If it feels like this month at FC2M has been more gleefully contemptuous than usual, it’s only because I’m scraping the bottom of the Hugo ‘6 list, despite my careful planning to mix up the worthy classics with the dross. It’s not an even list to begin with, but man, those eighties, nineties, and aughties are painful to assign in any order. No amount of sugar makes Hominids go down easy.
Stuff I blogged
The Divine Invasion (1981) by Philip K. Dick, in which I had a massive BINGO fail, but the cover got some laughs.
A new FC2M series! The Gods must be Crazy: The Terminal Experiment (1995) by Robert Sawyer and Blood Music (1985) by Greg Bear, in which I did a two-part piece about books starring sociopathic nerds, while stomping all over a Vector article that explores Sawyer’s work as an example that science fiction is a new mythology for this era.
The Stochastic Man (1975) by Robert Silverberg, which I liked… except for the careless sexism and ethnic eroticism. Bummer. It’s going to suck when his turn comes around for the Grand Master Award because the argument against him is going to be very, very valid. But his tone and ideas are so cool!
A Feast of Crows (2005) George R. R. Martin, in which I admit to reading the Song of Ice and Fire series out of sequence, and refer to Nina Allan’s column from Interzone to determine why this series of unadulterated misogynistic violence incorporates so many moments of trite feminist soapboxing, and I basically conclude that it’s all a ratings scheme, but even ignoring that issue, the series is really, really boring.
Stuff to be blogged
Soon to come: more PKD BINGO! The Transmigration of Timothy Archer (1982).
Then I think I’ll put on a forced smile and try to be nice to Heritage of Hastur (1975) and Learning the World (2006)— two meh books, but one is kind of important in the grand scheme of things, and the other is just a lukewarm scheme.
More gleeful contempt! I still haven’t finished it, but Footfall (1975) basically writes its own review. I think I’ll just let it hang itself by ditching paragraphs for bullet quotations.
And I know I promised a Zelazny review soon, but CAN YOU BLAME ME, ZED? It just won’t gel, she pled. End of June for Doorways in the Sand (1975). Maybe.
I somehow committed myself to reading the 2016 Clarke list (I’ll explain later), which kind of derailed my plans this month. The Exile Waiting (1975) by Vonda McIntyre and The Computer Connection (1975) by Alfred Bester are still exasperatedly sighing and looking at their watches from my bedside table. I’d tell them to chillax, but then it would become this whole argument about how I always blow off a good thing just to check out younger awards lists and then I always wind up regretting it and how maybe they won’t be there next time when I come crawling back again.
They’re right, but still.
And I don’t “always” do that.
Anyway, from my original May TBR list, I read The Transmigration of Timothy Archer (1982), Learning the World (2005) by Ken McLeod, and I’m about to finish Footfail (1975) by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. The rest came from the 2016 Clarke list, which I shall flash review now in emotive punctuation:
The Book of Phoenix !!!
The Long Way to Small Angry Planet >:-|
Way Down Dark >:-/
And I read Europe at Midnight a long time ago, during the first uninterrupted weekend I could get after its release last year. Final emoticon score: 😀 😀 😀
Stuff to be Read
I’m putting a great big PAUSE button on the TBR. My reading is way ahead of my blogging, and May and June are hectic months for me, so I just don’t have the time to double post each week. The Hugo ‘6s have been mostly dreadful, the Clarke 2016s have been mostly mediocre, and meanwhile, there are other novels I’m ignoring that I’d rather be reading. So I’m making time for them this summer.
Summer TBR: TBA (at least until I can catch up on my blogging)
I already feel drunk with literary freedom. I’m not sure I can handle this.
May 2016 Book Tallies
Books blogged: 5
Books blogged as a serious response to periodical articles, and definitely not evidence that I might be infatuated with the British SF scene: 2
Books read: 7
Books about aliens: 4
Books about AI: 3
Books about time-travel: 1
Books about aliens that are basically just anthropomorphized Earth mammals: 2
2016 Clarke shortlist progress
Books that try too hard to be cool but just put me to sleep: 1
Books that try too hard to please and consequently feel very formulaic: 2
Books that speak in unique and dynamic terms about relevant social concerns and would probably be burned by Trump supporters if they understood metaphor: 2
Books to be read that I’m told does sapient spiders really well: 1