science fiction

Against a Dark Background

Thumbs up for Against a Dark Background by Iain M. Banks. Science fiction.

This book is stuffed with so many juicy ideas they drool out the sides. Ancient artifacts of earthshaking power, crazy relatives, Solipsists with bad dress sense, android lawyers and plant-planets, oh my! An enormously fun adventure with a strong heroine of the classic I’ve-got-a-troubled-past-but-I’ll-still-kick-your-ass type. I will say that it did suffer somewhat from writerly self-indulgence; on a grumpy day I will flatly tell you that flashbacks and dreams should be restricted to one or less of each, per book; on a happy day I will still want to go over the middle of this book with a big red pen, slashing out needless flashbacks and the four thousand endless descriptions of the mist/sun/sea.… >> Read more

Flowers for Algernon [FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON]

Thumbs up for Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. Science fiction.

I saw this mentioned recently in an online discussion of “most tearjerking scifi novels” and I confess, my curiosity was piqued enough to move it to the top of my to-read queue, since scifi isn’t something I generally associate with tearjerking. Well, I didn’t cry (but I rarely do); rather, what I felt about this book after finishing it was a joyous awe at having read a work of genius.… >> Read more