Print Story Hugo Diary #5
By ucblockhead (Fri Jun 12, 2009 at 11:49:30 AM EST) (all tags)

This category seemed more even to me. There were no stories I disliked, but none that I absolutely loved. I had a hard time choosing an order because of this.

1: The Ray-Gun: A Love Story by James Alan Gardner: This is one of those SF stories were the science fictional elements are almost secondary. They serve as a MacGuffin, but don't really serve as part of the plot. In this case, a young boy finds a strange alien ray gun which the propel events. What those events entail revolve around the second half of the story. Some elements made me think that this would make a good Pixar movie if Pixar decided to make a movie entirely about adult relationships.

2: Shoggoths in Bloom by Elizabeth Bear: Another story where the SF is just a MacGuffin, this story involves a black biologist studying a Lovecraftian creature in Maine in the opening phases of WWII. This is not, however, a horror story, and the fantastical elements are played realistically. Hear again, though, they serve as a springboard for the author to talk about racism.

3: Alastair Baffle's Emporium of Wonders by Mike Resnick: Resnick seems to be writing a lot of stories about getting old these days. This one is of the same sub-sub-genre as 26 monkeys, also, the abyss. It is about a couple of old friends and a mysteries magic store. Good, but contains no real surprises.

4: Pride and Prometheus by John Kessel: Seems like Jane Austin is fashionable in SF these days. In this case, this is a sequel to Pride and Prejudice that takes place a number of years after the original. The bookish Mary Bennet meets a certain Swiss scientist named Victor Frankenstein. It is cleverly done, and I won't spoil it by going to much into the results.

5: The Gambler by Paolo Bacigalupi: I really hate putting this last as I did like it, it's just where it ended up when I picked the other ones out. This is the story of a Laotian reporter in a near future where reporters are even more slaves to eyeballs as today. Interesting, but it didn't fire me up.

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Hugo Diary #5 | 3 comments (3 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Thanks by Alan Crowe (2.00 / 0) #1 Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 12:00:26 PM EST
I'm enjoying reading your Hugo diaries. I suspect many other Husites are too.

We all seem bound by the honour code that demands that one reads a work before commenting on it, and not being up to date with the latest work, are not commenting. Perhaps later there will be diary entries about reading inspired by the Hugo diaries.

TV by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 03:58:28 PM EST
I was a bit surprised that there was so little commentary on the TV diary, as I am sure Doctor Who has its partisans.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
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I love Dr Who by Alan Crowe (2.00 / 0) #3 Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 01:33:51 PM EST
Your criticisms were water off a duck's back. Dr Who is escapist fantasy. One suspends disbelief and enjoys the ride.

Would it be better with a more rigorous working out of the logic of the plot, or would the additional constraints cause other difficulties. I don't find the answer obvious. Take regeneration. Obviously it is there so that a long running series can release its lead actor and continue. The economist in me wonders about the role of regeneration in salary negotiations. If the actor demands too much money it is regeneration time. So a less cynical version of Dr Who would not have regeneration. The producers would have to chose a new actor who looked roughly like the old one. That would be a damaging constraint and the loss would clearly be greater than the gain.

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Hugo Diary #5 | 3 comments (3 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback