Yesterday was just very busy, okay? On the upside, the old house is now clean and empty, with the very last round of stuff to be picked up this evening. I guess I can take time out of reading Free Comic Book Day stuff on Saturday to drop off the keys.
Books Recently Read
The Life and Death of Harold Holt by Tom Frame
This wound up being a bit of a slog, which is what happens when you have a subject who’s basically a decent person who avoided major scandals and kept his private life to himself. But it didn’t destroy my illusions about Holt being quite a good sort, and made me extra-sad that the Liberal Party has become everything that Menzies and Holt wanted to avoid.
Also read: four out of the five Hugo-nominated short stories. But you all knew that, because that post was the second-most visited on this blog ever. (The first: the one where I spoil the ending of the Australian Secrets & Lies. IDK, it got picked up by an entertainment site or something.)
General consensus on that post seems to be that I’m an easy grader. And I agree; I think I was trying too hard to not seem like I was rejecting stories just because they were on a slate I strongly disagree with. So I’m inclined to unearth some of the nominated stories of recent years, read those, and reconsider my choices for this year.
The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin
A nominated novel, of course, and a very good one so far. I had heard it described as didactic and heavy on the exposition, which are two of my least favourite things ever in fiction — Stephanie, back in our Ann Leckie discussion, was curious to see how I’d cope with Chinese SF — but so far, so good?
But then, I really need some of the scientific exposition Liu supplies — I don’t have much of an education in science at all, and I just can’t get my head around physics whatsoever. I struggled with the science in Rosemary Kirstein’s The Steerswoman — note to self, make Stephanie read that series so we can talk about it — so the contemporary/near future/recent past stuff is way over my head.
I’ll do a proper post about The Three-Body Problem when I’m finished.
What I’m reading next…
I have the nominated Kevin J Anderson novel checked out from the elibrary. I don’t expect it will be difficult. (Not an insult — I love good, solid storytelling. I breezed through Leviathan Wakes when that was nominated, and loved it.)
I also have The Outback Stars by Sandra McDonald checked out. I hope it’s good, but Americans writing about Australian Indigenous cultures is always rich with the potential for grossness. Either way, I’ll probably get a post out of it. I think Steph is also going to read it, so maybe we can make it substantial.