OK I have read a few books in the last couple of months and I have not really mentioned them here. So I shall fix that problem – oh and I don’t propose to do an in depth review of them just give you my general thoughts on the readability of the books and my over all feelings etc on the stories themselves.
Raw Shark Text – by Steven Hall.
Conceptual fish… feeding on our memories and other thoughts and ideas… A great concept and a really brilliant read – well for the first 3/4 or so. I got dragged into the world very easily and I really enjoyed the concept behind this novel and the ideas that it brought up. The ending turned into a cliche and a Jaws tribute. Maybe that was intentional and it just goes to prove that in the end we all turn out to be a cliche of modern culture… or is all art just a derivative of other forms of art…
Aside from the ending which, didn’t spoil the read just seemed to be a little rushed and maybe not as well thought out as the rest of the book, it was an engaging and thought provoking read. I really wish someone else would read it so that I could talk about it with them… maybe I can convince someone soon.
Old Man’s War – John Scalzi
First try at John’s published work, well aside from a chapter or two found on the net. I held this book up to some really high standards. Having been a fairly long time reader of his blogs I heard a lot about his work, mainly from fans and blog fiends, so I kind of expected something really good. And I got what I wanted – this book I could not put down! Not only was it so readable but the world he created and the characters where believable and interesting, it reminded me of many Sci-Fi worlds but was not the same as one of them. A great blend of Sci-Fi and general fiction (speculative fiction is the term for this fiction I don’t understand why we need to place people into genres but there you go Scalzi writes speculative fiction!) Anyway aside from my rejection of genres and terms this book is a must for all fans of Sci-Fi (and Spec-Fi) I really recommend this read both as an introduction to John and to this particular take on Sci-Fi.
Heart-Shaped Box – Joe Hill
OK yes this is Stephen King’s Son, so what! I bought it not because of that, well OK maybe a little because of that, but also due to the great reviews it had. Horror novels can be so hit and miss with me, some of the greatest horror authors (at least those spoken about the most) don’t really do it for me. But Joe did, it was just a great read and I really attached myself to the characters and the situations that they went through in order to survive the ordeal or a ghost in a suit. Maybe I just connected with the main character – a rock legend just like myself ! (lol) Other people I have spoken to about this book have told me it scared the bejezzus out of them – not so with me, I mean I liked the book and the way the characters where slowly driven to more and more desperate acts, and yes I was a little shocked by the events, but not scared like I have been by books (or even movies and games).
So what did I think? I thought this was so good that I would buy it as a present for all my friends and make them read it – although some of them might get a little too scared if the others I have spoken to are anything to go by! Brilliant and a great read!
Neromancer – William Gibson
Some people might be wondering how I could if I enjoy Sci-Fi so much have not read William Gibson until now… well I live in Australia remember that – and we do not get that many good books at good prices like our North American and European Cousins. So I have had to be frugal in my book buying – but with a friend who recently went to the US of A I got her to grab me some books and William Gibson was one of them. OK now that I have gotten over the blurb about book availability in Australia (and I didn’t even mention the price differences like that it costs me as much to get a 2nd hand book as it does a brand new one in the US!! and new books cost more then twice as much as in the US).
Ummm now I should mention the book… The first thing that hit me was the writing style, it was short shape images, almost like I was watching a movie that had pieces missing, it didn’t take away from the story line infact I think it sped everything up and got the point quicker. Also I loved the way the technology was just taken for granted – a lot of Sci-Fi writers over explain the new wonderful technology but Gibson just tell us what it is – no explanation as to how it works because the characters are all ready intimate with the technology – it would be like a person now explaining how a light switch worked before turning it on. We already know so why would characters in a book do it to each other with things that they already know.
This story was really good – I loved the way that all these new technologies, which I take for granted as I have played Cyberpunk and Shadowrun, where introduced and if I read this before I knew about all the other things it would have shaken my world up! The characters where very well writing and very engaging and the story had enough twists and turns that I keep interested into the very end. I have the sequel Mona Lisa Overdrive and I intend to read that in a little while I might even re-read this one before I go on just to get back into the world again. Great read a must for all.
Well I guess that is enough for the time being! I have read a few more books then this in the last few months but I just wanted to mention ones that really hit it off with me and ones that are topical to me at the moment. More to come later!