I got a crazy stack of books for my birthday! The actual number of books wasn’t that crazy, I suppose, but the thickness of the stack is absolutely daunting! I’m sure I’ll blow through the Batman books in a couple of hours, but a few that will take quite a chunk of my time are:
The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft
I saw this at the library and knew that I needed this in my life. I don’t have a lot of excuses to buy new Lovecraft books. Similar to when I realized that I had 260+ tracks of Joy Division (a band that only ever had around 52 songs) and I told myself only really unique live albums would be worth checking out, with the full Arkham House set + the Ancient Track, the only thing that would get me to buy more Lovecraft would be either something to keep me from having to get those now rare tomes off the shelf (like maybe a B&N complete works edition) or something as ridiculous as an Annotated Edition with a forward by Alan Moore. Alan Moore may be a crazypants loon, but I find him interesting enough as an artist that I certainly want to know what he has to say about Lovecraft.
Playing At the World (Jon Peterson)
A friend of mine recommended this to me. It’s big enough to kill a man, but I’m told and have read that it’s one of the definitive modern works on the evolution of gaming.
H.P. Lovecraft and the Modernist Grotesque (Sean Elliot Martin)
Not quite as daunting in thickness as the other two, Mike Monaco of Swords & Dorkery clued me into this one. If it ever gets a second edition with cover art of a Lamia pursuing Randolph Carter while a bone-nosed witch doctor cackles in the background, a misty visage of Cthulhu rising in the steam of his cauldron, I’ll probably buy a second copy.
I’ve got maybe one or two more stories I need to post reviews for from the June 1977 issue of Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, but I’m already about half-way through reading the January 1976 issue. So far I’ve got to say, I’m longing for something as good as The Star Eel; My Boat kind of set the tone and the issue hasn’t gotten any better. So far, it’s been a Magic Negro Lovecraft fanfic, an existential urban horror (not really a bad story, but I don’t know which of those last two words should have finger quotes), a dull calendar puzzle/riddle posing as a mystery, and a tiresome Boys Love story that maybe doesn’t realize it’s a Boys Love story that happens to have spaceships in it. But I’m not giving up! Just expect the next bunch of Short Reviews to be a bit on the negative side. The most notable piece so far was the Books review section by Algis Budrys; that guy’s columns are gold, and he makes me wish I were a better blogger.
As a side note, I’m probably gonna be leaving the Hugos alone either until I finally get my packet or something truly outrageous comes up.