Still Sorting

Still sorting my extraneous books, that is. I have fewer ‘junk’ books than I thought — self-published tomes of dubious literary merit. I like the suggestion from C.E. Petit about books for soldiers, and will send some that-a-way.

Some quick takes on recent reading (see thumbnails at right): John Scalzi’s books are fun, easy reads, very much what I’ve been thinking of as basic ‘meat and potatoes’ SF, the kind of books that readers not versed in the genre can pick up and enjoy. Not serious attempts to imagine a far future; there are plot points in the latest book that key off wireless devices and version tracking, very 2008ish.

I similarly enjoy Jack McDevitt, but cringed more than once at Cauldron, apparently the concluding volume in his sequence about the Academy, a future in which humankind is losing interest in interstellar space travel, despite various mysteries. Half the book is spent inventing a better space drive, since the one established in earlier books doesn’t allow the plot the reach the galactic center; once acquired, the better space drive allows voyagers to tie up, more or less, loose ends from previous books involving chindis and omega clouds; but their adventures key off, no kidding, a giant snake and an eyeball in a cloud. Mm, OK, I guess.

Thumbs up along with everyone else to Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother, which I don’t need to describe. I will note that, re posts I’ve seen about finding the book in stores, that I did in fact *look* for the book in YA sections of Barnes & Noble and Borders, 3 times in the week after its publication date of April 29th, and still couldn’t find it; I did finally see it in stores this week, 2 or 3 copies spine-out, rather than face-out, in the YA section (not in the SF section). Given the buzz — and the fact that it is a very good, and timely, book, I’d expected more — big stacks on the front table at Borders, like.

More on Le Guin and Winterson next time. Reading next: Sarah Hall, Karen Joy Fowler.

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