Aug. 2nd, 2017

jazzfish: Owly, reading (Owly)
I'm reading again. I like that, a lot.

What are you reading right now?

Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee, sequel to last year's Ninefox Gambit. Complex space opera, based around the idea that consensus belief ("the calendar") can shape quantum physics to allow for sufficiently advanced technology. Twisty and moves fast. It's labeled as "Book Two of 'Machineries of Empire'" but Ninefox functioned as a standalone, so I'm hoping Raven will as well. (The 'bound book-fragment' mode of SF/F publishing cannot die fast enough.)

Also, in ebook when I've not got a hardcopy with me, Full Fathom Five, the third of Max Gladstone's Craft novels. I think it was about midway through the second that I recognised that these are basically detective novels or films noir set in an industrial/urbanized fantasy world. I'm enjoying them.

What did you just finish reading?

First reread of the aforementioned Ninefox Gambit, in the hope that it will stick in my head a little better this time. I remembered most of the high points, but not really how the ending shook out.

And last night I reread Le Guin's Very Far Away From Anywhere Else, because it's always a gut-punch. It's about being lonely, and feeling stuck, and the sheer crushing despair that comes when you get what you've needed and then lose it again through what's clearly your own fault. Now that I'm mostly out the other side I can empathise a lot with Owen's depiction of "the fog". Also, I'd forgotten that Natalie plays the viola.

The book's not perfect: it's stuck in its characters' and culture's notions of sex, and the ending (the very ending) doesn't quite work for me. But it does so much so well for me that I can forgive it all of that. I would dearly love to acquire a first edition: my flimsy early-2000s paperback is perfectly functional but the people on the cover bear absolutely no resemblance to Owen and Natalie.

(Oh, Tucker. 2013: "I seem to have a very strong internal prohibition against talking about Very Far, about the things in it that spoke to me." Well. I understand that better now, at least.)

Before that, Martha Wells's final Raksura duology, The Edge of Worlds / Harbors of the Sun. Good but not great? I wanted more Raksura, mostly, and less of the groundlings. To the left, the half-Fell swarm were easily worth the price of admission all by themselves; I sniffled a bit every time Consolation was onscreen, I think. The foundation builders' artifact came across as sufficiently creepy, as well. The pacing felt a little off at the ending, in the same way that The March North did the first time I read it: "we have finished dealing with the Major Threat but there's still a quarter of the book left in which we talk about the aftermath."

What do you think you'll read next?

Freedom and Necessity, I think. Then, who knows? I may start in on the Great Big Dragaera Reread, I've not reread most of those since Issola came out.


jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Tucker McKinnon

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Adventures in Mamboland

"Jazz Fish, a saxophone playing wanderer, finds himself in Mamboland at a critical phase in his life." --Howie Green, on his book Jazz Fish Zen

Yeah. That sounds about right.

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