forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
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Reviews:

1980/79 Novel: The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke I didn't think I'd like this at all, but actually I rather enjoyed it. It is an engineering story about building a space elevator. The book has a list of references in the back, it is hardcore like that. (Thus I learned that Clarke didn't originate the idea of the space elevator.) Anyways there isn't much character conflict at all. There is a conflict with some monks that seems like maybe it could be epic, but then it just goes away.

Clarke is also a bit dim about religion. Most humans aren't going to give up religion because an alien prob comes along and says that religion is illogical, and that most aliens don't have any. It's just not what people are like. Oh well, this is not a book about people at all really.

(See also Jo Walton's Review which says more and is generally cleverer then mine.)

2007 Novelette: "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate" by Ted Chiang This story has several stories within it and lots of time travel. I thought it was interesting and bit sad, but also exoticizing.

Milestones:
I've now read all the novels and all the works from the 00s.

Other:
The Hugo nominations have been announced!

Stories that have been nominated for both the Nebula and the Hugo are:
Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
“The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen’s Window” by Rachel Swirsky
The Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang
“The Sultan of the Clouds” by Geoffrey A. Landis
“That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made” by Eric James Stone
“The Jaguar House, in Shadow” by Aliette de Bodard
“Plus or Minus” by James Patrick Kelly
“Ponies” by Kij Johnson
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
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So I only read one story this month. I'd blame it on the SFWA and their confusing numbering of the Nebula Showcase Volumes, but even though this confusion lead me to get the wrong volume from the library, I didn't finish my previous book (Mindscape by Andrea Hairston) before I got the correct volume. So I'm going to blame reading longer books and more non-fiction.

Anyways here is the review:

2001 Novella: "The Ultimate Earth" by Jack Williamson The premise was interesting and kinda creepy, but the creepy bits don't really get explored, the story went somewhere else instead.
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
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Story Reviews:

1989/88 Short Story/Novelette: "Schrödinger's Kitten" by George Alec Effinger: I wasn't much taken with this. The story is about quantum mechanics as you might guess form the title, but not about cats.

1991/90 Novella: "The Hemingway Hoax" by Joe Haldeman: I really didn't like this. One, I've never read anything by Hemingway nor do I want to, so I wasn't that interested in the story to began with ; two bits of this where way too gory for me; and three the ending made no sense, it didn't answer the questions raised in the rest of the story and it was confusing.

1996/95 Novelette: "The Martian Child" by David Gerrold: I thought this story was very sweet, but surprisingly un-SFinal.

Milestones:

This month I finished off the 1990's, and all the stories written by Joe Haldeman. I also got my first inter-library loan: the Nebula Award Anthology that contains "The Martian Child". My library only had the longer novelized version.

In related news this years Nebula Award Nominees have been announced I haven't read any of them, except A Conspiracy of Kings. Though I have just started The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and several of the other books are on my to-read list.
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
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Reviews for this month:

1987/86 Short Story: "Tangents" by Greg Bear This story was rather bland. I didn't find it very interesting, and don't really have much to say about it.

1980/79 Novelette: "Sandkings" by George R. R. Martin Well written, fairly creepy with interesting critters.

2010 Novel: The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi I have mixed feeling as about this book. On the one hand the science is extremely implausible, and most of the viewpoint characters are rather unlikeable. Still I found it compelling reading -- I wanted to know what happened next.
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
Main post is here

Stories read this month:
1973/72 Novelette: "Goat Song" by Poul Anderson This is a SF retelling of Orpheus and Eurydice. I thought it did a very good job with the mythical correspondences.

1982/81 Novella: "The Saturn Game" by Poul Anderson This story is awfully negative about roleplaying, but it does have an awesome setting.

1995/94 Novella: "Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge" by Mike Resnick [*] This story is very bleak, yet I found myself drawn in. The concept of the story, of an archeological dig on Earth long after the fall of humanity was neat too. The team is able to look back on human history through a series of artifacts. Social Justice Stuff: I'm not a fan of call humanity Man and referring to us with a masculine pronoun. There are a fair number of Black people in this story, but they are generally portrayed as primitive and/or corrupt.

Milestones:
I've now read all the stories through 1978. My library has a gap at 1979 though, so I'll have to track those stories down else where.

I've now read all the Poul Anderson stories on the list.

[*]Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge by Mike Resnick is available free online.
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
I'm planning to do a monthly update on my progress with Hugo and Nebula project. The main post is here

This month I only read one short story. Here is my review:

1972/71 Novelette: "The Queen of Air and Darkness" by Poul Anderson I liked the setting of this, but the man explains everything to a woman mode of explain the action got old. At least the female character was scientist, though the story focused on her role as a mother more.

I currently have one volume containing a short story out from the library, and one on hold. So I should be able to read at least 2 stories next month.

I'm also enjoying some of the other short stories in the anthologies I'm reading. Joanna Russ's especially. Too bad there doesn't seem to be a collection of her stories in print, because I'd quite like one.
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
So back in 2004 I thought I would start a project -- I would read all the writen stories that had won both the Hugo and the Nebula Awards. I made an LJ post about it here Then for a while I sought out those stories and updated that post. Then the stories got harder to find and I got less interested in reading classic SF just because it is classic. So I haven't been actively working on this project for long time though I have read some of the more recent winners because they are thing I wanted to read.

Recently I realized that the library has most of the annual Nebula collections. This means that the short stories should be easy to get. So I've decided to work on this reading goal again.

I've re-written up the list with more comments about the works I've read. Some of them I don't remember very well (it has been a while) so they don't all get comments.

The List )

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