Monday, May 24, 2010

Dani Kollin

Dani Kollin, co-author (with his brother Eytan) of The Unincorporated Man and The Unincorporated War, is an advertising copywriter currently living in Los Angeles. He has also worked as a creative director and copywriter in the print, broadcast and new media fields.

A couple of weeks ago I asked him what he was reading. His reply:
Little Women by Louise May Alcott

Strangely enough this is a book that has been read by almost every American woman (currently past the age of 35) and nary a man. I'm not kidding. Ask ten women in the given age range if they've read it and you'll find that most, at one time, have. Ask any man and you'll find that not only have they not read it but most have never even heard of it! Now I'm not reading it to get in with post 35 sorority. I'm reading it as research. Eytan and I are writing a book that is very female centric and we wanted to get into zeitgeist of what makes women tick. The answer, of course, will not be found in the reading of a single book but my oh my does it begin to open some doors. In fact a few nights ago I got into a heated discussion with a woman about a particular scene as her husband stared at me dumbfounded. Suffice to say, I do take issue with Ms Alcott's writing style which I find too liberal with the use of adverbs and too wrenching when she suddenly throws me back into the author's point of view. It may be that perhaps that was the writing style of the day but it still rankles when even the troglodyte male that I am gets caught up in a scene only to be yanked pell mell from it. All in all though it's been a pleasant and rather informative read.

The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot

I recently finished reading this rather fascinating non-fiction work. The author, now deceased, examines the works of physicist David Bohm, a neurophysiologist who arrived at a holographic theory to explain how memory works and Karl H. Pribram, who arrived (independently) at a similar theory as to how the universe works. Talbot further suggests that those models might also provide some scientific foundation for understanding the paranormal. Talbot's writing style is clear and concise and he's able to explain rather complex theories of modern physics and neuroscience in layman's terms. It can all be taken with a grain of salt -- especially the paranormal part -- but it can't be easily ignored. Talbot's done his homework and whether you agree or disagree with his theories, his arguments are eerily compelling. Highly recommended.

The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCAffrey

In my many interactions with fans and professionals there will always be a number of books whose names keep getting tossed my way, The Ship Who Sang was one of them. It's a delightful and wonderfully thought-provoking read. In short it posits a future in which children born too sickly to live get transferred and ultimately transformed into a space ship. In this way the being grows up with all the cerebral machinations of a human mind but with the appendages of a modern space faring vehicle. On this ship's many missions we get to understand her very human side as she interacts with her usually solo crew members. It's a fascinating concept, wonderfully explored and very well written.
Visit Dani Kollin's blog and The Unincorporated Man website.

--Marshal Zeringue