Friday, July 25, 2008

My Equivalent Of A Red Sportscar

Well, today was my 45th birthday, and I spent most of it reading from the trove of books I ordered to celebrate.

I read from Volumes II and III of The Absolute Sandman. These are massive, slip-cased tomes, collecting the graphic stories of Neil Gaiman. Volume I is coming in the mail, and Volume IV is yet to come. Beautiful artwork and tales, meditations on storytelling, dreams, and myths, that deserve more in-depth discussion than they're going to get at this hour.

I lovingly parsed through Giant Size Man-Thing #3, which contains the story of Korrek and Jennifer Kale, and perhaps one of the greatest wizards to ever live, Dakimh the Enchanter. Our original copy was bought in 1975.

I read some in Walter Hooper's Past Watchful Dragons, an analysis of The Chronicles of Narnia. It includes the few remaing drafts of Narnia stories that never got developed.

When I went out to check the mail, I had got three more books. All the way from Gloucester, UK, a couple of Terry Pratchett books: The Science of Discworld (in which Pratchett tells a tale of the wizards of Unseen University to illustrate the explanations of the state of scientific knowledge given by Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen) and The New Discworld Companion (with Stephen Briggs).

The third book was The Man in the Moon, by James P. Blaylock. This is the original version of The Elfin Ship, where the last third of the book is very different from the book as first published. It is probably the closest I'll ever get to getting a hardback version of The Elfin Ship. It is copy #519 of only a thousand signed copies, and includes both the signatures of James P. Blaylock and Tim Powers, who wrote the Forward.

These are two of my most favorite living authors.

I know it's not fashionable, but I have to admit I was very happy today. Reading, pondering, smelling the rain-soaked earth after a long hot spell, working on my little projects, a small family meal in the afternoon, Bedknobs and Broomsticks on TCM in the evening... I have more books ordered and on the way. And so "with at least one fine tomorrow to look forward to," I am as contented as any reasonable person can hope to be.

No comments: