Picked up a copy of Soldier, Ask Not by Gordon R. Dickson. Very well-known 1967 science fiction novel, based on a Hugo-winning magazine version.
Not as much fun as I hoped. Thought there'd be more rip-roaring battles, but it's a bit angst-ridden and humourless. There's also a lot of tell-don't-show where you keep getting told what the characters' personalities are.
The book seems to have been published just two years after the novel version of Dune, and I think Dickson might have been trying a bit too hard to imitate that style.
However, it's fairly brisk and has a nicely set-up universe; where the various colony worlds of Earth have rapidly evolved specialized human personalities, and trade labour with each other. Also comes to an effective ending.
So, a good read, but may be a bit disappointing if you're expecting a classic.
What I'm Watching
Saw Angelina Jolie movie Salt at the cinema. Pretty decent thriller harking back to the Cold War. Not too predictable, and the action scenes avoid the daftest unbelievable CGI we see a lot these days. Not unmissable, but decent entertainment if you want to see a movie.
What I'm Watching 2
Saw the 1992 Abel Ferrara version of Bad Lieutenant on DVD. Didn't have ideal circumstances to watch it. Might have worked a lot better in the cinema where you can get into an intense atmosphere: seemed a bit over-the-top especially when Harvey Keitel starts howling in anguish.
Has a similar basic scenario to the Werner Herzog "Bad Lieutenant - Port Of Call New Orleans", and a couple of scenes hark back to it, but the movies are very different takes on it.
What I'm Watching 3
Also been watching the old C4 series "Weapons That Made Britain". Appeals to K.J. Parker fans with a nice formula: builds an old weapon, tests it, gets some volunteers to wave it around.
I was watching it on Lovefilm's free download section, but lots of chunks of it seem to be scattered around YouTube.
Saw the Wolfgang Tillmans photography exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery. Liked it a lot: some very striking images there, especially one of the shadow-barred secure area at the US/Mexico border.
They're mostly pretty realistic photos, a lot less avant-garde than the Serpentine usually favours. Well worth a look if you're strolling through the park. It's free and you can also see the 2010 Serpentine Pavilion by Jean Nouvel.
Didn't have anything inside: all that red plastic could make it a bit creepy, but it looks pretty impressive from the outside.
Also saw the Small Spaces architecture exhibition at the V & A. Various architects have been commissioned to scatter small huts that "that examine notions of refuge and retreat" around the premises.
Bit of a mixed bag. Mostly they don't have enough internal space to be useful for anything, so they're a kind of middle ground between sculpture and shed. Quite liked the tall multi-story bookcase one though, and it's fun to look through the perspex angled cube.
Politics. The class basis of the Conservative Party .
Random. Jet trains.
|< Mezmerizing Google. | "ionized" water is a scam >|