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Luna: New Moon

23 Jan

New Moon (Luna, #1)New Moon by Ian McDonald
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was a bit disoriented at first by the admixture of common moon colonization tropes with the almost medieval merchant-dynastic politics whose commonplaces include trial by combat and arranged marriages (granted, some of them are same-sex arranged marriages).

This novel is soap opera-meets-space opera, most specifically, a 1980s-prime time type soap opera of the “Dynasty” stripe. Once you accept that, though, it’s good entertainment. Me, I dig soap opera when it’s done well, as it is here.

I found the feudalistic/Wild West/post-nationalistic depiction of the Moon’s near future unlikely, but the narrative admits freely that that is the kind of world it is depicting. It helped having one character’s (Adriana Corta) past set in our present as a bridge between the now and the future of the story.

Indeed, this first novel in the Luna series is Adriana Corta’s story. She is the common thread that knits together the various story lines of her children, grandchildren, allies, and enemies.

There is also a “character of invitation” (a character with a background more like the reader’s), Earth-born Marina Calzaghe, who reacts to and interprets the actions of the characters in a way most readers will. This also helped ground me in the story. However, you don’t start to see those reactions until after you’ve been thrust into the story world as it is perceived by Moon natives.

This book is way sexier than KSR’s 2312, I must add, although it is downright pornographic in places.

View all my reviews

Once Upon A Time: On Henry

24 Jan

Emma-Henry

I got the first season of OUAT on DVD for Xmas and have been doing a rewatch. Simultaneously, I’ve been plotting the second draft of my novel using the hero’s journey as a rough template, so I had the concept of the Guide archetype in my head while watching.

Assuming Emma Swan is the Hero of OUAT, the first Guide she encounters, at least in season one, is her son, Henry. He has the “Once Upon A Time” book, and he is constantly interpreting events and people for Emma (also, for Mary-Margaret/Snow White, and Graham/the Huntsman) in terms of the book so that she can see herself in the larger picture of what she is supposed to accomplish as the “savior.”

Spoilers through the end of season 1, with some unspoiled speculation

I, Robot

6 Aug

Yeah, so I have an author website launching soon and a website designer who wants that launch ASAP and I am floundering pulling my content together. I mean, talk about your writer’s block suddenly hitting, your word-smithing skills crapping out, and your total lack of Photoshop-fu being your undoing.

That. Me.

So I remind myself, you know, self, when you launched All Things Philosophical on Jan 1, 1999 (!), the show was in frigging season 3 and you were still sweating over your desperate need to prove the philosophical genius that was I Robot, You Jane. People still visited your site and came back when there was more to see. Having more to see is what brings people back.

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Terminator: Salvation

1 Jun

So yeah, I liked Terminator: Salvation. Major spoilers for the movie

All Things Philosophical on Star Trek

10 May

So I have seen the new Trek movie. With my flist abounding with spoilers and rave reviews, and me needing to de-friend that I’ve belonged to since I joined LJ, it seemed a good idea.

Plus, yesterday I managed to fiddle with my computer keyboard until I found the culprit causing the typing problem I was having, so I fixed that (for now), and could cancel my Genius Bar appointment allowing me to go to an early morning matinee.

So, to make a long story less long, I liked it. I am, of course, not without my issues. movie spoilers

Themes

23 Sep

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Reading progress notes

16 Apr

My plan to do more reading more regularly this year is not going as prolifically as I’d hoped, for a lot of reasons. But at least I’m still doing it.

Latest book: “Neverwhere,” by Neil Gaiman

Which I swear I’ve read before. It’s been sitting on my already-read shelves for years, and if you’d asked me what it was about, I’d have told you it was about an ordinary Londoner who one day falls through a rabbit hole and ends up in this semi-magical underground London. Which is, indeed, what it’s about.

And, in fact, the only reason I decided to read it “again”* is it closely fits the genre and themes of the books I’ve been concentrating on this year, and in such a prototypical way that I would often refer to “Neverwhere” as an example of “the sort of book I want to read–and write” in my LJ posts and comments. Richard Mayhew is an ordinary human “character of invitation” who stumbles upon a hidden supernatural world on our contemporary Earth and ends up being a champion of that underworld in a supernatural struggle of good and evil.

(* I also decided to read it again because when I finished my previous book, I was on my way to Arizona and didn’t have time to wait for the inter-library loan to send me a different book from my reading list.)

But after about the first chapter, the specific events started losing that familiarity of having been read before. Which makes me suspect I read the first chapter of this book at some point in the past, and then something happened in my life and I put it down and forgot about it. It’s not the sort of book I would have stopped reading because I didn’t like the book (as was the case with “American Gods.”) I do like the book. Did.

So Gaiman really is English, is he? Because I was sitting reading this thinking, “pretty good grasp of British humor for an American.”

“A Wizard of Earthsea”, Ursula Le Guin
“Proven Guilty”, Jim Butcher
“Dreamchild”, Hilary Hemingway and Jeffry P. Lindsay
“Guilty Pleasures”, Laurell K. Hamilton
“The War for the Oaks,” Emma Bull
“Shifter,” by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens
“Neverwhere,” by Neil Gaiman