Tags: book review

HPDH: sort too soon

Now is the winter of our discontent -

Made glorious summer by this son of York.

God, I love Richard III. I just started re-reading The Sunne in Splendor by Sharon Kay Penman, and I'm reminding myself how much I love it. It's very close to reality for historical fiction, and I believe it's only called "historical fiction" because Penman goes to the trouble of creating dialogue. The research for this book was rigorous, and it shows.

And also gives me an insight to how biased Shakespeare was, writing for the house of Tudor after all. I love that play, but the real War of the Roses wasn't like that.

Anyway, a quick note from fandom Book. ;)
burn notice - duct tape

A book that made me gleeful - aka "Undertow" by Elizabeth Bear

No spoilers, no spoiler warning.

I'm not sure whether it was intended, but the character I identified with most in this book was Gourami the ranid. Se was the most moral and had the most recognisable journey in the whole story. I loved that se (the term used by the book) was unsexed both by declaration in the book but also in characterization. I didn't feel a gender vibe at all.

I had some issues with the book, mainly that I wanted more: more information and interaction between the characters, more backstory on the ranids and the potentiality fork ranids, more concrete information on the how-tos of conjuring.

But these are just quibbles. Because the book filled me with glee.

Glee for quantum mechanics. Seriously, that branch of physics makes me want to jump about and giggle at the absurdity of reality, the weirdness served up to us by the universe. Bear herself posted about an effect called "the quantum eraser" (I'm giggling again) which I memmed just for the glee value, so I could look at it whenever I wanted and be happy again. The IM conversation she copied into the post also makes me happy. I love things that make my brain stretch and tickle.

To go off in another popcorning direction - the cover art on the paperback is beautiful. I'd hang it if I had a place for it.
merry message

Book review - Carnival by Elizabeth Bear

So first off, I really enjoyed this novel. It's really different from the voice of the first of Bear's novels I read, Blood and Iron, which only seems to make sense. This is a straight-up sci-fi novel, so I don't expect florid language and descriptions here, where I do when I'm getting a novel about Faerie.

I love that the problems this society has with homosexuality are visible from the outset, to put our heroes firmly in the outsider catagory. I love that we are always pulling away one mask after another from everyone in the cast, from the New Amazonians themselves to the heroes to the aliens. Carnival indeed.

One moment I especially remember is the point at which Michaelangelo, who's never been exposed to pets, scritches one of the khir, a sort of birdlike-lizardlike intelligent pet that the New Amazonians have, and his face and eyes melt and Victor is jealous of the beastie 'cause no one gets to see that part of Michael except for Vincent. It really stuck.

Anyway, I'd definitely recommend it. And I picked up all three of the Jenny Casey novels, too. I'm interested to see what I think of the longer format.