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But it did make me realize nobody wanted me to read this (yet) and technically it just falls within the parameters of the Tears reviews.

The Many Coloured Land

Except I only read it because one of my profs was nuts about it. Me, not so much.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
On my way over to catch the bus, noticed a guy sleeping on the edge of the bus lane, next to the wall that defines its edge. Safe where he was but one roll away from being where bus tires pass. Pointed him out to a security guard on the grounds being crushed under a bus is not restful. Found out this evening a very drunk guy was arrested at the terminal about the time I pointed the fellow out, so I guess that is what happened.
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Ibid has a meow for "Put me down so I can run over and groom Groucho."
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)



I mostly made this post to address this Daily Dot article that went around earlier this week (How The Growing Generation Gap Is Changing The Face Of Fandom) The basic premise was that NineWorlds = good and inclusive because it’s a young con run by young people! And WorldCon = awful on the diversity front because old white men.

Well. I attended both cons as a young queer Asian woman and I think that’s a pretty unfair assessment of what the cons were actually like.
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IMG_00000236

It's squirrel footprints preserved in sidewalk concrete.
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THXLWTNGKF1976

When I began rereading this, I had only the vaguest of recollections about it, that it was in some way connected to the author's more famous “Of Mist, and Grass, and Sand” and Dreamsnake, that it was set in the last city on a barren Earth abandoned by the civilized peoples of the Sphere and that was about all. I therefore had a certain level of trepidation because while I had fond memories of having had fond memories of this, the lack of specifics meant there was no assurance the suck fairy would not have visited it. I am happy to say that I can see why I liked this so much almost forty years ago.

Mischa lives near Center, last bastion of civilization, such as it is, on an Earth that populated the stars before incinerating itself in the Last War. The vast warrens around Center, created during the preparations for the final war, are one legacy of the great conflagration, as are the mutations seen in so many of the people of Earth. Mischa, eking out a life near the bottom of the social pyramid, is lucky in that her mutation is invisible, a degree of telepathic ability, but unlucky because it ties her to her idiot sister Gemmi, and through her to her exploitative uncle by chains she has no idea how to break.

Her only hope for her and her drug-addicted, despairing brother Chris is that she can somehow talk one of the starfarers who visit Center to take Mischa and Chris away from Earth to one of the civilized worlds of the Sphere; distance may do for them what will cannot. Unfortunately, not only are the people who choose to visit Earth the dregs of civilization but when the book opens, storm season, when no sane person lands a starship at Center, has begun. Even if it wasn't storm season, thus far Mischa's efforts have yielded only savage beatings.
Read more... )
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Because he decided it was time for him to hop down from his fortress of solitude up on top of the bedroom bookcase, landing directly behind Nameless as she was cautiously assessing whether she could scoot by me to the bedroom window. We'll never know but sprinting claws out in terror across my arm definitely worked.

I have

Aug. 30th, 2014 09:40 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
A frightening number of John Boyd novels.
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Digital Divide

Embarrassing confession time: from time to time people have sent me books to read in my spare time and I accept them, despite knowing I never get around to reading books in my spare time because I try hard never to have spare time. NEVER. I have had a e-copy of A Digital Divide long enough to misplace it (I bought a new copy, along with a couple of other Spangler books) and I never got around to reading it because I am a terrible person.

Spangler is probably best known for A Girl and Her Fed, which shares a universe with this novel. As it happens, I've never read A Girl and her Fed so any elements that would leap out at a fan of that strip were missed by me.

My impression is the author was concerned the memespace for her book would be filled by the doomed Fox show Almost Human, which to be honest I thought was going to be the inferior Yank rip-off of Äkta människor but which seems to have been closer to the inferior rip-off of Holmes & Yoyo played straight. In any case, the doomed Fox show Almost Human is both dead in the water and also not much like Digital Divide at all. For one thing, I'd actually recommend Digital Divide.

Rachel Peng is an Office of Adaptive and Complementary Enhancement Technologies Agent, one of the lucky few who gained abilities beyond those of mundane humans thanks to a very high tech implant and the only cost was half a decade of having her mind and identity ripped apart thanks to some misleadingly documented features of the implant.
Read more... )
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Within a few decades, solar technology will evolve to the point where power is endless . . . unless someone wants to stop the flow—which someone does.

And the only men who can stop these high-tech terrorists are on horseback.

In the near future, the New Las Vegas Sunfield will be one of many enormous solar farms to supply energy to the United States. At more than fifty miles long and two miles wide, the Sunfield generates an electromagnetic field so volatile that ordinary machinery and even the simplest electronic devices must be kept miles away from it. Thus, the only men who can guard the most technologically advanced power station on earth do so on horseback.

They are the Outriders.

Though the power supplied by the Sunfield is widespread, access to that power comes with total deference to the iron-fisted will of New Las Vegas’s ruthless mayor, Franklin Dreg. Crisis erupts when Dreg’s quietly competent secretary, Timothy Hale, discovers someone has been stealing energy—siphoning it out of the New Las Vegas grid under cover of darkness.

As the Outriders investigate, the scale of the thievery becomes clear: these aren’t the ordinary energy leeches, people who steal a few watts here or there. These are high-tech terrorists (or revolutionaries) engaged in a mysterious and dangerous enterprise and poised to bring down the entire energy grid, along with the millions of people it supports.

The pressure mounts and fractures appear within both the political leadership of New Las Vegas and in the tight-knit community of Outriders. With a potential crisis looming, the mysterious goal of the “Drainers” finally comes into focus. Only then do the Outriders realize how dangerous the situation really is.


Stealing solar power at night? That's a plan so cunning you could stick a tail on it and call it a weasel!

Oddly, this is the second SF novel I have run into that features a highly centralized solar power scheme (the other one also included 40,000 km long extension cord).
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)


A young lady walks by, who you find sexually attractive. You're probably not clever enough to come up with an original thought, so the only remaining option is to yell out at her, like you are not a smart person. Should you do it?


A flow chart.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
Red Planet

1949's Red Planet takes us to a Mars far more habitable than the real one, an inviting if challenging world whose ancient civilization seems to have little issue sharing Mars with a handful of human colonists from Earth. Changes are coming for the colonists, changes that will cast a stark light on the assumptions the humans have about their hosts.

Read more... )
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I think I saw the point in the play at which Shakespeare suddenly realized Regan and Goneril were more sympathetic than Lear.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)

The Steerswoman Quartet                             Acquired          Posted            
The Long Run                                        Acquired          Posted                                
Riddlemaster of Hed                                 Acquired          Posted 
Voyage of the Shadowmoon                            none              Posted
Footfall                                            Acquired          Posted 
Max Gladstone's Trilogy                             Acquired          Posted
Wheel of the Infinite                               Acquired          Posted
A Desert of Stars                                   Acquired          Posted
KJ Parker's Shadow                                  Acquired          Posted       
Geraldine Harris's Seven Citadels quartet           Acquired          Posted
Rocket Ship Galileo                                 Acquired          Posted
Lucifer's Hammer                                    Acquired          Posted
KJ Parker Pattern                                   Acquired          Posted
KJ Parker's Memory                                  Acquired          Posted
Rocket Ship Galileo                                 Acquired          Posted
Space Cadet                                         Acquired           Posted 
Search for the Star Stones (Norton)      Ross Smith Acquired          Posted
Red Planet                                          Acquired          Posted
Digital Divide,                                     Acquired          Posted


Heinlein Juveniles                                  Acquired
Sewer, Gas and Electric                             Acquired
Ash (Mary Gentle)                                   Foraging
Another Parker                                      Foraging
Golden Witchbreed (Mary Gentle)                     Acquired
The Russians Came Knocking,                         Acquired
Maker Space.                                        Acquired
Kathleen O'Neal Gear Powers of Light trilogy        Acquired
Them Bones                                          Acquired
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
List
Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone
Footfall by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
Two Serpents Rise: A Novel of the Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone
Wheel of the Infinite by Martha Wells
Full Fathom Five: A Novel of the Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone
The Desert of Stars - A Human Reach Novel by John J. Lumpkin
Sight of Proteus by Charles Sheffield
Seven Citadels: by Geraldine Harris
Cage on the Sea by Kaoru Ohno
Shadow: Book One of the Scavenger Trilogy by K.J. Parker
Rocket Ship Galileo by Robert A. Heinlein
Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
On a Red Station, Drifting by Aliette de Bodard
Pattern: Book Two of the Scavenger Trilogy by K.J. Parker
Hard to Be a God by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky
A Voice Out of Ramah by Lee Killough
Space Cadet by Robert A. Heinlein
Memory: Book Three of the Scavenger Trilogy by K.J. Parker
Sword Art Online: Aincrad by Reki Kawahara
Search for the Star Stones by Andre Norton

I feel vaguely ill at how short that list is. There have been eight days where I posted no reviews. I will do better in September.

Total  F     M    Mu    F/T
20     5    12     3    0.25


And that's not making me feel much better.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
Search for the Star Stones


Search for the Star Stones is an omnibus of two linked Norton novels, 1968's The Zero Stone and 1969's Uncharted Stars. Many of Norton's books shared an ancient universe where the history of technological civilizations began long before humans appeared and would presumably long continue once we fell into dust with the rest. While the Zacathans managed to survive through two million years, such longevity is not the usual case and most of the civilizations that rose and fell, lumped together as a misleadingly unitary term “Forerunner”, are known only through enigmatic relics.
Read more... )

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