When I left Boston for Vancouver and Pittsburgh, I took one book with me. That was Battle Royale. I've since picked up, err, a few more. Let me try to tell you about them without going on for three pages (that will be hard). Man, now I am going to have to take a whole extra bag full of books with me to Boston.

Travel Books

Battle Royale - Koushun Takami

Man, this is a freaky weird book. Let me give you a hint about it: the header of the first chapter is "42 students remaining: Chapter 1". At chapter 5, the header is "40 students remaining: Chapter 5". It gets worse from there. This is a book about the Republic of Greater East Asia forcing a group of 42 Japanese middle school students to fight to their deaths on a deserted island. Each student is given a single weapon, ranging from a table fork to a full-on machine gun.

In particular, the story is about how three of the students decide to fight back against the corrupt government that forces them to do this. The style is rather morbidly detailed, describing the "approximate" number of centimeters someone's head bounces off the ground after they fall to their death, and so forth. It's worth reading if you're already predisposed to Japanese pulp horror/action, but otherwise it's probably too shallow for most readers of Fine Fiction.

The Dreamthief's Daughter - Michael Moorcock

If you haven't read Michael Moorcock's Elric of Melniboné, then you should. It's about a rather anti-heroish guy who is forced to basically kill lots of people and make a pact with a chaos god of Hell. But, in his heart (and against his society's nature), he is actually a good guy! Really! The Dreamthief's Daughter is the story of how Elric fights Hitler. Ok.

The Dark Side of the Sun - Terry Pratchett

Pratchett rocks, etc. This is the second story of his that I've read that isn't part of the Discworld series. It's a sci-fi-ish story set in the same continuity (I think) as his Strata, which I found a bit better. It's about a guy who is destined to find the Joker's World, which is supposedly where the Jokers that created the universe are living.

Ender's Shadow - Orson Scott Card

This is awesome. I am going to have to continue reading the series of books about Bean. People tell me that the original sequels to Ender's Game (the ones that are set like eighty jillion years into the future) suck, but apparently the ones that are set NOT eighty jillion years into the future are awesome.

Sunstorm - Arthur Clarke / Stephen Baxter

Ok, Clarke is not very good at making characters, and this story isn't terribly exciting so far, but I'm only about 1/3 through it.

FLCL - GAINAX / Hajime Ueda

This is a manga based on a short anime series that is really, really good. I avoided getting the manga a while ago because I figured it wouldn't be worth it after seeing the anime (which is really, really good), but I've changed my mind. The manga is also really, really good. And dirty. In short, it is about a space alien who looks like a 21 year old girl and rides a vespa and carries a bass guitar that has a ripcord-started motor built into it. When she hits a particular 12-year-old (or so) boy in the head with this bass guitar, robots come out of it and fight. There's also a very weird love story built in.

What I haven't read yet and which is in that pile in the photo:

  • Equal Rites - Pratchett
  • Lords and Ladies - Pratchett
  • The Winter of Our Discontent - John Steinbeck
  • Ulysses - James Joyce
  • The Snow - Adam Roberts
I will tell you about them after I read them!