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Versus Battle!: McIver v. Mullen

Weighing in at 305 pages, in the pink and green trunks with the corset,

Whores: an oral biography of Perry Farrell and Jane’s Addiction

Mullen, Brendan (2005, Da Capo Press)

…aaand in the red and black trunks, weighing in at 171 pages,

No One Knows: the Queens of the Stone Age Story

McIver, Joel (2005, Omnibus Press)


These two fighters are around the same age, though one has the distinct disadvantage of being noticably shorter on reach than the other.  This could be due to the fact that McIver’s subjects are well known for being far more reticent in interviews than Mullen’s, even to the point of refusing to talk about their equipment (Joshua Homme finally broke his silence on that, but it was a long time coming).  Both of these stories are told in a chronological vein, with both of them going back to the early days of their frontmen’s careers (Psi Com for Perry Farrell and Kyuss for Joshua Homme).

Ding! Ding! Read the rest of this entry

Versus Battle! 2: Noon v. Mieville

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the second of the Versus Battles!  Tonight, we have a vanguard of the British nouveau-SF writers, Mr. Jeff Noon against the world-class genre-masher, Mr. China Miéville.  In this battle we have Noon’s first book Vurt, against Miéville’s first novel King Rat. It’s basically going to follow the same sort of format as the first Versus Battle, but a few little changes (and maybe, just maybe, some improvements. Let’s not get too carried away though).  Oh, and a warning that there are some plot spoilers in here, but nothing you can’t handle, I’m sure.

The Weigh In
Vurt was first published in 1993, by Ringpull Press – sadly that’s not the edition that I have, I’ve got the Pan Books 2001 edition. I first read Vurt when I was a mere slip of a girl in the late nineties, and SF still felt kind of verboten, like it was something I shouldn’t like because I was a girl. Phew, but let’s not get into the psychology of that statement… Vurt runs to 325 pages in the Pan edition that I have. The ISBN of said edition is 9780330338813. King Rat was first published by Macmillan in 1998, but the version I got from the library is the 1999 Pan Books edition. 421 pages all up, and an ISBN of 0330370987. This is my first reading of King Rat, but I’m not a first timer for China Miéville’s work – previously, I’ve read and enjoyed (and had my word power extended by) Perdido Street Station, Un Lun Dun and Kraken. I feel like these two books are pretty evenly matched in terms of size and subject, so we should have a good fight on our hands.

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Versus Battle 1: Poe v. King

Ladies and Gentlemen, roll right up for the first of the Versus Battles!  Tonight, an all-time heavyweight of the American literary circuit, Edgar Allen Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination dukes it out with the welterweight champion of the best-seller lists, Nightmares and Dreamscapes by your friend and mine, Mr. Stephen King!

Note: This is kind of my cheap way of getting two books done for the price of one.  I kind of think it might be interesting to do a little compare and contrast with authors from different periods who go in for the same kind of things – subject matter, style, etcetera.  And yes, I do know that it’s very unlikely that you’d ever see a heavyweight box a welterweight, and think that it’s probably even against every boxing rule known to man, but let me see how far I can take this reference, okay?  Good.  On with the show!

The Weigh-in:

Poe’s volume (at least, the edition that I have, which is the Galley Press edition of 1987, part of the “Golden Heritage Classics series”) stands at 28 stories, 446 pages of maybe 8-point serif font.  I have to guess that much, because there’s no handy ‘this edition published in 8-point such-and-thus font.  So this is turning into a bit of a bare-knuckle anything goes kind of fight anyway, what with the weight estimations and all, but again, lets see how long we can string this along, eh, cublings?  The ISBN for this edition is 0861366522.

King’s book, which is the BCA edition, published in 1993, stands at 23 tales, and runs to 569 pages (I’m subtracting the intro and the author’s note at the end, although those things are always worth reading in King’s books, as much for the jocular style as anything else).  The ISBN… it doesn’t have one.  Which is probably because it’s a reprint… if any of you cublings knows more than Mama Wolf, send me a comment… it’s got a CN number, but that’s Library of Congress cataloguing… isn’t it?  Hmn.  Come on, cublings, help a sister out… Read the rest of this entry