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About BigWords

  • Birthday 01/09/1978

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  1. Hopefully nobody here is crazy enough to spend the money (and if you are, I apologize in advance), but there are companies who can bleach the pages of books (and magazines, comics, or whatever you like) for you, tighten bound spines, fix tears, replace missing pieces... A 50s Charlton comic in rough condition was used as an example a couple of years ago, with before and after photos taken, and you would have sworn they were completely different copies. It isn't a cheap or quick process though.
  2. I would send people cards if my memory wasn't so lousy - case in point: I was told a yesterday that my niece's birthday was coming up, and that I must get her a card. I don't do the big holidays for the sole reason that it would take me a couple of weeks to write out all the cards I should be sending out. No cultural, social, religious, orientation or political affiliation information can be gathered from something as mundane as greeting cards = there are people who send angel scenes when they aren't Christian, so not even something like that is to be taken at face value.
  3. There are lots and lots of books for children set exclusively on a bus - my niece has been making me read them to her.
  4. It was either Innamorato's, or more likely Polanski's, idea - there is a list of fictional books on Wikipedia (a terrible source, I know, but it seems to be pretty all-inclusive for works from literature) and a list from other media. It isn't on either list, so until I pick up a Vampire Killers BFI guide or something, I'll have to say (at this moment) that it is fictional.
  5. I don't count the books any more. On the hard drives I have thousands, plus short stories, novellas, non-fiction and some comics. The actual books cluttering my house is getting seriously out of control.
  6. There are a whole bunch of different reasons why authors publish under different names: 1. First book tanks - release a second with a different name to avoid being seen as a failed author. 2. Too many books written in too short a space of time - if there are five books out at the same time, it might be off-putting to readers. Better to have different names on the covers, then (as Dean Koontz did) come clean about it later. Or, as some of the writers from the fifties did, leave it to future readers to untangle the true identity of the author via all the clues in the text. There are a few very prolific authors who have done that. 3. Extreme hostility for subject matter - next book comes out under a pseudonym. 4. Material is too close to the writer - pseudonym. When catalogs for pulps from collections happens, very often people will leave off author names. There is (to my knowledge) no database which gathers together all the author information in one place. It really is that difficult to attribute certain stories confidently. There are even a few British Story Books from Purnell and World which are still missing complete author identifiers, as the use of "house names" stretched across the Atlantic for a while. Earlier titles are missing author identification completely. Sometimes the simple answer is the right answer - the name of the author isn't appropriate for the genre, or they feel they would sell better under an assumed name. It isn't something which would make me stop reading a work though...
  7. Which year (roughly) would your sister have read this? It immediately struck me as something out of a Julie Burchill novel, but depending on the date...
  8. I've spent the better part of the day hunting for a short story which features a scientist who splashes himself with a liquid which creates hostility in everyone he encounters - from memory, it is in first person (recounting all that happened to him since the accident), and ends with him hiding in a shed with his hand cut off. It may be an old, out of copyright story, as it appeared on a radio show in the late seventies (my recollection is from the radio adaptation, which I had on cassette tape about 20 years ago, so the details may differ slightly from the story as printed), and any help in tracking the name of the author down is appreciated.
  9. There's a massive list on my book blog (which, naturally, is badly in need of updating), but I have yet to add graphic novels - off the top of my head there are a few Evil Dead titles, Marvel Zombies, The Goon, Hellboy, and a bunch of manga titles. I also recommend EC horror titles from the 50s.
  10. Welcome to the BCF. :)

  11. Just popping in to drop a link to this book which states that, yes, Watchmen IS literature. Finally, any arguments can be solved with one book - to either convince people that comic-books are an equal art form to novels, or to hit them over the head with... Either way works for me. Oh, and I found a copy of the massive hardback Watching The Watchmen by Dave Gibbons (highly recommended) which states that Alan Moore (genius that he is) wrote each issue sequentially - as the art was being done for the previous issue. Sometimes handing over as little as a few pages at a time. The layering, foreshadowing and recurring themes weren't all planned out from the start - it makes me respect the finished work all the more having discovered this fact. If you're thinking this might be a quick read you would be mistaken, and it's also $39.95 / £24.99 - so not a cheap read either.
  12. Salman Rushdie managed to get himself in a lot of trouble by writing about things which Muslims felt strongly about, so religion is a longstanding area where conflict arises over words. I'm not sure that the editing of any text against the authors' wishes is a good idea (though there are good arguments for making some attempt at contextualizing the story with a preface), but it is hard to see how crafting an atmosphere where religious beliefs are compatible with some texts - there is always going to be a minority of religiously inclined individuals who seek out things to take offense at. Always. And no, before you ask - even I'm not crazy enough to send people off to Jack Chick's rants with a direct link. CDs, DVDs, computer games, and most other popular entertainment already carry warnings for profanity. I'm not convinced that those warning are woth the paper they are printed on - certainly not in the case of the warnings stuck on the front of Harry Potter (which has warnings about possible satanic elements), nor some spoken word CDs (Richard Pryor and Bill Hicks stand-up routines are far more intelligent than the attacks set out against them by the moral majority, if only for their insistence on honesty). Frank Miller wrote in an interview that the those who come after complex works, in the hope of suppressing them, are really rather stupid. They don't read the things they want to ban, they simply go after the titles which carry warning labels. Warning labels are bad. When our ability to get our hands on novels which are too inflammatory for some to allow to exist unchallenged, as in the case with books which have gone before courts, we risk losing much more than books from shelves. As readers, and as people who can think for ourselves, we should be aware of censorious intent in the minds of publishers who hope to clean up our history but we should not make things easier for these people.
  13. Oh, and I'm glad you had a good day. :)

  14. Not that it matters, but to reply to someone on here (as opposed to the old site), you need to click on their name and then type - and then they will get a notification. :)

  15. Fantastic Fiction has been adding bibliographical information on various editions for some time now, but they have some glaring omissions. They might have the editions you are trying to date in their lists...
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