Wednesday, February 19, 2003


I forgot to mention that in those sleepless nights of withdrawal, a backlit Palm Pilot is a very good book indeed. I finished Down and Out In the Magic Kingdom, which is part of that time-honored sub-genre of science fiction, the first-person narrative of a complete jerk. I don't know what it is about sci-fi and jerk autobiographies, but it's been done so many times. Sometimes very well, mind you. John Varley has done it more than once, most recently with Steel Beach.

It's a tough act to pull off, since one of the requirements is that the character, warts and all, must begin to grow on you, until by the end of the book, you're sure that he's not that bad after all, despite the terrible treacherous things he's done.

Well, Cory Doctorow has the sub-genre down pat, and I had a great time reading it, despite my suffering. I'll probably write a little more about the effect of strong negative experiences coloring one's appreciation for fun things in a future post, but for now, suffice to say it was worth the read. Have I bought a copy and given it to the library? Come on, I've been sick! I'll get around to it, believe me...

On another reading note, I sent Guns of August back to the library, since I didn't have the reserve brainpower to work through the dense text. Instead, I plan to buy a trade paperback copy for my own the next time I go to the bookstore. So it remains on the 'currently reading' list as in a state of suspended grace .

One final note. I've started reading Toast: And Other Rusted Futures, by Charles Stross, a Scottish science fiction author who's been getting a lot of buzz lately. I'll let you know what I think in due time.

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