While I haven't been completely inactive in the blogging world since my last post here, I admit it's been a bit too long (yes, I made it back from Montréal in one piece, despite the great beer and lively night scene). So, what better than a reading-list update?
This is but a fraction of my current list. But before I go into that, here's what I've read recently:
- Building Harlequin's Moon - Larry Niven / Brenda Cooper. This is surprisingly good. Brenda Cooper is a boon to Niven's characters. Not only are the characters probably the best of any Niven collaboration I've read (let alone his stand-alones), the social setting is very dramatic, and that's something that Niven is pretty good with in his other books.
- The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night-Time - Mark Haddon. It's a story about and written from the perspective of an extremely intelligent English boy. The chapters are the prime numbers. There's an appendix that describes the solution to a very difficult mathematics problem (or so I am led to believe). However, it is also a very sad story about an autistic 15-year old caught in the middle of horrible familial strife, and who also wants to find out who killed his neighbor's dog with a pitch-fork. It's good.
- Shadow Puppets - Orson Scott Card. The sequel to Ender's Shadow, aka "the good Ender series", is good. Bean is a great tragic character.
- A Scanner Darkly - Philip K. Dick. Sure, I admit that I read this because the movie got my attention. But I had read PKD's stuff before, and this is probably my favorite so far. Shortly after, I saw the movie, which was also awesome. In both mediums, but moreso in the book, the author really captured the paranoid moon-logic of a tripped out drug-addict excellently. It's not just a silly idea here and there: it manifests as long conversations where one strange misunderstanding of the world builds on top of another one, repeatedly, until you kind of get caught up in the logic yourself. Oh, by the way, the story is very sad.
- The Last Continent - Pratchett. I'm proud to say that I got probably 85% of the references in the book. However, it was little more than that. Plot was pretty boring. The gem was the way Pratchett described Australian aboriginal art as if the artist drew the simplest thing possible, but then tried to make it come to life, by drawing it inside-out.
There have been more than that, for sure, but let's cut it to a reasonable length.
Here's what's on the plate:
- Gunslinger Girl. A manga based on the anime. It's reminded me how sad the story is. I'm going to be buying the remaining two volumes of the anime that I don't have.
- Metamorphosis - Kafka. Sure, I haven't read it yet.
- The Book of Jhereg - Steven Brust. This is a single-bound volume of the first three of Brust's books in this series. It is turning out to be fairly good. You may have seen references to this in recent publications.
- Metroid Prime: Hunters. Wait, what? That's not a book. But man, that is a bad-ass Nintendo DS game.
There's more, but those are the things I find worth mentioning.