August 18th, 2007

Once more onto the beach, dear friends . . .

I'm heading back to the Delaware shore on Monday to visit with my sister and her family and have been giving some thought to that age-old beach question:  What to read?

A lot of people seem to use the beach as a sandy library in which to devour the latest bestseller by Grisham or King et al.  But I've always liked to indulge my taste for biography and history while at the shore.  Of course, as a freelance writer, I'm also usually simultaneously reading a novel for interview or copy purposes.  But what to read for pure unadulterated pleasure?

On my last trip to the beach, I read a terrific book on Shakespeare by the obscenely multi-talented Anthony Burgess, called, simply, Shakespeare, now apparently out of print.  This delightful book does not purport to be a scholarly biography but rather is a refreshingly speculative take by a working novelist on the character of the bard and of the times in which he lived.  It's as much to be enjoyed for the author's urbane style and protean mind as for his deep knowledge of his subject.  It is speculative in that Burgess is up front in throwing aside the conventional restraints upon biographers and basically just lets the raconteur and novelist take over, so that it's easy to imagine the author across the table with a glass of his invented cocktail, the Hangman's Blood, in hand, basically just bullshitting his way through the plays and sonnets, with generous dollops of history and juicy gossip thrown in along the way.

That experience led me to order Burgess's Shakespeare novel, Nothing Like the Sun, which unfortunately has not yet arrived, leaving my original question unanswered.

What about you, gentle reader?  What do you like to read at the beach, or wherever you go for vacation?  Any suggestions would be welcome! 

posted by PaulW
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Sideways in Crime

Here's a sneak peek at the TOC for a forthcoming Lou Anders anthology for Solaris, in which I have a story.

Sideways in Crime

The People's Machine by Tobias S. Buckell
Running the Snake by Kage Baker
Via Vortex by John Meaney
The Blood of Peter Francisco by Paul Park
G-Men by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
The Adventure of the Southsea Trunk by Jack McDevitt
Sacrifice by Mary Rosenblum
Murder in Geektopia by Paul Di Filippo
Fate and The Fire-lance by Stephen Baxter
Chicago by Jon Courtenay Grimwood
Worlds of Possibilities by Pat Cadigan
Conspiracies: A Very Condensed 937-Page Novel by Mike Resnick & Eric Flint
A Murder in Eddsford by SM Stirling
The Sultan's Emissary by Theodore Judson
Death on the Crosstime Express by Chris Roberson

Posted by Paul DiFi.
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Prisoners of Gravity

One of the few times I've been interviewed for a visual medium was when the film crew of the Canadian show PRISONERS OF GRAVITY came to a con I was attending. Readercon maybe? In any case, I was filmed for the show, but never saw the result. It might've ended up on the cutting-room floor, for all I know. Anyone out there recall seeing me onscreen?

Here's the scoop on this fondly remembered series:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoners_of_Gravity

And here's a clip of their Alan Moore interview:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=cPv-idYj1p0

Posted by Paul DiFi.