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: My books: Never enough shelf space (books)
Most of my reading time has gone to school books lately. This of course means less time to read the stuff that I usually do. However, I did manage to hurry through the latest Terry Pratchett, I shall wear midnight* but... that wasn't really the right way to read this book. There's less action and more reflection than in the first two Tiffany Aching books - fitting, as it wraps up the series - which means I feel like I missed whole chunks. Will have to re-read it at a later date and more sedated pace. One of my favorite glimpses of it were the connection to one of the early, early Discworld books, because it's nice to see the circle close in a way (Tiffany is likely to remain "the newest witch" in Discworld canon and so when we with her meet one of the earliest witches again it's completeting a tapestry that has grown enourmously in depth and vibrancy since Pratchett began the series). I also liked the acknowledgement that witchiness isn't the same for all, and the small interaction with the forces of law. Other than that, my judgement as a whole must wait until later for this book.

I also read the Doctor Who novelisation The Stealers of Dreams by Steve Lyons. I think this must be my favorite so far! It's a Ninth Doctor adventure, with Captain Jack alongside the Doctor and Rose, and it's entertaining, suitably creepy and wraps up well. It's about a planet where the populace doesn't dare dream and are hunted if they use their imagination at all. Of course, the Doctor and his companions come to set things right, but soon they realize that in this place, dreams can become frighteningly real. The "anti-dream proecdures" at the asylum are creepy in their understated well-meaningness, the supporting characters (a fiction geek who dreams of big-busted women saved by superheroes from medieval zombies, a tough cop chick and a rebel urging people to imagine from the static of the TV channels) were well-rounded. This book also felt a bit meatier than the Eleventh Doctor novels I've read, yet sufficiently quick to go through that I didn't feel I missed half of it when reading so quickly. Recommended.

It also contains the epithet The Armoured Shark Liar for Captain Jack and that's just wonderfully fitting, don't you think?

*unfortunately, only after I got to do a mini-presentation of it for work. Plz ignore the Dali-esque Frodo in the background
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: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
All right, now we're getting somewhere.

Today I finished a book about a dragon and yesterday I read another book about several dragons. There are many differences: The first dragon is mechanical and most of the plot is about finding it, while the dragons in the other book are very much alive and present. Though they do spend quite some time hunting dragon eggs, for what it's worth.

The books do however have one very startling similarity: They're both part of a series (part 3 and part 6, respectively) and they're both an immense improvement compared to the books just preceding them. Maybe last year was a bad year for dragon writers?

I'm talking about the books:
Dragon Soul by Jones and Bennett )
Tongues of Serpents by Naomi Novik )

ETA: I feel I should perhaps point out, outside of the cut, that the latest Temeraire book is damned good. Case in point: I began reading it yesterday too, and just kept on until I was finished. And then I wanted to go through the series again just to remember the details fresh
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: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
I just finished Johan Hilton's No tears for queers, with the subtitle "A report about men, gays and hate crimes". It is a deeply unsettling and horribly shaking book about three cases of violence against homosexual men. It is published by Bokförlaget Atlas and I bought it at Textmässan, a book fair for independent publishers.

Hilton writes in a detached, clinical style. Lots of recaps based on police materials, many many quotes and interviews. It's chilling, perhaps even worse because it's so clinical. He uses words like a scalpel and what he shows is awful, there are values of manliness that are rotten through and stink of hate and violence.

Matthew Shepard in the US. Johan Petterson in Katrineholm. Josef Ben Meddour in Göteborg.

It hurts, to read this report of three senseless, brutal murders. It hurts and it makes me so angry, so angry with the world and this country. I hope it is a good anger, I hope I'll be able to channel it into something doing more than just writing this little blog post as some kind of futile protest.

There's a long quote on the publishers page - here's part of it.

Först 1997, året då Josef sköts i rygg och nacke, började Säpo föra statistik över brott med homofobiska motiv. Sedan dess har antalet anmälda brott ökat med 76 procent utslaget över hela landet. Det beror inte bara på att HBT-människor numera känner större tilltro till polisen och vågar anmäla brotten. Det beror på en reell ökning. Bögar knackas som aldrig förr. 140 anmälda hatbrott i Västra Götaland bara det första kalenderhalvåret 2003. Att jämföra med 150 under hela 1997. Vad värre är: endast några få av dem klaras upp.

Short in English : Since 1997, when the security police began to track them, crimes with homophobic motives have increased with 76% in Sweden. The book was written in 2005, as far as I can understand.
150 reported crimes during all of 1997 to 140 crimes the first half of 2003 in one area.

So. Yeah. If you can speak the language, read this book.

There's a whole heap of important books in my "to read soon" list. I attack them when I have the time and energy. Here, I only began to flip through some pages and then I was sucked in. It's like a nightmare. I don't want it to be true. But I know it is, I recognize the words and values and the unspoken pressure. From my memories of school, from hearing drunk people on the bus, from friends of friends - straight from a few former friends, in fact - from the assumptions behind things that everyone says and thinks. Probably me too, if I could look at my mirror image with objectivity.

Have another quote. It's telling:
Den kritik och agg som deras föräldrar och det vuxna närsamhället har mot invandrare och homosexuella omvandlar de i handling. De utför de handlingar som vuxna säger sig vilja utföra, men inte vågar.
Basically, young aggressive men put into violent reality the anger, dislike and fear that the society as a whole feels towards homosexuals and immigrants, but only dares to express through words.
The above from Hans Knutagårds "...det var bara en bögjävel", quoted in the book.
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
I have this huge, impressive and/or guilt-inducing stack of books to read now. Have promised myself to not buy anything but recent parts of the series I follow until I'm at least halfway through it. Also decided that I should take a leaf from the page of other, more organized bloggers and jot down some thoughts about the books I read this year. We'll see how that goes...

Anyway, so far I've mostly been watching tv series; a most unusual state for me. But the Granada Sherlock Holmes series is very good (yes, of course I watched the new movie too. Pretty, but lacking depth and feeling. Their Watson was nice though). Also, I've started on Jeeves and Wooster, borrowed the box from Mac. She all the good stuff, or more properly put, she has all the stuff you can imagine!

Anyway, I am home with a cold right now, so there is plenty of time to read. I finished Rob Thurman's Roadkill, part five of an urban fantasy series. Not released yet, there came a heap of preview books this Monday.

Review here, no direct spoilers I hope. )

Oh, and the author has a Livejournal. Neat. Book is to be released in March.

(wow, this got long. don't expect such a detailed review every time)


dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
Dancing Moon


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May 2012

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