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September 2008 Archives

September 4, 2008

The Honor of the Queen



The Honor of the Queen, by David Weber

Second in the Honor Harrington series by David Weber...

This is going to be quick and short since it's Honor and Weber and my love for both has already been established.

This is the one where Honor goes to Grayson for the first time, we meet the Mayhews, and there's the whole confrontation with Masada.

The thing that really struck me this time around was the religious extremism. And the complete obliviousness of certain political types to it. That logic just isn't something that will work to combat that level of conviction.

I'm always amazed by authors that can get me completely emotionally involved in a story, especially when it's one I've read before.

September 15, 2008

1633



1633, by Eric Flint & David Weber

Second in the 1632 series by Eric Flint & David Weber...

Seems I have been horribly neglectful of the books blog again, I'm writing this a good two months after reading the book. Very silly of me.

So... this continues the stories of the people sent back in time to 1632, they're starting to have a serious impact on world happenings (or at least the going's on in Europe). There's a lot going on with history books being essentially smuggled out to other countries and what those other leaders do with the information. Say you're Richelieu, or King Charles I and you get this information telling you what's going to happen. What do you do? Do you get rid of the people who are supposedly going to be your downfall? Or change what made them want to get rid of you in the first place?

Of course nothing will go according to the history books any more anyway because there's all kinds of change happening anyway. But can you learn from the mistakes you would have made in different circumstances? Try to change policies or stear things in a different direction? It matches well with the idea of predestination that was a big deal at the time. Calvin and all of that. Which is a really big idea for me to get my brain around anyway.

I'm liking this series a lot, but it does have me going to Wikipedia frequently. My 1600's European history knowledge isn't very good!

September 22, 2008

Foundations



Foundations, by Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore

Fifth dead tree Star Trek SCE book, collects ebooks #17-#19...

It's an SCE book that isn't a re-read. Yay! This one was really fun. There's a common story that threads around the three ebooks with the normal main characters, the three books themselves are about Scotty and the beginnings of the SCE.

The first one is set before ST:TOS, Scotty is on his way to join the Enterprise for the first time and ends up helping out with a problem at an outpost in the Neutral Zone.

Second is after a first season episode of TOS. The SCE gets sent to help clean up after Kirk et al find a planet being ruled by a computer (The Return of the Archons). This one was the most interesting to me I think. It's such an interesting idea, at the end of the episode everything seems solved and it's all going to be ok. But in reality what happens to those people once the Enterprise leaves? Their entire society and way of life has been turned upside down, so who cleans up the mess? Turns out the SCE does that.

I remember having a conversation on a Farscape message board a while back that was similar (what happens to that woman after Crichton leaves in "I, ET"?) and I find it a really fascinating thing to contemplate. I really think it goes back to high school and "Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead", that idea that these people all have lives that continue after they exit stage left.

Anyway! The third one happens at some point after the second season TOS episode "By Any Other Name," since it involves the same aliens and Scotty reminisces about the experience.

September 26, 2008

Blindness



Blindness, by Jose Saramago

Well, that was an incredibly strange book.

I first saw it a few months ago and thought it sounded interesting, but didn't get around to reading it right away. A few weeks ago I started seeing trailers for the movie adaptation and figured I should get around to reading the book. And assuming the movie is anything past mediocre it's going to be one of the very few exceptions to my normal "the book is always better" rule.

The author, Jose Saramago, is apparently a Nobel laureate, and he and his books are popular and critically acclaimed and all that. Which seems odd to me, I think it desperately needs a ruthless copy-editor.

One of the Amazon reviews said that they thought the lack of punctuation and run-on sentences and complete confusion of the writing was to keep the reader as confused as the characters. Which would be a good point, except that that seems to be the way the guy writes everything. So it wasn't a choice for effect.

Beyond the writing style (which can be dealt with even if it's incredibly annoying) the characters were weird and their actions just didn't make sense. Why would everyone stop using names? If you can't see to describe someone the most logical way to identify them is by their name. But instead everyone just wanders around and thinks names are useless for some reason.

They all seem to slide entirely too easily into behaving like animals. I realize that newly blinded people wouldn't be able to take care of themselves as easily as someone who has been blind for a longer amount of time, but none of them even try! They all just give up. And wouldn't it make sense to recruit actual blind people to help out? They can't "catch" whatever is blinding people so when it seems like it'll be a containable event, why not have blind people there to explain how to do things? To share their experiences?

I lost patience with "the doctor's wife" pretty early on. She gets more and more upset by the way everyone is living, and yet does nothing to help the situation. She's in the perfect position to help a ton of people and she does nothing. Because she's afraid she'll have to lead everyone around all the time? That's just silly! Blind people don't need to be led everywhere. Help them figure out how to take care of themselves, how to help themselves.

The whole thing just came off as very condescending and pretentious.

About September 2008

This page contains all entries posted to Sunidesus Reads in September 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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