Monday, December 19, 2005

Reading Into the Past: Week of 12/18

The dice this week read 11, so we're heading back to the fabulous year 1994!

And the books I read this week in 1994 are:
  • Barbara Hambly, Star Wars: Children of the Jedi (12/11)
  • Jack Finney, Time and Again (12/12)
  • Peter S. Beagle, A Fine and Private Place (12/13)
  • Dan Simmons, Hyperion (12/15)
  • Clancy Carlile, Children of the Dust (12/17)
  • Dan Simmons, The Fall of Hyperion (12/19)

I still think of Children of the Jedi as "the best Star Wars novel," and have recommended it to several people that way (though, more recently, Matt Stover has done two books -- Traitor and Shatterpoint -- that are of the same caliber). But what I remember of the plot is that Luke is stuck on some decrepit giant death machine/starship, and has to stop it and get off. What struck me while reading it is that Luke gets injured fairly early on, and that slows him down -- actually, it increasingly slows him down, which makes him make other mistakes and get more injured. No Pearly White Glow here, and all the better for it.

Time and Again has the silliest time-travel mechanism in history (except, maybe, for that one Ian Watson story that uses masturbation), but it's still a lovely mood piece.

A Fine and Private Place is one of the great modern fantasy novels. If you (whoever "you" are) haven't read it, you really should. It's short, too.

I read both "Hyperion" novels in less than a week, with another book in the middle? Gosh. Like everyone else in the civilized world, I liked the set-up better than the ending, but the ending was still awfully good; it's just that the set-up was amazing.

Children of the Dust was a book I read for work; as I recall, it was a semi-Western (no cowboys, so I'm not sure if it counts) about a black/Indian young man in the late 1800s somewhere dusty (Oklahoma, maybe?), and how he eventually fits into a community. (I think he marries, or at least courts, a schoolmarm.) I know I did a report on it, but that was long enough ago that it's not on my current computer. I doubt anyone else ever reading this blog will have even heard of the book, or care.

(And this post is about twelve hours late because last night turned out to be busier than expected. The Things went to bed early, but then we had Christmas card troubles, and I had a movie from Netflix to watch so that it could go back this morning.)

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