60 Followers
29 Following
wealhtheow

wealhtheow

Currently reading

The Theory of the Leisure Class (Modern Library Classics)
Thorstein Veblen, Alan Wolfe
The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume 3 - Jonathan Strahan,  Ted Chiang,  Garth Nix,  Holly Phillips,  Stephen Baxter,  Stephen King,  Robert Reed,  Meghan McCarron,  Joan Aiken,  Margo Lanagan,  Ted Kosmatka,  Kij Johnson,  Elizabeth Bear,  Rachel Swirsky,  Greg Egan,  Hannu Rajaniemi,  Maureen F. McHugh,  M. Ri Pretty good, but as always a mixed bag.

The good or thought-provoking:
Ted Chiang's "Exhalation," in which a world of wind-up robots realizes that their very acts of moving, thinking and talking is slowly ending their universe.

Peter S. Beagle's "Uncle Chaim and Aunt Rifke and the Angel," is a fantastic character study and slice-of-life of mid-century Jewish New Yorkers.

Paolo Bacigalupi's "The Gambler," about a Vietnamese immigrant's career as a journalist. He has one last chance to tell a sensational story.

Paul Mcauley's "The Thought War," about a zombie invasion that's really reality changing with observation.

Meghan McCarron's "The Magician's House," about a teenaged girl learning magic. Very different view on magic and how it could be taught.

Margo Lanagan's "Machine Maid," is about a new bride who finds that her wind-up maid is her key to escaping her husband.

Greg Egan's "Crystal Nights" is a great story because the main character misses so much, even while other characters clearly understand what's going on. A dot-com gazillionaire tries to create AI through directed evolution within a computer.

Hannu Rajaniemi's "His Master's Voice," is like Homeward Bound crossed with nannites. A cat and a dog strive to bring their master back to life.


The ones that annoyed me, or were just plain bad:
Jeff Vandermeer's "Fixing Hanover" is about an engineer who fled his empire when he found out what his inventions were being used for. Years later, he makes a living as an unrespected handyman. But then he repairs one too many things, and the empire comes back again...Could have been good, but the only characterization we have in regards to the main character is that the hottest chick in the village has sex with him all the time and everyone's really jealous. Seriously, that's all we're shown about this man, who's supposedly wracked with shame over the wars he helped win. Vandermeer has consistently disappointed me.

John Kessel's "Pride and Prometheus" is a shameless attempt to write Frankenstein fanfic while pretending it has something to do with Austen. He seems to have randomly decided that Mary Bennet is an inquisitive naturalist, held back only by her foolish family's sexism. Cuz that totally jives with her actual source material! The story itself is not nearly good enough to warrant the use of Austen and Shelley's characters--it's basically just Mary, Frankenstein, and the monster talking to each other.

Kij Johnson's "26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss." Too weird and senseless for me.