Our first reader submission:
I take your dare.
Will you in your blog, elucidate - er - oralize - er expound (that's the word I needed) on your blog about your fascination with Sci-Fi, fantasy , and other "out-there" written works. A review or two on the best pulp of the day?
To start things off I am a ferverent fan of Zane Grey. He is best known for Riders of The Purple Sage, which when translated into movies and TV movie was whitewashed considerably. This book and others in his series were his rant against Fundamentalist-plural-wives religion of the Mormons of Utah. Very interesting to read how he got his message across on the he sense of the evils of this sect. Today we use TV "documentary" to accomplish the same thing.
His other Westerns are pure delight. Written in style of the times, he weaves his tales about strong western women who break the mold and embrace the men for their character and strength. I like the way his women never try change their men, but really realize that these men know who they are, know they cannot live any other life than that on the range and choose to life the same life because of their love of the west.
Zane Grey described the landscape so very well. Deserts, mountains, cliffs, crags, outcroppings, dusty trails, pure clear streams tall pine forests rising from abruptly from the desert floor! Takes me to the mountains of California and the places I spent my summers! We are headed off to Prescott, AZ this Thanksgiving and we will travel through all these landscapes during the 6 hour drive! Yeah -
So now Life can Imitate Art. By design.
Funny you should mention Zane Grey -- I just started reading his books a few months ago, beginning with "Riders," and currently I'm working on "Call of the Canyon."
Now, when I say reading, I'm fudging a bit, because actually I listened to an audio book of "Riders" on my iPod, and it was a fantastic experience. I'd tried reading Grey's books before but found the period style a little hard going, mainly because I had no inner "voice" to guide me. But the audio book was so well produced, and the reading so effective, it brought out the poetry in Grey's descriptions of Utah and the west in a way that now lets me read his other books without that sense of modern-day dislocation.
I can lend you an iPod with the audio book on it, if you want to play it on your car stereo for the drive to AZ. (It runs about eleven hours, so it'll cover you coming and going!) Or, if your stereo plays MP3s, I can give you the CD.
As far as science fiction commentary goes, I'll probably get into it now and then as the mood strikes me. I just listened to an audio book of "Have Spacesuit, Will Travel," one of my favorite Heinlein novels. In fact, it's the first Heinlein novel, maybe even the first science fiction novel, I ever read, way back when I was nine years old. It was a "dramatic reading" with different actors voicing different characters, much like a radio play (though they didn't tamper with the text at all; it's the full book) and it's quite a bit of fun.
Again, if you want to borrow it for the drive, your kids might enjoy it a lot.
More to follow, sooner or later...