I got hold of a few different books in the last week. A root through a second-hand bookshop turned up a copy of Triplanetary
and the BL/Horus Heresy Descent of Angels
For those not in the know, Triplanetary
is the first in the series of EE 'Doc' Smith's classic Lensman series. I'll leave the synopsis to Google and Wikipedia. I'll just say that it was a bit... disappointing. Even taking into account some dated '30's assumptions (the least
of which is that, hundreds of years in the future, Englishmen say "I say," at the beginning of every sentence), the writing and characterisation aren't too good (or even existant). What Doc seems to be mainly interested in is vaguely scientific ideas of space flight and space combat, and at times it starts to seem like kids running around a playground, playing make-believe oneupmanship. "And then my Nevian cruiser shoots it's brand-new unstoppable megaultrahyper-ray!" "But my Tellurian supership knew you'd shoot that and made a hyperultramega-shield that can stop every ray or bomb or bullet ever!"
The resolution of this first book is a particular insult to the intelligence, IMO. But the bookshop has a small stack of the Lensman books and I haven't given up yet. I'll see what Descent of Angels
is like first, though.
Other books: a copy of Molly Bang's How Pictures Work
, which I've been meaning to get for a while. A basic intro to composition and design, but food for thought.
Lastly, a local Poundland branch had a stack of copies of Alien vs. Predator: The Visual Effects of ADI
. Guess for how much. And don't be put off by the title! A lot of crappy movies are otherwise very pretty, and this has some great chapters filled with pics of concept art, maquettes, production sculpts, animatronics, etc. Pretty good stuff.