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Posts about books (old posts, page 65)

The Nelson Touch (Ark Royal, #2)

Review:

While "Ark Roy­al" was a some­what pre­dictable, old fash­ioned navies-in-s­pace book with some bad vibes from the au­thor leak­ing out, this book is sort of dis­gust­ing.

Let me give you the short ver­sion:

Ev­ery wom­an is a shrew. Ex­cept those who are sexy and/or sub­mis­sive. Jour­nal­ists are the low­est of the low. Mil­i­tary men are awe­some. Ex­po­si­tion is a must. Aliens are a mis­tery. Di­a­log is clunky. Aliens will mag­i­cal­ly de­vel­op or not de­vel­op what­ev­er abil­i­ty or tac­tic the au­thor needs at any giv­en point in the sto­ry. Char­ac­ter de­vel­op­ment con­sists on as­sign­ing a char­ac­ter­is­tic to a name. This one is a for­mer drunk. This one fuck­s. This one is a pi­lot. That one is a wom­an. This one nags. That oth­er one is an­oth­er wom­an, and what do you mean you can't tell her apart from the pre­vi­ous one? She has a name!

De­press­ing­ly bad, and ug­ly.

Will not read the rest of the se­ries, which the au­thor is threat­en­ing to split in­to an­oth­er book hap­pen­ing at the same time as this one.

Ark Royal (Ark Royal, #1)

Review:

Old fash­ioned to the ex­treme. The book shows glimpses of mis­oginy and gen­er­al mil­i­taris­tic fetichism in the au­thor that get even more ex­treme in the sec­ond book of the se­ries. The alien race is nev­er de­vel­oped in any mean­ing­ful way, and their ac­tions are con­trived so that the plot will forced­ly march where the au­thor wants it to go.

Among Others

Review:

Jo Wal­ton is the mas­ter (mistress?) of tone. She writes in tongues. This is an amaz­ing book.

The Lathe of Heaven

Review:

I thought I had read ev­ery­thing by LeGuin. I some­how missed this one.

It gets four stars be­cause... come on, clas­sic LeGuin.

The sto­ry is con­cep­tu­al­ly good, and the de­liv­ery is up to her usu­al stan­dard­s. One thing that bugged me a lit­tle was the malthu­sian pes­simism was a bit over the top.

The au­thor imag­ines a world with sev­en bil­lion peo­ple in it (like we have now!) so here's a ran­dom list of what that world is like:

* Ram­pant green­house ef­fect

* Grain is so ex­pen­sive and scarce there's no whiskey any­more

* No cars be­cause no oil

* Port­land, Ore­gon is an over­pop­u­lat­ed hell­hole where lawyers work out of con­vert­ed park­ing build­ings.

* Mas­sive famines (92% of world pop­u­la­tion!)

* Rick­ets and scurvy are ram­pant in the US

* Over­pop­u­la­tion makes ev­ery­one feel cramped all the time

And so on and so forth


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