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Diary
By TheophileEscargot (Mon Nov 30, 2020 at 01:43:39 AM EST) Reading, MLP (all tags)
Reading: "The Pants of Perspective", "False Value", "Can't Hurt Me", "Emergency Skin", "Gods of Mars", "Mutual Aid", "The Door Through Space", "The Book of Flora", "The October Man". MLP.


What I'm Reading
The Pants of Perspective by Anna McNuff. Breezy running memoir about a woman running the length of New Zealand. Decent enough but fairly formulaic, she's not a particularly lyrical writer or have a particularly compelling story. Good account of what such a run is like.

What I'm Reading 2
False Value Ben Aaronovitch. The "Rivers of London" supernatural police procedural series goes into the tech industry, with Peter Grant going undercover in a giant tech firm. Some OK satire and a decent plot, good entry in the series.

What I'm Reading 3
Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins. Autobiography of the Navy Seal and ultrarunner telling the story of how he came from a deprived childhood to success in the military and as an endurance athlete. There's a minor cult around him and the book.

The book is actually a good read. His story is genuinely impressive with a lot of compelling detail. He and his ghostwriter replicate the kind of voice he has in his videos with a crisp and profanity-laden writing style. Well worth reading.

What I'm Reading 4
Emergency Skin by N. K. Jemisin. Short novella about an explorer in a sentient spacesuit on a mission to a future Earth. Liked this a lot as it pushes all the right buttons and has an optimistic vision of the future.

What I'm Reading 5
Listened to the audiobook Gods of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Second in the Barsoom series. Plenty of action though it gets episodic and a bit repetitive, presumably it was originally a serial. Feel a bit sorry for all the bit-part characters who assist John Carter in various escapades before being killed off for the next sequence.

What I'm Reading 6
Listened to the audiobook Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution by 19th century anarchist Peter Kropotkin. Not as good as "The Conquest of Bread". Has a lot of interesting anecdotes about cooperation in primitive and medieval times, but the animal and evolutionary stuff isn't that convincing two centuries later. Does have some interesting content on medieval communes and cities.

What I'm Reading 7
Listened to the audiobook The Door Through Space by Marion Zimmer Bradley. A man goes on a mission on a barbaric planet. Light science fiction fantasy, pretty old-fashioned but a good fast-paced read. Has some colonialist stereotypes.

What I'm Reading 8
The Book of Flora. Third in the "Road to Nowhere" series that started with "The Book of the Unnamed Midwife". Found this one a bit of a slog. Has a decent ending but a lot of it seems to be characters just waiting aimlessly around for the ending to happen.

Does give a bit more detail on how the societies have evolved after the original premise, where a disease kills most of the worlds women and renders childbirth much more dangerous.

In general though, if you just read the first volume of the series I think you've got most of the benefit.

What I'm Reading 9
The October Man by Ben Aaronovitch. Novella in the Rivers of London series, with new characters taking on a paranormal investigation in wine country in Germany. Pretty good injecting a bit of variety into the series.

Links
Sci/Tech. ESA commissions first space clean-up mission.

Video. Russian cyberfarm.

Articles. Douglas Stuart and Scottish fiction.

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Flora and fauna | 3 comments (3 topical, 0 hidden)
Edgar Rice Burroughs by wiredog (4.00 / 2) #1 Mon Nov 30, 2020 at 06:04:37 AM EST
I remember rally getting into the Tarzan and Mars books when I was 12 or so. Between having read Tolkein (also when I was 12) and having become more aware of social issues, by the time I was in my mid-teens he was basically unreadable.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Aaronovitch by Merekat (4.00 / 1) #2 Mon Nov 30, 2020 at 07:44:09 AM EST
Was not that gone on False Value. It wasn’t bad but nor does it really add much imo. A bit like Stross’s Laundry Files it feels like Peter is running out of steam as a main focus. October Man I enjoyed though.

Hmmm by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #3 Mon Nov 30, 2020 at 08:46:55 AM EST
I'm a few behind on the Laundry Files, was planning on catching up sometime. Will have to make sure to get them one at a time.
--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
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Flora and fauna | 3 comments (3 topical, 0 hidden)