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Books du Jour

Closing the pages on Murakami's The Elephant Vanishes and still craving the smell of bookpaper, slipstream and sci fi, I began perusing Arthur Clarke's The Sentinel and Tales from Planet Earth again. A quick visit to booksales (one unknown in the ground floor of Festival Mall has cheaper and better titles, alas, they don't keep a master copy of what's in stock) yielded Carl Sagan's Contact in its original issue at 55 pesos and the 3/3 of a Mary Stewart trilogy on Merlin, which I declined. I also found William Gibson's Idoru (part 2 of the Bridge trilogy) and squinted. Oh no.

I hate trilogies and therefore sequels unless I start right at them. It's too frustrating to begin at the last and search fruitlessly for the rare prequels, unless I have the patience of a beaver. I therefore declare to read Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama and sometime continue with Tolkien's famous trilogy where I left off at The Hobbit. And initiate myself with the bible of cyberpunk, Gibson's Neuromancer (which strangely sells for about a hundred pesos at Powerbooks, zero stock of course) that can be hacked in e-book websites.

What's the love affair between the sci fi genre and sequels anyway?

Finally, a segue. What do you think an engineer would do seeing a scant offering on sci fi and fantasy shelves from his favorite bookstore? Go girly, go erotica. I've used Memoirs of a Geisha as my springboard and landed right on the laps of Shanghai Baby and Belle de Jour, the latter I consumed in one weekend. I just can't put my erection, I mean, the book down. Belle de Jour, chalked by an anonymous author (deduced by some to be Stewart Home, or Sarah Champion take your pick), writes smoothly that her words slide on paper. While others have qualms on its authenticity and its depiction of the London punting scene, it nonetheless provided wit and a happy room for doubt if a real call girl can actually argue with her client over Martin Amis. She has a blog which I've read earlier (along with favorite Rentboy Diaries, now blocked by corporate IT) and I can state the same for that too.

Down the aisle I've seen another blogger-turned-author, Washingtonniene but I wouldn't care. There's no shock factor in interns and White House anymore.

I wonder if MalacaƱang's got something other than Garci tapes. Hmmm.

“Books du Jour”

  1. Blogger McVie Says:

    I've come (not cum, for obvious reasons) across Belle de Jour's blog a long time ago, and there was an interesting debate before on whether she's for real or if her blogging is pure fiction. I wouldn't be surprised if it's a bit of both.

  2. Blogger MonMouth Says:

    Interesting. My blog is blocked by corporate IT? I don't know whether I should be flattered or offended!

    Anyway, I advise you to grab any of Gibson's Bridge books and read them in any order. Idoru stands very well by itself as a complete novel. I think it's his best book, actually.

    cheers,

    Mon

  3. Blogger sky Says:

    mcvie: she's all over the internet. nobody's come up yet but whatever happens, it's a spectacular work.

    mon: wow. great to have you here. i hope idoru is still there. thanks.

  4. Blogger banzai cat Says:

    Hmmm, usually there are a lot of books in the genre that are standalones despite the fact that they're supposedly book 2 or 1 of the series. For example, Gibson's Neuromancer was followed by 2 more books (Count Zero and erhm...) but the latter didn't involve the same protagonists. (Speaking of which, I've found a number of Neuromancer in Booksale here or there. Want a copy?)

    I can also recommend Bruce Bethke's Headcrash if you're into cyber-SF.

    If you're into slipstream, have you tried Jonathan Carroll and Jonathan Lethem?

  5. Blogger sky Says:

    bc: I left a comment in your blog (which I guess you have replied to already).

    Technically I am not a virgin to cyberpunk anymore if you count Alice in Wonderland. He he. I'll try the books you suggested. Thanks.

  6. Blogger banzai cat Says:

    Hehe I figured as such that you weren't a virgin. Er, to cyberpunk that is.

    Seriously, I recommended Bethke because it's funny and doesn't stretch itself like works by Neal Stephenson, Bruce Sterling, or even William Gibson. Heh, ever heard of virtual socks? And it's set in 2005 (more like 1995) so it's more like a near-future tale.

    As for Lethem, I'll pass on a book to you to try out for free. ;-)