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Recent Reading

Inspired by purplecthulhu and bugshaw I thought I would catch up with a quick list rather than doing individual entries.

Joan Marble - Notes from an Italian Garden (2000): Gentle meander by an American (US variety, but USians doesn't work) making and then living with a garden in Canale, near Rome. Illustrated with much charm by Corinna Sargood. A perfect bedside table book for anyone with a garden.

Megan Lindholm - Alien Earth (1992): Three human beings and a sentient parasite travel to long-abandoned Earth in an enslaved sentient starship in an effort to redeem fallen humanity. This was Megan Lindholm's last novel, and sole SF novel, and rather a good one, I feel, for those of us who enjoy the conversations in and around the basic plot, and worth reading for Lindholm's takes on some well-worn tropes. However, both the plot and the writing feel rather old-fashioned for 1992 publication, which for me is perhaps part of its charm, but might help to account for the author's subsequent change of literary career. Separately: The notion of the 'crew' of a starship as parasites manipulating a sentient being makes me wonder if the writers of Farscape (1999-2003) had read it, as I'm not aware of the idea having been developed elsewere. And while the SFE is not wrong to cross reference the entry on 'Generation starship', Evangeline is not one, and I feel the book is somewhat mis-represented. I have written to the SFE to ask them to rework the entry.

[Interrupt: Next Up Ann Leckie - Ancillary Justice - watch this space.]

(NB Later edited to make the point about the SFE clearer and to update the action.)


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
8th Sep, 2014 12:11 (UTC)
I read Lindholm's 'Wizard of the Pigeons' for the first time a couple of weeks ago and found it quite interesting. Given when it was published, it feels much more of a piece with the recent London-set Matthew Swift novels than its contemporaries. Maybe because they both feature drop-out magicians?

I was about to say that there may be Tim Powers influence in there as well, but given The Anubis Gates was only published two years beforehand, it seems more a similarity of style than any direct influence.
8th Sep, 2014 14:09 (UTC)
Brian read WoTP just before Loncon, and (having last read it in the '80s) I want to reread it very soon so we can discuss it. It is currently sitting on my bedside table, waiting...
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


Caroline M

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