ipod classic

Kristine Kathryn Rusch – Author

Kristine Kathryn Rusch writes fiction under several names, including the bestselling Retrieval Artist series. She also edits Fiction River, an eclectic magazine, and runs a surprisingly popular (to her, anyway) website at www.kristinekathrynrusch.com.

Good things to read.

Santiago by Mike Resnick.  It’s rare for a novel to remain in print these days, let alone stay in print for more than two decades. I read Mike Resnick’s sf classic, Santiago, when it came out and I still remember it to this day. Mike writes classic space opera here and, as a fan of all things space opera, I can’t get enough of that.

Hopscotch by Kevin J. Anderson: I’ve known Kevin most of my life (really) and he wrote this novel as an answer-story to one of my stories, “Stained Black.” Think about this: what if you could switch bodies with someone? Would you steal their life? Kev has an apocalyptic imagination and a thriller sensibility, and he brings both to bear here.

In Hero Years…I’m Dead by Michael A. Stackpole: A confession here. When I got asked to do the three things, I got asked because I’m in a Storybundle with Mike & Michael & Kevin, and I was asked to promote my own book, The Disappeared,  the first book in my Retrieval Artist series. The Disappeared is one of the titles you can get for any price you want to set. But I’m really lousy at Shameless Self Promotion. I can’t honestly tell you it’s the best book in the bunch because I’m the worst judge of my own work. Instead, I’m going to close this with Mike Stackpole’s marvelous super-hero noir novel, In Hero Years…I’m Dead. Mike calls it what you would get if Dashiell Hammett had written The Watchmen, and yeah, it is. So read, enjoy, and have some fun. I’m off to do the same.

Good things to watch.

Orphan Black. One of  the best shows on television in acting and in writing. You can find it on BBC America, but before the new season starts next year, order the first season. Titiana Maslany plays (at my count) six different clones, and they are all different and distinct. It’s an acting feat extraordinaire, which would make the series worth watching all by itself, except…the plot’s good, the story’s riveting, and the writing is spot-on.

Comfort and Joy. One of my favorite movies of all time and, sadly, only available on VHS. Yes, I said VHS. This is a Bill Forsyth movie which, if I describe it to you, will make me sound like a lunatic. So find a copy and enjoy it. Then write to someone (although I’m not sure who) and beg them to put this thing out on DVD and streaming. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll wonder how anyone thinks of this stuff.

The Good Wife.  Since I gave you two obscure things, let me point you to something accessible. The Good Wife has a stupid name for a TV program and the description of the series sounds completely off-putting. With the exception of the first few episodes of Season 4, it has the best writing on television (cable or network) and it’s got a great cast. It comments about the issues of the day, and presents a believable look at a large Chicago law firm, as well as politics and family relationships. Plus you can’t miss Michael J. Fox’s repeating guest shots as Louis J. Canning. (Not to mention Nathan Lane, and tons of other Broadway actors who come in and out for memorable guest turns.)

Good things to use.

A Tablet.  I use an iPad, but there are so many good ones that I hesitate to restrict you to just one. My husband, who is not a tech geek, forced me to buy one a few years ago. I am a tech geek, and thought I didn’t need one. Now, I love me my iPad. I use it all the time, for reading, for web browsing, for watching videos, and for watching TV I missed. I also use it for things I will not admit to like Angry Birds. No, I don’t play Angry Birds. Really, I don’t. Honest.

Kobo Mini. Kobo might discontinue the manufacture of the mini because it didn’t sell to expectations, so buy one while you can. It’s so tiny; it’s the size of a mass market paperback, but it has a great screen and it’s really light. You can stuff it in your pocket or in your purse. And Kobo, with its international flavor, has a completely different list of available books than Amazon.

iPod Classic. Yeah, I know, they’re so passé. But the thing I love about the iPod Classic is its focus. It doesn’t do much besides store your library and play music. You can store your music in the cloud or use your computer to play tunes, but the iPod goes into your pocket and travels with you. It doesn’t use bandwidth that you might use for, say, streaming a movie in the other room. When I want to listen to music, I use my iPod (and its various docks, etc). Because I have other Apple products, I can easily move part of my library to them, and finally iTunes got wise, allowing you to move the music you downloaded not from iTunes to your other devices. So the ancient Pod is useful once again.

The Bribery – not a writer

These are The Bribery’s good things.

Good things to read:

1Q84, Haruki Murakami – I’m not much of a Haruki Murakami fan but I’m completely drawn towards his books. He’s a great writer and he’s been a great writer as far as I’ve had read his books (and yep, I’ve read quite a lot). One of my favorites is this, 1Q84. It’s a dragging read for me and I’ve spent months reading this trilogy. It’s very dreamy and it takes you to places. It’s a special kind of roller coaster where you get tensed up with its exciting moments and then put you into a very monotonous mood with vivid description of events and conversations (and even the inexplicable death of a guard dog and the stylish outfit of the female lead…coming from a man). In between these two main moods are swings from different other moods: adventurous, curious, sympathetic, angry, and many others.

You’re an Animal, Viskovitz!,Alessandro Boffa – This may be, by far, my most favorite book of all. This is not your typical fable and you may not find this book easily. Finding this on a secondhand bookstore has been one of my best moments in my book buying history. In this anthology of mature fables, Viskovitz will relate you to mishaps in love and chances that will make you laugh and realize that life and love aren’t jokes both apart and together.

I Wish Someone Were Waiting For Me Somewhere, Anna Gavalda – Ironically, the long title is a collection of short stories. This must be one of my most favorite collections of short stories. As a fan of Haruki Murakami, I should’ve put Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman in this selection but this book has been one of my favorites. It has made me cry and it has stuck through me about how surreal simple occurrences are and how heartbreaking these events can be.

Good things to watch:

Paris, je t’aime – Over the years I’ve seen few films and luckily, most of them aren’t crappy. One of these films that I’ve seen is Paris, je t’aime and it has been one of my favorites for many years. I even put this on top of my movie suggestions. It is an anthology of stories that tells about the life in Paris of both tourists and locals. Each short film brings you to different realities mostly heartbreaking that will be relieved at the end. Inexplicable. You have to watch it to understand how it feels.

Synecdoche, New York – There’s no coincidence between this and the first film just because they have commas and names of places. Nonetheless, Synecdoche, New York is one of my favorite films of all time if not the most. I’ve seen this film for about 6 times and I still haven’t figured out most parts yet and it always gives me a very good time to figure out each part in order to get the whole. But as a synecdoche works, one can speak for the whole or the whole can speak for a part.

Tony Takitani – As a Haruki Murakami fan, I should’ve put Norwegian Wood on here but I was talking to another Murakami fan two weeks ago and asked which she likes more. Norwegian Wood was her answer and I quickly said Tony Takitani’s mine—NO QUESTIONS ASKED. If you’ve read the short story, there’s not much to expect in this film. It’s just over an hour, practically short but it’s slow and dragging. This makes it more effective when it comes to making the viewer feel more. The book conveys deep emotions while the film makes it alive. No need to explain further. (I was about to put Winnie The Pooh [2011] but there’s no way I’m not including Tony Takitani; that’s a good one, too, anyway.)

Good things to use:

iPod Classic 120GB – There’s no way that any other Apple product will replace this product in my heart. I’m a music lover and all I could ever wish for is something that I can easily carry and will bring me good music. No other reason why I wouldn’t love my iPod so much.

Ibanez AEG10EBK – This must be the cheapest Ibanez that you can easily find. I got this for my birthday and I never regretted buying it (well, my mom did). In spite of the cheap price, the woods of this guitar are very nice: mahogany for the neck, spruce for the top. Not bad for a cheap guitar. It also has great pickup, Fishman, with an onboard tuner and Ibanez SST electronics. The only problem that I’ve ever found is the tuners but over-all, this is a good find.

Minolta RIVA Zoom70 – My mother got my camera from her mother and she eventually gave it to me. I’ve never got the chance to own a camera and this is the closest I have gotten to the analog age. It has decent functions, nothing complicated and nothing special but it’s all great for analog amateurs.