May 20th, 2008

smirking half-hawk


6.The Jennifer Morgue by Charles Stross

More Bob Howard; take one part British superspy, one part BOFH, and one part H.P. Lovecraft, serve chaken, not stirred. While the first Howard book, The Atrocity Archives, was patterned after Len Deighton's Harry Palmer books, The Jennifer Morgue is a take on Ian Fleming's James Bond works. I didn't enjoy The Jennifer Morgue as much as I did The Atrocity Archives, but it was still a lot of fun. I missed the "Dilbert Factor" that was present in The Atrocity Archives, though the bit about PowerPoint was a nice touch.

7.Dust by Elizabeth Bear

One part nano-victorian future, one part Amber, one part Gormenghast/Upstairs-downstairs, one part "in spaaaaace!". I loved this book. I wish it had been longer, actually - I wanted more time to get to know the characters and the world before the plot swept them along. I eagerly await the next book. I also loved catching the little tips of the hat to various Amber characters. It's obvious if you're paying attention, but not a big enough deal that it distracts form the story Bear's telling. It seems that a lot of my reading lately comes down to Stross vs. Bear; both are prolific, and stand high in my esteem. I have to say that this round goes to Bear.

8.The Clan Corporate by Charles Stross

The third family trade book. Another series with obvious Amber influence, in a comepltely different way. I missed the economic theory play from the last book, but the attention to plot and character development made up for it. I look forward to being able to re-read the series when it's done to get a wider picture of the series as a whole. Not that I can wait that long to read the next one.

Even though it seems like too brief a break, it's time to get my brain back to harder material. Next up is Feminisms, edited by Kemp and Squires - basically it's a first year Women's Studies survery text. It's broken into six sections, totally almost six hundred pages. I am not sure I'll be able to get through the entire book in one shot without breaking my head, so I may stop after 2 or 3 sections, and come back to it in another cycle.