Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Here There Be Dragons, Albeit A Motley Crew

I've always liked Robin Hobb's Fantasies. Her newest, Dragon Keeper, I love.

The two strongest characters are emergent women, one young and by conventional standards, ill formed with a showing of scales and spikes, the other, an older woman, in her early 20's, past marriageable age and not considered comely by her society's standards and she has become bookish and reclusive, studying Dragons and Elderlings, both diminishing races.

Ms Hobb takes her time building characters but the pace is well set and my interest was always piqued. I enjoyed these people and the lives they live. The family stew is always brewing and angst always lurking in the shadows. The self doubt demonstrated in the interior voices of these two women highlights the short comings of the speech and actions of the people in their lives spurring their awakening true selves.

I have enjoyed Science Fiction and Fantasy with strong female protagonists since reading Robert A. Heinlein's, Podkayne of Mars back in 1963 when it was published. It is my belief that most young boys enjoy reading fiction with strong female protagonists, it gives us clues about those beings, we eventually learn, that we will never fully understand. I am sure Science Fiction & Fantasy led me to my strong feminist posture in the mid 60's. That belief remains strong and in place today. My mother, of course, played her part as well. Future reading of this Blog will undoubtedly demonstrate my proclivities in this bent of my psychosocial development and personal preferences in choosing my reading materials.

Turning the last page was totally unexpected. There was no more to read! The book was over! No semi closure, no warning, the end. YIKES!!! This was not expected. This was not acceptable!

I ran to the basement. WHEW!, book two was sitting on the received shelf and ready for processing. It helps to have friends in Tech Services. Dragon Haven, book two of The Rain Wilds Chronicles, is now in my paws and I don't have to wait. Being an American I'll just butcher Jim Morrison's great line with "I want more, and I want it now."

Did I mention there were dragons in the story. Ill formed at hatching but, like the women in the story, emergent and very interesting.

Music haunting my psyche today, Easy Tiger (the whole CD) by Ryan Adam.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Objectivism, Meets Capitalism, Meets Speculative Fiction

In many ways this is a Business Thriller with some serious Speculative Science. After reading Infoquake I know why this book is selling so well. This is fun! David Louis Edelman has been in close proximity with many titans around Washington, DC and knows the business and governmental turf he fictionalizes so well.

The glimpse of our possible business future is fascinating, fast paced and oh so cutthroat. The scientific speculation is fresh and the spin is oh so intriguing. Those of us from the GimmieGottaWanna tribe "want" what these people have (then again maybe not). "Hack the body and the mind will follow" is the catch phrase of the day. Programed bots in your neural system do the job that needs to be done (a few powder milk biscuits won't hurt), on command and or automatically depending on the program. Feel surprised call up Poker Face 46.2 or what ever the current version is running in your body. Get sick and the Government controlled Dr.Plugenpatch will fix you right up, you may not even notice.

The personal and business rivalries are deliciously convoluted and complex. The characters are well developed and easily loved and hated at different junctures of the story. Those of you who have read Ayn Rand will undoubtedly keep hearing Howard Roark and John Gault as you burn through the book(s), I'm already about to finish book two, Multireal, and waiting with bated breath to get to book three, Geosynchron, of the Jump 225 Trilogy.

Happy Reading,

Today's Music
Al Green's "Take Me to the River"
covered by Talking Heads on Saturday Night Live. 25 Years of Music disc 2