Saturday, July 15, 2006

All Roads Lead to the Unmasking


I thought I wouldn't have been able to make it to FullyBooked's Unmasking celebrations today at Rockwell Mall. This was because I promised to attend the first birthday party of my friend's kid after I get off work. However, I just realized that the party will be at the Luna condominiums right beside the mall.

And then I realized that I can also check out the FullyBooked main branch to see if they have a copy of Scottish writer Alan Campbell's debut novel, Scar Night.

(What's this book I keep harping about? I doubt that it's the second coming of fantasist China Mieville-- after all, it's Campbell's first novel-- but blurbs cite the New Weird writer frequently, as well as Mervyn Peake.

Specifically, it's about a city:

The city of Deepgate hangs suspended over an abyss. Huge chains hold it in place and the city's inhabitants are schooled in the belief that below them in the darkness lives the "Horder of Souls", the God Ulcis.

...And I've always been a sucker for a good city story.)

Hmmph. Might as well check it out. At least say hi to Dean and the others and grab a quick smoke. And try to congratulate Ian too (his work managed to make it to the short-list) if I see him there.

So if you see a chain-smoking cat there, that's probably me.


skinnyblackcladdink said...

hey banz, i wish i'd known, i would've looked for a "chain-smoking cat."

i was thinking of getting Scar Night, but the writing didn't grab me. maybe the imagery is similar, but, based on the first page, i really wouldn't compare the writing to either Mieville or Peake. as intriguing as the idea of Deepgate seems to be, i think i'll wait for the regular-size paperback.

plus, i'm reluctant to get a book that calls itself the "first in a series/trilogy/quartet/any-other-group -of-more-than-one-book" unless i'm sure i can complete it or the writing really grabs me.

let me know what you think of it, though. your comments might change my mind.

skinnyblackcladdink said...

incidentally, you were asking me about the common denominator of the books i like? mostly, it's very visual writing. which is also why i really loved Atha.

Der Fuhrer said...

Hey, who won? who were the writers of The God Project, Atha and A Strange Map of Time? Basta lahat ng winners. heheh

I'm reaaly depressed cos I didn't get to attend the unmasking.

Hey kuya, I'm looking for Smokes and Mirrors, last I went to Fullybooked Gateway, they didn't have one. Magkano kaya yun?

skinnyblackcladdink said...

can't remember. P350-500. i'm sure if you can't find a copy at the fullybooked outlets, you can find a copy at powerbooks. they always have one or two in stock somewhere. which edition are you looking for?

the last bookstores i was in were booktopia and fullybooked rockwell, and both stores had smoke and mirrors.

the list of prose winners is on my blog, if you wanna check them out.

banzai cat said...

skinny: Heh. I was actually late, coming in around past 7 pm so missed a lot of the stuff. I did get to see them announce the comic book winners and Neil's "surprise" appearance.

Of course I also missed the kiddie party but that's neither here nor there. *sigh*

As for Scar Night, yeah, I actually thought you might not like despite the so-called reference to Peake. Unfortunately, I also checked out the prose before getting and thought it was a little bit clunky at times but that's debut novels for you.

On the other hand, series books don't bother me because I can always not get the next one.

As for books you like, I actually am in firm agreement with you. I prefer good prose more than anything else, which is why I adore Kelly Link. You should try her stuff, some of 'em are online.

Will be reading the short-list this week (hopefully FB keeps them online) so will see how my review compares with yours. ;-)

furher: What skinny said. I really don't get much of Gaiman's stuff unless it's the newest novel. Fortunately, my gf's sisters like Gaiman's short stories so I've borrowed heavily from their library when the collections came out. :-D

skinnyblackcladdink said...

kelly link, eh? i've been kinda reluctant because of all the "buffy" comparisons i hear. the anita blake stuff gets those, too, and i really wasn't all that impressed with those books, so i kinda just let the kelly link stuff soak up the same opinion.

plus, i'm a prude when it comes to trying new writers unless the premise/writing really grabs me right away, because i've already got so many books to read that i don't really want to get into too many authors. if i was as filthy rich as Mr Gaiman, though (imagine dishing out the cash for all the cash prizes at the awards!), i'd probably get everything, whether or not i like 'em.

i'll check them out, though. thanks.

Der Fuhrer said...

skinny:the latest one, I kind like to see the story about the woman finding the Holy Grail.

what's up with Neil's "surprise" appearance? Was it like those acceptance speeches when someone can't come to the actual ceremony? or someone pretended to be Neil?

skinnyblackcladdink said...

no. just a video message recorded from off the set of Stardust at Pinewood.

he also read the list of winners and commented on the shortlisted stories.

no biggie, really.

banzai cat said...

skinny: Waah! Buffy? Kelly Link? Blasphemy! Seriously, check out the link on my blog, I think she has one story on her website for free. (In fact, I think you can actually download her first story collection, Stranger Things Happen, free of charge. Then you can go and order it!)

Moreover, Link only does short stories so easier to swallow. But I gotta warn you, it may be easier to swallow but too rich to digest! (In a good way!)

In other news, I found out two other bloggers did a review of all the short stories:

Nice to know we're not the only ones making the effort. ;-)

fuhrer: Hehe that would be funny. Willie Nepomuceno as Neil Gaiman? Bwahaha!

Der Fuhrer said...

banzai: except he's too fat.

banzai cat said...

Bhong Navarro? :-D

Der Fuhrer said...

Bhong or Vhong? haha

I saw a copy of Scar Night at FB. It costs 900+!