Sunday, August 01, 2004


I just finished Cory Doctorow's futuristic novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. Several things about this novel stand out. First of all, I read it in its entirety in electronic form. Doctorow - in keeping with the "Knowledge Yearns to be Free" -like philosophy of the story- has released the book without any rights-management licenses or restrictions for free download. I read my copy on the Palm eReader software for Palm OS on my Sony Clie. Of course, you can always purchase a paper copy if you're so inclined (how quaint.) The book itself takes place in a future where the "reputation economy" has replaced currency as we know it. Aiding this new philosophy is an unnaturally feasible sounding array of cyborg and nano-technology. It all unfolds in a natural way without sounding didactic at all -a good read.

In a more traditional genre, Leonard's LaBrava measures up to all the previous excellent fare that I've read by the master. I think my next Elmore Leonard read will be Mr. Paradise.

Saw Spidey 2 last night with the wife in glorious (and expensive) iMax vision.  Easily the best comic-book adaptation I've seen to date. Better than X-Men 2, better than Superman 2. (Sidebar: what is it about the sequels in comic book films that seem to gather all the glory?) This movie had heart, moxie and -oh yeah- a plot and acting. I recall seeing Michael Chabon discuss his latest novel and his upcoming script writing for Spiderman 2 in the B&N on 82nd a few years ago. I'm also a big fan of his The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, which neatly encapsulates Jews and the Comics phenomenon, as well as being a ripping good yarn that manages to work in a real Golem in the process (R' Cohen, are you still with me?)

GOOD READ DEPARTMENT: G-d Bless America, by Michael Coren (hat tip: little green footballs.)

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