have to agree with a lot of the points he makes, like that fact that noir used to be, or should be a genre sympathetic to the powerless, as opposed to thrillers, which are more concerned with re-establishing the status quo at the end of the story. There are many definitions of noir, and many writers and aficionados don't agree on what noir is, but there's a lot to think about in this essay. I'm still digesting it, and hopefully I'll have more to say later.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Post in Which the Author Admits He is Having Trouble Adapting to the Century in Which He Lives

So, I'm trying to get back on the reviewing and blogging wagon after having taken much needed break. While I've been away, lots of authors I enjoy reading, like Allan Guthrie, Dave Zeltserman, and Anthony Neil Smith have released electronic exclusives. After resisting the e-book trend for a long time, I finally broke down and downloaded Kindle for PC, and bought a couple of books I wanted to read. The problem is, however, that I'm having a hard time reading them. On many days, I spend the better part of eight hours staring a a computer screen, and when I get home I often find myself not wanting to spend another couple hours doing the same thing for recreational purposes.

And when I do fire up the computer, I always end up caught up in myriad distractions (I have four other tabs open in my browser as I write this.) As McLuhan said, the medium is the message, and I fear the Internet has conditioned me to jump around from one thing to the next, never staying in one place, or lavishing too much attention on any one thing. Sitting in front of a computer and trying to do something as straightforward and linear as reading a novel feels unnatural, and I'm having a hard time adapting. I recently read Grimhaven as a PDF, and it took me two weeks to get through. It's a short book, and I should have been able to sit down and read it in an afternoon, but I kept getting distracted, or feeling like I needed a break from staring at the screen. It wasn't easy.

Right now, I'm trying to decide on whether or not to shell out for a Kindle. I think that the portable format may be more book-like, and make me more comfortable with the whole electronic book concept, but I'm afraid it won't work, and I'll have wasted a bunch of money on something I'll never use. So, I'm asking anyone who's got one, how do you like yours? Was it worth the money? Is it similar enough to reading a book that you feel comfortable doing it? Or should I just forget it?