Sunday, August 12, 2007

Reading Into the Past: Week of 8/5

If I actually finish and post this, it will make two whole weeks in a row! The excitement is killing me!

(Sorry, I had the sarcasm meter set to "maximum." I've dialed it back down to its usual level, so we can continue.)

This week -- the books I was reading this week in 1993:
  • Michael Moorcock, The Distant Suns (7/30)
    A very early, very minor Moorcock SF novel that I read in one of the Millennium omnibuses -- Moorcock had assembled nearly his entire output to date into a series of omnibuses, and I'd bought as many of them as I could find when I was in the UK on my honeymoon earlier that year. (And then I bought the rest of them at exorbitant prices from one of the very few UK-to-US booksellers of the time...only to find them all remaindered, cheaply, in the US the next year. Grrrrrr.)
  • Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover (7/30)
    An anthology of Darkover stories, whose editor I forgot to note. This may have been my first exposure to Darkover. I don't remember who or what as in it.
  • Robert Silverberg, Hot Sky at Midnight (7/31)
    SilverBob's cyberpunk novel, set in a horribly polluted near-future world, with the usual skulldiggery and intrigue. As I recall, most of it is set in orbit (in habitats, or something similar), and the main character has no eyes. Bob was a little late to the cyberpunk party, but this is a solid novel; not quite as good as Silverberg's very best, but very readable and entertaining.
  • Connie Willis, Impossible Things (8/2)
    Her second short story collection, with "The Last of the Winnebagos," "Even the Queen," "In the Late Cretaceous," and "Jack," among others. I believe the only hardcover edition is the one I did for my former employer. And, interestingly enough, right now I'm slowly reading The Winds of Marble Arch and Other Stories, the giant collection of Connie's best stories, which has big chunks of Impossible Things in it.
  • Dave Wolverton, Star Wars: The Courtship of Princess Leia (8/3)
    This and The Truce at Bakura were the titles that certain people, including me, used to debate about. One or the other of them is the nadir of the Star Wars literary efflorescence, but it's hard to say which one.
  • Robert Rankin, They Came and Ate Us: Armageddon II: The B-Movie (8/3)
    I read a number of Rankin books over the years, even though I found his sense of humor and general (intensely, parochially, British) atmosphere mostly alien and uninvolving. (I used to read things in the belief that I would get them, eventually -- I don't do that much now.)
  • Florence King, Reflections In A Jaundiced Eye (8/4)
    A collection of essays on various topics by one of my favorite writers. She's a huge misanthrope, in case I need to say that.
  • John M. Ford, How Much for Just the Planet? (8/7)
    The canonical "great funny Star Trek novel," which I don't remember all that well. I never was as crazy about Mike Ford as I think I was supposed to be, but I did enjoy this at the time.
Oh, wait a minute, I can't leave without listing the books I read on the 8th:
The 8th was a Sunday, which was occasionally a heavy reading day, but I have no way to account for that massive reading spree. Sure, City of Glass is a short novel, and I bet Snogging was a little, gift-y humor book, and the Monty Python is a script plus captioned photos, and Imperial Caddy is a quick, breezy read...but all of them on top of a real novel? (I must have read most of Jaguar Princess the day before, and spent that Sunday knocking off short books for whatever reason.)


Anonymous said...

Ahh! I think I can help out here.

Courtship of Princess Leia is considered to be pretty awful, at least by most SW fans I know. That's the one where Han kidnaps Leia because she's tempted into marrying a prince who is described as looking kinda like Fabio. There's something called the 'Gun of Command' involved... It's all rather shameful.

Truce at Bakura is fairly forgettable but not bad, which in the realm of SW novels (particularly in the 90's) makes it a decent read.

Anonymous said...

I have your hardcopy version of Impossible Things, but I also make sure I have a few paperback versions, too. Every woman who has told me they don't like SF, who I've given that book to, has started reading SF. It's magic! No, that's fantasy. Maybe it's just good writing.

I've been looking at a lot of your anthologies lately -- I had to have most of the household moved out to put down laminate and the packers didn't follow my instructions on how to pack the books, so I've done the read books and now I'm working on putting the unread books into year order, at least.

One Man Laughing said...

Always glad to find a Florence King fan :)

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