Archive for April, 2008

Events and a Free Gift from The Steve Austin Book Club

April 29, 2008

It has begun.

Almost like clockwork, Marvel and DC roll out their annual “events.”  This year, Marvel has Secret Invasion and DC has Final Crisis.

I’m not really going to talk about the events.  Not really.

See, I figure they don’t really need a publicity push from me.  By this point, you are either going to buy them or not.

Me?  I’m buying the main series of each, a total of 16 comics (if you include DC Universe 0 with Final Crisis – which I do), eight from each company.

But, if I wanted, I could go broke buying all of the various tie-ins for the two main events.

As of my most recent count, start to end, Final Crisis, if one were to purchase every one of the tie-in books along with the main series, the total jumps from eight up to a shocking (or, maybe not so much anymore) 26 issues.  And, that does not include what Dan Didio refers to as “Sightings” issues – which are signposts, marking important storybeats and moments throughout the DC Universe.  These will relate to Final Crisis, but not directly tie-in.  Even if all of the books were only $2.99 (which they won’t all be – I’m reasonably sure the main issues are $3.99 each), that is over a $75.00 investment!

But, if you wanna really talk about breaking the bank, then hats off to Marvel.  If you were to gather all of the tie-in issues along with the main series for Secret Invasion (NOT including issues referred to as “Infiltration” issues, which lead into the series), you are gonna pick up a jaw-dropping 58 issues before it is all done.  Again, even if all the issues were only $2.99 each (and, again, they aren’t), you are looking at over $170.00!!!

Yeah, I’m buying the main book, but if the story isn’t complete in those issues, too bad.  I’m not handing any more of my disposable income over for these events.  I just won’t do it.

In that spirit, we here at The Steve Austin Book Club would like to offer this:

 
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(Ah, signature banners.  Gotta love them.  For those of you unfamiliar with them, they are images that appear at the bottom of an individuals postings on various message boards.) 

That signature banner pretty much sums up my feelings about events designed to empty your wallet with superfluous issues light on content and heavy in price.  Feel free to click on it and save the full size version and use it at your leisure on the various message boards you enjoy!

And, just a quick note that the Book of the Month review for April, Cyborg by Martin Caidin, is going to be delayed.  OG and EG sincerely apologize for this delay (and, well, the lack of content in general).  With any luck, we’ll have it up by mid-May, so keep an eye out for it.  In the meantime, we will (hopefully) be putting out some more consistent postings. 

Thank you for your patience!

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Lost in Space: Awesome Sauce!

April 14, 2008

 

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First off, dear readers, I feel the need to give a little background on this blatant attack from OG on me.

See, it all started with Dave.  Not an individual, but the film, Dave, starring Kevin Kline.  I saw the movie, and I found it to be neither good nor bad.  As a matter of fact, I found it to be the most perfectly balanced film I had ever seen, eliciting zero reaction from me of liking or disliking the film.

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Understand what I’m saying here – this movie, Dave, simply exists for me.  It is there.  It has no qualities I wish to exalt nor does it have detriments I wish to highlight.  On a scale of 1 to 10, it is a 5.  It is exactly 2 1/2 out of 5 stars.  It is the middle of the road.  It is the first zero sum movie I ever saw.

And, by that virtue… or failing… it is perfectly suited to judge EVERY other film by.  If a film is better than Dave, it is deemed good.  If a film is worse, it is bad.  If it is equal to Dave?  Well… now I’ve never encountered that.  I suppose it is possible, but for the moment, Dave lives a lonely life within the vacuum, simply being the balance point on the scales of enjoyment.

Now, OG is a bit of a contrarian and upon hearing my views on the movie Dave has, in his mind, lifted the movie up on a pedastal that is impossible for most really fantastic films to reach.  Last I heard, I believe that Dave now ranked as number 6 on his greatest films of all time list.  We both know that this is a false view, that it is an honor that Dave by no means deserves, and yet, OG’s nature cannot allow him to admit that I am correct about Dave.

As such, when the issue of taste in film comes up in film, two topics are immediately presented by OG – my view of Dave, and the fact that I think the Lost In Space film is the finest film ever made.

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The only problem is, I have never propogated this myth about Lost In Space.

The statement has grown over the years.  Originally, the accusation was merely that I thought Lost In Space was better than James Cameron’s Titanic.  Then, it grew to “he thinks Lost in Space was the best film of the year.”  And, now, myth has it that I think God Himself blessed the earth with the celluloid on which Lost In Space was filmed.

I can tell you the origin of this.  Picture it, if you will:  The year was 1998.  I was taking a light load of classes, finishing up my final semester of college.  As such, I went to a lot of movies.  At the time, the movie Titanic was going on something like its 8 millionth week as the number 1 movie.  Yeah, I saw it, and it was good.  But, after so long of hearing about it breaking records, the constant playing of Celine Dion on the radio, and the swooning of the fairer gender on the campus at the thought of this movie, I was pretty well sick of it.  Near the end of the school year, in April, I went to see Lost In Space.  And you know what?  I enjoyed it.  It was a fun movie, with great special effects.  It was complete eye-candy, perfect for someone finishing up their last semester in college.  Arriving back on campus, I shot off an email to my friend OG, in which I wrote something to this effect:

I think Lost In Space will finally knock Titanic out of the #1 slot.

That’s it.  That was the statement.  My view was that it was a big special effects film, the beginning of the summer blockbuster season, and the audience of poor males that had been drug to see Titanic 14 times would come out to see a film that was so completely NOT Titanic that it would win the slot.

And, by the by, I was right.  It did take over the 1 slot on its opening weekend.

Unfortunately, the email statement has been radically deformed from beyond its original meaning. 

That said, I still think that the 1989 film Lost in Space is an entertaining movie.

A lot of people refer to it as a bad translation of a TV classic.  I would disagree with these folks.  It is not a bad translation of a TV classic, but, rather, a valiant attempt to update a nearly unwatchable TV show.

That’s right, I said it – the Lost in Space TV series was nearly unwatchable.

Actually, that may be a little strong.  The show, in its infancy, was pretty good.  Later, though, particularly when the show hits the color episodes (seasons two and three), when it devolved into the “Dr. Smith, Will, and the Robot Show,” that’s when it became a travesty.  There was little drama, little danger, and very little character development.  Oh, and the “villains” on the show were… well, sad really.

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The infamous Tybo the Carrot… actual “villain” from the TV show.

This show wasn’t Star Trek (which I love).  This was not a platform on which one could easily build an empire.  No, this was a crummy TV show that has a following based more in nostalgia than any true merit.

(Hey, feel free to disagree with me.  Nevertheless, this is my opinion.)

So, the time comes for a new translation of this idea for film.  The creators are saddled with the responsibility to not only capture a new audience, but to also appeal to those that have a soft spot in their hearts for the original series.

Don’t kid yourselves – this is a tall order.

They take elements from the original series – the basic concept – A family goes into space as Earth faces the massive overpopulation in an effort to find a new world.  The ship is sabotaged by a stowaway using a robot.  The ship is “lost,” forced to try to find a way home.

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The filmmakers then spent a fortune on special effects.  If you haven’t seen the movie in a while, you should try checking it again.  The effects are really spectacular throughout… with one exception… but we’ll get to that later.  The ship looks great, the battles are good, lots of explosions, and, man, the space “armor” that is reminiscent of the Batmobile armor is really cool.

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And, you know what?  I liked the actors chosen for the roles. 

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William Hurt seemed a reasonable fit for an obliviously negligent father.

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Mimi Rogers worked quite well as the mother.

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Heather Graham was competent in her role as Judy.

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Gary Oldman was thankfully restrained to a massive degree in his portrayal of Dr. Smith.

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Lacey Chabert brought a nice bit of personality to Penny (who was pretty well forgetable in the original series).

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The kid that played Will Robinson (who I can’t be bothered enough to look up his name) was just as annoying as virtually every other kid actor ever. 

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And, they got the original voice actor for the Robot, Dick Tufeld (a real treat for fans of the original). 

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Plus – I saved this for last – I think that Matt LeBlanc’s portrayal of Don West is probably the best thing he has ever done, and was a shockingly nice surprise.  The chemistry between him and Heather Graham was quite believable.

The film also had the disadvantage of being an “origin” tale.  The makers had to establish the settings, the characters, the reasons they were doing what they were doing, and include an initial adventure all within about a two hour frame.  It is seldom done well, which is why films like X2: X-Men United and Spider-Man 2 surpassed their establishing films.  (On a side note, I think that if the studio had made a second film in this series, the result would have been a much, much better film.)

The movie could have been lighter, sure, but I suspect that the makers were trying to bring a seriousness to the concept that the original series gave up early on.  Their are moments of humor throughout, but the heaviness of the film overshadows them. 

The irony in that is the injection of lightness via the introduction of one of the worst examples of CGI in the film, the one short coming of the effects that I mentioned earlier – Blarp, the chameleon-monkey-creature-thing. 
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In a lighter type of film, such an obvious toy tie-in might not have been noticable, but in this film, it is glaringly inappropriate, and the very 2-dimensional look of the creature seems to reflect a lack of enthusiasm by the animators to include this thing among their other achievements in the film.

Was the film the best thing ever?  No.  Like I said, it was a little too dark (throwing the film off-balance), and had a really obvious and irritating toy tie-in.  Was it the worst thing ever?  Far from it.  I won’t even say it was a bad film.  It was entertaining, and I’d rather sit through it than any episode of the original series.  If you haven’t seen the movie in a while, check it out again.  You may find yourself pleasantly surprised.

Oh, and I enjoyed it more than Dave, so it must be good.

BOOK CLUB DISCUSSION: ENDER’S GAME

April 3, 2008

Folks, it’s that time once again.  So, sit a spell, kick your shoes off, and get to reading!  Oh, and as always, our review/conversation is filled with SPOILERS.  If you haven’t read the book and want to, don’t read this.  If you have read the book, jump in to the discussion via our all too seldom used comments section!  Without further ado… 

THE SYNOPSIS:

“Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card is the story of a young child on whom the fate of humanity rests.  In this futuristic tale, the Earth has come under attack twice by the devastating “buggers.”  United by the shared threat, the world government of Earth tasks itself with finding the one person that can lead humanity to victory in the next battle.  That government looks to its children to find that leader.  Andrew Wiggin, aka Ender, is the third and youngest child in his family.  Most families are only allowed to have two children, but the government found both of Ender’s siblings (ruthless Peter and compassionate Valentine) to be so close to the type of leader that they were looking for that they allowed a third child hoping that one would be a cross between the two.  (There is a subplot in the book of how Ender’s siblings rise to political prominence on Earth, and it is pretty good, but a lot to go into right here). 

After monitoring young Ender from the age of three to the age of six, the International Fleet decides that it is time to begin training Ender for his life’s mission.  Ender is removed from his family and sent to Battle School.  At Battle School, children are trained for war using games, both computer and physical scenarios, that only get progressively harder.  Ender is surrounded by other elite children but, in an effort to make him into the leader he needs to be by his instructors, Ender is systematically isolated socially from his fellow students in obviously cruel yet (to the instructors, at any rate) necessary ways. 

Despite these measures and the pressure and stress of the environment, Ender excels, advancing quickly, moving from shunned child to awe-inspiring leader.  It is a path that makes enemies and repeatedly Ender finds himself having to defend himself from violent attacks.   Throughout the novel, Ender and the situations he is placed in are manipulated by his instructors.  Despite realizing this, Ender continues his training for a greater purpose.  The manipulation comes to a dramatic conclusion when Ender discovers that the latest series of “games” he has been training with are actual remote battles near the Buggers’ home world, and he is responsible for the genocide of that race of beings.  The book ends with Ender coming to learn about his enemies and, in fact, becoming their hope for a future existence.  But, that is another book altogether.   

THE DISCUSSION: 

OG:  As referenced in on of my recent blog postings of shame, “Ender’s Game” is on that list of revered sci-fi books that I’ve regretted never having read.  And, to be honest, until the idea of the book club came about it was one that I think I never would have gotten around to.  Something about seeing the letters YA on the spine of it at the library made me think that the time for this book in my life had passed.  I assumed (very, very wrongly) that it must be geared towards kids only, wouldn’t resonate with me anymore, and would perhaps be too simplistic due to its designated audience. Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong on all counts.  This is a challenging, complex, and heady novel in all the right ways.  In fact, I’m gonna drop this little hyperbole bomb early in my reaction here so as to make it clear what direction I’m going to go:  “Ender’s Game” is a masterpiece. 

There, I said it.  And, before I go any deeper into that sentiment, I suppose I should give you the equal opportunity to make any similar or contrary declarations at the outset here… 

EG:  Ender’s Game blew chunks!!!  It was horrible!  It was…actually, all that is a lie.  I just wanted to find some way to disagree with you about this, but I can’t.  I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, despite the unconscionable acts of the adults within, the obvious child abuse, and the systematic destruction of a kid’s psyche.  The book is one of the best science fiction novels I’ve ever read.  My copy didn’t have the “juvenile fiction” stigma emblazoned on its spine, so I went in without any thoughts that this could be a book for the younger set.  Of course, now having read it, I can see the definite youth appeal of the book. 

OG:  I agree that it totally works for guys our advanced age, but I will say, my biggest regret having not read this until now is that I sure could have used this book back in middles school or high school.  Granted, the character of Ender Wiggin is a remarkable child, one far smarter than I was then or am even now, but the alienation and distress he experiences in the battle school is drawn so effectively by Card that I can’t imagine many children who wouldn’t respond to it in some deeply personal way.  But, not only that, I would wager that over the past two decades this book has probably given a lot of kids the insight into the bullies and thugs in their lives which helped them to cope with and endure the special kind of cruelty that kids can visit upon one and other. 

EG:  Exactly.  I mean, when I was a kid I was stuck in some advanced programs (not bragging her – those things only breed social retardation – nothing to be proud of there), so I immediately related to the main character.  But, as you said, virtually any early teen could relate to the alienation factor.  Which, actually, while I’m thinking about it, is my one gripe about the book.  There was one aspect of the whole novel that I simply couldn’t suspend disbelief on – the ages.  A six year old going through all of this?  Even granting it being the future and the advanced intelligence of the characters, I could not resolve that in my mind.  What I ended up doing a lot of the time was moving the age up by about four years in my head.  Somehow that was enough to overcome my disbelief…until the text mentioned the ages again, and I was momentarily taken out of the story by those speed bumps.  But, if that is my only gripe about a book, I’m thankful.  

OG:  I’m really glad you brought the age issue up.  Much as I loved this book, I had the same trouble you did.  It was really off-putting at first.  Somehow I was eventually able to suspend disbelief sufficiently enough, but I still can’t imagine why Card chose to make the kids in the story this young.  After reading this I even looked up a lot of interviews with Card and commentary on the novel trying to find this out and never found anything where this was addressed.  I think I only ultimately made peace with it while reading because I kept assuming that the story would leap ahead a few years at some point and make my concerns moot.  Even though it never did, I think that that false assumption coupled with the strong distraction of a really well-told story got me to a point where I wasn’t even thinking about Ender’s age anymore.  Like you, it only flooded back into my thoughts and became a distraction whenever the author made a point to bring it up. 

Actually, if anything, the character’s ages had me thinking a lot of another book along the way.  And, again, it’s a book that I didn’t get around to reading until quite recently – “The Lord of the Flies.”  In many ways, “Ender’s Game” seems very much like the complete inverse of that premise, but I could only focus on the obvious similarities.  The biggest difference between the two is that of the presence and influence of adults.  While authority figures are completely absent in “Lord of the Flies,” they are critically influential on the events and overall plot of “Ender’s Game.”  But, despite that, the adults at the Battle School are hardly seen and never intervene overtly.  So, ultimately, both books end up being about boys left to their own devices and what happens in that situation.  And, if Card is to be believed, it doesn’t matter if there is chaos (as on the island of “Flies”) or order (as in the Battle School) boys will be boys and that can be a very bad, very devastating thing.   

EG:  Actually, I think the difference is that the behavior of the boys in Battle School were not the simple result of their own tribal de-civilization, but rather the organized and reasoned manipulation by the adults.  In that way, I see it really much more along the lines of “Anna to the Infinite Power” or “The Boys from Brazil.” 

OG:  Curse you EG!  Always reminding me of more things that I haven’t read.  Go on. 

EG:  Mind you, both of those dealt with cloning, but they also dealt with manipulating the cloned children so that they would grow up a certain way.  And, since I brought up “The Boys from Brazil,” which deals with the cloning of Hitler, I’ll throw in my Nazi reference here as well.  The manipulation of Ender by Graff seems very Mengele-esque to me…he fully realizes that what he is doing is destroying Ender, yet continues to do it for the greater ideal.  And, there is no real guarantee any of it will work – it is all an experiment, one which we are given indications has not worked on other children, causing them to commit suicide.  In the case of Ender, there are camps that would say that the greater good is served, but there are also camps that would say that losing one’s soul in the process negates the greater good. 

OG:  Well, I definitely want to delve into the Nazi comparison because I have some thoughts on that.  But first, regarding “Lord of the Flies,” I would say you’re absolutely correct about the difference between the two, but I think there is still something in both books that wants to explore the inherent cruelty of children and how they deal with it in social groups.  The biggest difference between the two really is how the different heroes of the books deal with it.  Ralph in “Flies” is unable to keep control or keep the chaos and cruelty at bay.  Ender, in contrast, fulfills his role as leader and overcomes all obstacles, bringing many of the boys with him as he does so. 

But, that comparison isn’t as interesting a conversation as the Nazi thing.  As I said, I read a lot of reviews and articles after finishing the book and came across one that was apparently a big deal right after Ender first came out.  It’s an essay by Elaine Radford entitled “Ender and Hitler: Sympathy for the Superman” and can be found here: 

http://peachfront.diaryland.com/enderhitlte.html 

To boil it down, her argument is that “Ender’s Game” is a defense for Hitler and other perpetrators of genocide because it makes the argument that Hitler, like Ender, can be excused for his actions because of a rough upbringing and because he thought what he was doing was right.  I think her argument completely misses the point of the book.  You can’t even argue that Ender is engaging in the faulty “I was just following orders” Nuremburg defense because he was completely in the dark the whole time.  He was hoodwinked and the real comparison to the Nazis, if one is to be made, is the one you made to Graff.  He’s the one making the “genocide for the greater good” excuses.  And, while Card tries to portray Graff’s struggle in human terms I don’t think he ultimately lets him off the hook or gives him an easy excuse. 

EG:  Yeah, I’m going to have to call that comparison faulty.  There is a big difference between having a rough upbringing and being purposefully manipulated.  (A quick aside – The Boys from Brazil focuses on the idea of trying to place clones in similar situations to the original person to get them to develop in the same way – and raises the same sorts of questions about whether a person is condemned by circumstance or able to rise above.)  I would even argue that Hitler could’ve risen above his circumstances, but that Ender, as long as he was seen as the “great hope,” never had that chance because they were not going to stop manipulating him into their ideal military commander until he succeeded or lost his mind or died.  We are talking about a teenager who has been tricked into committing genocide, something he might have figured out on his own if their measures had not deprived him of sleep and rest for such an extended period of time.  And to finally reach the completion of your “training,” only to be told it was all real?  That your orders and actions and plans had resulted in not only the death of your own forces, but the obliteration of an entire alien race?  If Ender is to be considered a monster, then how much more so are those that “created” him? 

I suppose, if I had a second gripe with the book, it would related to how quickly Ender recovers (or, at least, manages to cope) with discovering he has committed genocide.  And, then the kicker – discovering that the first two attacks from the Buggers was a mistake, that they had no clue humans were intelligent life?  Top that with the fact that the Buggers realized they were going to be destroyed and left their legacy to the architect of their destruction?  I don’t know.  I mean, I think I wanted something more from Ender.  I guess I could be wrong here, now that I think about it.  I was thinking I wanted a more fiery and fierce righteous indignation against the people that manipulated him, maybe more grief over what he had done to the Buggers…but by that point in the story, his head had been played with so much that maybe all that was left was what we were given. 

OG:  True.  And, I see where you’re coming from in your wanting more from him in the way of rage at that moment.  It’s certainly what we feel as the reader.  But, since we know how incredibly intuitive Ender is in his understanding of his opponents every stop along the way, I think we can infer that he immediately realized that righteous indignation or any outburst would be fruitless.  At the moment the truth is revealed to him, he can see right away that the whole system is rigged so completely and he knows that there is no benefit to striking out at that point.  Instead, he bides his time, gets to the bottom of things, and once he has the egg-sac he plots to renew the Bugger race to try and counterbalance what has been done and redeem it in some way. 

Of course, there’s no way to truly make it right, but it’s all he can do at that point.  And, that’s why I think the criticism I pointed to above is so off the mark.  It’s as if the writer of that essay just didn’t read the last part of the book.  Clearly, Ender is deeply troubled by the part he played in the Bugger genocide, knows how he was manipulated, understands that it was morally wrong, and seeks to make it right.  In that way, the message of this book is extremely moral. 

EG:  But that does give me a thought.  What if the story had not included the “redemption” of Ender?  Suppose, we get to the end, after the Buggers have been destroyed, and we merely see Ender leave Earth with Valentine?  I mean, yeah, it is a moot point since the Bugger legacy is left with Ender and obviously future books deal with that, but I have to admit, I would still have sympathy for the tragic figure of Ender even without him coming to discover the truth about the Buggers and taking on the role of “Speaker For the Dead” for them.   

OG:  I hadn’t considered that but it’s true that as I was reading it I was completely sympathetic to him before I even had read the concluding portions detailing Ender’s discoveries.  That’s a very good point. 

So, one final thing I wanted to address concerning the major reveal of the book (that the battle simulator is not really that at all and that Ender is in fact really killing Buggers) is how it works narratively.  I believe I effectively demonstrated in our “American Gods” discussion that I am quite dense.  Not getting the obvious Low-Key/Loki clues and the like.  But, I have to say that I remarkably knew exactly what was up once Ender and his compatriots were in the simulator.  And, not because I’m especially smart (I have to believe that you weren’t fooled by this at all EG), but because I read the back cover of the book prior to reading it.  The blurb on the back begins… “Andrew ‘Ender’ Wiggin thinks he is playing computer simulated war games at the Battle School; he is, in fact, engaged in something far more desperate.”  Just the words “thinks he is playing” was enough to reveal it all to me. 

How obvious is that!?!?!  I’d see that blurb every time I picked up the book to read and the phrasing never left my head.  And, once we got into the simulator room, the words were banging me in the forehead saying “SEE!  SEE! He only THINKS he’s playing a game!” Stupid blurb.  It didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the book really, but just really irritated me.  Of course, you’re probably about to tell me that this should have been obvious to anyone just reading the words from left to right.  Go ahead. 

EG:  Okay…well, I wasn’t going to mention it.  I mean, seriously, I made doubly sure not to say, “You know, I figured out that the ‘simulations’ were actual battles relatively soon after the introduction of Mazer Rackham,” but since you brought it up…yeah, I figured it out  But, to make you feel better, I think you would’ve figured it out as well just from straight reading.   Since you talked about reading the back of the book and receiving a bit of a spoiler, let me just say I’ve stopped reading the backs of books, the prefaces, the introductions…even most reviews.  I was spoiled pretty badly in the intro of a book about a year ago, which blatantly revealed the “twist” of the book, and it completely ruined the book for me.  So, I now wait until I’ve already read the book before I read any of those things.   

OG:  I think I’ll be adopting that practice myself from here on out. 

EG:  But, that is really neither here nor there.  Back to the topic at hand! 

OG:  You know, the best thing I can say about how good this book was is that I’m dying to read “Speaker for the Dead” now.  I want more of this world and want to see what Ender does next.  Knowing that “Speaker” was actually conceived of first and is considered by many to be the superior of the two only amps up my excitement.  How about you?  Any concluding thoughts? 

EG:  Actually, while I was aware of the sequels to this book, I hadn’t heard that “Speaker” was supposed to be superior.  Hmm.  We’ll have to keep that in mind for the future.  Oh, and one more thing:  Knowing you are the third born in your household, I feel compelled to refer to you as Third from now on. 

OG:  I shall wear the title with pride!  (And, while neither of my older brother’s skinned any squirrels alive, I did witness them shooting frogs with BB guns, so that probably counts.)  Oh, by the way, I’m busting out the full 5 Running Steves for this one.  Easily. 

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EG:  Well, Third, I’m going to give this one 4.5 Running Steves.  I might’ve gone up to a 4.75, but I don’t want to fool with making a new graphic for that, so this book will have to settle for next best thing from me. 

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OG:  Cool.  You know, I heard there’s a movie in development for this one.  You think they’re really gonna keep the characters the ages they are?  I can’t imagine.  I mean, he does a good enough job making it work in the book, but there’s no way a modern movie audience will be able to get on board with that. 

EG:  Honestly?  Even advancing the kids by four or five years wouldn’t work.  I don’t think a screen adaptation of this book would remotely work.  I mean, if people wanted to sit in a darkened theater watching kids playing video games for a couple of hours, the long-form commercial known as The Wizard (starring TV’s Fred Savage) would have been a blockbuster. 


OG:  HA!  Well, I won’t argue with that.  Instead, I’ll let this clip from The Wizard do the arguing for me…
 
 OG:  And, I guess that’s as great a place to stop as anywhere.  We’ll meet up again in a month for a conversation about Martin Caidin’s “Cyborg.”  Until then, I’ll hopefully be posting a little more regularly and EG will soon be regaling us with his promised, but much-delayed review of 1998’s “Lost in Space.”

ENDER DISCUSSION – DELAYED

April 1, 2008

Hey kids,

 Obviously, we’re a day late for the “Ender’s Game” book club discussion.  And, we’ll probably be another day or two more. 

 If you need someone to hold accountable, please send all your blame to me, OG.  It’s all my fault.

In the meantime, now’s a good time to announce that we’re moving the reading of Frank Herbert’s “Dune” to the month of May.  For April, we’ll be reading Steve Austin’s origin story…

 CYBORG by Martin Caidin

This book was adapted into the TV series “Six Million Dollar Man” and we thought it’d be fun and fitting to have a discussion on this one since neither of us have  actually read it. 

Unfortunately, it’s currently out of print, but is still available at many libraries and second hand book outlets. 

Again, my apologies for the delay on March’s discussion.  If you are a regular reader of this blog (which is technically not possible since there would have to be regular posts in order for it to be regularly read) than you’re already well aware of how lame I am.

 Now you have one more thing to add to that list.

 Love you,

OG