last posted Sept. 17, 2017, 7:33 p.m.
50 earlier thoughts
- Three Moments of an Explosion by China Miéville. I read this bit-by-bit over the past several months and have now reached the end. I found it a mixed bag. I’ve enjoyed several of his novels and wanted to try out his short stories too. Some of these I liked a lot, while others I felt I wasn’t quite clever enough to grasp the point of. The title story is also the first story, and didn’t work at all for me, so it took me ages to actually get any further (in retrospect I should have just skipped it). One of the stories was way too far towards horror for me — I’ve successfully blanked it from my mind now, but this does mean I’m unlikely to re-read this collection because I don’t want to risk that one getting inside my head again. Which is a massive shame!
- The Interior Life by Dorothy J Heydt. Not bad — a very interesting premise, and the earlier parts were good, but it had A Great Big Climactic Battle, and I find those very boring, so I ended up skipping bits, which is not how I want to remember a novel.
- The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C Clarke. Space elevators in Sri Lanka, though sadly as a product of colonialism rather than Sri Lankan science.
- The Violinist’s Thumb by Sam Kean. Popular science book about DNA and related things. I found it annoyingly perky, and in places colloquial to the point of incomprehensibility. It uses “he” as a generic pronoun, and erases Rosalind Franklin entirely. Kindle says I made it 16% of the way through, which I see is exactly as far as I got through the last book I didn’t finish.
- Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time, edited by Hope Nicholson. Recommend, will read again, am hoping for a second volume.
- Binti and Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor. First and second in a series of novellas; the first was a re-read in preparation for my first read of the second. I liked the first one but found the second a bit disappointing. I also found it really weird that Binti’s university-level maths study appeared to be all about numbers. (I didn’t get on with the author’s novel Who Fears Death either; I found myself skipping great swathes of it from about two-thirds of the way through).
11 later thoughts