Monday, February 11, 2008

Yup. Still Reading.

  • Joe Haldeman's The Forever War
  • Ian McEwan's The Comfort of Strangers

The Forever War is one of the more memorable skiffy books I've ever read. This time around I liked the narrative voice, the character Mandella. But most of all I liked the blow-your-mind temporal scale of the book and the way Haldeman zeroes in on his idea of what it means to be human by stripping away customs and, with technology, natural limits. He was way ahead of Sterling and the pack with ideas of post-human. Yeah, it's episodic, characters other than the narrator are so sketchy as to be non-existent, and sometimes you get the boring bits meant for Analog readers. But this is still one of my favorite skiffy books. If you want to see what skiffy does that virtually no other sort of fiction does, try this one.

The Ian McEwan book was really cool -- sort of crime/psychological horror/Gothic novel about a couple at loose-ends and their encounter with Depravity in a foreign land. Unfortunately, at the turning point in the story, I couldn't see how the characters were motivated other than by thematic imperative. I'd recommend if you're a fan of McEwan. Otherwise, try Saturday first (then maybe you'll be a fan, like me).

I'm still reading It's Superman! by Tom De Haven. I'm also reading around in the ginormous Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps. I'll never be able to finish this monstrosity, esp. since I've checked it out of the library, but it sure is a cool book.

I'm also still reading my novel in manuscript. Onward Dante.

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