Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen

Week of September 10-16

Nomail this week. None. Blah. Clearly I need to write more short stories. (This is also my answer to lots of rejections. And to lots of acceptances. Umm. So there's maybe a pattern here.)

The vertigo is better today but still present. Plans for dinner involve pizza and veggies with nothing done to them. Just veggies sitting there being veggies.

Books read in early September: No nonfiction. I got stuck on the big thumping book about Allied military deception and didn't want to start other nonfiction with it. I should go back to it, but it's, well, thumping big and thus really bad to read while propped on pillows and mostly horizontal.

Elizabeth Bear (matociquala), The Chains that You Refuse. Bear's short stories. Mostly I could see which were earlier, but in a few cases I was wrong in one direction or another. Also there are several spots where the feel of the entire collection is in one line. Sort of fractal-like. I'm not reporting any of these; go read it yourself if you want to find out.

Jim Butcher, Blood Rites and Death Masks. I'm having fun with this series still. The main character continues to have personal growth beaten into him with large sticks. Murphy continues to be my favorite character, although there were a few totally false notes related to Murphy in the last volume.

C.J. Cherryh, Pretender. Mathy aliens, whee. They weren't being quite as mathy as I like in this book, but chewy politics make up for a lot for me.

Susan Cooper, Victory. I am a grown-up spoilsport, but I just didn't think there was enough there there. And the resultant character arc made me wonder if they'd sell me a single dose of insulin at the drugstore.

Charles Coleman Finlay (ccfinlay), Wild Things. Despite my threats to ccfinlay, this collection wasn't a big risk for me, as I'd read several of the stories in F&SF when they first came out, and I decided to buy it knowing that. Of the collections I've read recently, this felt the most varied in theme, but maybe I'm just being dim and not spotting the one big theme. (There doesn't have to be one.)

Elizabeth Hand, Saffron and Brimstone. The ARC of this collection was lacking the introductory and concluding matter, leaving just the stories. When it comes out in its "real" edition, someone can read them and tell me whether I missed anything without them. Hand's collection showed the danger of a short story collection with an author who often hits "almost but not quite" for a particular reader: some of Hand's treatment of artists in particular hits me a bit wrong. But it was still worth reading, and there was one story I found affecting for reasons I'm not going to discuss in public. Ask me in private -- that is, in person or on e-mail -- and I might tell you.

John D. MacDonald, The Empty Copper Sea and The Green Ripper. More McGee. There is not much McGee left for me, and that's probably a good thing: they're still fun, but I can see them not being infinitely much fun from here. MacDonald seems to have noticed that some of McGee's tendencies are problematic with series repetition, and he's doing something about it, sort of -- with varying success in addressing the various problems. Despite that, McGee is mostly the same as he was before, just a little more so -- this is not a series like the Butchers where clue is being forcibly applied.

E. Nesbit, The Railway Children. A reread, but I hadn't picked this up in over a decade and a half. Nesbit's socialism is nothing like obtrusive here, but I have a lot more context for the basic plot of this story than I would have at 8 or 10, and it doesn't suffer thereby. Also I think Nesbit likes actual children, not theoretical little darlings, and that's a very good thing for someone who writes about them.

Tamora Pierce, The Realms of the Gods. For some reason I'd never gotten to this one when I was reading through everything she'd published since the Alanna books. The basic plot of it had been implied by the other books and probably wouldn't have been greatly surprising even if it hadn't, but it handled "old favorite characters" pretty reasonably.

Geoff Ryman, Was. rysmiel warned me not to read this book in a bad mood. Usually when people make that kind of warning, I can see what they meant but they weren't right about me in specific. This time he very much was. If I'd been in a worse mood, I'd have hidden under the bed and howled upon reading this book. There were a few points where I wanted to anyway, and it's a worldview I wouldn't want to spend much more time on. Still and all. Worth the paper and ink and time.

Delia Sherman, Changeling. Good, good fun. I could wallow in the voice of this character quite happily, and it was one of those generous books that has more to say of its world than time to say it. A few of the plot twists were quite obvious to me from fairly early on, but that didn't make it any less fun to read.

Rex Stout, In the Best of Families, Murder by the Book, Prisoner's Base, Three Doors to Death, and Trouble in Triplicate. More Nero Wolfe. Still fun, and quite a good thing to read when one's head is spinning and one is mostly horizontal.

Megan Whalen Turner, The King of Attolia. I really need to learn to relax and trust Turner. I know a lot of people -- I'm one of them -- complain about the ending of The Thief, but for the most part it's her beginnings I have trouble with. It takes me awhile to settle in and just let her take me where we're going. Eventually I did. I'm also not entirely sure of the ending of this one, but the middle was good enough that I'll read her next whatever.

P.G. Wodehouse, Right Ho, Jeeves. Another good book for reading on the couch when dizzy. Except that the dog gets worried when I read Wodehouse, because the cumulative effect of the Wodehouse comes in on my head and I get progressively sillier. Poor little dog. Hee. (This is, by the way, the source for a lot of the plot in the TV series. And for once I really, really liked the casting in the TV series, particularly the voices.)

Okay, back to the couch with a book for me.

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