Friday, 22 February 2013

The Leftovers

Ever wondered what might actually happened to the world is the Rapture occurred? The Leftovers is a far more interesting take on a post-Rapture world than Left Behind could ever be.

Set three years after the Great Disappearance, The Leftovers focuses on what happens to one family who survived it. Now I was expecting this to be at the very least "minor league" fantasy but really this isn't science fiction, fantasy or any other exotic genre... it's a book about emotions, relationships and family breakdown. Yet I still liked it.

Do not go into this book thinking it will explain the Great Disappearance/Rapture. That event is just all Alien Space Bats. The drama comes simply from the relationships between people and the never quite knowing where things are heading for the main characters.

Weird enough to be interesting, but well-written enough to be readable, The Leftovers will be fighting for top spot on my favourite books of 2013 list.

Great stuff.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Orson Scott Card, Superman And The Well-Meaning Mob

Orson Scott Card. Where does one start? A talented writer. A dedicated Latter-day Saint. And not a very nice man. And not just because of his rather severe stance on LGBT issues. He often comes across as the sort of person one just wouldn't want as an acquaintance let alone as a friend. Of course that is a matter of personal taste I suppose, and there is no accounting for that!

He has been hired by DC Comics to write a new Superman series, Adventures of Superman. And it hasn't gone down well.

Some people are saying they will boycott the comic. That is quite fair, even forgetting about some "high-minded principle" I often find it hard to enjoy fiction when I don't really like the personal beliefs of the writer. Dean R Koontz is an example of that. I loved his stuff but once I discovered he was a little bit fundamentalist (if there is such a thing as a "little bit fundamentalist) I've read his stuff with a little less enjoyment. I still read his stuff, as it is usually very good, but it now lacks a certain something.

But others have gone further demanding that DC "fire" him. This I feel is going a bit too far. Firstly, if enough people boycott the series then that would send a far clearer message to DC than a petition. Secondly, it all stinks of the beginnings of a "blacklist".

It wasn't that many decades ago when LGBT were banned from certain jobs. Remember the blacklist of Communists (and anyone claimed to be a Communist by pretty much anyone else) in the entertainment industry in America? If we start banning people from working within the comic industry just because they aren't very nice then where would that end? Would we be any better than McCarthy? I don't think so. It is a very worrying development and it is time we rose above this sort of mob mentality. Absolutely do not buy his comics if you don't wish to. Tell your friends, family and anyone who will listen that he is a really unkind man who deserves no monetary support. But trying to get him "blacklisted" will make him a martyr. And he's arrogant enough as it is.

Will I buy the new book? Possibly. I'll wait for the reviews and, if they are good, I'll probably give it a go. I'm a sucker for a good Superman story!