August 01, 2006

Notes from a DVD Geek

by Jeremy Lassen

Welcome once again the wonderful world of cool movies.  This month I'll be talking about some of my all-time favorite weird gems of genre cinema.  First up is Cemetery Man, starring Rupert Everett.  (Yes, that Rupert Everett.)  He got his start in an Italian zombie movie.  He tends to keep Cemetery Man (AKA Dellamorte Dellamore) off of his resume.  Which is kind of silly, because its easily one of the best existential zombie love stories every told.

Cemetery Man is directed by Italian Michele Soavi, who got his start being a second unit and assistant director for such greats as Argento, Fulchi, Umberto Bava, and Terry Gilliam.  Soavi's singular and unique vision reached its apogee in Cemetery Man, but you can catch flashes of brilliance in some of his earlier work, such as The Church, The Sect, and Stagefright.  Soavi retreated from the film industry in the mid 1990s to care for his ailing son, but, in recent years, he has begun working once more in Italian television (Una Bianca was a TV-miniseries/cop/crime thriller that is now on DVD), and he was the second unit director on Terry Gilliam's flawed, yet strangely interesting film, The Brothers Grimm.

July Bestsellers

1) Kushiel's Scion by Jacqueline Carey
2) Gold Falcon by Katharine Kerr
3) Rainbow's End by Vernor Vinge
4) Glasshouse by Charles Stross
5) Dark Mondays by Kage Baker
6) Widdershins by Charles de Lint
7) River of Gods by Ian McDonald
8) Take the Long Way Home by Brian Keene
9) How We Got Insipid by Johnathan Lethem
10) Sense of the Past: The Ghostly Stories of Henry James by Henry James

1) A Fistful of Charms by Kim Harrison
2) The Oracle's Queen by Lynn Flewelling
3) Brass Man by Neal Asher
4) Melusine by Sarah Monette
5) Accelerando by Charles Stross
6) Lady of Mazes by Karl Schroeder
7) Olympos by Dan Simmons
8) Century Rain by Alastair Reynolds
9) Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
10) Crimson Sword by Eldon Thompson

Trade Paperbacks
1) The Algebraist by Iain M. Banks
2) Prador Moon by Neal Asher
3) A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick
4) The Engineer Reconditioned by Neal Asher
5) Nightwatch by Sergei Lukyanenko
     The Year's Best Science Fiction vol. 23, edited by Gardner Dozois

What's in a Name?

by Alan Beatts

Horror is typically considered a genre of fiction in much the same way as science fiction or mystery.  At Borderlands Books we describe our stock as "science fiction, fantasy and horror," a decision that I made over nine years ago when the store opened.  It was based on the way that I perceived the position of horror relative to other fiction genres.

However, while considering the horror genre for this article I looked at some phenomena that caused me to question my definition of horror and its place relative to other fiction genres.  A common (and wildly inaccurate) way that we explain our sections at Borderlands is thus, "If the story takes place on a space ship, it's SF. If it's about a vampire, it's horror.  And if there's a vampire on a space ship, it's still horror."  But vampires are no longer the sole property of horror.  They appear in fantasy, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and other less defined genres and sub-genres.  Granted, some of these genres and sub-genres are merely the creation of marketing departments.  But, the fact remains that there are plenty of works that feature vampires but which really don't fall within what could even be loosely called "horror".