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Showing posts by: Rajan Khanna click to see Rajan Khanna's profile
Wed
Dec 18 2013 6:00pm

Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas: A Henson Classic

Jim Henson’s work has been an important part of my life, from Sesame Street to the Fraggles and beyond. It’s no surprise, then, that he also created my favorite holiday movie of all time — Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas.

[Head full of good thoughts / Belly full of grub / Money in your pocket / When there ain’t no hole in the washtub...]

Thu
Oct 24 2013 1:00pm

Roger Zelazny Manna From Heaven Chronicles of Amber

This is it—the last post in the Chronicles of Amber reread. We’ve now been through it all. The only thing remaining is the final short story contained in Manna From Heaven, and a commentary on the whole collection.

As mentioned previously, Roger Zelazny died before he could truly finish the series properly. What remains leaves plenty of room for speculation (which I hope you’ll join me in). Without further adieu, let’s jump in.

[All good things must come to an end...]

Thu
Oct 17 2013 3:00pm

Roger Zelazny Chronicles of Amber Manna From HeavenIf you’ve been keeping up with The Chronicles of Amber reread so far, we’ve gone through ten books—five each for Corwin’s and Merlin’s series. But Roger Zelazny continued the Amber adventures in a series of short stories that pick up from Prince of Chaos and seem to set up a new storyline in the Amber universe. Unfortunately, Zelazny died before he could complete the story, but here, at the end of the reread, we’re going to take a look at these stories which have been collected in the book, Manna from Heaven.

[Click through for a brand new POV for the series...]

Fri
Oct 4 2013 2:30pm

Roger Zelazny Chronicles of Amber Prince of ChaosIt’s here—Prince of Chaos, the last book in Zelazny’s second Amber series, and the culmination of Merlin’s story. It’s hard to choose favorites sometimes, but in rereading the book I think that it may be my favorite of the Merlin books. Why? Well, why not read on after the cut?

[It begins, appropriately enough, with a king...]

Thu
Sep 26 2013 3:00pm

Roger Zelazny Chronicles of Amber Knight of Shadows

We’re back with another post in the Chronicles of Amber Reread, still covering the adventures of Merlin in Knight of Shadows. Though the series was a bit slow to start, this book accelerates things considerably, packing a lot into its pages—including a few things I wasn’t crazy about.

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Thu
Sep 19 2013 3:00pm

Roger Zelazny Chronicles of Amber Sign of ChaosIn Sign of Chaos, the midpoint of the second series, Merlin’s story finally begins to gather some steam and Merlin makes some headway in the various mysteries and adventures in which he finds himself involved. We also get to meet a few more of his relatives, a couple of Chaos creatures, and...the Jabberwock?

[Twas bryllyg, and ye slythy toves did gyre and gymble in ye wabe...]

Thu
Sep 12 2013 3:00pm

Zelazny Blood of Amber Chronicles of AmberOur last reread launched the second Amber series, this time focusing on Merlin, son of Corwin. Merlin found himself caught up in a series of strange occurrences leading him to be trapped in a cave like his namesake. In Blood of Amber, Merlin’s adventures continue.

[Contains spoilers for all of the books so far.]

Thu
Sep 5 2013 5:00pm

The Woken Gods Gwenda Bond Gwenda Bond’s The Woken Gods takes place in a world similar to ours, but where gods—the deities of our ancient mythologies—have awakened. Humanity has a perilous arrangement with the gods, and of course all kinds of people are trying to work different angles on this. Seventeen-year-old Kyra lives in a transformed Washington, D.C., home to the embassies of divine pantheons and the mysterious Society of the Sun. But when she encounters two trickster gods on her way back from school, one offering a threat and the other a warning, it turns out her life isn’t what it seems...

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Thu
Sep 5 2013 3:00pm

Zelazny Chronicles of Amber Trumps of Doom “It was a pain in the ass waiting around for someone to try to kill you.”

Corwin’s story may have finished with The Courts of Chaos, but in 1985, Roger Zelazny returned to the world of Amber for Trumps of Doom, the first in a new series of Amber novels, this time focusing on Corwin’s son Merlin. This series is a bit more polarizing than the previous series was. Why? Well, read on and find out...

[Spoilers for all the Amber novels up to this point beyond the cut...]

Fri
Aug 30 2013 10:00am

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown Holly Black

It’s probably true that a lot of people are suffering from vampire fatigue, especially with the pretty, sparkling vampires of Twilight and the pretty, brooding vampires of The Vampire Diaries and the pretty...well, you get the idea. But The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Holly Black’s latest novel, reads like a love letter to old school vampires. And it works.

[The only thing that sucks or bites here are the vampires...]

Thu
Aug 29 2013 3:00pm

Roger Zelazny Courts of Chaos Chronicles of Amber

Welcome to the fifth installment of the Chronicles of Amber reread, covering The Courts of Chaos, the final book in the first series and climax of all of the novels to date.

[All of Amber is at stake, so know that there are spoilers beyond...]

Thu
Aug 22 2013 3:00pm

Roger Zelazny Chronicles of Amber The Hand of OberonWelcome to the fourth installment of the Chronicles of Amber reread, this time focusing on The Hand of Oberon. By now the greater threat facing Amber has been revealed and it’s up to Corwin and his family to try to figure out how to combat it. 

[Click through for the one, true Amber and all of its spoilers...]

Wed
Aug 21 2013 2:00pm

Star Trek into Darkness

Earlier this summer I saw both Star Trek: Into Darkness and Man of Steel in the theaters and I was struck by some similarities between the two films. For one, both films took inspiration from films that were popular when I was a kid. Nostalgia seemed a key element to their appeal.

What was disturbing, though, were the ways in which these movies differed from the movies of my childhood and the ways in which they seemed all too similar to some very real death and destruction occurring right now.

[Lots of spoilers for Star Trek: Into Darkness, Man of Steel, and Pacific Rim beyond the cut...]

Thu
Aug 15 2013 3:00pm

Roger Zelazny Chronicles of Amber Sign of the Unicorn

The third book in the Amber series, Sign of the Unicorn, is really when the series begins to heat up for me. It’s hard for me to pick favorites, but it’s either this one or the next, and really they continue one on from the other. The first book establishes Corwin and is largely his story, and Guns of Avalon establishes the overarching plotline of the first series, but Sign of the Unicorn accelerates full speed into the plot and ups the stakes considerably.

[The one true city is under attack. Who can be behind it...?]

Thu
Aug 8 2013 2:00pm

The Guns of Avalon Chronicles of Amber Roger Zelazny

The Amber reread continues with the second book in the series, The Guns of Avalon (at long last). Corwin of Amber picks up where we left him at the end of Nine Princes in Amber, and his ambitions haven’t really changed.

[Vague? Yes, but only to avoid spoilers. Plenty of those past the cut...]

Wed
Jul 31 2013 4:30pm

Kill City Blues Richard Kadrey

Fans of Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim series can rejoice this week with the release of Kill City Blues, the fifth book in the series. Sandman Slim (or Stark, as he prefers to be called) is back and once more stomping a boot in the face of supernatural menaces everywhere. Stark has always been a pretty consistent bad-ass, but in Kill City Blues, Kadrey does his best to blunt his considerable edge.

[Beyond lie spoilers for the series to date and some minor spoilers for this book...]

Fri
Jul 26 2013 4:00pm

Charlie Huston SkinnerOut this month, Skinner is Charlie Huston’s foray into the world of spy fiction. Dealing with a Stuxnet-like cyber-attack on the U.S. electrical grid, Skinner attempts to be a spy novel for the 21st century. 

[But does it succeed? Read on to find out...]

Fri
Jul 26 2013 10:00am

Dangerous Women George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois’s anthology Dangerous Women is out later this year and among the exciting stories it contains is a new Dresden Files Story, “Bombshells,” by Jim Butcher. Any new Butcher story is a joy in the wait period between books, and “Bombshells” helps to satisfy something of that Dresden hunger.

[This is a non-spoilery review, though there are spoilers for the series to date...]

Thu
Jul 25 2013 2:30pm

Nine Princes in Amber ZelaznyWelcome to a look at Nine Princes in Amber, the first book in Roger Zelazny’s The Chronicles of Amber. Be aware that beyond the jump there are spoilers, lots of them. If you’re interested in reading the book, please do so first. This will be here when you’re done.

[Let us walk through Shadows together, and make for Amber.]

Thu
Jul 25 2013 2:30pm

Writing about Michael Moorcock recently made me think of the writing legends that had the most influence on me. These include people as far apart as Oscar Wilde and Fritz Leiber. But no one, perhaps, more so than Roger Zelazny.

I was in college when I discovered Roger Zelazny, reading “A Rose for Ecclesiastes” in a class. I really enjoyed it and thought about reading more from the author. But it wasn’t until a year or so later, when I discovered The Chronicles of Amber, that I really fell in love with his writing.

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