I got sucked into making nonsense podcasts using nodeJS and eleventy, Breath of the Wild for another 20 hours or so, rearranging the house for 2 WFHers, and just generally freaking out. So what I read was mostly the labels on cans of beans and tomatoes.
But also about 3 percent of this A. Reynolds novel I still haven’t convinced myself to quit and the first (dull!) chapter of the latest N. Stephenson. That’s what counts for progress around here.
The New Voices of Science Fiction, Hannu Rajaniemi (ed.) Some good stories, some not as good. A week later, nothing stands out as memorable. Wait, yes. “Secret Life of Bots” by Suzanne Palmer. Won a Hugo (as did a couple others I think). That one I remember being really fun.
That’s it. I’m mired in an Alistair Reynolds book that I haven’t decided to give up on, yet, and the free copy of Borne I got, which is okay, but requires sort-of slower, closer reading. Feels more like work than fun, so I don’t do it as often.
- Agency, William Gibson. Wm.G. doesn’t write vital books anymore, he writes William Gibson books. Like U2 doesn’t release vital records, now. They just got really good at making U2 records. Maybe you like ’em, maybe not. Maybe it’s… (hate to say)… tedious.
- The Quantum Thief, Hannu Rajaniemi. H.R,. on the other hand, is writing b a n a n a s fiction. I almost gave up on this as too wacky. I wish I were 15 again and there was no internet and not enough books so you just read the ones you had, over and over. This needs to be read over and over.
- The Forever War, Joe Haldeman. A supposed “classic” from the Vietnam era. I knew I wouldn’t like it; I roll my eyes at pretty much all fawning-over-the-military sci-fi. I was right. I’m stunned that Scalzi wrote a worshipful intro for a recent reprint. “The UN forced the planet’s men to live `homolife`!” Okay, sure. That’s how it works. Yep. (If you read it as a right-wing “this is what will happen if you don’t vote for Goldwater!”, it’s still f-ing stupid.)
- Full Throttle, Joe Hill. Stephen King’s son writes modern-era Stephen King stories. I stopped halfway through.
Somehow that’s all I read but I feel like I’ve been going non-stop all month. I’m 33% into another A. Reynolds monster (the sequel to Blue Remembered Earth) it’s good but a bit of a slog. Maybe that’s it.
Medallion Status, John Hodgman. I’m going to automatically 4- or 5-star anything from the Judge on principal. I think I might’ve liked Vacationland, his last, a little more than this one, but then we saw him perform “Vacationland” as a live performance, so maybe that’s tilting the scales a little.
Also: the hook that organizes this book is airplane travel, and I intentionally held off reading until I was on a plane. Length of book and flight matched almost perfectly. I was 5 pages from the Acknowledgements when the row in front of me started de-planing. If I hadn’t been pinning my stepson into the window seat, I’d have let the remaining passengers skip me, sitting there for another 3 or 4 minutes, to finish it up, just because.
Midnight Riot, Peter Grant. Last month, I said of The Municipalists, “Loved the premise (sort-of Laundry Files humor-tech but focused on civil infrastructure instead of Cthulhu.)” This is even more like the Laundry Files, supernatural-wise… but without the tech. Or the humor, really. Saw this recommended by a Londoner and with the very detailed descriptions of London neighborhoods and transport, maybe being a Brit is required context. DNF but strangely, would recommend.
In Xanadu, Lavie Tidhar. A short story that is hopefully a prologue for something bigger. AIs and interplanetary computer hidey-holes. Fun. (read free @ Tor)