After a long break, I express my annoyance at more books that should have been better. Part of the irregular Duds series (all links at the end). David Abulafia, The Boundless Sea Yes, it won the Wolfson History Prize. Yes, the author is a professional academic, a professor at the University of Cambridge, and a … Continue reading From merely annoying to utter tosh
Another in an irregular series of reviews of books I have not enjoyed. Links to earlier episodes are at the end. Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough, Beyond the Northlands. Viking Voyages and the Old Norse Sagas This book, bought at the British Museum’s bookshop, was so promising, with such a good pedigree: an exciting young(ish) scholar; a … Continue reading Raging aggravations
This is the third in a series (but not necessarily a sequence) of novels about humans who fled a dying Earth and lived for centuries in their spaceships, looking for a new home. The first novel, The Long Way to A Small, Angry Planet, takes place on a spaceship, and the second, A Closed and … Continue reading Becky Chambers, Record of a Spaceborn Few
Two mini reviews of science fiction and fantasy novels by Canadian writers, of Sylvain Neuvel's Sleeping Giants, and Nicholas Eames' Bloody Rose. Sleeping Giants I enjoyed this a LOT. Partly it was the plot: gigantic metallic pieces of what appears to be a body are found buried in remote, and less remote, locations on Earth. … Continue reading Canadian sff: Sleeping Giants, and Bloody Rose
I bought the second Becky Chambers novel first - A Closed and Common Orbit - and that was a mistake, because the first page was so fascinating, yet so obviously needing the back story before I could continue, that I had to find the first novel - The Long Way to A Small Angry Planet … Continue reading Becky Chambers space happiness
Sibyl Sue Blue is a sergeant in the police, a mother and a widow. (Or is she?) When she cruises bars in disguise to picks up the information she needs, she manages to look decades younger than she really is with wigs and makeup (and by choosing rather dim men). She adroitly refuses advances from … Continue reading Sibyl Sue Blue
Ann Leckie’s new novel, following the triumphant success of her multiple award-winning novels Ancillary Justice, Ancillary Sword and Ancillary Mercy, is Provenance, and it is not at the same level. Her invention and world-building are still top quality, but the plot of Provenance sags, and the characters feel like marionettes, moving without feeling. Yet I read to … Continue reading Ann Leckie’s Provenance
Ursula Le Guin has died, and I’m currently living in a different country to all my copies of her books. So I had recourse to my reading diaries to find out what I’d read of her work in the past ten years. Lavinia (2008) This is the only one of Le Guin’s historical fantasy … Continue reading Reading some Ursula Le Guin
Last week I became a company director, of the Handheld Press, because I'm going to publish books. I've been working flat out for several months, doing two jobs at once. Setting up a publishing company takes a lot of administration, as well as starting work, right away! on the first books. I've done pretty much … Continue reading May I introduce you to the Handheld Press?
I did a little frivolous something over on Vulpes Libris to celebrate my undying love for Star Wars, today, on 4th May. May the fourth. May the FOURTH. Oh come on ....