Books read, June 2013
Did a reasonable amount of reading while I was at TIP — at least before my brain liquified to the point where I spent most of my evenings watching Doctor Who on my tablet. 🙂
The Lightning Thief, Rick Riordan. Made a concerted effort to read some more of the books I thought my students might be familiar with, starting with this one. It was a fun read, and definitely better than the movie. I might try his Egyptian series; I know kurayami_hime really likes that one, and it’s ground I’ve been over fewer times than Greek mythology is.
Feed, M.T. Anderson. SF quasi-dystopia, in that the society it describes sounds absolutely dreadful to me, but isn’t actually designed as a “X is forbidden and the government controls Y” kind of setting. I wanted it to do more: the protagonist’s interactions with Violet start hinting at a very interesting larger picture, but then it backs away from that in favor of dragging me through the (intentionally) excruciating progress of their relationship. Emotionally intense, but it ended up being too focused on its own navel to really work for me.
The House of the Scorpion, Nancy Farmer. Also an SF dystopia, but not of the standard-issue sort, which makes it much more interesting. Main character is a clone raised for his body parts (to help keep a rich dictator alive), and escapes that horrible place to a neighboring country, which turns out to be horrible in different ways. Enjoyed this one, but genre-wise it’s not quite my cup of tea, so I’m not sure if I’ll read the sequel or not.
The Tropic of Serpents, Marie Brennan. As usual, my own books don’t count. Re-read this preparatory to being sent the copy-edited manuscript, which I’m working through now.
Clockwork Phoenix 4, ed. Mike Allen. Full disclosure: I’m in this one. And it’s on sale as of a few days ago. The series continues strongly; there were a couple of stories in here that got too baroque for my taste, but there were also some fantastic pieces. I particularly liked “Happy Hour at the Tooth and Claw,” by Shira Lipkin, and “The Old Woman With No Teeth,” by Patricia Russo; also, “The History of Soul 2065” by Barbara Krasnoff made me cry. Like, outright cry. It’s a good thing the lobby of the dorm was empty at the time, so I didn’t have to explain myself.
Subterranean, Fall 2012 Not a novel, but big enough that I’ll count it as an anthology. “African Sunrise” by Nnedi Okorafor was interesting, but I felt it wandered and lost focus after the first part. “Game” by Maria Dahvana Headley was very cool, even if I’m not entirely sure what was going on toward the end. 🙂 “Two-Stone Tom’s Big T.O.E.” by Brian Lumley was like a throwback to the fifties, and not in a good way: characters who speak half their dialogue with exclamation marks while expositing on the plot, a female character whose narrative function is to shriek in fear and cling to the male character’s arm, and an ending so hackneyed, it doesn’t even succeed at hipster-ironic hackney-dom. It was a relief to go onto “When the Shadows Are Hungry and Cold,” by Kealan Patrick Burke, which was depressing in a kind of nihilistic way, but vastly better than the story before it.
Subterranean, Winter 2013 Ditto the above. (I was on a plane, and reading the random ebooks I had on my tablet.) “The Boolean Gate” by Walter Jon Williams was an interesting bit of speculative historical fiction about Samuel Clemens and Nikola Tesla; I quite enjoyed it. “Hard Silver” by Steven R. Boyett appears to be Lone Ranger fanfic, though it never uses the names; it was good, but I wanted a bit more from the ending. “Raptors,” by Conrad Williams, was a disappointment to me: too Manic Pixie Dream Vampire Raptor Thingy. (And improvement over Manic Pixie Dream Girl, I’ll grant, but still.)
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