July 2010

August 25, 2010

Well, better late than never. The previous post should give some hint as to why I've been AWOL around here. We did get the place cleaned up and had a lovely anniversary party. But in all the hoop-la I realized I didn't get my July reading log up. July was all about the Hugo nominees.

Note to the people who put together the Hugo reading package:

  1. THANK YOU!
  2. While I understand the DRM issues around the EPub format, it really is the way to go. I did a lot of my Hugo reading on the plane, and the pre-formatted PDFs publishers supplied in the Hugo voter packet are impossible to read on my smartphone. My small laptop didn't like a couple of them either (the ones with two pages to a screen). The EPub entries simply rocked in terms of easy of transfer from laptop to phone, and readability in terms of adjusting for font size, etc.
  3. THANK YOU!

The City & the City, by China Miéville

Interesting noir mystery set in two cities whose inhabitants must co-exist without acknowledging anything about each other. Even though I had a hard time accepting that one could train oneself to see or unsee the world in the particular manner described, this was a major feat of world building and a solidly plotted murder mystery.

The Windup Girl, by Paolo Bacigalupi

Genetic food and crop plagues, climate change and a post-peak oil energy collapse create a calorie-based economy in which various parties try to exploit or protect Thailand's carefully hidden seed banks. Another impressive feat of world building.

Palimpsest, by Catherynne M. Valente

A sensual read about a group of people trying to find the secret to immigrating to the "dream" city of Palimpsest.

Boneshaker, by Cherie Priest

Seattle steampunk with zombies! And zeppelins! Fun read. YA appropriate.

Julian Comstock, by Robert Charles Wilson

Post-apocalyptic North America is now the Dominion of Jesus Christ. More impressive world building and very strong voice in this one.

Overall, world building seemed to be de rigueur in this year's Hugo nominees, and almost every nominee exhibited amazing skills in this area, and I believe achieved what the author set out to do. I had a hard time picking out my top choice. Those looking to know how I voted will be disappointed; I don't generally kiss and tell :-)

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