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Friday, June 21, 2013

Recently Downloaded Ebooks

There's something magical about ebooks. In my case, I get a credit from iTunes via those cards which you can always find discounted somewhere. I put it on my iTunes credit and I can confidently download, knowing the money is there. And I see a book that looks interesting and zap! It's on my little computer, all ready to read.

This week's goodies include Connie Willis's Bellwether, a classic which for some reason I had never got around to reading. I have finished it already, delighted with its humour. It's free of regular SF tropes, but it's SF all the same, with statistics used as the theme, as the heroine tries to work out where fads begin, along with a fellow researcher whose passion is chaos theory. Very funny and touching and there are sheep and Browning poetry involved. And because Browning is being quoted constantly, I dropped in at Project Gutenberg for some of his poems, though as it's only a selection, the key poem from Bellwether, "Pippa Passes", isn't there.

I was also in the mood for Tolkien-related stuff, but as I already had most of the bios in print form(did I ever mention my favourite bookshop, Collected Works?), I skipped them and bought a title on masculinity in Tolkien, The House Of The Wolfings - part of a series of his influences - and Inheritance by his grandson Simon , who has begun writing a series of police procedurals. I like crime fiction and it wasn't dear, so what the heck! Definitely wise of him not to attempt fantasy, as he would be constantly being compared to hs grandfather and found wanting.

I also downloaded a couple of volumes of SF by Howard Fast. I read them years ago, finding them a bit too philosophical for my tastes, but then, that's his style and it's nice to look at them again with years of spec fic reading and writing behind me. And he is capable of humour, as shown by a story about a hoop that sends things elsewhere and is used to dispose of garbage. That one would stand up very well today, as would the story about digging so far into the earth that what comes up us not oil but blood. Another, "The General Zapped An Angel" was updated and turned into a short telemovie. Although we know him best for his historical fiction, Howard Fast's first sale was spec fic, when he was about eighteen. And his son Jonathan became a spec fic writer.

Lots to read! See you all on the other side...


Sarah Allen said...

Great list! I'll have to check these out.

Sarah Allen
(From Sarah, With Joy)

Sue Bursztynski said...

Hope you enjoy them as much as I do. I have to say, though that so far, while the Simon Tolkien book is readable, I find there are too many POVs for my taste. I was expecting a police procedural, from the blurb, but it isn't, though it is a murder mystery without a sleuth. The policeman has barely appeared at all. Oh, well.