June 19th, 2006

firesea: self-portrait

SkyBed (books #31-32 of 2006)

#31: The Sky so Big and Black by John Barnes
The fourth in Barnes' The Century Next Door universe, that includes Orbital Resonance, Kaleidoscope Century, and Candle, and just as good as any of those were (I loved them all). It's about the year 2100, on Mars, amidst terraforming efforts and culture clashes and a quarantined Earth, taken over by an AI that has figured out how to infect human brains with memes. This book also has that particular story structure of looking back on the story of the main character, from after some traumatic, unknown (to the reader) event. All the clues are there for you to figure out what this event is if you want to, but it doesn't have that annoying quality of mysteries where it tries to trick you into figuring it out (I hate mysteries for the same reason I hate jazz music - they make me feel manipulated. grr.)

The one flaw in this book, in my opinion, is that once it reveals the Traumatic Event, another twist comes out of nowhere and suddenly it seems like everything has been destroyed - but five pages later everything's good and happy again. For such a sudden and huge fall, it feels like he should have spent a bit more time building things back up again. (Who knows, maybe he did, and the editor made him cut it out. Silly editors.)

#32: The Family Bed by Tine Thevenin
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Currently reading: Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde (yeah, I said I wasn't going to rush right out and get another Fforde book; but I was in the bookstore, and in the mood for something fluffy, so....)