I am one of those people that likes when their food hurts them. This is what my household calls it when you are a heavy consumer of hot sauce. I know there are hot sauce connoisseurs out there, but I am not on that level. I simply like food to sometimes bite back. One of my favorite hot sauces is by the Pucker Butt Pepper Co (who, by the way, currently hold the Guiness Record for World’s Hottest Pepper). The sauce I like is called Voodoo Prince Death Mamba, which I think is a fantastic fun name for a hot sauce. It is quite hot (not the hottest), but it has a really great flavor. I don’t really feel this one on my tongue or in my gullet – but it brings a pleasant buzzy warmth to my cheeks.
Also, I really appreciate the business who makes this stuff. I had a great time taste-testing at their storefront and I follow them on Facebook. They are “good people,” if you know what I mean. The founder, Ed, is swell and cares about his product and his customers.
On the subject, I also enjoy 100% Pain by Original Juan. I also approve of the “family” feel to this company and their products are quality. I like 100% not on everything – because it doesn’t really have taste, but it has pain. I like this on sandwiches and when “nothing is hot enough.” Of note, this is also one of the reddest sauces I’ve seen, so if you are autistic, you will find yourself staring at this sauce marveling at the color.
Now that I have shared this random information on painful substances, let us discuss vintage novels. I have spent the last day or so perusing blogs and websites dedicated to vintage Science Fiction. I am a science fiction junkie, but I am hardly as well-read as I ought to be. I read whatever I want – if it is mystery, or contemporary science fiction, vintage pulp, classics – whatever. However, I really do truly love vintage science fiction.
First comment: what is “vintage”? Well, there are industry-opinions, personal opinions, suggested definitions, etc. When I use the term, I am basically referring to things published prior to 1970. I have a hard time considering anything 1970 upward to be “vintage.” Of course, perhaps, this may be some projection based on my age or something. Also, time is linear and keeps moving on, so I have to remind myself it is 2013 sometimes. I remember when it was not 20-anything. At some point, 1980s novels may seem vintage to some generation. Anyway, if you asked me to narrow this further, I would tell you: 1950s represents vintage to me.
A lot of blogs on the internet currently seem to be swept up in a raging race for the “newest release” in their genres. I mean, a whole lot of blogs are always squealing with anticipation for the upcoming book. Barely have we finished shrieking in excitement over last week’s release and already we have to be wild about this week’s. It is really exhausting to follow along. Also, I am not a fast reader. I read slowly. I also enjoy reading – meaning, I like to take my time with enjoying the books I read. Even after reading them, I like pondering or thinking about them (or elements I found in them). I could never keep up with the Cyclopean tidal waves of newly published material. It must be exhilarating living on the edge like that – chapeau, bloggers!
I am way too under-read to even consider making a judgment about these matters. But one of the reasons I do not like the contemporary novels is that they are so dang huge. 600+ pages. What the heck? I read slowly and reading a 500+ page book is a heckuva time investment for me and if it is not all that good, I’m gonna be rather vexed. Vintage novels rarely near the 300 page mark. Honestly, most are under 200 pages. And of the ones that I have read, I have really liked most of them; i.e. they weren’t missing anything by not being huge tomes. I have my doubts that people who read contemporary science fiction actually read as many books as quickly as they say they do. Did y’all really read all them pages?
One of the things I like about JB’s blog is that I feel he really does care about vintage novels/authors. He isn’t trying to be one of the “elite” readers who disdain anything but vintage. I get the feeling he does care about those forgotten and abandoned novels/authors who are ignored by so-called science fiction addicts. And I appreciate his efforts to quietly bring these vintage items to the forefront. I read every post here.
And then there is JL who writes intelligently (with a somewhat hefty dose of snark) particularly about contemporary fiction. He has a very well-known blog in which he writes reviews with the help of his imaginary personal assistant. Due to the success of his blog, he has become involved in a number of related projects. Sometimes I think he rates books a little high, at other times he will chew the author up. I do not avidly read this blog as much as the others. Because of the snark. Because of the contemporary reading list.
Carl has a nice blog that is balanced with some contemporary, some vintage, some other books. I like his reviews and he generally does a really nice job with his online presence. I really like his concept for his Science Fiction Experience that he suggests for readers/bloggers. I don’t visit this blog enough.
Richard’s blog is a very calm one. I like that he has 130 “Friday Forgotten Book” posts in which he reviews, shares, discusses books that have become “forgotten” among readers. He reads in a variety of genres and he is not a speed reader, so I find his blog appealing. I read most of the entries here.
I like my “read whatever the heck I want” blog. And what I think is the real issue is that life is too short – we cannot read all the things we want to read. This makes me sad. So, I have decided reading what I want works best for me. I do try to go with the flow and read whatever is close-at-hand or what strikes my fancy at the moment. I don’t plan ahead and there are plenty of times where I am reading three books at once or times where I am reading none at all.
The best thing is that sharing is caring – which is why I posted those blogs above. If you are feeling uninspired or need a good recommendation that is not on the NYT bestsellers list, then those are the blogs to sift through. And you don’t have to be an expert in things, but you should be honest with your reading interests. So, I share what I read. Share what you read…