I haven't posted in a while, so I took some time to read through old posts before dropping one of my own.
I wanted to ask a few questions about "highbrow" sci-fi, and also slip in a question about our favorite high fantasy.
A couple years ago, I made my first foray into the kind of sci-fi that people I feel are a little elitist (Hugo, Nebula critics, amazon.com editors, NYT book reviewers, etc) froth over, with Robert Sawyer's Calculating God. I actually liked the book; it was intelligent and well-considered, and heartfelt in more than one place. But it wasn't adventurous enough for me, then; I had just read stuff like Neuromancer and Snow Crash and I wanted that frantic pace.
I'm a couple years older now, obviously, and I've been getting back into reading more; when I read a slur on George R. R. Martin in regard to China Mieville in a review of a Steven Erikson novel in an amazon review (don't you love name-dropping critics?), I decided to read Perdido Street Station. The Scar has been on my list for a longer time, but I didn't know it was a sequel of sorts. I liked Perdido, and in some places it moved me with the force of Mieville's imagination. But, in the end, I felt the book was . . . overrated. Which is not a criticism of the author, because I think he wrote an excellent book. But anyone who would make such an absurd claim as to say that Mievelle is _better_ than Martin is, as far as I'm concerned, up on a high horse, and is doing Mievelle no favors. Has anyone else read Perdido or The Scar? What did you think about them?
It was with a slightly heavy heart that I went on to the next book on my list, The Golden Age, by John C. Wright. I'm glad to say that I was taken completely by surprise, because the book is wonderful. Delightful prose, marvellous diction and all the trappings that draw critics like moths to a big incandescent moth-burner from Wal-mart, but underneath was a _story_, and real people, and heart. Not to mention that his vision of where genetic control, nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence are headed rings more true than most anything else I've read. It has the kind of moral flavor that seeps through a lot of Card, which is one reason I wanted to bring it up here. I couldn't find any mention of this book (the first in a trilogy) in the forums, and I wanted to talk to someone about it.
My last question (I promise) is about The Lord of the Rings. I might finally be able to afford a "decent" version of the trilogy, but so far everything I've seen has struck me as a little . . . overstated. I don't want Alan Lee's pictures in my books, nor do I want Peter Jackson's pictures on my books. I'd really like to get a one-volume edition; you know, something to put in a glass case and take out only to read carefully, but none of the ones I've seen appeal to me. I don't like that "Leatherette Collector's Edition." The only one I've found that looks promising hasn't even been published yet!
I have it too, as it happens. I, um, bought it so I would read it (I did read the first 2.5 books about 20 years ago, but I seem to have mostly forgotten them) . . . which is a great theory.
Posts: 32919 | Registered: Mar 2003
| IP: Logged |
I'm so glad to find so many Wright fans at Hatrack!
I still can't get to that page. I tried in IE and Opera, so I don't know what else to do.
Perhaps you could post the ISBN so I could find it somewhere else? Whether you do or not, I already have the books, and I'm just looking for something to match my fanaticism; it doesn't sound like that's what the Omnibus is for.
quote: ....."So you machines are always preaching about honesty just for selfish reasons. It makes us more predictable, easier to work into a calculation." ....."Very selfish -- provided you define the word 'selfish' to mean that which most educates, and most perfects the self, making the self just and true and beautiful. Which is, I assume, the way selves want themselves to be, yes?" ....."I cannot speak for other selves; I will not be satisfied with anything less than the best Phaethon I can Phaethon." ....."My dear boy, are you using yourself as a verb?" ....."I'm feeling fairly intransitive at the moment, Rhadamanthus."
.............-from The Golden Age, by John C. Wright