Ohmygawd, have you seen November yet? It’s the shortest November I have ever seen! 4 weeks! 4 weeks, I tell you! November usually sprawls forever long, and I think I can recall at least 3 Novembers that were very nearly 8 weeks long…!
(these are the kinds of conversations that have speckled my day… for at least the past two weeks. Oh yes, we are planners in my field. We get those calendars out!)
And October, true to form, was long, but the reading I did was moderate. Here’s the reading and blogging I did:
October began with my review of the 1962 Ace double paperback of James White’s last man in a robopocalypse, Second Ending. (I’ve seen this word “robopocalypse” around the nets lately, but c’mon, people. “Robocalypse” is better.) On the flip side of this Ace double is Samuel Delany’s first-ever published novel, Jewels of Aptor, written in his late teens, which I reviewed the week after. To my surprise, but probably to no one else’s, considering my love for dumb bot books, I preferred Second Ending, but I have a feeling this Delany guy might get better.
I also reviewed Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy. Well, it’s more of a non-review. Actually, it’s more like an informal review in the format of an experimental parody that probably only makes sense to people who have actually read the books. By the sound of it, most people are fans of this series, and all the things that could possibly be said have been said about it already. So I made fun. And it was.
Then, THENNNN, the Internet went down. Like every other hour, every single day, for rest of the month. I joke that I live on Arrakis because we have dirt and wind storms and giant worms [people call them rattlesnakes]. Well, a wind storm of the Dorothy-forget-Toto-and-take-your-Autie-Em-to-the-basement proportions happened and the Internet blew down. Hard. And I learned something about myself: I am a very patient and understanding Internet consumer. And I really don’t use that much Internet to begin with.
Getting behind on those Twilight Zone epis, though…
So, a little late, but I posted my eagerly awaited review of Christopher Priest’s 1974 Gollancz SF Masterwork Inverted World. It is mind-bending. It is genre-bending. It has hyperbolas. Yesyoumustreadthis. It’s so coooool.
And then I noticed that I was overreading and underreviewing, so cranked out two, yes TWO, posts during the last week of October. If you haven’t noticed yet, I like to count things, and the ultimate snot-and-poo count anchored my review of China Miéville’s Perdido Street Station (2000). And then I did a quoterific non-review of Ray Bradbury’s 1962 Something Wicked This Way Comes, because Halloween. Because I love book quotes.
And now we find ourselves in November. A SHORT MONTH BY GOD I TELL YOU! What can you expect from FC2M?
Two more books I completed in October yet never reviewed coming soon to a screen near you! I’m very excited to share a positive review of Daniel Galouye’s 1962 Dark Universe, in which he allegorizes Plato’s Allegory of the Cave to connect with religious thought in an apocalyptic setting. It’s very cool… and one of the few times that my undergrad in political theory has been useful during this genre romp. You will also soon see my review of Robert Jackson Bennett’s latest release City of Stairs, in which I spend most of my word count carping about the environmental negligence of Ghostbusters. Probably need to edit that…
I am smack-dab in the middle of two series. Expect a review of Gene Wolfe’s Shadow of the Torturer (1980) soon, and I will follow it with The Claw of the Conciliator (1981) either later November or December. Also, I’m not done with the Bas-lag series (you know that’s pronounced Bah-lag, right?) so Miéville’s 2002 The Scar will also be happening. What new, multisyllabic ways will I learn to say “shit” and “piss”? Are you as excited as I am to find out? (Shut up, Megan. You’ve beaten that old moth to death already.) (Mid-read update: Considerably less effluvia.)
Also, I have nearly completed all of my Worlds Without End reading challenges for the year, with the exception of three straight white guys for the Grand Master challenge. I will be reading Man Plus (1976) by Frederick Pohl, To Your Scattered Bodies Go (1972) by Philip Jose Farmer, and A Time of Changes (1971) by Robert Silverberg. And somewhere in there, I need to add Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said (1974) by PKD. Geez, that’s really 1970’s heavy, now that I look at it. That list may need some tailoring.
OH! Oh, oh, oh, oh! And, of course, like much of the SF world, I am currently entranced by William Gibson’s shiny new release The Peripheral. Halloween, schmalloween, folks. William Gibson wins over tooth decay, every time.
October 2014 tally (not counting September rollover):
Total books read: 7
Books with spaceships: 0 (audible gasp)
Books with AI: 1 (audible gasp)
Books with unique deities: 3
Books with alternate universes: 3, wait 4, no 3, erm 5? Depends on what you mean by “alternate.”
Best books of the month: Inverted World and Dark Universe!