Wednesday, July 11, 2007

This always happens when I move

Yes, every single time. I try to pack up my books and spend half the time reading. I've been bringing boxes home from work and we've been packing bit by bit, hoping that in a month we'll be ready to move. The books are, of course, a massive step, seeing as how they take up so much space. Keeping out a generous stack to keep me company until we unpack again, I've spent the last several days stacking them into boxes. We now have piles of boxes stacked about: a ledge behind the couch, a few hidden behind the door, a "coffee table" made of boxes in the living room, and several in the bedroom that are just downright in the way. I'm not sure which will happen first--will we be unable to get around the apartment at all, or will we manage to pack everything up?

In any case, packing books is always problematic. This time I had already resolved to reread the Harry Potter books since Book 7 is coming out in 10 days (really need to get on top of that!). But somehow over the weekend I ended up reading the first two books (chronologically) of Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern. I skipped ahead to Dragonflight (published first) and am a third of the way in. Last night, I was doing so well, but the very last book I picked up was Dragon's Milk, a nice little YA fantasy, so I reread it. At least I already finished it, so I can get back to poor Harry Potter.

A funny aside: Mark has been slogging his way through Eldest, the second book in Chris Paolini's Star Wars/Lord of the Rings rip-off series. He read the first just to see what the fuss was about, and now feels compelled to finish what he started. I'm in the same boat, actually. Anyway, less than halfway through, he remarked, "If Eragon has a long-lost sibling and his father turns out to be Morzan, I'm going to throw this book across the room." Well, last night, THUD. It hit the floor.

Mark said, "I think I'm going to try and get George Lucas to autograph this."
I said, "So are they about to set off to rescue a friend?"
Mark: "Oh God. Yes..."
Me: "Is the friend frozen in CARBONITE?"

I don't mind giving this information away because most people found out in 1980, when The Empire Strikes Back came out. Since Paolini seems pretty intent on a faithful retelling, it's not like we're learning anything new. I'm well aware that fantasy authors "borrow" ideas, but the good ones give them a new spin, add something original, present them in a completely unique way. A perfect example is J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter is heavily laden with cliches. But she succeeds in using them, instead of being used by them. In a way, Harry Potter is a comment on the public perception of witch/wizard cliches. It's interesting and has some solid writing. Ack! I could go on at length about this.


Al Durham said...

Another Star Wars Trilogy? Are there at least Wookies and a Yoda? What a shame that someone copied off of George Lucas. I can not wait for the live action series to come out that he has been promising.

Anonymous said...

I am the same way when I pack. I have learned to keep the books out my reach or they suck me in.

Nitmos said...

I thought I heard that Paolini was like 17 years old when he wrote the first one. That may explain his *ahem* borrowing of the basic premise. I'm surprised it would get past an editor but I guess if you see a potential cash cow you can easily look the other way.