Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Recently read:

Vernor Vinge's The Peace War. Interesting idea, sympathetic characters, still reads a little like the middle book of a trilogy. I recommend it nevertheless, an After The Bomb book without any The Bomb.

The Wind's Twelve Quarter's, Ursula K. LeGuin, retrospective collection of short fiction; granted that her politics and philosophy aren't mine, she's a good writer with a wonderful imagination; and I have to give her a lot of credit for dreaming up her "perfect" anarchy, spotting (some of) the flaws and using them to drive a story (in The Dispossessed). Collection ends with The Day Before The Revolution, an afternoon spent with one of the primary drivers of the events the give rise to the circumstances of the formentioned novel and a very fine yarn.

Escape From Loki, Philip Jose Farmer's Doc Savage pre-origin novel. He captured much of Lester Dent's tone and style, though two inconsistencies are the slightly overdescribed ardor of young Doc for a beautiful (and, of course, evil) Russian countess and the use of a "shortwave radio" in WW I: ummm, nope. (Dent, a ham operator and fascinated by the history of invention, wouldn't've made the second error; as for the first, why, Street & Smith policy did not permit such luridness in a science/adventure pulp). Quite good otherwise and shows Farmer's accurate grasp of the personalities.

I'm in the middle of another "modern pulp," this one featuring many pulp writers as characters; report to follow.

1 comment:

Ken said...

If you'll permit me, I'll recommend D.M. Cornish's Foundling's Tale trilogy (apparently renamed by the publisher from the Monster Blood Tattoo trilogy): Foundling, Lamplighter, and Factotum. Interesting premise, playful use of language (a number of repurposings and coinages), some nice maps (Cornish appears to have made his bones as an illustrator before starting to write his own stuff).