Monthly Archives: September 2010

Book Review: Stealing the Elf-Kings Roses, by Diane Duane

Aspect
401 pp.

Stealing the Elf-King's RosesStealing the Elf-King’s Roses is an interesting combination of political intrigue and police procedural, and has the feel of a “grown up” version of Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series. (In fact, some of the alternate earths mentioned will be easily recognizable by anyone who has read the Young Wizard books.) This is a near-future science fiction/urban fantasy where a string of alternate Earths are connected by worldgates. (I should also mention here that the Earth the protagonist comes from is not our Earth, though you probably would have figured that out within the first few pages.) The book opens with the discovery of a sixth world, and mentions possible economic and political repercussions as a result of the discovery and possible contact with the sixth world. Continue reading

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Filed under alternate history, anomaly/nexus, fantasy elements, political intrigue, Review: Book, science fiction, urban

Enemy Mine: Hate the Movie, Love the Novella

I really, really did not like the movie. And when I say “didn’t like” I actually mean loathe. Part of the reason is that the movie did not make sense. (Especially the Davidge-on-the-conveyor belt scene. I never understood what the heck they were doing with that. Also, they don’t really explain if I recall, why the kid was growing up so fast, or make it more clear how much time was passing.)

Another part of the reason is that my dad’s theory-crafting about the movie (while the damned movie was playing) was enough to make me want to scream bloody murder. (Dad’s theory-crafting about science fiction movies and tv shows was generally annoying enough to warrant its own post.) For Enemy Mine, dad decided that the Drac religion was meant to stand in for Islam, and that Dracs were coded as black. (No, I am not sure why, and questioning/disagreeing with him generally caused a hostile response back in the day.) The point where I think he’s more or less right, is that the producers of the film turned this story into a very sloppy anecdote about racism. Continue reading

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Filed under book, Meta, movies, race/ethnicity issues, science fiction, sociological

Book Review: The High King of Montival, by S.M. Stirling

Roc
481 pp.

The High King of Montival: A Novel of the Change (Change Series)In The High King of Montival, Rudi has gained the Sword of the Lady, been declared High King by his companions and now is ready to build an army and make alliances with the groups he has encountered on his quest. His first recruits are an Asatru community that formed itself up in Maine. As he works his way back along the way he traveled, he picks up more people and establishes the eastern-most boundary of his notional kingdom. Meanwhile, people back home are meeting envoys from the various groups Rudi encountered, and continuing their war with the Church Universal and Triumphant (while also waiting for Rudi to turn up with the Sword in classic Big Fat Fantasy Novel fashion.)

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Filed under anomaly/nexus, apocalyptic, book, fantasy elements, near future, Review: Book, S.M. Stirling, science fiction

This Post Is Filler for the Essay I Want to Write

Which is to say, I have an idea for an essay about my general feelings about David Eddings’ handling of race and ethnicity, but I don’t have anything written down yet. I can point out various instances of his writing that have disturbed me to a greater or lesser extent–but I can’t narrow it down to “here is what seems like a problem to me.” The general argument/response to an essay that deals with issues of race (especially where a popular writer like Eddings is concerned) is that you get the people who use the “but it makes sense in context!” argument, and the “how dare you call [writer] a racist!”  Continue reading

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Filed under Meta, race/ethnicity issues, Ramble, writing

Book Review: The Sword of Winter by Marta Randall

Pocket
271 pp.

It is difficult to say whether The Sword of Winter is more of a fantasy with science fiction elements, or a science fiction novel with fantasy elements. The technology is steam-level, with telegraphs. It’s a book that is strong on character interactions and political intrigue, with some fascinating worldbuilding elements. I first read this book back in junior high, and it has been one of my on again, off again favorites for years. It doesn’t seem to be in print, but it’s a relatively easy book to find.

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Filed under book, fantasy, non-earth, political intrigue, science fiction elements

Book Review: The Gaslight Dogs by Karin Lowachee

Orbit
341 pp.

The Gaslight DogsThe blurb for The Gaslight Dogs makes it sound as if it is going to be another case of “white Guy learns native ways and saves the day,” but this is not the case. This would normally be fine with me, except that the story is also “people who hate each other an awful lot flop around and don’t do much of anything.” I am not a fan of this kind of story, but the world building was interesting so I continued reading it. Continue reading

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Filed under book, fantasy, Karin Lowachee, non-earth, Review: Book, sociological

Book Review: The Door into Sunset by Diane Duane

Tor
383 pp.

In The Door into Sunset, our leading characters go through many evolutions and “power ups” as their efforts to depose Cillmod come to a head. This book focuses mainly on Freelorn as he tries to find a way to become a true Initiate in the royal magics that protects the country from the Shadow, (and which also ensure that the land doesn’t turn back into wasteland like most of the continent seems to be). We also watch Hasai and Segnbora become Very Important Persons among the Dragons, and Herewiss learn to cope with being the First Man in Centuries with the Blue Flame. Continue reading

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Filed under apocalyptic, book, Diane Duane, fantasy, non-earth, Review: Book, slash/thots on yaoi