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Friday, November 18, 2016

What I'm Reading And Rereading




Over on the Tor website, they're having a reread of Dune. I thought I might join in. I have it in ebook now, because I really don't want to stuff up my battered - and signed - paperback. I got it autographed when the author was visiting Melbourne. He had been a guest of honour at Swancon, an annual Perth convention, and was travelling around. That was at Space Age bookshop(long gone, alas!) which often hosted Swancon guests after they'd done their official gigs. Frank Herbert had a beard at the tine and looked like Santa Claus(and was just as jolly). I haven't read the rest of the series, but if you've read and loved Tolkien, you'll enjoy this - and it's the ONLY book of which I will say that. There are no Elves or Dwarves or immortal Dark Lords, but the world building is every bit as complex, the characters as fascinating, the adventure breathtaking. It's a believable universe, with good reason. I asked whether he had done his research first or begun writing and done it along the way - it's the way I do things, because otherwise my story never gets written. Other writers say the same - Robert Silverberg said so at a Worldcon I attended. But Mr Herbert snapped, "I didn't write a word till I'd researched everything!"

It is deservedly a classic.

I've bought and started reading - in ebook - Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers Of London, which is a crime fantasy novel, first in a series. So far, it's a hoot! The hero is a police officer who wants to do all the thief taking stuff and has found himself stuck with the paperwork section of the force, so that real cops can do the thief taking. In the first scene he has encountered a ghost who witnessed a murder. How do you use that information, for goodness' sake? Ben Aaronovitch is a Dr Who writer, among other things. I did hear him talking about it on the radio, but have only just bought it. The style reminds me oddly of Neil Gaiman at his quirkiest.

I've just finished rereading Kerry Greenwood's Electra, an enjoyable book. It's fantasy, with gods and the Erinyes, scary vengeful beings sent to punish a matricide. Mind you, strictly speaking, Orestes isn't a matricide. Electra is his mother, having been raped by her mother's lover. Clytemnestra is his grandmother, who has been posing as his mother, and he knows that. But if he has always thought of her as his mother, maybe he sees it as matricide. Anyway, Kerry Greenwood has fun rejigging Greek mythology. As usual.

I downloaded The Golden Apples Of The Sun, a Ray Bradbury anthology, because it had the story "A Sound Of Thunder" - that famous story where a time traveller steps on a butterfly in prehistoric times and everything changes in his own time - because there was some discussion of making it an English text at my school. I can always read some more Bradbury. I'm so glad he finally agreed to having his books in ebook, before he died. He was not a fan of the Internet. 

And then there are all those books I need to finish. All those on my TBR pile...

See you back here soon! 

4 comments:

Lexa Cain said...

Dune is a whole bunch of awesomenes and I'm glad you're re-reading it! Rivers of London sounds really excellent. I'd like to read that one. I'm not a mythology fan though I have to admit to really enjoying the Percy Jackson movies. (Perhaps it's just the good CG. lol) I hope you have a lovely weekend!

Sue Bursztynski said...

I'd like to think the Percy Jackson books have got kids interested in Greek mythology, though as someone who read it and loved it from about the age of eight, I couldn't help being irritated by daughters of Athena. Athena was a virgin goddess, thank you very much! She didn't have kids!

Ben Boyd said...

Hi, I am author Benjamin Boyd. I would love it if you could review my book The Adventures of Kid Humpty Dumpty. It is a good book that I think you will like. You can get a preview of my book on amazon.com. I will gladly provide you with a copy for your honest review. You can contact me at bjessieb2@yahoo.com. Thank your for your time an I look forward to hearing from you

Sue Bursztynski said...

Sorry, Ben, I'm not currently reviewing anything except from publishers I deal with, as I mentioned in my guidelines, which also have my email address.