M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Imagining Your World

The Read ...
Finally got around to reading Scott Westerfeld's Uglies and Pretties, thanks to finding the two of them used.  Don't think I'll go scrounging for Specials.  Why?  Well, for one thing Tally, the MC, doesn't seem to learn anything from what happens to her.  She keeps making the same mistakes.  

Also, I didn't see where Westerfeld presented a well-rounded cultural setting, aka world.  Maybe from an adolescent's blindered viewpoint.  *shrug*  ...  Good point, he did generate a nice teen slang which was consistent and easy to understand from the context.

This isn't to say the books weren't well written.  But, oh so shallow.  Wait.  Does that include more than half of the American adolescent population raised on Disney?

Media Buzz ...
I'm "regressing" to print for this blog.  The New York Times Book Review, in this case.  Among the book reviews was  Packing for Mars (by Mary Roach)  by M. G. Lord  which exploded all those nice sanitized presentations of space travel.  Maybe I should have said:  exposed how grubby space travel really is.  So much for those work-a-day world space adventures written in the 50s-70s when I was actively reading science fiction.  They left out the stink.

Won't go into the scatological details, but I really wonder what the fundamentalists will think of funding space travel with NASA's attitude.  As quoted in the review:  "NASA, she learns, doesn't expect a celibate Mars crew, but one that will 'mix and match or whatever.'"  --  [which makes me wonder if the fundamentalists will stop funding for what's left of the space program.]

Then, my mind did its weird little hop-thing by comparing the space travel in the novels to traveling across the Atlantic by sea ship.  Our current astronauts are sailing below decks on a slave ship.  The novels depict the Queen Elizabeth II ... or at least the cargo freighters that ply our oceans.

The bad part:  We can't protect astronauts from space radiation yet -- which reminds me of the dangers indicated in Marion Zimmer Bradley's Endless Voyage.

A second essay in the NYT also caught my eye -- on adults reading fantasy:  The Kids' Books Are All Right by Pamela Paul.  I guess some people are still surprised that adults read kid's books and young adult books on their own, without kids as an excuse.  My mind skipped from Andre Norton to Susan Cooper and Diana Wynne Jones, still stacked on my bookshelves.

Progress ...
Still editing Dark Solstice ... and drafted the first of Renna's tales ... and learning how to format Smashwords ... and ....   got the construction struts of my Half-Elven website up ...  Now, I'm waiting for artwork and copy-editing.  [I know better than to rely on my own editing of a final product, ... oh, that's supposed to be story.]  Nice to be back working in the Half-Elven world.

 Nicer still, I got some more debris into the recycle and filed.  I'm seeing wood on the second set of desks. 

Trivia ...
My Half-Elven blog got it's first follower!  Thank you, Steve.  ....  Or, do I have to grumble because I have to post new stuff to it?  [Yeah, I know.  Never satisfied.]  Now, I've got to figure out out to turn the background green.   

PS:  Which I did, but caused other color problems I don't like. 
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