Thursday, May 30, 2013

Book Review: Cold Days by Jim Butcher

515 pp.

In Cold Days, Harry slowly recovers from the events of Ghost Story. He’s helped along by Queen Mab, whose idea of physical therapy involves periodically attempting to kill him (and unintentionally quoting The Princess Bride). Also present is a young woman named Sarissa, who works for the Winter Court. Once he’s back on his feet, he’s given the task of killing an immortal, something he’s had previous experience doing, but this particular job comes with a number of fun complications. (Yes, things more complicated than attempting to kill an immortal.)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Reading: Godstalk, by P.C. Hodgell Part One

I first found Godstalk back when I was still in high school. It took me a long time to get around to reading it, however. I am an extremely finicky reader, so it took me a while to decide to read it. It also took me a while to fall in love with it. Godstalk is a strange and quirky novel in which the writer does some fun things with various Sword and Sorcery and High Fantasy tropes. Godstalk has a war of Ultimate Good and Ultimate Evil, but the forces of good have had a thirty thousand year losing streak, and they kind of have it in for the God that gave them the job of fighting the Ultimate Evil. (They are mostly still fighting only because of extreme stubbornness.) And the forces of evil aren’t so much Evil as they are alien and inimical to the realities they’re invading.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Book Review: Songs of the Earth by Elspeth Cooper

467 pp.

Songs of the Earth is a slightly derivative high fantasy of the kind where magic users are persecuted by a pseudo-Christian capital-C Church. (I am in general not very impressed by Fantasy Pseudo-Christian Capital-C Churches. I am particularly unimpressed when it is also mentioned that the persecution is a fairly recent thing that happened after years of having magic users fighting for the Church.) Despite the persecution, the magic users do their best to protect the world from the entities that lie beyond “the Veil” in the reality next door to their own.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Book Review: The Rapture of the Nerds by Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross

349 pp.

The Rapture of the Nerds is one of those books where I am pretty sure it’s supposed to be funny, but none of the jokes hit my funny bone. This is a post-Singularity novel where a good portion of humanity have “uploaded” and left Earth. The rest of the world is pretty okay with this state of affairs except for the USA which has been engaged in the kind of isolationist policy where you actively try to murder anyone who gets within range of your AI-run defense systems.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Outlined: Dreamsnake by Vonda McIntyre

Dreamsnake is an expansion of Vonda McIntyre’s award winning novella, “Of Mist and Grass and Sand.” It’s a post-apocalyptic story about a healer named “SNAKE,” who uses snakes as part of her work. (She is not a faith healer or “snake handler.” She uses genetically engineered snakes as a kind of living hypodermic needle for chemotherapy, and uses their venom to create medicines and vaccines.) When one of her snakes is killed, a rare, alien snake whose venom acts as a kind of sedative, she goes on a quest of sorts to get a new one.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Book Review: The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord

Del Rey
307 pp.

The Best of All Possible Worlds involves a science fiction setting vaguely reminiscent of Ursula LeGuin’s Hainish novels (mostly because the worldbuilding involves a loose federation of related humanoid species). Our protagonist is a woman named Delarua who has the task of assisting refugees settling on her home planet. During the course of the novel, she has various adventures and eventually enters a relationship with one of the refugees, a man named Dllenanakh. She also gets into a nasty family situation and an even nastier political one.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Reading Homestuck Part Thirty Nine: ==> John: Start handing out rabbits!

From here to here.

CG trolls John and gives John more information about what is going to happen next. John would like to wait before starting the Reckoning, but CG says that there is no way to stop it. He also complains that John is going to be doing something stupid with rabbits at some point in the near future. John asks CG what makes the kids session go so badly. CG’s answer is that “Jack Noir” is the reason why the session goes badly and subsequently ruins CG’s session.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Reading: Telempath, by Spider Robinson, Part Six

Spider Robinson makes some jarring narrative decisions throughout the book! The most jarring for me has to be the end of chapter fifteen where Isham is in too big of a hurry to explain why he’s on “red alert” and why he’s summoned a Musky cavalry but has enough time to dispense a lecture about using grain alcohol as a fuel instead of gasoline. (Robinson is often info dumpy in this way, but this was particularly dumpy.)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Manga Review: Kamisama Kiss Volume Eleven, Julietta Suzuki

Buy on Amazon. Volume eleven of Kamisama Kiss opens with a slight misunderstanding concerning weddings! Nanami agrees to perform a wedding at the shrine contingent on Tomoe’s approval. Somehow, this becomes “Nanami is going to ask Tomoe to marry her!” This results in the usual fight between Mizuki and Tomoe. Things get straightened out though everyone is a little perturbed when Nanami declares that she is never going to get married anyway. It turns out that the marriage she’s agreed to perform is the future marriage of Himemiko and her human boyfriend. This is not a match that Tomoe anticipates ever working out, but Nanami does not see a problem with it.