Sunday, June 09, 2013

3 Novels

Heading into My First European Vacation, I finished 3 genre novels.

"Scratch Monkey", by Charles Stross. This was the 1st novel of most excellent sci-fi author Charles Stross. It was available for download I think 18 years ago (at his book signing in Lexington last year, Charlie said 17 years ago), and I got the key from him by email, but never read it. It is available now for free here. So I finally got around to reading it. Surprisingly, many of the concepts that he exploited later are present here. But, very uneven pacing, and somewhat confusing plotting, and a depressing ending. Still, if you're a fan, prolly worth a (free) read. 3 stars.

Next read "Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1-5)", by Hugh Howey. This got some press as being stories that were originally self-published as e-books, following which the author refused normal publishing channels after they became successful. It is a post-apocalypse dystopian world. The plotting and pacing are decent. No really new concepts of any type. 3 stars.

Finally, read, "Hide Me Among The Graves", Tim Powers. This is a straight-up sequel to his 1989 novel "The Stress of Her Regard", which featured Byron and Shelley fighting rock-based life-form vampires in Switzerland. The vampires are now in England tormenting later literary figures. I have always loved how Powers invents his own completely unique versions of magic, souls, vampires, the fisher king -- unique and quirky. For example in this one, there is the street sweeper who, if you offer him very odd payment terms, can sweep up your footsteps so that the vampires lose track of you.

Still tho, this seemed somehow to be pretty much by the numbers. At time the plot seems to be arbitrarily prolonged by dumbass actions of upper/middle class British twits. But, this won't stop me from reading Power's next, and next, and next books. 3 stars.

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