Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Acting on impulse

In the CD player in my car, I've got a CD by a band called Antigone Rising.

It's actually quite good, and really growing on me, especially considering I bought it on a whim.

At Starbucks.

At the paper, we had a story slated on how Starbucks has begun selling exclusive CDs, and this Antigone Rising was the first one. Anyway, we ended up pulling the story (you know, when you say "all the news that fits in print," some stuff doesn't fit), but a couple of weeks later I was in Starbucks and I saw it on the rack.

So I bought it. I'm an impulse buyer. And this time, it appears to have paid off.

I like female vocalists and this is a nice sort of guitars-and-vocals group that can play fast-and-catchy and slow-and-soulful. The one song, "Michael," about a friend dying in a car crash, just evokes all kinds of sad, nostalgic memories.

And all of that reminded me of my best impulse buy ever: "Ice Station."

"Ice Station" is a novel by an Australian named Matt Reilly, and remains quite possibly the only book I've ever bought off those racks of paperbacks they have at the checkout counter at Barnes & Noble.

What can I say? I was stuck in line, and it had Antarctica on the cover. Now I love books about Antarctica and the Arctic, so I picked it up and read the back. And it had a Marine Recon team traveling to a base in Antarctica. I was sold. I mean, what did I have to lose? It was only a paperback.

And it wound up being my favorite book, possibly ever. And Reilly has become one of my favorite authors, and opened up my reading realm to the genre of what I think of as modern action science-fiction.

So, today, in honor of my impulse buying tendencies, I thought I'd list some of my favorite authors. I love to read, and I just got the newest books from two other favorites, the team of Preston & Child and James Rollins. All in all, a bunch of good reasons for a list-of-links day! (Note this list is most definitely not all-encompassing.)

Modern action science-fiction:
Matt Reilly, author of the marvelous "Contest," "Ice Station" and its two sequels, and the brilliant "Temple."
Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, the authors of "The Relic" and more, and the most skillful interweavers of characters from book to book that I can think of.
James Rollins, who covers similar themes as Reilly, but with a very different style, in "Amazonia," "Ice Hunt" and more.
My new interest, horror fiction:
F. Paul Wilson, creator of Repairman Jack and the Adversary Cycle.
Brian Keene, author of the stellar not-quite-zombies book "The Rising" and its sequel.
And something completely different:
Jinxworld, home of Brian Michael Bendis, the author of my favorite graphic novels, the "Powers" series.

Other links:
Antigone Rising
Barnes & Noble

And, for today's postscript, I'm going to honor the stars of my favorite reality show, "The Contender," which is being rebroadcast on CNBC. Here's hoping it finds a home for season 2! (Is it fair to call it my favorite reality show? It's the only one I watch, unless you count the home-deco stuff on TLC.)

The Final Four:
Sergio Mora, "The Latin Snake," the winner and still champion...
Peter Manfredo Jr., "The Pride of Providence," who came in unbeaten and the best fighter, and left twice-beaten and the second-best fighter.
Alfonso S. Gomez, the bronze-winning underdog with a strong chin and stronger heart.
Jesse Brinkley, another highly ranked fighter who suffered two losses en route to fourth.
The rest of the Elite Eight:
Anthony Bonsante, "The Bullet," my favorite fighter... an animal in the ring who doesn't have a Web site I could find.
Joey Gilbert, smart and sneaky, who proved his heart late in the game.
Ahmed Kaddour, "Baby Face," cocky, grating, undefeated coming in, and cocky, grating and twice-defeated going out.
Ishe Smith, "Sugar Shay," fierce and bitter; if the show had a villain, it was Shay or his rival, Ahmed.
And the rest:
Jimmy Lange, who got tricked by Anthony and then upset by Joey.
Juan De La Rosa, "El Gallo Negro," which must be Spanish for "doesn't want to get hurt" - the teen-ager won, but quit.
Tarick Salmaci, "The Arabian Prince," whose boxing comeback came up short.
Brent Cooper, "The Disciple," who got decked by Anthony after the betrayal.
Miguel Espino, who wept after losing the closest decision.
Najai Turpin, "Nitro," who tragically committed suicide before the show aired.
Jonathan Reid, the "Reid Dawg," a veteran with a checkered past and huge family.
Jeff Fraza, the "Hellraza," who never stepped into the ring, but got knocked out by, of all things, chicken pox.

1 Comment:

Stewie said...

Can't wait until you read Terminal.

It's good stuff.