Sunday, December 04, 2005

Reading Into the Past: Week of 12/4

While the machine is spinning up, let me roll the very high-tech randomization devices...we have a 5, which means we travel back to the year 2000:

China Mieville, Perdido Street Station (11/26)
Cathy & Arnie Fenner, editors, Spectrum 7 (11/27)
Frank Miller,, Daredevil Visionaries: Frank Miller, Vol.1 (11/28)
Jonathan Coe, The House of Sleep (11/29)
The Art of Rowena (11/30)
David Gelernter, 1939: The Lost World of the Fair (12/1)
Tony Daniel, Metaplanetary (12/3)
Linda Nagata, Limit of Vision (12/4)

It was five years ago that I read 1939?! I thought I just read that last year! (I was vaguely looking for it for several years, and then it sat around six months before I finally go to read it, though.) Time is moving far too quickly. The book itself just has a mushy existence in my head, but I remember enjoying it, and going on to read Gelernter's book on the Unabomber because of it.

I still remember Perdido fondly, though I think The Scar is a better novel in all of the important ways. The two art books were fine for what they were, and the Frank Miller Daredevil collection was, as I recall, his getting-pretty-good first half-year, rather than the really-damn-good stuff of his end of the run.

Metaplanetary was a bit muddled and opaque, and didn't really end, but it was a decent, if really bizarre, space opera. I never got to the second one, and then Daniel didn't have a chance to do a third one.

Limit of Vision was about tiny symbiotic something-or-others, created on an orbital and smuggled down to Vietnam (semi-crash-landed, as I recall) for now-forgotten political reasons. I remember thinking it was perfectly OK, but I didn't like it as much as some of Nagata's earlier books.

And The House of Sleep was a neat British literary novel with a whole bunch of characters I now don't remember clearly. It did lead me to read Coe's first novel, the supposedly satiric The Winshaw Legacy (which I think I would have needed to have been much, much more British to "get"). I also have the first of his current two-book series around here somewhere, but haven't gotten to it yet.

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