Reading Notes #18

Gimme a good sci-fi and let's gooooo

“The gods only go with you if you put yourself in their path. And that takes courage.”

—Mary Stewart

So it’s been less writing and more reading lately. It’s sci-fi season for me, I guess. Wait who am I kidding, it’s always sci-fi season for me.

Also, are we still hyphenating sci-fi or have we all agreed that, like e-mail → email, we can just drop the hyphen now?

“Take no heed of her.... She reads a lot of books.”

―Jasper Fforde

In the last few weeks:

  • The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart

  • The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

  • The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

  • Ringworld by Larry Niven

All very different, all enjoyable. I liked The Crystal Cave the most and The Eyre Affair the least. The literary puns and references became too much of a good thing a few chapters in, and I found myself not caring what happened: to the puns or to the characters saying them. I’m also annoyed by the secondary and pointless “f” in Fforde.

“Chaos is more freedom; in fact, total freedom. But no meaning. I want to be free to act, and I also want my actions to mean something.”

—Audrey Niffenegger

Ringworld was good, and I’ll read more of the Ringworld series (there are plenty), but there are two things I want to say. First, as far as Niven goes, I liked Lucifer’s Hammer more. Maybe it’s because he wrote it with Jerry Pournelle and they’re better together than alone. There are plenty of Niven-Pournelle cowritten books to check out for more comparison purposes.

Secondly, whenever I type Ringworld I accidentally type ringworm first and then I think about ringworms and then I get grossed out, so, there’s that.

“Everything starts as somebody's dream.”

—Larry Niven

Currently halfway through Rendezvous With Rama by Arthur C. Clarke and in the first third of Dark Forest by Liu Cixin and have read almost nothing in terms of nonfiction unless we count a bunch of tutorials about how to make Face ID work on your iPhone because for some inexplicable reason it quit working on mine.

It won’t recognize my face as a face when I try to reset it. If anybody has a fix for that, please, tell me, tell me now. I’m just hoping the problem is the phone and not, you know, my face. Because that would be a little bit too much scifi (sci-fi?), even for me.

“Love the world and yourself in it, move through it as though it offers no resistance, as though the world is your natural element.”

—Audrey Niffenegger