Feb. 7th, 2009

starlady: (but it does move)
I saw "Coraline" with [livejournal.com profile] sparowhawk  today (after many restaurant misadventures, we wound up at a really tasty Thai place. score! south jersey is not the culinary wasteland one might think from my rants, I admit). It's been rather a while since I read the book, though I do remember the book being creepier (and I think Wybie is an invention?), but I thought it was an excellent movie that doesn't condescend to children or to adults. And it certainly is creepy. The 3D was very cool (and not hugely obnoxious) too, and the stop-motion animation was excellent. Though I would gladly fling the glasses in the face of whomever thought another freaking "Ice Age" movie was a good idea. Schlock I say, schlock. (Item: it would be cool to write a story about a town where people spoke only in Shakespeare quotations.)

I also finished, at long last, Neal Stephenson's The System of the World, the final volume of his Baroque Cycle, the other day. I suspect that if I had read Cryptonomicon beforehand I would get some of the jokes about the future descendants of Waterhouse and the Shaftoes, and I have horrible suspicions about the Leibniz/Waterhouse logic mill, but I particularly enjoyed Eliza's pontificating on the nature of investing in intellecutal endeavors (yeah copyleft!), and the poignant touches in the end, particularly in the Newton/Leibniz philosophick showdown. Princess Caroline's nightmare has stuck with me too, and I wonder whether Stevenson would say that we are living in the era in which the System is breaking down, and if his book Anathem is set in the aftermath of its collapse. It's certainly dispiriting, in a way, that so many citizens of our time, at least in America, are unable to reconcile religion and Natural Philosphy as the founders of the latter did so passionately. Perhaps that's the flaw in the System that Caroline feared.

At any rate, I have quite a few more damned, thick, square books to get through before I'll be at leisure to tackle Stephenson's other tomes, but I can't recommend him highly enough.