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in a web of glass, pinned to the edges of vision

books begun in June

I'd forgotten how often we saw Magritte

mucha mosaic

books begun in June

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bibliophilia
1: Dragon, Stephen Brust: The brustilivromania continues.
2: Forty Signs of Rain, Kim Stanley Robinson: This one is probably worth waiting for the sequels. It's OK-- but the action doesn't really take off anywhere in the book, and this is disappointing. I've SEEN Robinson write good; so far, this is Robinson setting up good.
3: Wonder Bread & Ecstasy: the Life and Death of Joey Stephano, Charles Isherwood: a sort of bio sort of True Crime thing, about a relatively well-known gay porn icon. Given that I had a thing for Mr. Stephano in the worst possible way, I had to. It's actually pretty well-written.
4: Storm Front, Jim Butcher: Rather a weird thing to read while waiting for the Pride parade to commence, given Jim's own perspective on the world. Very straight fellow. Very nice fellow. This was a re-read: just needed to grab something to stay sane while waiting.
5: Song of Susannah, Stephen King: Dark Tower book 6. Better than book 5 and 4, but not, in my opinion, as enjoyable as 3. Still- darn good stuff. Some of the best writing King's done in years, in my view.
6: Conquistador, S. M. Stirling: I am reminded by this book of the words of Dorothy Parker: 'This is not a book to be set aside lightly. No, it should be thrown, with great force'. DO NOT READ THIS BOOK OH MY GOD NO.
7: Book of Days, Gene Wolfe: Generally, I don't enjoy Wolfe's short fiction. This book is QUITE an exception. I think it was his conceit of trying to write a book of short fiction that all focused around various holidays that made it work: he had an overarcing idea, and therefore, he could write.
8: Castle of the Otter, Gene Wolfe: I don't recommend this one to people who haven't already read the Book of the New Sun. I enjoyed it a lot, but I had context from having read the aforementioned quartet.
9: The Ringworld Throne, Larry Niven: Not one of Niven's better books. Re-read solely because a new Ringworld book is coming, and I realized I didn't remember a page of this one.
10: Spares, Michael Marshall Smith: I Liked Only Forward better. This one sort of derives off the same basic plot construction, which is saddening. It ties off solidly, though-- which is a problem with Only Forward's end.
11: I Am Alive And You Are All Dead: A Journey into the mind of Philip K. Dick, Emmanuel Carrere: It's a PKD bio. Of COURSE I'm reading it.
It also seems to be a somewhat rather well-written one.
12: The Golden Gryphon, ed. Turner & Halpern: an interesting collection of short stories. Nothing to fall all over yourself for, but nothing that sucks.
13: On Pirates, Wm. Ashbless, Tim Powers, & James Blaylock. I love Ashbless' work, and Powers and Blaylock truly edit it well in concert.
14: The Devils In The Details, Powers/Blaylock: A limited press trio of shorts: one written by each of them, and one collaboration. Some very strong stuff in here.
15: Move Under Ground, Nick Mamatas. An intriguing and strange book- a beautiful pastiche-tribute of Lovecraft & Kerouac. Amazingly well-written, and it manages to seamlessly blend these two different voices.
16: The Knight, Gene Wolfe: Eeeh. It's OK. I dunno, I like Wolfe's 'science fantasy' stuff more.
17: Malafrena, Ursula K. LeGuin: First LeGuin I've read that didn't hook me right away. This is going to be a slow one, I can tell.
18: Voice of the Fire, Alan Moore: it's INTERESTING seeing Alan Moore's eye for detail turned to the novel. VERY interesting. I don't know that I'd recommend this to someone who wasn't a fan of his graphic fiction work, but I'm definitely glad I read it.

Chriiipes. So far this year? 66 books.
  • See, what struck me was that Ringworld Throne was just as bad as the framing stories that he's been coming up with for recent re-compilations of his work. F'rinstance, there's one out there called Flatlander that has a terrible short story to 'tie' all the Beowulf Shaeffer stories together.
    Rainbow Mars is all the time-travel stories from 'Flight of the Horse', plus 1 new mediocre story.

    'The Deadlier Weapon' is still fucking out of print.

    He's definitely on his last legs creatively, I fear.
  • Or maybe he's flat broke and is desperately stretching his verbiage. I'd almost rather hope so.
    • Well, given that he inherited a FUCKTON of cash about 30 years back, from all reports, I'm doubting he's flat broke.
  • I disagree about the linking story in the Beowulf Shaeffer collection Crashlander, actually. I think that one starts off interesting, then gets more interesting as it builds to its climax. Sure, the beginning of it suffers some inevitable pacing problems as Shaeffer continually has to tell Ander Smittarasheed about stuff that happened >i>N</i> years ago (the places where the older stories are slammed into the middle of the new one), but that's unavoidable, given the function of the linking story.

    The new tales of Gil the ARM in Flatlander are also pretty interesting. In particular, the funky weapon and murder-method in "The Patchwork Girl" (though the emotions and imagery are also handled quite well there, IMO).

    So anyway, I have my doubts that he's running out of juice; at the moment, I just think he muffed really badly on The Ringworld Throne. And I have my worries for the next Ringworld book, given what you say above.
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