Monday, January 18, 2010

"Sunday Scoop" The Gang's Weekly Column


Hey Guys!  Long time, no post.... Where the heck have we been?

This week, the Scoop is going to be written by me- Dave, as I have some things I'd like to share with you, both good and well, not the best news in the world.

As many of you have probably been wondering, "Where has the Gang been??  No postings for a week?? What's up??"

Here is what has happened, and thank goodness everything seems to have been worked out, at least so far...  This past week, my dad became ill.  Well, it is something we were already aware of, something we had already dealt with, but thought was corrected and not an issue any more. Yes, the very same dad who guest posted last weekend.  I will not bore you with the details, but towards the latter part of the week, he ended up in the hospital, undergoing emergency surgery.  As of today, he is getting better.  It has been a difficult week, and all of my duties (i.e.- work, TLGBRS, family life) have been halted and most of my time has been spent at his side.  Again, good news is he is doing better.  That is why TLGBRS has sort of been MIA.

Now, to lift some spirits back up to where we normally get them, I have some announcements to make and then I want to tell you some good that had come out of my time spent beside my father that I also want to share with you guys as it involves a whole bunch of reading I did.

As far as announcements, and I want to thank him in advance for his patience.  I have made mention to this before, but I want to clarify a bit.  I am honored to have the pleasure to run a "triple threat" with author Frank Beddor, creator of "The Looking Glass Wars".  I will be conducting my interview with Frank tomorrow and then from there, we are going to discuss the "CONTEST" part of the triple threat.  We are not sure if we are going to be giving away a book of Frank's or perhaps something else.  From my understanding of what I know of Frank so far, he seems to be quite a creative guy, so keep your ears open and look for an announcement about what he will have in store for all of us.

Next order of business, our super duper awesome friend Becca Fitzpatrick (you know, the best selling author who is away a Nook with the Gang!!) will also be receiving her interview questions shortly.  She is touring the next week, but at some point soon be able to give us one heck of an interview.  Becca has been overly kind to us ever since our first interaction, and she is also super excited to be an intricate part of the Ginormous Contest we are running.  We have about 3 weeks left to go in the SuPeR NOOK GiVeWaY, so if you have not yet started to spread the word about it, now would be a good time to start. It doesn't hurt that you can get a TON of extra entries for doing so.  If I'm not mistaken, you get +5 for each person you refer to us that mentions you sent them and an even more whopping +20 for purchasing your own copy of "Hush, Hush" and emailing us the receipt.  Time is a tickin away, so if you haven't already, get all the extra entries you can!  Lastly, on the front of "Contests" don't forget that we are also giving away 3 copies of that awesome book "ICECORE" as a part of our triple threat that was hosted by author Matt Whyman.  I want to thank Matt again for agreeing to the interview we posted, and since our interview, I have had a chance to read an ARC of the sequel to Icecore- "GOLDSTRIKE" which was just as awesome as Icecore!  I plan to review that this coming week, perhaps even as early as tomorrow night.

A New Discovery For Dave

Like I mentioned above, this past week has been spent hangin with my dad and basically doing a lot of sitting around, as he really was not able to leave his bed.  On Monday, when my Mom called me to come over and spend time with him while he was laying in bed (hence the "guest post" by my old man), I had first stopped off at Barnes and Noble.  I met one of the book sellers there, coincidentally name Dave, whom I have spotted there before but never really had time to talk to.  I kind of approached him while depressed about my pops and said that I was looking for something "different" to read.  When he asked what I meant, I told him that I had been reading a lot of YA lately and a bunch of "newer" books as I ran a book review site and always wanted to keep up with what was new and fresh out in the market place for you guys.  I had told him that I wanted to read something  I usually don't read to take my mind off of things and anticipating the time I was going to have to spend with my dad over the next week, something I can read and enjoy without having to think about reviewing it.  Something I can get into and just plain out enjoy with no strings attached.  When he asked me what I thought I would enjoy, I thought of the "sci fi" section that I always take a quick glance at, but never really consider doing much about, except for a few rare, solemn occasions.  Once he heard that his eyes seemed to have lit up, almost like I just told a kid that he had won a half hour shopping spree in Toys-R-Us!  Considering me a Sci Fi "Virgin" for lack of better terms, he quickly suggested I start with what he said was the founding father of all Sci Fi, Isaac Asimov.

Having no clue who Isaac Asimov was, I figured if he was that excited over this guy, (I literally had to jog to keep up with him to reach the shelf he knew exactly where to find this guy on) I'd be happy to give it a try.  He had explained that Asimov had written like 30 novels over a 40 year time frame (never mind the hundreds of short stories and other publications I later came to find out about).  He also said that through time, he had gone back and actually put into chronological order his work that was written definitely in no sort of consecutive time effort.  Basically, he wrote many books, than over the years went back and filled in space in between with additions to his series'.  I found this interesting, but also very confusing to a "newbie" like myself.  Never fear, Dave was there to help.  He gave me a book and told me to start with it called "The Caves Of Steel" and if I liked it to call him back and he would further assist me.  Needless to say, I immediately fell in love with Asimov almost immediately and decided to give ol Dave a call.  To my amazement, he said that he absolutely knew I'd be calling and had taken the time to arrange a list of most of the books in the exact chronological order they were meant to be read, had the next few waiting for me, and the rest on order!  What was even more surprising is that I didn't hesitate to shoot down there, pick the next few up, and tell him to call me as soon as the other ones arrived!

Now, I know that some of you are younger than me (I'm 33) and some of you are older, but regardless, I assumed that many of you had not heard of Isaac Asimov, as had it not been for super bookseller "Dave" I know I had never heard the name before.  Most of you know how passionate I am about reading, reviewing, interviewing, and the whole "book" thing in general.  You know that I also always share my feelings with you guys.  I had contemplated sharing this with you as I didn't want to sound all weird about "Sci Fi", but I totally found another of what is now becoming one of my favorite all time authors.  I mean, this guy seriously raised the bar in my mind by A LOT!  The funny thing is that the stories I started with were written in the 50's and 60's, but they were set sooo far in the future that it made no difference whether written in 1952, 2052, or 2552!  His work is absolutely amazing.  His work goes waaayyy beyond Sci Fi.  I mean like discussing civilization, love, deep friendly relationships, and at the same time kept the "sci fi" background the whole time.  An overly deep author, each book was filled with so much meaning and passion that I enjoyed every single page.  I was so impressed with him that I immediately understood why book seller "Dave" had lit up like a light bulb that was just plugged into a 10,000 watt outlet!

I think that I might take the chance and review some of his work here.  Hopefully that is ok with you guys.  Please understand that it is not a flashy new YA novel involving vampires or some other titles that are hot off the press.  These are classics.  Books that every literature enthusiast should indulge in regardless of their preferred "genre" or current "phase" they are going through.  I am surprised I did not learn of Isaac Asimov growing up in any of the literature or other English classes I had taken.  He is definitely in my eyes considered a pioneer.  I can tell for sure that many sci fi authors that have followed have definitely been inspired at some point by his work.

So far this past week while keeping my dad company, (and he did sleep quite often, so I had a good chance to get into these books) I have read what I consider 3 of the best books ever written- "The Caves of Steel", "The Naked Sun",  and "The Robots of Dawn", which make up most of "The Robot Novels".  I just tonight on my way home from my parents stopped at B & N to pick up the next 4 or 5 of the next series, entitled "The Foundation Novels" which are basically known to every Sci Fi enthusiast worldwide.  I also had about 4 or 5 more ordered for me for when these are done!  I apologize for rambling here, but I was very pleased (as pleased as I could be while reading under the circumstances I was) with "Dave's" help and I now must say that I share the same excitement he did when I first met him.  Without a doubt, books I will read many times over my lifetime.  

That's basically what's been on my mind that I wanted to share with you guys.  I hope you all understand my lack of attention to the site this past week, but for the good of all "reading" in general, I will say that I was very pleased with my discovery.  Like I had said, I think as long as it is ok with you guys, I'm going to take a shot at sharing at least one of his books with you in a review, possibly the first 3 in the Robot Novels I have read so far.  This is something I have never done before as many of you know.  I have never reviewed more than 1 book in a series, nor have I reviewed any books by the same author, or in the same series back to back.  There is no doubt in my mind that if anyone deserves the honor of my first, it is Isaac Asimov.  Here are some pictures of the first 3 books I have read so far.  Incidentally, I am willing to bet a good buck that most, if not all of you have seen Asimov's work without knowing it was his.  2 of his books have been released in "movie" form and have hit the big screen hard.  "I, Robot" starring Will Smith, and "Bicentennial Man" with Robin Williams were both books originally written by Asimov, and from what I understand, not too far off from the movie depictions.  I am going to guess that a whole bunch of you (who have toughed it out and read this far in the Scoop are saying to yourselves right now, "No kidding!  I had NO idea!" (Sorry, had to amuse myself on that one as it is what I said when I found that out!)  Ok, here are the covers of the 3 I have knocked out so far in order of their chronology:

See Ya Soon!



  1. I was just in a used book store and I think I saw those books! I will have to return this week and pick them up. I love sci-fi and all things related.
    I think it's fitting that they were written in the 50's/60's, that is the decade(s) that Star Trek was developed. People back then seemed to have a very idealistic and imaginative vision of what the future could hold.
    Thanks for the referral and I hope your father recovers quickly.

  2. Best regards to your dad, Dave :o)

  3. Glad to hear that your dad is doing better.
    And YAY! I am SO psyched that you discovered Assimov!! He really is amazing, isn't he? I absolutely ADORE him, and I am SO glad that you have been reading and loving it! I do hope that you will post some of those reviews. :-)

  4. I did notice that you guys were not around.
    I am so glad your father is recovering nicely.
    I'm glad I have read this write up. I have not heard of Isaac Asimov either and now, I am on the look out.
    Take care.

  5. Thanks for intruducing us to another brilliant writer. I hope things get back to normal soon at your house and that your dad recovers quickly. We've been keeping you all in our thoughts.

  6. My best wishes go to your dad, as well as your entire family. I'm happy he's on the road to recovery.

    As for Asimov, I've never heard of him. I have seen both I, Robot and Bicentennial Man, so I'll have to look into it. I've never been a huge sci-fi fan, so that explains why I never heard of him, but I may check out some of his stuff now.

  7. Thanks for all your kind words guys. The are greatly appreciated. Pops is doing a bit better. Lots of bed rest. He had surgery on his neck, which is always dangerous. It was somewhat of a success, but if it doesn't fully "take" within a week or so, another one is in the horizon. Either way, I appreciate all of you who have sent your regards, and I will be sure to pass them on (even though I know my dad secretly checks out the site in it's entirety quite often, but don't tell him I know that!). Thanks again and I hope all of you will take a quick peek at something of Asimov's. It will definitely be worth the time.

    Until next time,


  8. HIHI my first time reading one of your reviews and i like the way you put what u really think in your reviw......i wll have to check our these books they sound good...
    Hope your dad fells better:)

  9. It is so hard for me to find good Sci-fi. Being much older than you I had heard of Asimov but never considered reading him and never knew anything about his books. Looks like I need to check out my library. Thanks Dave. We need to introduce our students to some of these classics

  10. Glad you are all back! Glad good ol dad is well. I am not much younger but Its great to know about an old but great series. THANK YOU

  11. I kind of like how the Sci-fi genre is trying to re-label itself as "speculative fiction", because that is the aspect of the genre that appeals the most to me- you set up conditions for society very different from what we are familiar with, and then see how human nature plays out.

    I cannot express strongly enough how very important I feel it is that we not lose touch with the great writers of the past, of every genre. Please review what I like to call "dead authors"- they have a lot to offer.

    Finally, I *heart* Isaac Asimov!

  12. OMG, I have an "antique" copy of a few of these books, Dave! Isaac is the best!
    Thanks for sharing,
    Betty Dravis

  13. I meant "antique copies"

    Sorry... Betty

  14. I hope your dad feels better. :)

  15. I'm glad your dad is feeling better and that you found some great books to take your mind off things. I hope one I'll read a book by Isaac Asimov, I've watched Bicentennial Man and I love it , so I can just imagine how much more I would love reading the book.