Neil Gaiman was speaking to the BBC’s Front Row last month about the film adaptation of his story How to Talk to Girls at Parties as it hit UK cinemas.
As many good writers know one key to great writing is a lot of reading- and Gaiman is no different. His love for writing goes hand-in-hand with reading, so the BBC asked for his favourite science fiction novels.
These are the books he decided upon…
“Case was the sharpest data-thief in the matrix—until he crossed the wrong people and they crippled his nervous system, banishing him from cyberspace. Now a mysterious new employer has recruited him for a last-chance run at an unthinkably powerful artificial intelligence. With a dead man riding shotgun and Molly, a mirror-eyed street-samurai, to watch his back, Case is ready for the adventure that upped the ante on an entire genre of fiction.”
“It was the first great cyberpunk novel. It was the first time I actually felt like a future was being described that I understood.”
“Genly Ai is an ethnologist observing the people of the planet Gethen, a world perpetually in winter. The people there are androgynous, normally neuter, but they can become male or female at the peak of their sexual cycle. Genly Ai is drawn into the complex politics of the planet and, during a long, tortuous journey across the ice with a politician who has fallen from favour, he reaches a painful understanding of the true nature of Gethenians.”
“It’s a giant thought experiment that’s also a cracking good read about gender.”
“The Shadow of the Torturer is the first novel in the The Book of the New Sunseries. It is set when the earth is old and the sun is dying. The book, which was published in 1980, also counts George RR Martin and Ursula K Le Guin among its fans.” ~BBC
“In a thoroughly decadent world of the future, Severian the torturer is cast out from the torturer’s guild when he falls in love with one of his victims and allows her to die.” ~Amazon
“It’s set at the end of things – the sun is dying, everything is dying, and it’s glorious.”
The short film titled The Bookshop will star Burgess in the lead role, as bookshop owner Leonard. In an interview for Gloucestershire Live, Susan Lynch explains the inspiration and story behind the film. Sitting beside Burgess with a bookshelf backdrop, Lynch tells us, “I saw Tim in concert in the Charltons and what struck me about his energy on stage is that he’s like so many different people. So, the inspiration for The Bookshop came from all the different roles that I saw Tim be in the Charlatans and we’ve sort of transferred that idea of fantasy into a very beautiful fable about a guy who works in a bookshop whose got demons from his past and he faces those demons through the other people that come in to the bookshop.”
For readers, this will mean that many books from that year will now be available to download for free on e-readers and they can be more easily be used in schools for educational purposes.
Ok who are we kidding- you love the puerile, pun-tastic, and perfectly poor taste joke as much as the next person. The only difference is that we Reading Addicts occasionally mix a little literary knowledge into their humour, and come up with some jokes only fellow readers will understand.
How many of the following literary jokes do you understand? And can you come up with any more?
According to his daughter, JC Lee, Stan was working on a new character Dirt Man after she asked him if he would write a new superhero without all the “steel” and “clatter” of his previous creations. As an alternative to the shiny and spectacular heroes we are used to she suggested a new hero should get “down and dirty” instead.
JC Lee told TMZ Live: “We have been working on a character called Dirt Man. [He is the] last little angel that we’ve got tucked away.”
For those of us who spend much of our time in the library, a festive display is good fun and the ones we want to show you are just amazing! The staff at the libraries must have had a great time putting these together…