The reading habits of a bibliovore & Technology Services Librarian
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Rose also has growing pains, at the end of the last novel she was reunited with her teenage love, and they are both learning about each other and what being together as ghosts means... and what their type of existence requires. Her other relationships grow, change, and develop too, adding depth and filled with twists both expected and surprising.
I'm seeing this book listed in places as 2 of 2 in its series, and I'm hoping that's an error. There is a lot unanswered, unfinished, in this story, and I want to see where this road takes us.
Advance Reader Copy courtesy of DAW (Penguin RandomHouse) in exchange for an honest review; changes may exist between galley and the final edition
Well, space witches in general, but bonus points if they're queer AF.
This was inspired by coming across the author review blurbs for Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir.
"Lesbian necormancers explore a haunted gothic palace in space! Decadent nobles vie to serve the deathless emperor! Skeletons!" - Charles Stross
"This crackling, inventive and riotous book from an original voice is a genuine pleasure. Also the author is clearly insane." - Warren Ellis
To my new Space Witch reading list I add:
The Stars are Legion / Kameron Hurley - lesbian space witches, lesbian space warriors, weird creepy shit. you know, the good stuff.
Voidwitch Saga by Corey J White (Killing Gravity, Void Black Shadow, Static Ruin)
- can't remember if she's queer or not, but she's definitely a space witch
"Faith in not rational. Do you know what a cathedral is, Chief Engineer?"
"A kind of church," she said. "A big church."
"A church that took centuries to build," he clarified. "And could cost hundreds of lives in the building. A church that represented an absolutely absurd investment for a medieval lord. And yet they got built anyway. For the glory of God."
Grail, p. 292, by Elizabeth Bear
Dust by Elizabeth Bear is one of my favorite novels, and was one of the easy selections for when I started doing this book club thing. But while I reread Dust with some frequency, I think I only read Chill (Jacob's Ladder #2) once, immediately after purchasing it. There's a good chance that my reading of it was too colored by my expectations and memories of Dust, a younger me wanting the exact same thing as before, only new and different. Similar to my experiences with American Gods and Anasazi Boys, except Chill is a true sequel.
What I remember is that this is a story of after and of pushing through. The Jacob's Ladder is again in motion, reduced through deliberate effort and through the abuse of its rough relaunch. Similarly, the characters are in a state of flux, challenge, and recovery. Perceval struggles with the unwanted mantle of Captain, the cost of power and conflict, and the ghost of Rein that now lives in the AI of the ship. Tristen and Benedick go from support characters in Perceval and Rein's quest, to a quest of their own as they deal with their own ghosts of a sort.
So, we'll see how this read goes, and I'll attempt to have my review of it up within February!
Wherein Morgoth spreads the misery though puppetry. Releasing Húrin to the world after years of captivity, he aims to increase strife among Men and Elves. His reception is varied, with his own people shunning him as in league with Morgoth. Even the Eagles state that "Húrin Thalion has surrendered to the will of Morgoth." This reception makes me think of Gandalf speaking of how to treat Gollum, and the importance of mercy. I wonder how this story would have changed if people had shown him kindness and acceptance, while acknowledging that Morgoth had his plans for Húrin still. But again, that is often the beauty of the "curses" Tolkien lays against his characters, their fated doom often not of divine or infernal end, but the result of deliberate action and self-fulfilling prophesy.
We some of what could have been, when Melian speaks kindness in face of his twisted perceptions and grief, but it leaves Húrin bereft of purpose and so he passes away. It also happens to late, for a great treasure of the Dwarves is still given unto Thingol, who has the Dwarves set within it the Silmaril. As we have seen so far, nothing involving the Silmarils goes well, with all those who see it desiring to possess it. Those that wished it laid claim, and Thingol responded in anger, provoking the Dwarves to rise against him. Pursuit was given, but two escaped back to their people and reported that they were unfairly slain by order of the Elvenking.
Melian's power was withdrawn from the full realm, which allowed the Dwarves to move forward unheeded until they met the Elven host. They win their way in and take for themselves the Silmaril they coveted, among other plunder. They meet on their leaving Beren, his son Dior, and many Green Elves, and those that fled met the Ents, who we know from The Lord of the Rings can be quite viscous when provoked. The Silmaril is reclaimed and given to Lúthien, Thingol's daughter, and her son, Dior, takes on the mantel of King of Doriath where he rules until the Necklace of the Dwarves with the Silmaril set within is passed onto him upon his parents death. While Lúthien was unassailable, her son had no such protection, and Celegorm and Curufin again raise strife, assaulting Doriath and Dior, losing their own lives, ending those of Dior, Dior's wife, and his sons, and destroying Doriath.
The Sons of Fëanor and their followers fail to claim the Silmaril, secreted away by Dior's daughter and a few survivors of Doriath.
I am not sorry to see the end of Celegorm and Curufin, who again and again have acted as villains in self-interest and in following an oath made to regain the Silmarils. As for the Silmarils, there is not so much a curse upon them as a depressing reminder of the power of avarice and greed, and that seems in line with the type of message and story Tolkien tells again and again in this saga.
Several things drew me to We. Comparison to 1984 is unavoidable, yet it predates it by several decades. A science fiction dystopia written in 1921 Russia that is still being read and discussed today seems like the type of foundation literature I should be familiar with.
The book is definitely an interesting read, pulling on themes we expect to see in any modern literary dystopia with investigation and discussion of what it means to be an individual. It is also difficult to read, a short novel that makes use of uncomfortable descriptions and has passages that are undeniably racist. What remains is to untangle what is relic of the environment in which the book was written, what is an aspect of the horror of the setting, and what is true bias of the author. Philosophically interesting, but for me the discomfort rides heavy even if took minimal space in the text.
So begins another year and another set of books to read, hopefully you'll join me. The selections this time around include three long-overdue rereads, one a sequel to a book I picked my first year, and eight books that have popped up and looked particularly worth reading. There were actually a good half-dozen more titles at various points I had meant to jot down for this list... and apparently never did so. Hopefully they'll come across my desk again some time soon. Otherwise, we'll see how this goes! I only vaguely know what to expect for most of these.
February: Chill / Elizabeth Bear
March: A Wrinkle in Time / Madeleine L'Engle
April: The Sheep Look Up / John Brunner
May: Islands in the Net / Bruce Sterling