Memoirs are fascinating to me, because we know how truly fallible memory is. It is demonstrably unreliable. It’s completely insane that eyewitnesses and line-ups are such a fundamental part of our criminal justice system. But the cool thing about memoirs is that it really doesn’t matter if it’s a legitimate telling of events or not. I think that David Shields said it best in his book Reality Hunger: A Manifesto: “Memoir is a genre in need of an informed readership. It’s a misunderstanding to read a memoir as though the writer owes the reader the same record of literal accuracy that is owed in newspaper reporting. Memoirs belong to the category of literature, not journalism. What the memoirist owes the reader is the ability to persuade him or her… Continue reading
The 2017 Hugo Award finalists have been announced. Final voting closes on July 15th and the winners will be announced August 11th during the 75th World Science Fiction Convention in Helsinki, Finland. Here’s the full list: Best Novel (2078 ballots) All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders (Tor Books / Titan Books) A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton / Harper Voyager US) Death’s End by Cixin Liu (Tor Books / Head of Zeus) Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris Books) The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit Books) Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer (Tor Books) Best Novella (1410 ballots) The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle (Tor.com Publishing) The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson (Tor.com… Continue reading
Scalzi is accessible science fiction, and this is Scalzi (the storyteller) at his best. He’s improved at structuring a story over the years, and this is more evidence to support that claim. You can tell how much fun he’s having writing a space opera in a universe very separate from the Old Man’s War series. My one complaint would be with Scalzi’s prose, and only because I know he can do better than this. See the codas at the end of Redshirts, or the novella The Sagan Diary for perfect examples of just how good his prose can be when he really goes for it). Very much the first book in a series, The Collapsing Empire resolves the main plot expertly while simultaneously paving the way for a lot more… Continue reading
A concise yet comprehensive literary analysis on the works of the late Iain Banks. Kincaid’s writing functions primarily through illustrating and deconstructing the thematic lineage and interplay between Banks’ novels published with and without the M, but also delves into the deeper political and societal backdrop in which Banks’ wrote and lived. The bits of history that Kincaid feels influenced Banks are particularly illuminating for myself, someone who knows little of Scottish or UK life, especially concerning the 70s and 80s. Not as obviously praising of Banks’ writing as Simone Caroti’s The Culture Series of Iain M. Banks: A Critical Introduction, and in a lot of ways it does feel like a response to it. Caroti called for a need to examine Banks’ entire catalog of writing, not just the… Continue reading
I almost never buy new books, and I’ve had pretty fantastic luck at local thrift stores and used book shops the past few weeks. There are several close by, including the always fantastic Dickson Street Books. Here are some of the most recent additions to my library.