Yes, that was some of what I meant. I didn't think it was nationalism she meant to send up but parochialism, particularly with the New York parallels: when New Yorkers expect everybody in the world to know everything about New York, it's not because New York is America, it's because it's New York, and Steffi's city was also from their country, as I read it, just from a different city. But then the ending of that sort of...trickled off.
I didn't enjoy it -- but that's probably because it was inflicted on me in a class I found terribly disappointing.
I much prefer Williams post-Cyberpunk works: Aristoi, Metropolitan, City on Fire, than his Cyberpunk-esque stuff (Angel Station, Voice of the Whirlwind, etc). I also liked Implied Spaces, but not as much.
Aristoi is one of my favorites of any SF/F writers. I've taught this on in two different colleges, and I have about three different copies (some marked-up for teaching).
And I really, really wish that a next installment from the Metropolitan/City on Fire world would be published. I've been hanging on that one for far too many years.
"I've taught this *one*"... oops.
It had a Royo cover like Hardwired and Voice of the Whirlwind? That's all I've got, really.
What I loved about How to Ditch Your Fairy
was the physicality of the whole thing. Despite the whole Ours thing and a healthy amount of competitiveness, the most important reason the characters do sports is because they love the feeling of pushing their bodies. It's got some of the same feel I love in climbing posts by orbitalmechanic
, but at a teen level. The only other books I know of with a female heroine that has that is the Dairy Queen trilogy (YA and I like them a lot, but not fantasy).
But yeah, the whole fairy thing could use a better rationale, especially the part where it's mentioned they've only been around a coupe of generations.
Right: the kid sister in art school is a supporting character at best, where I think in a lot of speculative books aimed at whatever age, the default is that the art school kid is the main character and the jock sibling is the support character.
I always enjoy these reviews. Thanks!
Edited at 2010-08-01 08:17 pm (UTC)
I love the Laundry books, and am deeply glad that the ending of this one did not go quite where I thought it would.
Love the Laundry books too, and am very much looking forward to this one.
I was medium-to-well satisfied with How to Ditch Your Fairy--medium because I enjoyed the ride enough not to care too much about the unanswered stuff. (Whereas Liar left me mildly angry in a way, but mostly at myself--but that's another discussion--)
Anyway, my stepdaughter LOVED How to Ditch Your Fairy. Flat out loved. And that's where well-satisfied comes in, because when she talks about it, I see how satisfying it could be if I were a little less well-read and writerly, and also because I gave her the book. Weird, how someone else's reading experiences can affect your own enjoyment of a book... And by "your" I mean "my".
has talked about theoretically YA novels that get talked about a lot by adult writers but don't seem to get read by any of the young adults she knows, so I'm kind of on alert for that, and How to Ditch Your Fairy
definitely seemed likely to dodge that problem. I was considering giving it to a young friend of mine, but I'm not sure I could deal with her declaring everything "doos."
I don't have a great match with Larbalestier's books in general. Fairy was frustrating because the characters were so centered on what they saw as the problem, and I was much more interested in other things. I have Liar out from the library now and am really, really wary of it-- I'm going to read it because people I trust have told me it's good, but I have prepared myself for not liking it almost to the point that I can't like it because the stories Larbalestier tells with her worlds are not the stories I would tell and they leave me dissatisfied. I like her books much better when all I do is think about them.
2010-08-02 06:21 am (UTC)
Walter Jon Williams
Which Willams books did you like?
2010-08-02 12:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Walter Jon Williams
This Is Not a Game. To which I hear there is a sequel coming, so I'm excited.
2010-08-02 12:52 pm (UTC)
Re: Walter Jon Williams
I enjoyed that, too. I might have read it based on your recommendation.
2010-08-02 12:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Walter Jon Williams
I cross my 7s also, but that's so they are clearly distinguishable from 1s if I don't get the top stroke large enough when I'm writing a page of equations very quickly. See also crossing my zs to distinguish from 2s. My dad told me these tricks, and they are good tricks, and they are not all of why my dad's and my math handwriting is nearly indistinguishable, but it was sort of the last straw. He had given me his calculus book, and a problem set fell out of it and I looked at it and thought, "I don't remember doing these." I hadn't done them, it was my dad 25 years earlier. But our math handwriting is just the same.
Our cursive is very, very different.