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A surprisingly pleasant Tuesday

It was supposed to be raining and dripping all day today, but apparently all the precipitation went else where and we wound up with a really nice day instead. Also, I have leftover pizza in the fridge for dinner. Booya.


Well, that was a disappointment. stuckintraffik had raved to me about the awesomeness of Ian/Iain Banks, and insofar as he was talking about the Culture novels, he's been absolutely correct. The Crow Road, on the other hand, a mainstream novel about three generations in the life of a Scottish family, is an occasionally amusing story handicapped by frequent shifts in time which make the story harder to follow than it needs to be. I also found the reflexive denigration of the Tories by all and sundry annoying, but YMMV on that score. So, anyway, if you like this sort of thing, then this is the sort of thing you'll probably like.

Not so disappointing, if occasionally just as hard to follow, was Michael Flynn's The January Dancer. Flynn is the co-author (with Niven & Pournelle) of Fallen Angels, the Global Cooling dystopia featuring rampant Tuckerizing, and I was wondering how his chops were without the Big Names helping him out. (I'd been told that his Firestar series was very good, but some things you have to judge for yourself, no?) Anyhow, The January Dancer is about an alien artifact found by a tramp freighter captain on an out-of-the-way planet and the repercussions the artifact has for the several people that wind up owning it - not always pleasant ones, needless to say. It's an interesting and colorful future that the tale is set in, I must say, and I suspect if I knew more about Irish history and culture I'd appreciate that future and its subtleties better, but I don't, and it's good enough as is. Recommended.

Man-Kzin Wars XII is essentially a joint effort by Hal Colebatch and Matthew Harrington (5 of the 6 stories) with an endcap story by Paul
Chafe. Easily as good as the best anthologies in the series, especially with the hilarious "String" which features one of the few examples of interspecies sexual humor in the series along with a shipful of kzinti who are high as kites. If you like the series, this is a must read, and if you're uncertain about the series this is a good place to start.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
harvey_rrit
Sep. 2nd, 2010 07:39 pm (UTC)
I am exceedingly pleased that you liked String.

It started out as a very different plot, which Larry said we couldn't do; Hal had already put in his usual staggering depth of background, so I said, "You know, there was one thing in there..."

The tattoo on the kzin's ear in the last scene, by the bye, is Ozzy Ozbourne.

MJH
wombat_socho
Sep. 2nd, 2010 09:11 pm (UTC)
The Man-Kzin Wars series tends to be SERIOUS BUSINESS, as most combat SF is, but that doesn't mean it can't have some funny stuff in there now and again, and "String" was funny. Looking forward to seeing more of your work in other venues. :)
harvey_rrit
Sep. 3rd, 2010 09:17 pm (UTC)
I have a story coming out in Volume XIII that occurs at ARM HQ, a few months into the Fourth War. Peace Corben, protector, needs something from Marshall Buford Early. He keeps trying to take charge of the situation.

This is not a useful viewpoint when dealing with someone who always has, e.g., the sixteen-ton weight prepared.

I said it in Peace and Freedom: Every human protector is an Olympic-class smartass.

By the bye, have you ever seen the story Soul Survivor? It was in Baen's Universe. It centers around a romance between a ghost and a disabled veteran. (Recommended for a Nebula, but not enough to reach the ballot. Not enough people read that magazine. *sigh*) It has scenes which have made people laugh, cry, and hop up and down in their seats, often on the same page.

I have this recurrent fantasy of seeing it done as a cable miniseries starring John Cusack. No other performer I've seen has the aplomb of a man who's had an atomic bomb dropped on him. :D
wombat_socho
Sep. 4th, 2010 10:43 pm (UTC)
I have not. Now I'm going to have to go look for it.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )