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Book log

2010.10.19 01:10:13

The idea behind this thread is very simple. I read a book, I post something about it here. At the very least it will serve a reminder as to which titles should be reviewed when I get some free time. It will also serve as a black list, since many books out there are so bad that writing a full-scale review for them would be an outrageous waste of time.

So, let's get started.

Next by Michael Crichton. Science fiction? Cynical, occasionally very funny, recognizable when it comes to people and places. It's an "issue novel" about genetic engineering. I normally don't like issue novels. They tend to revolve around some pivotal point, a problem they go on and on about, often without getting anywhere. Next fares a bit better. It has an interesting plot and make very valid observations about the subject. Not imaginative enough to be called science fiction or cyberpunk (biopunk?), it's till a good book.

The City of Lies by Ursula K. Le Guin. Worth reading if just for the rare sense of intangible magic, of a huge unexplored world filled with mysteries the book captures so well. Science fiction. Very well written. Not a work of applied philosophy like, for example, The Dispossessed, but moderately thoughtful and quite interesting story-wise. It's a story of a journey.

Travels of Ion Tichy by Stanislav Lem. Reading currently. Hilarious science fiction satire. I've just finished the first story, which is the only good story about time travel I've ever read.

2010.11.17 02:11:53

I'm on a SF streak.

Non-Stop by Brian Aldiss. Rather weak SF book about people on a long journey in a big spaceship. It's one of those novels where most of the "suspense" comes from the fact that the setting is strange and we aren't offered explanations of why until the very end.

Ensign Flandry by Poul Anderson. Meh, the book describes random heroics of some guy on a planet with several alien life forms. Pretty shallow read. To much action, not enough meaning.

Many short stories. Some by Asimov, some by Lem. A few by other authors, but those were mostly bad. Short stories are more difficult to write that it may look like. I recently bought a book "The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year" from 2004 (volume 2). I wanted to discover some new authors to read, but most of the stories there were garbage. The three good ones were from very well-established writers.