Recently in Amusing Category

The Guardian's Digested Read - Theft by Peter Carey

The digested read for this week from "The Guardian" is Theft by Peter Carey. "This is a love story, though that did not begin until midway through the shitty stuff, by which time I had lost everything to my ex-wife, who is called the Plaintiff and definitely not Alison." Are we squared away on that now?

[Thanks to Blog of a Bookslut for the link.]

The Maze that is Science Fiction Fandom

If you're confused by SF/Fantasy fandom, don't know your furries from your trekkies, your fanfic from your slash, then check out The Geek Hierarchy. It's a strange world out there.

[Link from Gary Gibson's blog, White Screen of Despair.]

Weblog Accesses #1

I've been checking out the SiteMeter access logs for this blog, as I am wont to do when bored, and have found that someone has just run a search via Google with the following text: "What ingredients are marijana made out of?" What the hell is that? And why did my weblog come up first? Someone's now going to tell me this person can't spell, and isn't aware that the stuff's a plant anyway. Hemp, paper, books. Yeah, I see the connection.

Buy Lots and Lots

Every now and then someone comes up with a very funny way of promoting a product. This happens rarely in the literary field so it was with a great deal of mirth that I received the following from Mr Lee Goldberg this morning:

Dear Friend, I am a former general in the Nigerian army who has managed to steal countless millions from my people. It has come to my attention that you are an investing genius and I would like your help establishing an account at a U.S. bank. To start with, you need to know that Lee Goldberg's new mystery novel MR. MONK GOES TO THE FIREHOUSE will be published on Jan. 3rd and is getting a big promo push from The USA Network, which has posted excerpts from his book and a dozen streaming video interviews with him at their site: This is important, because I need you to buy 17,800 copies of the book. In return, if you give me your checking account number, your credit card number, and your social security number, I will wire you $122,000 as "reimbursement" for the purchase of this splendid book. We will all be winners, especially you my dear, dear friend. I look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, General Rgo Zan

Ideas for Presents

I was listening the other day to a podcast from Pinky's Paperhaus, (I think it was with Tod Goldberg) and Pinky made the point that she had decided to take a book along when she was invited to someone's house for dinner. Her rationale was that she didn't know much about wine but she did know a bit about literature. Sounds like a pretty good idea to me. And if you're going to do that why not take along an Australian novel or collection of stories.

Here's a few suggestions:
Drown Them in the Sea by Nicholas Angel
Surrender by Sonya Hartnett
Sixty Lights by Gail Jones
Black Juice by Margo Lanagan
The White Earth by Andrew McGahan
Lost by Michael Robotham
The Broken Shore by Peter Temple

You should be able to find something there that anyone will like. A bit different, and it'll help to break the ice and get the conversation started. And, come on, we all drink too much at this time of year, don't we?

Old Science Fiction Magazine Covers

Got an inkling to see a whole bunch of old science fiction magazine covers all in one place? Then have a look at SF Cover Explorer. Fun stuff. Even if a proliferation of BEMs (that's "Bug-Eyed Monsters" to the uninitiated) is too much for you, then just revel in the ingenuity of this page. I could be here for hours.

BlogDay 2005

According to Wikispaces the idea behind BlogDay is for all bloggers worldwide to recommend 5 blogs, new ones preferably. I take this as also meaning that I shouldn't recommend any of the blogs I've already listed in the column to the right. You can take it as given that those are extremely worthy.

1. If Charlie Parker was a Gunslinger, There'd Be a Whole Lot of Dead Copycats Aside from the great title this is a great pictorial blog. The blokes behind this, Tom Sutpen and Stephen Cooke, post nearly every day with pictures in such categories as: They Were Collaborators, Heroes of American Literature, This Week's Munch, Great Con Artists of the 20th Century, and The Golden Age of Prurience. The images are scanned from bookcovers, movie posters, publicity shots, movie stills and just about anything else that strikes their fancy. On any one day you never know what you're likely to get. It is never less than very interesting.
2. Adventures of iGuy Pure nonsense, but funny for it. As a recent owner of an iPod, anything that extracts the urine from these things is good enough for me.
3. Mainly Martian As a self-confessed space and astronomy geek, I've been on the lookout for a good blog covering these topics for some time. I started to read this blog last year when the Martian rovers were in the news, during which period this site had large detailed, scientific entries on an almost daily basis. Things have quietened off a bit this year but it's still worth keeping an eye on.
4. Scary Duck: Not Scary, Not a Duck Irreverent, funny, eclectic. What more do you want?
5. The Sideshow The weblog of Avedon Carol, an ex-pat American living in London, married to Rob Hansen: someone who looks oddly like me... Avedon is a leftist, feminist stirrer who bores it up anyone who deserves it. Quite scary when she gets going.

Sometime ago I also found a couple of blogs that were pretty good - especially the Darth Vader blog - but my list of Bookmarks got blatted some time ago and I'm having trouble finding all those "lost-in-action". The five blogs above should keep you going for a while.

Reductive Literary Equations

Every now and again something rather amusing crops up on the WWW literary sites. The latest is the concept of "Reductive Literary Equations" which combines writers or books together into a form of arithmetic equation in order to arrive at another literary outcome. For example, you can have: Stephen King - HP Lovecraft = Don Delillo and moby dick - genius = jaws These examples come to you courtesy of the I Love Books website, and the link was provided by the Bookslut weblog. Of particular Australian interest: Mary Shelley + William Faulkner = Nick Cave

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Amusing category.

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