Monday, 24 September 2018

Summer Reading Round-Up

When I was a bartender I used to read, on average, a book a week. Now I consider myself lucky if I get through a book in a month. Here's my summer reading round-up:

The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu

As you folks probably know better than I do, a 9-5 job and the demands of a small child are not conducive to keeping up with the latest developments in Chinese Science Fiction. Thus, I am only on the second volume of Cixin Liu's Three Body Problem sequence. The titular forest is a fabulous metaphor for a particularly depressing answer to what is sometimes called the Fermi Paradox. (Paradoxically, the Fermi Paradox isn't actually a paradox).    

Where's Spot? by Eric Hill

Spot isn't the star of 'Where's Spot?' On first reading, you wonder whether the author is going to pull a Beckettian swerve and have the eponymous hero absent: a Godot-like anti-presence. On the 199th reading, even the planned surprises in 'Where's Spot?' cease to be surprising (especially now that Finn Jr has ripped off two thirds of the flaps). However, a quest narrative with a strong female lead and a false ending/twist (no spoilers) is a Gold Standard that fiction writers consistently fail to meet. And Eric Hill did it in fewer than fifty words!  

Who's Who When Everyone Is Someone Else by CD Rose

When my aunt asked me for recommendations for her book club, this was my immediate suggestion. The tale of a minor academic visiting a street-shifting unnamed European city to deliver lectures on unread books to dwindling numbers of attendees. The reader gets to sit in on each of these lectures and explore the city and meet a number of its quirky inhabitants. 

With my currently limited schedule for reading books aimed at adults, I am looking forward to revisiting WWWEISE and, if you already know how Where's Spot? ends and your book group is divided on the merits of Chinese science fiction, I recommend you check out the latest from CD Rose.

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