dancing_moon: My books: Never enough shelf space (books)
So, I just finished Paolo Bacigalupi's Windup Girl which Wiki describes as a biopunk novel. Good description as any

Set in the 23rd century and taking place in the Thai monarchy, it's about Anderson, a "calorie man" who has come to Thailand to find their seedbank (and steal it, basically); Emiko, a manufactured human abandoned by her Japanese owner and now an illegal immigrant forced into sex work; Hock Seng, Anderson's local factory chief and a refugee, and Jaidee and Kanya, the captain of the Enviromental Ministry's ground troops the "White Shirt" and his second-in-command. While the plot starts out in Anderson's corner, it moves more and more to focus on the other characters, with some of them growing quite surprisingly in importance and depth of personality.

Except for Jaidee and, in a way, Emiko they're all a pretty unpleasant, toughened bunch (that's what makes this book biopunk as opposed to just enviromental sf, I guess) but it's still hard not to feel sympathy for them. Because the world in is completely rotten: a constant lack of food - it's a "calorie culture" and if the concept doesn't make you shiver yet, reading this book will change that. Most of the plant and animal life has been extinguished, with calorie companies holding the majority of the world in food-dependant slavery with sterile GMO crops, there are tons of (originally bio-engineered (?)) plagues sweeping through the population, they've got severe travel and democracy deficits as we would see it, and basically the world has gone to hell and humanity still hasn't learned anything.

The plot is full of political intrigue, betrayal, self-discovery, discussions about trade vs. isolationism and more. It chugs along at a nice pace, without ever becoming too messy to follow and the characters are also distinct.

What Windup Girl is really about, though, is the future society and the enviromental issues. And here, I must admit, that I found it failing a leeetle bit. Yes, the calorie corps and the proprietary, sterile GMO seeds is scary as are the biological weapons that have been let loose and now ravage the world. But, in stifling hot Bangkok, under constant threat from the risen sea levels, people sit around burning methan gas and (if they're really rich) coal. There's also the kinetic forces: GMO elephants and pure human labour having made great returns into everyday life, as well as "spring-kinks", super-wound springs which store kinetic energy. But cooking seems to happen mostly on gas and cooling the houses is either by building them self-ventilating or having a hand-cranked fan, if you're a bit more wealthy.

Where is the solar power in all this? Wind? Even if rare metals are almost impossible to find and much knowledge was lost in the first shock of the post-oil world (they call it the "Contraction"), you can make simpler solar powered devices that, while they can't drive high-energy machines work exceptionally well when you want to cool down a building. Windmills are pre-steel and electricity technology, and of course there are things like wave-power and other as-of-yet mostly experimental green sources. I find the lack of these things weird, not just from a science fiction-y POV, but also from the whole stratified social texture of the novel. If solar panels are rare, would using them not be even more fancy than a personal servant? If coal is such a scarse product, how can the government allow the pumps critical to Bangkok's survival to run solely on them? Especially when we know that there have been even more isolationist governments before the novel.
And of course, who wouldn't want some kind of air-conditioning that doesn't include bribing every White Shirt who passes by so they don't shut off your illegal gas...

This part, alas, doesn't really make sense to me, which unfortunately drags the book down. It's still a very good reading experience, but I get less out of the message when I'm distracted by the logical holes. Good ride, not much left after.

Also a word of warning: There is sexual violence in this book. For instance a rape scene that I found highly unpleasant, and I tend to have a strong stomach for disgusting fictional scenes.

Windup Girl reminds me in tone of Zoo City that I read a while ago, though I think I prefered that one. Zoo City, however, has a bit of magic in it, which might not be for everyone.
dancing_moon: My books: Never enough shelf space (books)
My life is increasingly packed up. Boxes in the cellar, bags of books with my grandmother, clothes in the big luggage, important papers in the folder... Everything of me is getting put away from here and I'm counting the days til I leave.

Meanwhile, I try to read through the stack of titles I haven't gotten to yet.

First out was Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine. I. I can't quite talk about this book yet. I think I have to look into it again. It's very upsetting (took me ages to read through, one nibble at a time), it's extremely interesting and I recommend everyone to pick it up! Give it time, take it slowly, but read it through carefully. Wiki article here, I do believe I will return to this book when I have a bit more energy. But it certainly made me think

Second was China Miéville's latest, Embassytown which I'm not quite certain if I liked? Think I did, yes, all right, but it returned a bit to what I have problem with in the early Miéville books; too much distance from the characters and events. Embassytown is all about language, the truth, and whether concepts that we cannot articulate can really be real for us. Very geeky, light and easy-to-read prose (containing some damn mindtwisty concepts, though) but ultimately not his most engaging work. But a good read at the moment, when I'm somehow trying to prepare for switching my own main language for a while, comparing and contrasting what I have, what I used to talk and what I might be talking and reading during my second Berlin visit ^_^

Also, mom and I are watching Battlestar Galactica and, about halfway through the second season, we both love it. Bit too much religious mumbo-jumbo from time to time, and why aren't they training up more doctors? but overall, excellent stuff. It continues to outshine my (high) expectations
dancing_moon: My books: Never enough shelf space (books)
[personal profile] oursin posted the results from that silly "Vote the 100 Best SFF Works!" that some site had as a have read-meme. The results are really weird, quite skewed towards Gaiman and even contains unfinished (and currently in-progress) works, but what the heck - it's a book meme!

Filling that in sounded like excellent late night excersize to me, so here it comes!

Books I have read, failed to finish & am planning to read )

Some of the old SF I read because my mother owned them, some because the selection of what was to be translated to Swedish & later bought in by my library was eclectic at best, pure insanity at other times... As for more current books, there are those I like (Pratchett, Gaiman, Miéville; plebian like I am) and those I read for work, more or less. Working in the geeky bookstore gives excellent access to a lot of smushed, cut, crushed or otherwise unsaleable books and with my reading speed, it is hardly a chore to skim the best-sellers and see what they're about, which I like and which I will only recommend to people who like what I hate. (Customer: I think Terry Goodkind is the best author evah! Me: Ah, right. Raymond Feist, Terry Brooks and Robert Jordan might interest you...?)

Of course, this whole "reading for leisure" thing kind of fell to the wayside this year, what with lit classes, trying to read in German and generall stress, but as soon as I'm done with that I will... actually, I'll probably be in Germany, reading lit class books in German so, eheheheh ^^;;;;

Late 2012, however, you bet you're ass I'll be reading like a [bleep]!!!
dancing_moon: My books: Never enough shelf space (books)
I finished Zoo City by Lauren Beukes today, and both began and finished Janet Evanovich's Smokin' Seventeen, the latest Stephanie Plum novel.

My impressions:
Zoo City )

Smokin' Seventeen )
dancing_moon: Kermit goes "YAY Ohmygod" (Yay)
Why am I even awake at the ridiculous hour of 09:43 (and I got up at 08:27 what is wrong with my life). Especially considering that I've slept an average of five hours a night these last days? Right, because stress makes you distracted and you managed to lock yourself out of your apartment and had to go from [personal profile] lanjelin's to the parents. Preferably before they leave for the airport and you can't get in there either...

Moving on!

First I shall have to cut for incoherent and Doctor Who spoilerish squee )

Then Eurovision, which we just caught the tail-end of. Third place, go us!* Victory for Azerbadjan, most heartfelt congratulations <3 I really know nothing of that country, so I hope I'll learn a bit (even if it's bound to be very fluffy) when the media spotlight goes to them next year. And the winning artists looked so damn happy that was very sweet.
But I thought the male commenter for SVT made a rather grumpy comment just at the end (can't recall the exact wording now). "Ogin" is the word in Swedish I think of which I just felt was uncalled for. They won, look at them being all teary with joy, and at least little ego-boy Sade brought us a third place (so please stop sending pale blond slips of women without scene presence it won't work. And, as good as our opera singer could sing, a Eurovision winner needs a refrain you can hum along with which her song did not contain)

* In Sweden, Eurovision is very srz bznz

We also had an epic planning, scheduling and brainstorming session for BLYG yesterday, that might deserve a post of its own. We've got a pretty packed con, if I may say so myself and there's like 2 areas which we haven't added any info on yet *_*

Oh, right, and I fixed stuff for the apartment with my future tenants. And also got some much-needed cleaning done, yayness

In conclusion: The intense and lovely SPX weekend was followed by a most dismal and week I wish wouldn't have existed - on all levels, really. Fails heaping up with organizing stuff, lack of time and energy to study, family drama and even work sucked in more ways than one. And now, spiffy weekend again. Since it's a bit more low-key than last week, that makes me hope that if the pattern holds, any potential suck of the comming work week will also be less intense. Please?
dancing_moon: My books: Never enough shelf space (books)
So I finished another Torchwood book. That took only, what, eight months?

This one, Trace Memory by David Llewellyn was better in terms of characerization and mood moments than actual plot. The Torchwood team have an encounter with an involuntary time-traveler during multiple points of their lives.

It's actually quite a sweet and sad story, much like the fairy episode tried to be (and credit where credit is due, managed pretty well until the ugly CGI fairies turned up)

Slight spoiler )

The monstruous aliens are pretty blaha, but on the cover of the book they look suitably creepy. What drags this book down a bit is that it rehashes a lot of Whoniverse tropes (exactly how many "one of the most ancient races of the universe!" species are there, exactly?) and the plot isn't very tight. Lots of timey-wimey, which is normally one of those things I love, but not structured to it's best way. Also, the resolution and all falls a bit flat, plotwise, though it has a nice emotional payoff.

Worth a read, though, especially if one likes Jack Harkness and wants to see him act a bit decent.

Also, have started to use Spotify a bit more. If anyone has recs for not immediately obvious music to be found there that sounds good, do let me know! My most recent find was a nice version of Puttin' On the Ritz which didn't come with the super long end part. Done by Alex Swings Oscar Sings and yeees, they're the ones responsible for the Dita von Teese visit during the Eurovision contest. And the sparkly silver pants, I know, I know. I still liked their song.
dancing_moon: My books: Never enough shelf space (books)
I begun reading this book in 2009, then gave it to my mother and forgot about it. Now, cleaning up among the books, I found it again. It's been badly treated, poor thing; I don't know what mom does to books, but she can abuse them like nobody I know.

Most memorable story in this collection was, for me, Arkfall by C. I. Gilman. It's also the first and one of the longer stories. To borrow some words from the editors:
The ark Cormorin is a bio-ship, a partly biological submarine habitat for humans, in the dark seas of a very alien planet that is being colonized. A volcano eropts and the ark is lost in foreign depths.

It's a lovely story, with vivid and beautiful imaginary. The foreign sea on the other world, the culture that has been established there, all was perfectly described and the story itself intrigued me. This is a story I read months ago, and it's still the one I recall best.

I actually bought this book for the Neil Gaiman story "Orange" but that was. Meh. Not his best, felt mostly like an experiment in style.

Boojum by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette was also a good story. Again, semi-sentient, biological ships. This time in space, however, and there are brains in jars and rebellish engineers. Good stuff.

Last time I read Alastair Reynolds, I really dislike the story (it was Diamond Dogs) because it felt not only hopeless, but denying the positive part of curiousity and discovery. And that's basically what I love about sf. So I was more than a little hesitant going into this story, but Fury was a slightly old-fashioned tale about robots, their rebellions and how certain loyalties go deep even in machines.

This was a good sf collection, I might buy the one for 2010 too.
dancing_moon: My books: Never enough shelf space (books)
First of all, I have a new icon! Whee. Cobbled together in a GIMP, but at least it contains books.

The quote on it is also the flipside of this quote:
Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house.

True, true - but there is still never enough shelf/floor/bedside table space. Alas

Second, I finished Side Jobs! It helps that I've read several of the stories already (or, helps and helps, but it did go faster) but I admit - I raced through it. Will re-read more slowly soon

I like the Dresden novellas, especially the ones focused on other characters. Since the books are all written from Harry's first-person POV, it's really interesting to see how other people think about things.

The best story was "Aftermath" which takes place just hours after the latest novel, Changes. Partly because the POV character is officer Murphy and she's WAY COOL. Partly because it's got an interesting little mystery, good action and really takes place 'in' the world.
I mean, the mead story or some of the other little tidbits are just like free-floating fanfics, nothing to change the status quo. This one deals with major events in the overarching plot and, especially together with another short story, could potentially be the first hint of some very interesting developments in the Dresden-verse.

Also contains one my fav characters (yep, additionally to the Murphy-love!) Good stuff.

I was however a bit disappointed in the Thomas novella, "Backup". I've been wanting to read it for ages, but it's been out of print, so that didn't work. Partly it is because I found the voices too similar - Thomas in the books is very fake-laidback, sarcastic and has some greatly self-ironic moments (I swear to you, by my own stunning good looks and towering ego, that I'm not lying to you) - but reading Backup was not very different from reading a story told by Harry, actually.

Also read the novel Torchwood: Almost Perfect, which takes place sometime between the end of season two and Children of Earth. Written by James Goss, plays around with chapters and formatting in a bit of a weird way (tries to be Facebook-quoting hip) and a so-so read. Ianto is turned into a woman; yes, this is published crackfic.

Of course he uses woman's clothes (heels, skirt etc) but at least they bother to explain where he found the stuff. Although, partly because the book is written so weird, I can't quite figure out if it's just Ianto refusing to wear jeans and t-shirts (being a woman doesn't mean you have to wear frilly blouses and heels, honestly, but he's also a bit of a clothes snob...), he got hit with some mind whammy or it's just bad writing. Er, and Gwen comes off as quite shallowly petty in several scenes. Although considering her "god, lose the jeans-in-boots look already!" thought to Tosh in the episode "Greeks bearing gifts" I suppose it's plausible characterization.

The first Torchwood books were much better *nodnods*
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
Day 3 of Närcon, and I'm bloody tired. So I shall le book blog and try to ignore the headache and general yuck-feeling I have... You know, I am mostly in favour of the Swedish style cons; cheap and DYI, taking place at schools so younger fans can afford to come too. But the lack of comfortable beds and showers do feel after a while. I've stayed at hotels lately, but I just didn't have time/money to fix something for Närcon. Oh well, going home this afternoon

Anyway, I bought three Doctor Who books while in England, because they had a signing with the authors at Forbidden Planet. Gave two of them to lanjelin and Tess, but since Miko-chan also bought them, I could borrow hers. She also found a whole heap of Torchwood novels in a second-hand store and the filled up with the rest from Forbidden Planet, so I've been reading one of those during Närcon

So far I've finished Oli Smith's Nuclear Time. It's in a way quite Stepfordish. It is another way a really bad book. I mean, there's some interesting timey-wimey wibbly-wobbly things going on, which I always like because they expand the canon, but it's not exactly engaging. (Also rather similar to the final episode, but less clearly written) The Doctor, Rory and Amy are there, as are a gaggle of murderous robots and nuclear testing in the shadow of the Cold War. But there's no excitement, nothing really... Mostly, it feels just like a great big filler. The best thing about the book is the previously mentioned t-w w-w things, since it's an interesting idea at least...

Then I also read Peter Anghelides Another Life, a Torchwood book set some time between episodes 2 and 4. This one surprised me, because it's a much better book. Not only does the entire story feel a bit more grown-up (and no, I just don't mean the spinal-fluid drinking monster) but the characters do things, they interact in ways there wasn't time to show in the show and that I really like. Sure, some things are a bit off, like a character from Owen's past which doesn't quite match his given backstory, but considering how early in Torchwood canon it was set I guess the writer might not have known those details story?

To that, there's some clever glimpses to things that will happen, which I always like and there's a bunch of tiny but nice Ianto scenes. Also, Tosh is a lot harsher on Owen than I remember fromt the episodes, good for her!

Seen not as a Torchwood story, but just a sf-thriller/mystery, it still holds up decently on its own. Nothing I would've bought, but if I'd borrowed it I'd definitely finished the book. Not sure I'd have bothered with Doctor Who (oh, who am I kidding, I read it in like a day) because it's just too simple in the text. From what I've heard this doesn't go for all the books, and since Virre bought a bunch of the old ones from a second-hand shop I might have the chance to test it out.

Anyway, all the books have really nice covers! They're also cheap for hardbacks, so if one is enough of an obsessed fan I guess they're good =)
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
I've worked a lot recently, but at least I've had the time to read on the bus. And during lunch, sometimes...

So, my impressions, cut for lenght and potential spoilers:

Eoin Colfer's And Another Thing... )

Catherine Asaro's Diamond Star )

Now I'm reading Dragon Soul, Metro 2033 (as soon as I find it again...) and Udda Verklighet.
dancing_moon: [APH] Austria getting his hair teased (Stress)
The trip to Germany was very pleasant indeed, all the way up until we tried to get home. Then everything went to hell, but never mind that now.

Because there were so many delays, I had time to read through N. K. Jemisin's The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms on the way. Despite the somewhat simplistic language (it should take me longer to finish a 400-page-long book) and the rather flat characters, it was often entertaining and the mythology was at least not Arthurian-ish sword and sorcery.

I wouldn't buy this book, but I could definitely rec it as an different kind of fantasy mythos, especially to someone who isn't that familiar with English and/or the heavy plotty language of huge fantasy epics. Huh - kinda reminds me of the Death Gate Cycle, actually.

But really, the first guy she's assigned to and trusts turns out to be actually trustworthy in a story about palace intrigues? Mmmkay.

And yesterday, I watched the two lates episodes of Doctor Who! *bounces in her seat* They were really interesting! I caught the big twist of the last episode just before it was plainly revealed, but it still floored me and it was a very good, very fitting twist! I like it, I like River Song more every time I meet her and even Amy is growing on me again, after a weak mid-season period.

The Lodger was also a really good episode imo, mostly because I love this perspective on characters. And the headbang, teheee ^^

You know, as spazzy as 10 could be at times, I definitely find this Doctor more thouroughly weird - and that's a good thing. Can't wait for the next ep!
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
I'm glad I watched the second half of the lizard episodes of Doctor Who! The main plot was still one of the least interesting I've seen, but important stuff happened

Here there be subterranean spoilers )
dancing_moon: [APH] Austria getting his hair teased (Stress)
Have read a bunch of stuff lately.

First I caved in and bought the Dirk Gently Omnibus (by the esteemed Douglas Adams of Hitchhiker's fame). The hardcover was only slightly more pricy than buying the two books separately in paperback and this way, it can stand next to my Ultimate Hitchhiker's omnibus.

Then I read the first book, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and it's. Whoa. It's so damn weird, this book.

There's plot, lots more plot than in the extremely meandering Hitchhiker's series, but it is if anytihng even stranger. Perhaps because it's here and now (or, recently-then, these days), so that the weirdness is more obviously visible? Whatever the reason, this book is friggin weird... and brilliant. Some of the sentences, some of the similes, brilliant.

I was going to continue straight on to book two, but I found Richard Morgan's Black Man again. Was planning to say a great deal about that book, but I'm a bit too tired. Suffice to say, I was not very impressed. Too much pointless technobabble, the story just flopped uselessly here and there. I mean, there was a clear thread through the story, we knew they had to solve a murder and political commentary and blaha, but the tension, the feel that I'm following an investigator solving a puzzle just wasn't there. And it is there even in stuff like Sherlock Holmes, where you can rarely figure out anything about whodunnit, but you can see that Holmes is figuring it out.

Here, we got graphic violence, awful sex scenes, some vague kind of love story which fell even flatter than Morgan's usual fare and a lot of fairly interesting but too repetitive discussions about the ethics of cloning and genetic manipulation by someone who may know hiw SF tropes but is horrendous when it comes to modern discussions of gender, feminism and nature vs. nurture

Also, why would they breed a human that hibernates for some months? What was the point? I never got that part

Then I've read Black Butler 2, Kobato 1 and 2 (review coming next week to a J-fi page near you, I hope) some yaoi I can't even recall the title of much less the "plot" and Youka Nittas Otodama. Is it okay to review her art style evolving positively when she's been found guilty of plagiarism before? I mean, I don't much care if she's copying or not, I like this softer style.
dancing_moon: [APH] Austria getting his hair teased (Stress)
I am not a handy person. In fact, I will happily leave everything re fixing and repairing my home in the capable hands of my carpenters. Only trouble is, that first I have to find said capable carpenters.

But I have decided that I shall have iris flowers in my garden. We have some out in the cottage and if they can survive there, they ought to be able to live through most everything

Have also read books. Finally finished the Takeshi Kovacs trilogy, with Woken Furies by Richard Morgan. I like his ultra-violence, the nano-charged sf-noir enviroment and even the über-cool and shallow badass characters that populate his stories. Though I was considerably less impressed with his fantasy series, maybe because I have a hard time taking sword and sorcery badassitude seriously...
Anyway, the only thing I really dislike about his books are the overwrought and, honestly, awful sex-scenes. Maybe fandom has spoiled me, but dude, there are a thousand ways to write rought, gritty sex and do it better than Morgan manages. Stick to action and cynical social commentary, plz

Anyway, Woken Furies wasn't the best Kovacs book - I actually prefered the first one, Altered Carbon to both the sequels when it came to storyline - but it's a decent sf thriller. The enviroment, Harlan's World, is dangerous, not too exotic and connected to a country I descend from (Hungary) and a country I am nerdy about (Japan) which makes for an amusing linguistic mixture.

So, not bad if you want dirty sf, but I would give either the stand-alone books Market Forces or Black Man (reading that one now) a try before buying a whole series of Morgan's books. He's definitely not for everyone and the portraita of women in most of his stuff is... not the worst I've read in sf, not by long, but too often repetitive and cliché.

And sometimes, you're just in the mood for a fast-paced book with a lot of shooting, cool tech and cooler one-liners. At least I can be, and there, Morgan more than delivers
dancing_moon: Kermit goes "YAY Ohmygod" (Yay)
One of the best series published in English 2009/10 is finished! Naoki Urasawas Pluto is an adult thriller retelling of a chapter in Osamu Tezukas classic Astro Boy. It has robots, murder, complex and wonderful characters, great plot twists and a lot more excellent ingredients. Highly recommended!

And now... the eight and final book is mine, aaaallllll mine, muahahahahaha!
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
Escape from Hell by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. The second part in a modern retelling of Dante's Inferno, about how a science fiction author ends up in hell. In the previous book, he was given a guided tour through hell by Benito Mussolini, who in the end shows him how to escape. Now, in this book, the author returns the favour to some other people and tries to show all
the lost souls that it's possible to get out.

It starts off very interesting, he meets a lot of famous people (Sylvia Plath, for instance, is another main character) but the second half of the story felt incredibly cheesy and preachy to me. Not the message, that everybode can be saved if they strive for forgiveness, but in the way that it was conveyed. Very "sing hallelujah, praise the lord" and then you're simply forgiven and that's
that. I dunno, maybe I read it wrong, but the more complex morals of the first half of
the book seem to be swept away in the end.

Anyway, official RPS, and not too shabbily written. Maybe I'd have enjoyed it more if I'd read part one?

Oath of Fealty by Elizabeth Moon. After many years, Moon returns to Paksenarrions world. This is a direct sequel to Oath of Gold, but it focuses on Kieri Phelan (commander to Paks, the main character of the first books) and his captains Dorrin and Arcolin instead of Paks.

I will start off with three things about this book:
1) You really, really should read the Paksenarrion trilogy first.
I have read it, multiple times, and I was still a bit confused trying to remember who was who. But the characters would lack too much depth without that entire story. Not to mention...
2) that you'll get incredibly spoiled for the Paksenarrion trilogy if you
read this book first.
Moon also wrote a prequel, about Saint Gird, but it's not very good. Not so spoilery either. This book begins hours and days after the ending of Oath of Gold, and all the major characters appeared in the first trilogy. Don't even read the back cover, it basically spoils the big reveal for the third book in the series.
3) The Paksenarrion Trilogy is Really Very Good - and this book is almost as good.
It also contains a lot less marching and troop movement things, which people tend to critique the early trilogy for. Lots of politics and intrigue and a good set-up for another 2 books.

Highly recommended; the only thing I was a bit disappointed about is that it's less focused on Phelan than I was led to believe. Not that it matters that much, Dorrin Verrakai is a very interesting character and her story is fascinating. However, as both her and Arcolin's parts were minor in the first trilogy it took me a while to warm up to these new characters. But Elizabeth Moon likes to write thick trilogies with shifting POV's and she tends to give everyone enough attention.

Highly recommended if one enjoys classic fantasy. Also an interesting contrast to the Niven book - the Paksenarrion world is religious and the gods and saints play very obvious roles. Yet, the moral of the books never feels forced, nor too simple or preachy. This while St Gird shows many similarities with a Jesus figure and the paladins are among the most Lawful Good Paladins I have ever encountered in a serious story. But the world fits, actions have consequences and Moon is very good at building up how and why a character gains their faith. So, all in all, I strongly rec this book.

I also read some manga, like the latest part of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle by CLAMP. We've gotten to the end of the flashback, have an explanation for the link between Watanuki and Syaoran and things are really gearing up for the end. Which means one book goes by like snap and I'm left wondering when the rest'll arrive.

And I read Shugo Chara 1, will review for work later. Not bad, but not very exciting either. Nice character designs though and enough interesting ingredients to want me keep reading for at least a while more.

Eyeshield 21, part 31 of the American Footboll manga, was also released recently. This book contains the end to the Christmas Bowl match. They team's in the goal and I honestly don't know if I'll bother to buy the rest of the manga. It won't go severely downhill until after the national championship, but the upcoming game is the least exciting and most unrealistic of them all. Otoh, I
am a completist. We'll see...

Sena's really grown in this part though and I like the wrap-up of the Devil Bat's struggle for the Christmas Bowl.

And here's a little clip of me singing karaoke in cosplay. I wish I owned a working camera, so I could have asked some other cosplayers for good posing pictures. Maybe I'll get the chance to at Meuwcon.
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
Yes, of course I'll forget to keep a log of the books I'm reading. Who do you think I am, some kind of organized person?

Anyway, since the last time I know I've worked my way through at least:
- Manga -
Shout Out Loud 1-5 - Meh. Not bad, but the plot was a bit too convoluted and at the same time too down-to-earth and realistic. Either operatic hijinks or a universe were not everyone wants to sleep with the uke or his (adult, no worries) son.
Baby and Me 1-7 - So sweet! So good! Marimo Ragawa is something so unusual as a manga author who manages to take slice of life and mangafy it without slipping into so many wacky hijinks that one doesn't even remember the original setup

- Books -
Dwarves - Far too mediocre. The "original spin" of the book, that the dwarves are the main characters, isn't enough to keep my interest. Well-crafted epic fantasy which brings absolutely nothing to the genre that hasn't already been done a thousand times before. Only this time, it's dwarves doing it
Two more Wodehouse books! The Jeeves and Wooster collection with that one story from Jeeves POV and the story where they, uh, have a tragic divorce due to banjoeloes. Banjolettes? Something like that, I've read them in translation. Still very funny, though I think the Blandings books either translate better into English or had a more competent translator. They're not written in first-person POV after all, so a lot of the very slangy parts aren't in them. But, you know, very funny
A while ago I bought Don't Panic, the book about Douglas Adams and his 'verse by Neil Gaiman. Since I managed to sprain my foot and was forced to basically sit on the couch (except when I was sitting in the bed, for a change of pace) and read all weekend I ploved it. Very quick read... It's fun to see how very improbable the creation of the entire thing seems to have been, with Adams happily ignoring deadlines until his editors basically locked him away with a typewriter. Or, in the case of some radio episodes, had begun airing the first part of the episode. Yeeahhh...
2x Jasper Fforde, both Thursday Next books bought on the annual book sale. Amazingly enough, I had a much better time with book five than book two in the series despite not having read any other parts. They're good, very lit-injokey and do not work at all in the Swedish translation. It feels, I don't know, clunky, boring and just not well done at all. A shame

Also, I re-read the Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Or, honestly, am re-reading them and I think I will once again stop before Mostly Harmless, as that book just makes me sad. I've read these books so many times that I can still quote passages. But! Only in Swedish, because we had the whole four-parts trilogy in a pocket edition. Now I've got the ultimate softcover version (US edition, which does not contain the word "fuck" but four extra sentences about the swear word "Belgium" instead. Ah well) and I... honestly don't know if I'll ever read the sixth semi-book, the recently released one written by Eoin Colfer. Whose name is apparantly not pronounced ee-o-win, as I though, but Owen. Still, I was really not impressed with Artemist Fowl, and I think I prefer the dratted ending to Mostly Harmless by someone unfunilly mucking about in the Hitchiker's main verse. Side-stuff like the Starship Titanic (which btw shares an amazing likeness with the Dr Who Titanic Christmas special. According to Wiki, they meant it to) is another matter though, and frankly, I'd rather see them writing more "free" spinoffs in that vein.
This was a lot of blather to say, bascially, that I
1) Had forgotten how amazingly weird these books are. And very sad at times, beneath all the funny!
2) Will always prefer Den Drägglande Dårfinken från Draal to the The Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (the firs means, basically, the Drooling Lunatic from Draal), but a lot of the other jokes make a lot more sense in english.
3) Still love these books a lot.

Also, our internet is 99% dead =D Let's see if this posts, or if I have to save it to USB and try and post it from work...

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May 2012

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