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8. Chill by Elizabeth Bear

Probably my favourite Bear setting. Nanotech! A decadent aristocracy fighting back form the brink of annihilation! In spaaaaace! I had forgotten how much influence this had on the Nano-Victorian Future setting. I want a basilisk.

9. Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

Steampunk! Zombies! Airships! Believable characters! Boneshaker's up for a Hugo, and it deserves to be.

10. The Physics of Superheroes by James Kakalios

*This* is the book on science and superheroes I wanted. Kakalios clearly loves comics in a way that Gresh and Weinberg (of "Science Of Superheroes") do not. His basic approach is to grant each superhero a single "miracle exception" - say, the Flash's ability to run really fast - and see how much of the portrayal of the character otherwise obeys the laws of physics. I have a better understanding of relativity and quantum mechanics after having read this book. AND it's an enjoyable read! I highly recommend this book to foolks with an interest in any of a) phsyics, b) superheroes, or c) education - the book comes from open lectures Kakalios gave at the university he teaches at.

11. Jhereg by Steven Brust

(reread) After the latest Vlad Taltos book came out, I realised that, since I'd read a number of them from the library and hadn't been logging them at the time, I had no idea which ones I had and had not read. So I'm starting over and re-reading all of the Draegara novels. I think, in total, there are something like 20 of them. Reviews will probably be brief and as spoiler-free as can be. For Jhereg; meet Vlad. Charming Vlad is charming.

12. Yendi by Steven Brust

Clever Vlad is clever.

13. Teckla by Steven Brust

Conflicted Vlad is conflicted!

14. Someone Comes To Town, Someone Leaves Town by Cory Doctorow

Definitely the weirdest Cory book I've ever read. I found the politics felt a bit pasted on to what was an otherwise interesting novel. Not that there was anything deeply wrong with the poltical unwiring and dumpster diving parts, they just didn't really fit in with the rest of the stuff.

15. The Supergirls by Mike Madrid

One of those non-fiction books with a really long subtitle that I am not typing out. Madrid attempts to cover the history of women in superhero comics with a feminist viewpoint. He certainly covers the range of women in comics, and clearly knows his underwear perverts, but I think the feminist angle could use more work, and the book as a whole could use a more vigorous editorial staff. To be fair, it is put out by a small press with a bit of an agenda, so I'm inclined to forgive a certain lack of polish. I found Madrid's language was quite casual - at times, I think, a little too casual for a feminist reader. I cautiously suggest that the book could use a little more jargon. There were places where the male gaze was sort of talked around, for example. I'm also a bit annoyed that Madrid used the old saw about a woman's sexuality being a sort of power over men without pausing to deconstruct it.

I'd say The Supergirls is a book about comics with some feminism in it, instead of a feminist book about comics. It's not awful, and I'm glad I read it, but I think it needed to be about twice as long with more editing to really give the subject matter a solid exploration.

16. Taltos by Steven Brust

Novice Vlad is a novice!

17. Phoenix by Steven Brust

Frustrated Vlad is frustrated.

Now I just need to get the next Vlad books back from mycrazyhair, and wait for my Chapters order with the five after that to show up.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 29th, 2010 02:13 pm (UTC)
You're into the low period of Vlad. I still read them in hopes they'll be as good as the first two, but I'm always disappointed. They do get better again, though.
Apr. 29th, 2010 02:49 pm (UTC)
I've found Vlad is like sex is supposed to be - even bad Vlad is still good. (I have found that bad sex is actually worse than no sex, but that's another story).
Apr. 29th, 2010 03:01 pm (UTC)
The Cawti stuff is bad enough sex that I skip Phoenix on rereads of the series. It's a pet theory in one of my circles that Brust was processing his divorce when he was writing it. I can believe it.

Maybe it's shallow of me, but I love the caper books. The Dumas pastiches are a different kind of fun, but the non-caper Vlad books just ... aren't.
Apr. 29th, 2010 03:18 pm (UTC)
Ah, I am able to console myself with setting-geeking on Dragaera during those parts, and, by this point in re-reads, checking for foreshadowing.
Apr. 29th, 2010 04:54 pm (UTC)
Just echoing everything immlass said. Pretty much anything involving Cawti sucked after Yendi.
Apr. 29th, 2010 06:49 pm (UTC)
It's been awhile since I've reread the middle Vlad books (Phoenix had Cawti stuff?), but I liked Teckla... It's not every day you see a book where happily ever after shifts because the main character has actual flaws (not just the shiny "oh I am too angsty and my coat is too manly" stuff) and the other characters also have flaws.
Apr. 30th, 2010 12:29 am (UTC)
I like Vlad's range in Teckla. But Cawti is pretty unlikable, which makes it hard to really feel like they should get back together.
Apr. 30th, 2010 12:27 am (UTC)
Y'know, I just realised - I think the reason Lame!Cawti didn't bug me is that I never really liked her that much to begin with. Vlad tells us she's badass, but she's never quite as good as Vlad at being badass. I blame the Patriarchy. Though of course, the various female Dragaerans are equal to or better than Vlad. So I guess his friends can keep up with him, but he aims a little lower for lovers?
Apr. 30th, 2010 02:39 am (UTC)
I'll try to remember to bring Athyra back on Saturday, since it's not close to the top of my to-read pile.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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