Thursday, May 02, 2013

What I read -- April 2013



“Alabaster: Wolves” by Caitlin Kiernan, Steve Lieber, Rachelle Rosenberg, Rachel Edidin. Wow. I tend to avoid reading comics because they go by too fast. I don’t feel like I’m doing the story justice, but I don’t know how to slow down. It’s probably a “money’s worth” thing, which is stupid. I didn’t know anything about Dancy Flammarion prior to buying this.

“Directive 51” John Barnes. When Ed finished this, he said it was a great read. When I mentioned I had picked it up (he left it on the kitchen table – what else was I supposed to do?) he said it was Meh. But it was too late. I’d already read 100 pages. I found there to be a tremendous amount of “as you know, Bob” dialog, and the constitution was sort of the main character, which is kind of dry. It’s a disaster novel where a collective called “Daybreakers” have unleashed stuff to destroy all oil and plastic. Unfortunately we didn’t follow many of those characters past p. 160, so they could see the error of their ways. The author sure thought highly of small-town America! There were some interrogation scenes with one of them that were my favorite parts of the book. But the thing that drove me nuts was that all their electronics failed, but the only clothing they had any problem with was the occasional shoe. No one opened their closet to find that their stretch jeans were now 97% cotton, 3% slime, or their microfiber tee had disintegrated, or their acrylic sweater was a lump, or their sports bra didn’t support anymore. I guess I’m the fiber equivalent of a gun or horse nut?

“Errantry” by Elizabeth Hand. I probably wouldn’t have bought this if I hadn’t bought Jagganath back in December. But then Amazon kept sending me brilliant emails telling me what other books I needed, and I thought to myself, “what, do you guys read Locus?” The stories are fabulous – elegantly written, but like for grown-ups. And so subtle. I loved this book. I loved “Winter’s Wife” and “Return of the Fire Witch” the best, maybe. I’m so glad I bought this book. I want to read it again right now, actually, but I should probably read something else first.

“Penelopiad” by Margaret Atwood. Does she always have the copyright assigned to W.O.Toad? At Ad Astra’s SpecFicQA panel, Peter Halasz said this was MA’s best book. So, I read it. The voice was brilliant. I wish I could pull something like that off.

“At the Mouth of the River of Bees” by Kij Johnson. Everyone I give “26 monkeys” to loves it, and everyone I give “Ponies” to gets really mad at me. I loved what my sister said – “I was so angry I almost cried. Why would anyone want to write something like that?” But OMG so effective. The new-to-me story that I loved the best might have been “Schrodinger’s Cathouse”. For some reason I love forcing KJ stories on people, and I forced this one on Ed and the boy. Also awesome was “The Cat Who Walked a Thousand Miles”. While I really liked the one about the dogs, it doesn’t seem like the story for everyone.

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