Jul. 16th, 2013

karenhealey: Rainbow Dash overcome with excitement (My Little Pony) (Default)
It's holidays! There was one week where I did a lot of sleeping and making pancakes for breakfast at 2pm and replaying Mass Effect 2 in order to seduce Thane this time (important). And cleaning my room. My lord, it is clean.

The other week, I am halfway through. I went home to Oamaru, where I have been fed and warmed. I have been writing, internets! Writing! I love it! Killing people with science!

Anyhow, a partial list of what I remember:

Finished:

The Summer Prince, Alaya Dawn Johnson.

Blew my freaking mind. Teenage artist June is trying to win a competition that is one of the few ways a young person like her can get recognition in her rigidly controlled futuristic Brazilian city. But her association with best friend Gil and the charismatic, brilliant, and doomed Summer King Enki might end up changing much more than her personal future. Art! Sex! Politics! Class! Privilege! Technology! Bitter and petty teenage emotions that are so damn real. Worldbuilding! SUMMER KINGS. You should go and read this right now, that's why I put it first. It's really, really good.

The Chaos, Nalo Hopkinson.

I LOVE talented heroines. Like June, who is a great artist, and Scotch, who is an excellent dancer. Anyway, Scotch's biggest concerns are some family drama about her brother going to jail and having to conceal her real clothing and sex choices from her parents, and also whether she might be going crazy. And these are big concerns! But then a volcano erupts in Toronto and everything goes super weird and now she has to worry about Baba Yaga and her chicken house and a big black tarry monster called Spot and her brother has disappeared ON TOP of the other stuff. Jeez. Awesome speculative YA.

Foreigner, CJ Cherryh.

LET US DISCUSS CULTURE SHOCK AND THE PERILS OF INTERSPECIES COMMUNICATION FOR 300 PAGES AND IT WILL ACTUALLY BE TOTALLY INTERESTING, HOW DOES SHE DO THAT? Although I really didn't like the sectional nature of the prologuey bit - I half thought the whole book was going to be these short vignettes, and was so relieved when it settled into the story.

Invader, CJ Cherryh.

I could get over the introspection real quick, but I love how, at the same time Cherryh makes me go, "AWWWW JAGO I LIKE JAGO" I am constantly reminded that Jago doesn't have a concept of "like" and my feels would confuse and irritate her.

P.S. Jago is my favourite, and then Isildi. Bren stop talking to yourself. I hear that later in the series there is an atevi-central PoV, that sounds interesting.

Orleans, Sherri L Smith.

Fen, one of the residents of a hurricane-torn and Delta Fever-struck Orleans that has been cut off from the USA for decades, had a good tribe and a good life. Until the blood hunters came, and she was stuck with a newborn who didn't yet have the Delta Fever in her blood and might be able to get over the Wall - WITH the help of naive Outer States scientist Daniel, who is such an idiot. INCREDIBLE worldbuilding. Not convinced I like the ending, though ask me again tomorrow.


Reading:

Our Mutual Friend, Charles Dickens. I didn't think I liked Dickens, but it turns out I like this just fine. I was eyerolling through the first part being all, "oh and at the end we'll learn the Secretary is actually the lost heir bleh bleh bleh" but then it was revealed! Nice plotting, Dickens! Also Lizzie and Bella should run away together y/y? Although I wouldn't want Eugene to be sad. I like Eugene, who is very much of the "... feelings? I has them?" mode.

Courtesans, Katie Hickman. (Non-fiction, not like me). Ladies of the 18th and 19th century, no better than they should be, but much better off than many. I love this entertaining and source-rich look at the lives, finances, and weirdly contradictory independence of women of the English and French demi-monde. Little bit of psychological reading of the "Surely she must have felt" mode, but most biographical detail relies on sources, not mind-reading.

Tam Lin, Pamela Dean. It's about that time again. Yaaaay, magical college hijinks! Yaaaaaay, joy of reading!

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