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review 2017-08-17 11:08
There Are no Golden Ages: "New Maps of Hell" by Kingsley Amis
New Maps Of Hell: A Survey Of Science Fiction - Kingsley Amis

“No wife who finds her husband addicting himself to science fiction need fear that he is in search of an erotic outlet, anyway not an overt one.”

 

In "New Maps of Hell" by Kingsley Amis

 

To put it in another context, imagine I'd be teaching F. Scott Fitzgerald to undergraduates, some of whom would be of African descent. Do we look at the casual racism found in the books and say "that's wrong?" No, we assume that everyone "gets" that it's wrong. But we look at the fact that this was considered normal/acceptable in F. Scott's day. He's still a magnificent writer, but he reflects his own era. Scott’s similar to Amis. His attitude to women is a reflection of the times. We can't shy away from that and pretend it isn't so, and we can't negate him as a writer, because of it.

 

Imagine yourself living in Lisbon as a young woman; wouldn’t you dread the endless comments, abuse, physical assaults that were part of your everyday experience. Maybe this young woman dreamt of buying an electric cattle prod and zapping those who threatened her. But it was the times in which they lived back then. Women had no rights in the 60s. The literature of the times, reflected that. Shall we zap Amis with a cattle prod for being a man of his time? No. First of all, I believe that all good books, whether niche or mainstream or somewhere in-between, must have an implicit message they are trying to put across, which should stick out almost like a sore thumb. That said, I in no way think this should make books programmatic. Writing a novel with the sole purpose of creating a text more politically correct than anything that has ever been written might take away, all at once, all the drama and conflict that all good novels - needless to say, I am merely expressing my own point of view here - play with to a certain extent. Secondly, SF (fantasy and science-fiction), possibly more so than any other genre, and even at their most mechanically chlichéd, are written and read not simply for "idle entertainment", but as a platform for escapism. And "entertainment" and "escapism" are definitely not the same thing. Sure, escapism includes enjoyment, but there are many other elements to it as well. 

 

 

If you're into SF Criticism, read on.

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review 2017-05-05 18:21
My Review of Aster Wood and the Lost Maps of Almara
Aster Wood and the Lost Maps of Almara - J.B. Cantwell

Aster Wood and the Lost Maps of Almara by J.B. Cantwell is the first installment of the Aster Wood series. This story is about Aster Wood, who finds out that he is the one to find the sorcerer, Almara.

 

This story is full of magic and different worlds that Aster has to follow to find Almara. This story was good, but the flow of the story was interrupted by the editing. If the editing would have been better, then this would have been an easy 5 star read.

 

I want to add that this book is written by J.B. Cantwell, and not written by R.J. Cantwell. J.B. Cantwell and myself have alerted Booklikes of this mistake, but it has not been amended as of the writing of this review.

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url 2017-03-30 07:35
Lose yourself in this beautiful literary map of London
The Girl - Meridel Le Sueur
Main Street - Sinclair Lewis
War for the Oaks - Emma Bull
In the Lake of the Woods - Tim O'Brien
Freedom - Jonathan Franzen
Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values - Robert M. Pirsig
Fiend - Peter Stenson

A literary map of London, with its writers and characters charted by neighborhood. Which, this us just about the coolest. The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St Paul have nowhere near the literary relevance of London (not even close), but I would kill for a literary map of my hometown(s). Here's a start:

 

--Dr and Mrs Kennicot from Sinclair Lewis's Main Street honeymoon near Lake Calhoun; she's from St Paul
--Much of the action of War for the Oaks takes place in and around First Ave
--Zombie novel Fiend bops around St Paul and the St Paul suburbs, ending in the St Paul County Courthouse
--Meridel LeSeuer's The Girl takes place in the dodgy part of St Paul circa 1920s; not sure where exactly
--Franzen's Freedom takes place in Ramsey Hill in St Paul
-- Diablo Cody worked as a stripper in Sex World, Sheikh's, and other Minneapolis strip clubs, as detailed in Candy Girl
--Though much of Tim O'Brien's In the Lake of the Woods takes place in the Lake of the Woods (doi), it starts in St Paul when the protagonist's bid for governor fails
--Similarly, the (I think only pseudonymous narrator) of Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance starts in the Wedge neighborhood. Specific streets are named, something like 25th and Colfax
--For sure there's stuff by William Kent Kreuger, Garrison Keillor, Robert Bly, and Louise Erdrich I can't think of right now.

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review 2017-01-27 04:07
Me on the Map -Lexile level 280L
Me on the Map - Joan Sweeney

Me on the Map, written by Joan Sweeney, is about a young girl who shows readers herself on the map. She shows them her street, city, state, her room, and her country. The book uses bright illustrations and colorful pictures to help explain the maps. The young girl the story centers around explains the difference of certain maps and why it is important to know what a map is. This is a great book to read for shared group reading and you can do a picture walk before reading the book aloud to get the students excited and interested. After reading the book aloud you can then incorporate Geography by providing them with a graphic organizer where they will draw what their state looks like, town/city, room, street, and country. Allowing them do make their own graphic organizer is a great way to formally assess what they learned from the book, and it also keeps them interested and engaged. This lesson can be used from first grade through fifth grade. I believe it can be used in so many different grades because even though it is a basic story it is still a great way to incorporate Geography and even art into reading. 

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text 2017-01-10 17:09
Reading progress update: I've read 47%.
Maps - Nash Summers

“Little pig, little pig,” someone on the other side of the window whispered, “let me in.”

What. The. Shit.

 

What. The. Shit. Is. Right. My take on this is slightly altered since the last time I read this. Yikes.

 

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