Vive Finland!

I'm so damn The current mood of augustdreams at www.imood.com

A whole lot of American horror movies are banned in Finland. The poor, sheltered masses therein have yet to see "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". (I'll leave it to you to decide if they're missing out or not...) I recently found another movie which is banned there, the imaginitively titled 1970's killer snake flick, "Sssssss". That movie's moniker makes one question whethere the titular menace will be a snake...or the horror of a slow leak in a helium-filled balloon.

Well, that got me to thinking. Maybe Finland doesn't have anything against horror movies, but is against crappy movies in general! Just imagine. A country where no one would be forced to suffer through "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer", "They Nest" or any movie starring Shirley Temple as a precocious orphan. God bless you, Finland. For you are a lone voice in the wilderness, crying out against lousy movies!

While we're on the topic of horror, the book I'm currently reading, "Utopia", is about an amusement park which is run almost exclusively by computers and autonomous robots. It's taken over by mercenaries who use their control of the computers to blackmail the park's rich owners. Far-fetched, to be sure. But it's a great cautionary tale. Technology marches on, and more often than not, that's a good thing. But I think sometimes people forget that our modern technology exists because we created it, to make life easier! I was recently at the library trying to return a book that they kept insisting I didn't actually have, because the computer said I didn't! Standing right there, with the book in my hand, they still looked upon me with suspicion. I love computers, but it's the human beings at their keyboards who really count. Anyway, I recommend the book, especially if you like thrillers in the style of "Jurassic Park".

I was happy to see Lincoln Child wrote it on his own, without his usual co-author, Douglas Preston. He's got a real flair for characterization and making you believe in his science. That's another way that it compares with "Jurassic Park", you truly believe in the technology of the novel. It seems so chillingly possible. Douglas Preston is a talented writer, but the guy is OBSESSED with Meteors. I slogged through 600+ pages of "The Ice Limit" and "Rip Tide" only to have the old bait and switch pulled on me at the end. Rather than the hinted alien civilization in one novel, and demonic forces in the other, the antagonist in both turns out to be a damned meteor. His saving grace as an author is that he also co-authored "The Relic". I suspect Child was the main creative force behind that one, since the style and dialogue in "Utopia" reminds me very much of the best parts of "The Relic".

Have a great night and thanks for reading!

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