Thumbs down for A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers. Science fiction.
My coworker sold this one to me with the description “it’s about a monk who serves tea and a robot” and that sounded delightful. But…what a frustrating book. I do love cozy books. But I like books that are cozy because the characters are competent and kind, not because nothing bad happens.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Poster Girl by Veronica Roth. Science fiction.
I subscribed to the FairyLoot Adult Fantasy box out of curiosity, but when I saw that the theme for November was “Dystopian” I sighed. The last dystopian story I read and enjoyed was Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy when I was in my twenties. I’m over it. And then I opened the box, and saw Roth’s name, and I liked the premise: the literal poster girl for the last, defunct dystopia is given a chance to get out of prison by solving a missing person case.… >> Read more
Two thumbs up for Stations of the Tide by Michael Swanwick. Science fiction.
After I finished Dune I picked up Stations of the Tide, which was an unintentionally funny back-to-back read, as Dune is about desert ecology and Stations of the Tide is a very, very wet book. It takes place on a planet being evacuated in preparation for its bicentennial inundation: an ice cap is melting and soon the planet will be an ocean.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Dune by Frank Herbert. Science fiction.
After bouncing off of Dune twice, on the third time I finally came around to finding Herbert’s omniscient prose interesting rather than off-putting. It still took me forever to get through the book, though. The problem was: I enjoyed it whenever I was reading it, but if I put it down, even for a second, I would get distracted by something, anything else.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Green Angel by Alice Hoffman. Science fiction.
After a girl’s family is killed in some sort of semi-apocalyptic event, she finds a new emotional identity and learns how to survive. If you embrace this novella as a work of poetry, it is lovely. If you insist on having things logically explained, you will hate it. I can keep myself in the former camp, with a bit of effort.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for The Guiding Nose of Ulfant Banderoz by Dan Simmons. Fantasy.
A novella set in the world of Jack Vance’s Dying Earth; I haven’t read any of that series but it didn’t reduce the pleasure I took in this gleefully purple little gem. Shrue the Diabolist learns of the death of Ulfant Banderoz, proprietor of the Ultimate Library, and sets out on a quest to possess the library’s secrets.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Roadmarks by Roger Zelazny. Science fiction.
The hallmark of the books I’ve read by Zelazny is that they are almost entirely dialogue, and nothing is explained, so reading them is like doing an enjoyable logic puzzle. As, indeed, was my experience with Roadmarks. However, even one week after reading I discover I retained none of it except for the delightful fact that the characters include two sentient books, Flowers (Les fleurs du mal) and Leaves (…of Grass) which help their human companions interface with their cars.… >> Read more