Monday, September 14, 2009

I want an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle!

OR: An Anomalous Gift Guide

Hi, I'm Sue. I would convert to scientology for Tomme Crayeuse, and I am an Anomaly.

There are only a few months left in 2009, and with the holiday season just around the corner, there are still some pretty great items that will be hitting the market. There are four items, in particular, that I'm am super-stoked about, and I think you should be stoked about, too. You can also consider this your Anomaly Gift Guide for the special geek girl in your life. After all, Christmas is only 101 days away! But if the geek girl in your life is anything like me, she already has these items on preorder.

Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett
US Release Date: October 6, 2009
UK Release Date: October 1, 2009

Back-Cover-Blurb: Football has come to the ancient city of Ankh-Morpork - not the old fashioned, grubby pushing and shoving, but the new, fast football with pointy hats for goalposts and balls that go going when you drop them. And now, the wizards of Unseen University must win a football match, without using magic, so they're in the mood for trying everything else. The prospect of the Big Match draws in a street urchin with a wonderful talent for kicking a tin can, a maker of jolly good pies, a dim but beautiful young woman, who might just turn out to be the greatest fashion model there has ever been, and the mysterious Mr Nutt (and no one knows anything much about Mr Nutt, not even Mr Nutt, which worries him, too. As the match approaches, four lives are entangled and changed for ever. Because the thing about football - the important thing about football - is that it is not just about football. Here we go! Here we go! Here we go!

My Comments: If you aren't familiar with Sir Terry Pratchett... well, check with Margaret about your punishment. What you may not be aware of, however, is that Mr. Pratchett was diagnosed with "a very rare form of early onset Alzheimer's" in late 2007, just as he was beginning to plan Unseen Academicals, the 37th Discworld novel. In May 2008, he admitted that this disease was beginning to affect his work. He has stated many times that he will continue to write for as long as his brain allows. I've loved the Discworld since I first picked up Wyrd Sisters way back in the day, and knowing that the Discworld stories may come to an end sooner than anyone intended has made me love it more. Furthermore, I've been to numerous signings and appearances, and Terry Pratchett is a very genuine and kind person, and cares very much for the charities he's involved with. So, if you haven't yet, go pick up a Terry Pratchett book, and get to reading. (Personally, I order my hardbacks from the UK. It takes a little longer and costs a little more, but I prefer Paul Kidby's cover art [pictured] to what we Americans come up with.)

The Farscape Complete Series Megaset
Release Date: November 17, 2009

From the Press Release: Never before available in one package, A&E Home Entertainment brings together all four out-of-this-world seasons with countless hours of absorbing bonus programming featuring multiple commentaries, interviews with cast and crew, behind-the-scenes featurettes and much more! Single season collector’s sets will also be released, offering genre fans of all walks the opportunity to sample this superlative sci-fi classic.

My Comments: I came to Farscape late. Very late. Within the last year. All things considered, I'm glad it was then and not just a bit earlier, because all 4 seasons were available on iTunes. For a long time before that, you couldn't get Farscape anywhere unless you wanted to pay way too much for the DVDs. So, I've only every seen Chriton on my teeny iPod screen. So I was thrilled with The Henson Company's press release on July 1. There's loads of extra content - documentaries, commentaries, bloopers - the only thing missing is the miniseries, The Peacekeeper Wars, and I've heard it has something to do with licensing - go figure. The MSRP is $149.95, which really isn't too bad for 4 season of a scifi show ($37.50 per season), but with Amazon's "pre-order price guarantee", you get the lowest list price between the date of your order and the release date. Right now, it's already down to $104.99.

Star Trek (2009)
Release Date: November 17, 2009
Press Release (It's too long, go read it for yourself!)

From the UGO Movie Blog by Jordan Hoffman (Movies Editor):
Few filmmakers have so boldly placed their necks upon the chopping block of radical, fanatical nerddom. Maybe Peter Jackson did when he bit off all three Lord of the Rings movies at once, but that franchise, adorned binders aside, had no agreed upon visual and aural blueprint. The words Star Trek instantly conjure 726 hours of episodic television, ten feature films, crates of comics and some halfway decent video games. You've got to have nacelles of steel to think you can come in and make "not your Father's Star Trek" without burning down the house you are trying to construct. J.J. Abrams, much like James T. Kirk, doesn't believe in the no-win situation. His Star Trek is a triumph. It is truly the dawn of a new era - multiple films, tv shows and books could and should spawn from this new, "the early years" iteration. Any sane person will love this flick and only those most hardcore of convention-going Trekkies (of which I am one) will find even a hint of something negative to say about the movie.

I have nothing to add.

Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde
Release Date: December 29, 2009

Back-Cover-Blurb: Part social satire, part romance, part revolutionary thriller, Shades of Grey tells of a battle against overwhelming odds. In a society where the ability to see the higher end of the color spectrum denotes a better social standing, Eddie Russet belongs to the low-level House of Red and can see his own color—but no other. The sky, the grass, and everything in between are all just shades of grey, and must be colorized by artificial means. Eddie’s world wasn’t always like this. There’s evidence of a never-discussed disaster and now, many years later, technology is poor, news sporadic, the notion of change abhorrent, and nighttime is terrifying: no one can see in the dark. Everyone abides by a bizarre regime of rules and regulations, a system of merits and demerits, where punishment can result in permanent expulsion. Eddie, who works for the Color Control Agency, might well have lived out his rose-tinted life without a hitch. But that changes when he becomes smitten with Jane, a Grey Nightseer from the dark, unlit side of the village. She shows Eddie that all is not well with the world he thinks is just and good. Together, they engage in dangerous revolutionary talk.

My Comments: Jasper Fforde is the author of the Thursday Next and Nursery Crime series. Take sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, classic lit, and kid's lit and throw them all in a blender with ice - delicious. I recommend both series - and both are fairly new, so there's not that much catching up to do. FYI: the sixth Thursday Next book is scheduled to be released in July 2010 and is tentatively titled One of our Thursdays is Missing, and the third and final installment of the Nursery Crime series, The Last Great Tortoise Race, is due in 2011 or 2012 depending on the publisher's schedule. But this novel is a departure for Fforde in that it's not metafiction. This novel is the first in a new three-part series that will be much darker than Fforde's previous work. On his website, Fforde says, "Don't worry, it will sill be pretty silly."

Happy shopping!

Anomaly Staff Writer
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1 comment:

kaseycleon said...

I totally want to send this post my family's way come Christmas. A great, great post, Sue!