A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

I was rooting around in my garage this weekend trying to get it more organized and just going through boxes of stuff in general when I came across this little bit of awesomeness.

Yeah that’s my ticket stub from the 12:01 showing of Star Wars Episode I, shown at the illustrious Edwards 21 cinema in Boise Idaho, on May 19th 1999.  And yes it is in a 1/4 inch thick plastic case that is secured by screws, I don’t mess around protecting my Star Wars mementos, I guess.  My friends and I camped out for over a week for that bad boy, this was in the days before you could buy your movie tickets on the internet, I think for Episode II we just bought them on the internet.  I was super obsessed with Star Wars in High School, I collected all the toys and I had to buy boxes and boxes of the card game when they came out, my buddy and I had so many it was ridiculous.  I even got kicked off the track team because I was camping out for Star Wars instead of showing up for track practice.  We only lost the state championship in track by a couple of points that year too, points I probably would have gotten if I wouldn’t have been kicked off the team.  Not that I’m bitter or anything, Star Wars rules!  I remember when the show finally came we all had ridiculous Jedi costumes, my mom homemade mine, and practiced our lightsaber battles fiercely in the weeks leading up to the movie

When they finally let us into the theater we got our seats and then about half a dozen groups of people commenced to lightsaber fighting below the screen at the bottom of the theater.  At one point my buddy wanted me to come down with him and lightsaber fight but I refused to do so, he eventually got the whole theater chanting my name to come down, it was really embarrassing and I didn’t go down, but one of my other friends stepped up and dueled with him, so the crowd was quelled. Ah to be 17 again, good times, I still love Star Wars the originals are my favorite trilogy of movies of all time.

Rothfuss, Rodrigo, and Richie

Taking a page from my friend Jim’s blog today with the title 😀

I ordered a signed copy of one of the best books I have read in recent memory, The Name of the Wind.  It is by a fantastic author, with a huge beard, named Patrick Rothfuss.  I have been planning a re-read of the two books he has released for quite some time and the copy that I have of the first book in the King Killer chronicles had 200 pages randomly bound completely backwards in the middle of the book.  I had started to tear them out, since it was a free copy I had won from tor.com in the 10 best sci-fi/fantasy books in the last decade contest, but I quickly realized that was a mistake and so just read the 200 pages backwards.  It was an odd experience but  a pretty unique one, I have never read a book backwards, from right to left, and probably never will again.  I understand a lot more about the whole world he has created for the books and what a lot of the things mean since reading the 2nd book and putting everything together.  I thoroughly enjoyed my first read of the book but there were a lot of little details I just glossed over because I wasn’t sure what they meant.  The extremely detailed re-read that was on, tor.com, also helped explain a lot of things to me, so I am very much looking forward to reading it again, and hopefully understanding more of what is happening.

I really enjoy collecting signed books and I am still kicking myself for not ordering the Stephen King 25th anniversary edition of IT that was signed by SK!!!  I thought it was too expensive so didn’t order it, then the next day Ellie says hey look there’s this awesome version of IT signed you should buy it, I got to buy it and BAM sold out in less than 24 hours.  Speaking of IT, I am officially over halfway through the book and it is an amazing read.  Ellie has been trying to get me to read IT for basically the entire time I have known her, she has slowly gotten me into Stephen King, and I have thoroughly enjoyed his works, but IT really stands out to me.  The story and how he writes it is just so good and so perfect it’s hard to describe without actually reading the book yourself.  The book has been pretty intense so far but I think it’s about to ramp up a notch.  I mentioned Richie in my blog title, referring to Richie Tozer, one of the main characters in IT.  At this point in the novel they are all back in Derry and roaming around experiencing hallucinations and threats from It.  They have all decided to roam around by themselves and have experienced weird little things, Richie is standing in front of the Paul Bunyon statue and something is going to happen I am not sure what but that is the precise place that I stopped reading last night.  I know the upcoming scene is going to be scary and crazy because Ellie has mentioned this scene to me many times before.  There is an actual Paul Bunyon statue in SK’s home town of Bangor Maine and when Ellie and I visited there, it was the first thing we stopped and took pictures in front of.  Just being near the statue in real life freaked Ellie out so I am very interested to see what happens in the pages I will be reading tonight.  Going to Bangor was a very cool experience even though I hadn’t read my first SK novel at that point, we want to go back and visit Maine sometime soon, and I hope we get to explore Bangor again.  We drove around the town and tried to find places we thought were in the movie version of IT, Ellie had a better idea of what things were since she had read IT and many other SK novels, we thing we might have even found the Barrens.  Maine was a place I would not be sad to live in, it was really one of the only places I have ever been where it felt like home.  It’s a hard feeling to describe but it felt like we could live there and it would be good.

Ellie in front of Paul Bunyon Statue

On Sundays Ellie and I like to do what we have dubbed “Low-Tech Sunday”  where we try to spend as much time away from the TV and computers and gadgetry and just hang out and read and enjoy each others company.  I got a couple hundred pages of IT read and lots of relaxing done, a nap even, but Sunday was a day we had been looking forward to because it was the Season 2 finale of The Borgias.  The Borgias is one of the best shows on television right now, in my opinion.  It is on Showtime and is very much adult oriented seeing as it has lots of sex and graphic violence.  It follows the exploits and papacy of Pope Alexander the VI, better known as the Borgia Pope.  It is fiction of course but it seems like a lot of the events that happen in the show are based on what really happened.  I have done some research on his papacy and it follows real life events pretty spot on.  Jeremy Irons plays Rodrigo Borgia and the cast of other main characters is basically his entire family, he has an ex-wife, a mistress, a daughter, and 3 sons.  I highly recommend it and the season 2 finale did not disappoint.  I can’t wait to find out what happens with the cliff hanger that happened and I am very much looking forward to Season 3, just not the waiting for it to start!  I have plenty of other shows to watch we are chugging our way through How I Met Your Mother and I also need to finish the last 2 episodes of The Walking Dead.

That’s all for now, A Bientot

MCE Timeline and The Andromeda Strain

After discussion with my buddy Jim at work he mentioned that Michael Crichton had written several books under pseudonym, at first I was all about including them in the MCE, but after some research I am not willing or able to pay the prices, some of them were upwards of 300 dollars, to get said books.  I actually found about 5 on Abebooks and I have ordered them, and keep an eye out for the others, with Anne doing most of the leg work, since she works at the library and deals with rare books and donations.

Works Published under a pseudonym
1966 – Odds On, as John Lange
1967 – Scratch One, as John Lange
1968 – Easy Go (also Titled The Last Tomb), as John Lange
A Case of Need (re-released as Crichton in 1993) as Jeffery Hudson
1969 – Zero Cool, as John Lange ( found and bought)
The Venom Business, as John Lange
1970 – Drug of Choice, as John Lange
Dealing, as Michael Douglas (With brother Douglas Crichton)
Grave Descend, as John Lange
1972 – Binary, as John Lange ( re-released as Crichton in 1993)

For Crichton’s lesser know works that were published under a pseudonym I will be finding those that I can, reading, and blogging about them.  But many of them are out of the price range I am willing to pay.  For example, the cheapest price I could find for his very first novel Odds On, published as John Lange, was $ 325 dollars.  Many others were in the $ 75 – 100 dollar price range and that is just too rich for my blood.  I found several of these books for an affordable price and have ordered them, but I will be focusing on his main works that were published as Michael Crichton.  The two novels that were re-released under Crichton in 1993 I will be reading once I chronologically reach that year.

I will be following the timeline below for my blog

1969 – The Andromeda Strain
-I picked up a first edition of the novel with a decent dust jacket, first printing as well for $20 with shipping.  I also bought the movie and the miniseries that were made based on the novel.  I thought there were two versions of the movie, but apparently they just put a new cover on the original and re-released it in 2003, so I bought 2 copies of the DVD like a boss.  I have already initiated the return of one of the DVDs, the one I haven’t received and opened yet of course.  I think I have read this novel before and I know the basic plot of it, but it has been a long time.  There are quite a few tidbits about every book from Michael Crichton’s Official Site (MichaelCrichton.com), including notes from Crichton himself.  So I will briefly discuss each of them in this timeline I am putting together for the Michael Crichton Experience.

The Andromeda Strain was written while MC was still in Harvard Medical School and because of the way it was written and the time period in which it was released many people thought that the book was true.  The Andromeda strain has had quite an impact on popular culture since its release and the term even became synonumous with whatever new disease was considered to be the next threat to mankind.  In Crichtons notes on the book from his official site he talks about how the idea for the book started with the title.  He thought The Andromeda Strain was a great title for a book but had no story to go along with it.  The idea for the story eventually came from a scholarly book called The Major Features of Evolution by George Gaylord Simspon.  There was a footnote in the book which said that no one had ever used the organisms that are in the upper atmosphere to make science fiction story.  Crichton accepted this challenge and rest is history.  I wont bore you with the rest of MC’s notes on the book you can go check them out yourself on his website, they are very interesting though and you should give them a read if the occasion strikes you.

My reading of The Andromeda Strain will commence once I finish the current book I am reading, IT, by Stephen King.  I will be watching the movie and mini-series based on The Andromeda Strain after I have finished reading the novel, and make one big post once they have all been read and watched.  The following is the order in which I will be reading and watching all things Crichton, I will post a copy of the Timeline on the Michael Crichton Experience page of my blog for your viewing pleasure.

1970 – 5 Patients The Hospital Explained (Non-Fiction)

1972 – The Terminal Man

1972 – Pursuit (Made for TV Movie)

1973 – WestWorld (Film)

1973 – Extreme Close up (Screenplay)

1975 – The Great Train Robbery

1976 – The Eaters of the Dead

1977 – Jasper Johns (Non-Fiction)

1978 – Coma (Film)

1980 – Congo

1981 – Looker (Film)

1983 – Electronic Life (Non- Fiction)

1984 – Runaway (Film)

1987 – Sphere

1988 – Travels (Non-Fiction)

1989 – Physical Evidence (Film)

1990 – Jurassic Park

1992 – Rising Sun

1993 – A Case of Need (Re-Released as Michael Crichton)

1993 – Binary (Re-Released as Michael Crichton)

1994 – Disclosure

1995 – The Lost World

1996- Airframe

1996 – Twister (Screenplay)

1999 – Timeline

2002 – Prey

2004 – State of Fear

2006 – Next

2009 – Pirate Latitudes

2011 – Micro (Unfinished) with Richard Preston

The Michael Crichton Experience

I am starting a new project on my blog, I guess I could refer to it as my bloject, in which I will be reading the works of Michael Crichton.  I had been using his official website as a reference on how I was going to undertake my journey and I plan on doing it chronologically, but after a discussion with my friend Jim, who just came back to work this week after having a new baby, I found out that Crichton had published several books under a pseudonym.  I immediately decided that I must of course include these other books and writings in my new bloject.  But after some research and looking at the prices of some of these apparently rare to find books, I will not be paying over 100 dollars for some of these, one of them was even 325.  I will of course keep my eye out for these books and I will get Anne, my mother in law who volunteers at the library in Boise, to help me, but for now I will follow a more rigid path of his work that wont cost me thousands of dollars to complete.

On a side note my buddy Jim is doing his own bloject through the works of Stephen King and his website can be found here, 1 page at a time.

I am still finalizing the timeline for my readings and watching  so I will hopefully have that up on here by the end of the week.  I received the Andromeda Strain mini series and more recent movie in the mail today, and once I get the book and the older movie I will post a pic of the set.  I will hopefully be started on this project sooner than later, but first I must finish Stephen King’s IT, which is starting to get quite amazing.  Time to go read!