Agony Column Home
Agony Column Review Archive

Commentary Archive 2003

The Current Rant

12-30-03 Food, Magic & Westerns: The Novels of Joanne Harris Serena Trowbridge travels to the Birmingham Book Festival to meet and speak with Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat, The Five Quarters of the Orange and Holy Fools about Magic Realism, Feel-good fiction, Clint Eastwood and all-you-can-eat literature.

12-20-03 The Award-Winning Agonies: Literary Awards & Our Book-Buying Habits A look at the major awards, who gives them, who votes, why and when the winners are chosen, and how they affect our book-buying habits. A thorough list of awards, winners, voters and enough scandal to keep things lively.

11-25-03 An American Feast: Giving Thanks for Our Hillbilly Killers From Flannery O'Connor to Tobe Hooper, via James Dickey, Charles Willeford and William Gay, Americans off the grid and on the griddle prepare a feast of bad news about the All-American high-fat, low carb diet.

 

History Repeated

Date
Title
Featuring
12-30-03

Food, Magic & Westerns: The novels of Joanne Harris

Serena Trowbridge travels to the Birmingham Book Festival to meet and speak with Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat, The Five Quarters of the Orange and Holy Fools about Magic Realism, Feel-good fiction, Clint Eastwood and all-you-can-eat literature.

The Award-Winning Agonies: Literary Awards & Our Book-Buying Habits

A look at the major awards, who gives them, who votes, why and when the winners are chosen, and how they affect our book-buying habits. A thorough list of awards, winners, voters and enough scandal to keep things lively.

11-25-03

An American Feast: Giving Thanks for Our Hillbilly Killers

From Flannery O'Connor to Tobe Hooper, via James Dickey, Charles Willeford and William Gay, Americans off the grid and on the griddle prepare a feast of bad news about the All-American high-fat, low carb diet.

11-20-03

Queer Eye for the Mean Streets

Terry D'Auray looks at Gay-themed detective novels from Joseph Hansen and Michael Nava. Featuring LBJ, the Monkees, the Beatles, and special guest star Raymond Chandler.

11-08-03

My Life in the Bush of Books, Part 6: From Great American Novels to British Invasions

All new column design, Win and Meredith Blevins, Gregory Maguire, Jonathan Lethem, Colson Whitehead, KQED Studio tour and KUSP Pledge meeting.

10-29-03

Chaucer for the Masses

Serena Trowbridge looks at the British fascination with history, Chaucer and meets Monty Python's Terry Jones, author of Who Murdered Chaucer? Featuring Peter Ackroyd, Dan Simmons, and The Riverside Chaucer.

10-22-03

My Life in the Bush of Books Part Five: Talk slow, think fast, read faster

Rushing from Worldcon to a series of interviews and in the process reading lots of books, including Spiro Agnew, Charles De Lint, Dennis Etchison, Chuck Palahniuk, Katherine Dunn, Stephen King, Terry Pratchett, Win Blevins, Meredith Blevins, Charles Stross, John Burdett, Daniel Ellsberg, Jonathan Lethem, Richard Lattimore, Homer, Dan Simmons, Walt Disney (simulacrum), Tom & Ray Magliazzi.

09-13-03

A Hangar Full of Hugos

Return to the halcyon days of my vacation with my wife at Torcon 3. Thrill to award ceremony gossip, more non-fannish cluelessness and an update from Hugo winner David Langford.

09-12-03

Ford in the Fast Lane

Terry D'Auray examines the work of G. M. Ford, a mystery writer who re-invented himself, re-invigorated his career and is writing smart, top-notch material with his new-noir Frank Corso mysteries.

08-31-03

Stumbling Towards Ceremony

Close up with China Mieville, John Clute, Ellen Datlow, Pat Cadigan, Jame Barclay, usenet gossip and once again, I demonstrate my cluelessness about cons.

08-30-03

How Not to Stalk the Guests at Worldcon

Stalking Charlie Stross, dissing 'Firefly', loud neighbors and the Loud Guy in Con Panels, China Mieville's next novel, Jack Chalker breaks into my consciousness and more only slightly embarrassing admissions.

08-28-03

Welcome to Toronto

Reporting from Worldcon Toronto; Charlie Stross and Rain on Cherry Blossoms.

08-25-03

The Rewards of Zeitgeist

David Corbett and Jonathan Lethem latch on to the subjects of racial relations, music, father-son relations and gentrification in a way that makes reading one ofter the other an especially rewarding experience.

08-22-03

Literary Terrors

Mitchell Farthloob, Stephen King, Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, M. R. James, Chuck Palahniuk, Koji Suzuki, Katherine Dunn, Jeff VanderMeer, Mary Roach, Ramsey Campbell, Charles de Lint, John Connolly, Taichi Yamada

07-31-03

The Soul of a Monster: A Look at Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein' and Ellen Ullman's 'The Bug' by Katie Dean

Ellen Ullman, Mary Shelley, Boris Karloff, Silicon Valley, Percey Bysse Shelley, Villagers with torches.

07-18-03

Children, Crime and Consequences

A look at how children play their part in crime and terror fiction including Douglas Coupland, Henry James, William Golding, Arthur Machen, Jack Womack, Mark Haddon, Chloe Hooper, Laurie King, Alice Sebold, Glen David Gold.

07-12-03

The Real Macleods & A Vertical Strategy

Ian R. Macleod, Ken Macleod, J. Anthony Lukas, James Weinstein, Socialism in America and Scotland, Arkham House auto-buying, Vertical-Inc, Koji Suzuki, Chip Kidd, Osamu Tezuka, Kaoru Kurimoto, Kenzo Kitikata, Taichi Yamada, Kaori Ekuni, Randy Taguchi, Stanislaw Lem, Michael Kandel, and Mark Schrieber.

06-30-03

From Whip Hand to Dallas: One Book's Journey from Cheese to Choice

William Gibson, Charles Willeford, Dennis McMillan, Jesse Sublett, Don Herron, Warren Oates and Harry Dean Stanton star in a stunning story of mystery, betrayal and book sleuthing.

06-19-03

His Dark Materials: Milton for the twenty-first century

Serena Trowbridge gives an insightful and entertaining introduction to Philip Pullman's masterful fantasy trilogy and the author himself.

06-13-03

Pelecanos' DC

Terry D'Auray on George Pelecanos' Strange/Quinn trilogy, our nation's capital with Dennis McMillan on the vagaries of going up against those tricky publishers in Old Blighty.

06-12-03

Goliath Gets A Clue

BUSPs, Change of Hobbit, Legends, Bordors,Stephen King, Harlan Ellison in Glass, Chloe Hooper, Chuck Palahniuk, Jonthan Lethem, Jeff VanderMeer, and ME ME ME.

06-06-03

Offbeat Oldies

Terry D'Auray on William Marshall's Yellowthread series and George Chesbro's Mongo Mysteries. From standing on a chair in a San Francisco bookstore to Hong Kong with enough torture and violence to satisfy those who demand such goings-on. Now with fixed tables.

05-23-03

Reading Extremes

Whipsawing between heavy-duty non-fiction and fluffy light fantasy, Eric Schlosser, Margaret Weis, John Hubner, James Lovegrove, James R. Morrow, William Gay, Adam Roberts, Angela Carter, Flannery O'Connor, martin Amis, Ken Macleod, Chuck Palahniuk, Alan Deutschman, Christopher Moore, Eugene Ceruzzi.

05-15-03

The Importance of Being Imprints

Jeanne Cavelos of Dell Abyss and Ginjer Buchanan of Ace tell me about the fine points of publisher's imprints. Kathe Koja, Dennis Etchison, Alastair Reynolds, Lisa Tuttle, Brian Hodge, Patricia McKillip, Simon R. Green, Chaz Brenchley and Jessica Amanda Salmonsen.

05-08-03

Villagers & Torches

Justina Robson, Ira Sher, Scott Edelman, Kristine KathrynRusch, the return of the EVIL Genius of Michael Chabon & Dave Eggers & and All Star Genre Fiction Cast. Special Guest appearance by Stanislaw Lem.

04-30-03

Hidden Shallows

Neal Asher, Michael Chabon & Dave Eggers & and All Star Genre Fiction Cast, Christopher Brookmyre, Magnus Mills, Dan Simmons, Glen David Gold, Jasper Fforde, Joe R. Landsdale.

03-26-03

A Fantasy Rainbow

Peter Graves & Kent McCord, JRR Tolkien, James Barclay, George R. R. Martin, Steven Erikson, Mary Gentle, Robert Jordan, Steve Cockaye, China Mieville, Jeffrey Ford, Jeff VanderMeer, Neil Gaiman, Robert Holdstock, Mark Chadbourn, Clive Barker and Ricardo Pinto

02-25-03

Handbasket reading for 2K3

Carter Scholz, William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, Dan Simmons, Cory Doctorow, John Meaney, Alan F. Troop, Ken Macleod, Neal Asher, Justina Robson, Richard Morgan, Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Adam Roberts, Alastair Reynolds, George Orwell

02-13-03

The Bile File: The Morality of Book Buying

Guest Columnist Carlyle Thompson on the ethics and morals of what books to buy and where to buy them.

01-27-03

When Writers Attack: The Horror From Another Genre

Ramsey Campbell, Edgar Allen Poe, Thomas Harris, Mo Hayder, Mark Z. Danielewski, Joyce Carol Oates, Anne Arensberg, Martin AMis, Jonathan Franzen, John W. Campbell, Jr., Jack Finney, Thomas M. Disch, Alastair Reynolds, Neal Asher, Richard Morgan, Anne Rice, Jonathan Carroll

01-17-03

The Reading Vacation, Part 2

Ramsey Campbell, Poppy Z. Brite, David J. Schow, Maria Alexander, Christa Faust, Geoff Cooper, Simon Clark, Christa Faust

01-16-03

The Reading Vacation, Part 1

Spookycon, Ramsey Campbell, C. J. Cherryh, Charles G. Finney, Clark Ashton Smith, H. P. Lovecraft, Happy Tree Friends, Bill Moseley, House of 1000 Corpses.

01-07-03

Subject to Change Without Notice, The Ten (or Twenty) Best Books I Read Last Year

Neal Asher, Mark Bowden, Jonathan Carroll, Jasper Fforde, William Gay, Glen David Gold, M. John harrison, China Mieville, Richard Morgan, Alastair Reynolds, Chuck Palahniuk, F. Paul Wilson, M. R. James, Tom Standage, John Mortimer, Graham Joyce, Christopher Brookmyre, Paul DiFilippo, Jeffrey Ford, Magnus Mills