People are weird and they scare me.
Today's Snack Deathmatch: Gummi bears vs. Swedish fish.
Re: Stephen King: For those of you non-fans who now feel the warm fuzzies towards him for the Stephenie Meyer thing (please note that he also complimented her a paragraph later) and want to pick up some of his books, I would personally recommend his short stories. I kept meaning to write about this, actually--I read Just After Sunset last month, and as good as "The Gingerbread Girl" was, it made me realize that I'm really not into what you might call "endurance horror": someone's put in a horrific situation, and the rest of the story is him/her surviving and escaping it, no matter what the cost. I seem to like stories that give you weird little thrills instead--the kind where you put down the book and everything looks a little suspicious to you for a few days afterwards. Earlier collections like Night Shift (favorites: "Strawberry Spring," "I Know What You Need") and Skeleton Crew (favorites: "Mrs. Todd's Shortcut," "The Jaunt," "The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet") are chock full of awesomeness, so I'd say start with those too. Oh, and Different Seasons, which was the basis for The Shawshank Redemption, Apt Pupil, and Stand by Me. (His other new collection, Stephen King Goes to the Movies, anthologizes "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption," "Children of the Corn," "The Mangler," "Low Men in Yellow Coats" [the basis for Hearts in Atlantis] and "1408.") Nightmares and Dreamscapes is also pretty good (favorite: "It Grows On You"; "The Moving Finger" gave my sister the wig FOR YEARS, and all I did was tell her the story); Everything's Eventual is worth it just for "LT's Theory of Pets" and the first half of "1408" (the hotel manager telling the history of the room). As for Just After Sunset, my favorites were "N." and "Harvey's Dream"--reading it I just felt like I was on a knife's edge the whole time, and I think a lot of it has to do with the wife's perspective of hearing her husband describe the dream, and how he doesn't know that it was foretelling the immediate future, but she does. It's the execution, in other words.
The other book I was going to mention was Melissa Anelli's Harry, A History, which I think I subconsciously put off talking about because of my involvement in discussing the Lexicon trial. I mean, things people found and I posted ended up being used in court. I tried to be as fair as I could, to the point where I stopped offering any commentary at all and just posted the links that people brought me (and noted that I would post whatever pro-Vander Ark material people wanted to contribute). There's a point where you read up enough on something that of course you're going to form an opinion, and I already have strong feelings about the rights of authors vs. fans; I just tried to keep mine out of it as much as possible, and probably didn't entirely succeed, particularly in the beginning, but there you are.
Melissa and Steve were, suffice it to say, on different sides. (In case you're wondering, he's only mentioned once, maybe twice, in the book, and only in passing. Some people thought this was unfair to Steve's status as a BNF, but quite honestly, would his supporters prefer Melissa to talk about him at length? Because I don't know that that would be in his best interest.) So I wondered if I should talk about the book or just never mention anyone's at all, but... well, why not. I really enjoyed Melissa's book--I giggled pretty much through the whole thing, which is a good sign. She did get to interview JK Rowling (who also contributes a foreword) for it, and some substantial Rowlingian insights are woven through the narrative. It's a fun, well-written, conversational read, but I will note that it's very aptly titled--it's a history, from someone who was in a position to witness a lot of the phenomenon, but it's not an exhaustive catalogue of every single nook and cranny of the fandom. It's friendly gossip, not a tell-all exposé. I found it particularly interesting because she talks about a lot of things I didn't know about--I knew very little about wizard rock, for example, and of course there are Rowling's own comments. But, again--it's not a twelve-volume
As for Steve's two books--I'm not going to seek them out, but I wouldn't not read them if they were set in front of me, I guess. My problem is that if I wrote up some kind of review, I doubt anyone would take my opinion seriously, given my involvement. Nor should they, most likely: that suggests that I'm assuming I wouldn't like them, which might be confirmation of my bias right there. Actually, if I did like them, I would say so--I would always have the
ANYWAY. The reason I even brought this up in the first place is because Melissa's going to be doing a signing at Comic-Con. I often chuck material for future entries at the bottom of the current draft, and I forgot to remove it last night before I hit post, so if you saw something about a signing before I was able to get it off, that's what it was in reference to. I had pulled the info from her blog: "I'm doing a signing at New York Comic Con on February 7, at 11 a.m., at 'Table 2'." Which is on the Autographing Stage at the back of the Exhibition Hall, to be more specific. So, you know, if you're in the neighborhood, drop by, tell her Cleo sent you, etc.
And, in the interest of fair play, I hear Steve's on tour as well. You want me to post dates, I can do that too.