Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Next in Thursday Next series. This time the protagonist in the book isn’t the actual, original, “real” Thursday Next, but her correspondent from the Thursday Next books. The nice and empathetic one, not the arrogant one from those books which were written with added sex and action to please the readers. Most of the book happens in the bookworld, where the Thursday Next’s literary correspondent tries to find out what has happened to the real Thursday Next, while an understudy takes care of those few readers who are actually reading the book series. The real Thursday was supposed to mediate the peace talks between racy novel and women’s fiction, two genres with a long history of bad relations. At the same time an unknown book has destructed itself over the bookworld and spawn stray phonemes everywhere. As the real Thursday Next isn’t available, the written one must try to find out what is going on. She encounters many strange and surprising threats, like a dangerous mimefield filled with ruthless mimes. And she also gets a change to visit the real world and is astounded by the level of the detail. Even those things which aren’t described exist there!
Another really fun book from a fun series. This instalment was perhaps slightly less manic than some of the previous instalments, but it was a very inventive book filled with loads of fun literary and culture references. Very likely I missed many of them, but there was more than enough for a few chuckles for almost every page. Enjoyable, inventive and entertaining.
Friday, October 10, 2014
An average issue. Somehow felt at least thirty years older than it actually was.
The King Who Wasn't • [Interplanetary Relations Bureau] • novella by Lloyd Biggle, Jr.
An agent on Interplanetary Relation Bureau is on a planet which apparently has a democracy on several city states. But something seems to be wrong - the democracy seems to work unusually poorly and the newly elected officials are always worse than the previous ones. But the there is an apparent revolt, the latest elected officials are stoned and king is selected apparently more or less randomly. And the agent who was supposed to be as unnoticeable as possible finds himself as a vice-king. Sociopolitical science fiction. Not bad but somehow has pretty old fashionable feel in it and felt slightly overlong. ***½
Lost Dogs • shortstory by Christopher McKitterick
A probe returns to find humans after 80000 years. It seeks them from many different places and finally finds them. Overlong and overcomplicated story with a lot of long winded descriptions with a lot of numbers. Hard to follow and pretty boring. **+
The Upgrade • novelette by Brian Plante
A man is trying to manage in his job. His brain implant is fairly old, and his customers and employer is demanding more as well as his wife who tries to live rich life at a country club with rich friends. But the upgrade is very expensive and it will have some other drawbacks, also. Irritating and unrealistic characters and a sudden change from a fairly light tone to tragedy. Haven't they heard about divorce? ***-
A Moment of Integrity • shortstory by Jeffery D. Kooistra
A forth Mars mission makes an astounding discovery: a wreckage of a German spacecraft from the Second World War era. Which was powered by Diesel engines. WTF? Not very plausible but ok story, somehow slightly clumsy. It could have been the first part of a longer story. ***+
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
A murder mystery, where the police and an author – the wife of one of the policemen – try to find who killed a very unremarkable civil servant. Due to many subplots (not all resolved) and a really huge array of characters the book is sometimes hard to follow. The police makes a few stupid mistakes which are very convenient plot wise. Ok, entertaining book but I wasn’t overtly impressed.
Nainen pakenee yksinäiselle majakkasaarelle poikansa kanssa. Ystävysryhmä on toipumassa vakavasta onnettomuudesta. Nuhteettomalta vaikuttanut kunnallisvirkamies löytyy kotoaan ammuttuna. Toistasataa vuotta sitten palvelijatyttö muuttaa samalle majakkasaarelle sulhasensa ja tämän työtoverin kanssa. Kirjan alku on hyvin hajanainen ja henkilöiden määrä – etenkin kun samalta kirjailijalta ei ole aikaisemmin mitään lukenut ja kaikki päähenkilötkin ovat outoja - tuntuu melkein tyrmäävältä. Vähitellen kirjaan pääse sisään ja eri tarinoiden väille vähitellen muodostuvat ainakin melko loogiset yhteydet. Jonkinasteinen hajanaisuus kirjaa vaivaa loppuun asti ja osa ehkä hiukan irrallisista juonista jää ilman varsinaista päätöstä. Kovin suuria yllätyksiä kirja ei tarjonnut, itse arvasin murhaajan noin puolenvälin seudussa. Kielellisesti kirja oli aika hyvin kirjoitettu, monipuolista ja luettavaa kieltä, mutta kovin lyhyet tv-sarjamaiset usein jonkinasteiseen cliffhangeriin päättyvät kappaleet olivat paikoitellen ärsyttäviä. Aikamoisia sählääjiä ja ammattitaidottomia ruotsalaiset poliisit tämän kirjan perusteella kyllä ovat: useampia emämokia saivat aikaan. Hupsista vain, laitoinpas tärkeän todisteen epähuomiossa taskuuni ja unohdin sen moneksi päiväksi… Kovin suurta intoa ei ainakaan heti syntynyt kirjailijan muihin teoksiin tutustumiseen.