Hugo shortlist: Novels

Jul. 23rd, 2017 04:50 pm
emperor: (Default)
[personal profile] emperor
I didn't really have enough time to get through the Hugo reading this year, but I did manage to read enough of the shortlisted novels that I voted for them. I voted thus:

  1. A Closed and Common Orbit; I read The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet shortly before the shortlist was announced (and really enjoyed it), which perhaps biased me in favour of this one. That did mean that I knew how one of the story arcs was going to finish, but it was still an engaging read, and I thought the way the author approached neurodiversity was gently but well done
  2. Ninefox Gambit; I would not normally go for military SF, and it did take me a while to get into this, but the author has created a fascinating world, and I really want to find out how the series progresses. Despite being the first in a series, this had a decent narrative arc of its own
  3. All the Birds in the Sky; I wanted to like this, but didn't in the end. The chapters were a bit abrupt, it sometimes felt like it was just being clever, and the magic felt a bit deus ex machina in places. I also found the (inevitable?) romance plot pretty weak. Also, the ending was a bit disappointing.
  4. Too Like the Lightning; I didn't like this at all. The narrator was infuriating, the style affected, the continued harping on about gender irksome, and it didn't even try to come to a natural close, it just stopped. I know there's a sequel, but really.


I didn't read Death's End, because I hated 3-Body Problem; I didn't read The Obelisk Gate because I didn't manage to get hold of a copy (the kindle voter packet only had an excerpt).
ms_prue: (waving)
[personal profile] ms_prue
I have finally typed up my reading notes: 6 A4 hand-written sheets, because the odds of my getting hands on this book again are slim.

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow
was written during WW2 by Marjorie Barnard and Flora Eldershaw, published in censored form in 1947 and republished uncensored in 1983. I discovered it through The Censor's Library which I read late last year and managed to get a copy of the 1983 uncensored edition through interlibrary loan in June. It's considered a work of science fiction because the authors draw the novel's action through to an imagined conclusion to WW2; they finished the work during the war, submitted it for publication but it didn't hit the shelves until the war was over, so you can guess how apathetically it was received at the time.

The structure of the book is a novel-in-a-novel. 400 years in the future, Knarf reads through his newly-finished novel with his archaeologist friend Ord, and they're so engrossed in the read-through they barely take any notice of the election being held that day, on whether a lay council should have input in public governance in the highly technocratic socialist agrarian civilisation that Australia has become. Knarf's novel begins in 1929 Sydney and traces a family and their community through the Depression and WW2 and the cataclysm that followed. It's a story about the big picture and the little picture, desire and reality, and cause and effect. Many notes in page order under the cut, spoilers one and all.

Read more... )
emperor: (Default)
[personal profile] emperor
Fans of the coffee stall on the Cambridge market (link to my previous post on opening hours) may be interested to know that he doesn't seem to be open on Thursdays any more - AFAICT he's now Mon-Wed, Fri, Sat.

Not entirely co-incidentally, my coffee supplies are now rather low :(

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