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Wednesday reading meme

Just finished/Reading now:

Green Mars, Kim Stanley Robinson
Blue Mars, Kim Stanley Robinson: this series is beautifully written, if a tad rambling. It's interesting seeing Robinson show his equally comprehensive knowledge of biology and ecology now that Mars is being terraformed and the Martian humans are visiting Earth. Still, this guy can spend chapter after chapter on character development and scientific or philosophical prose without doing anything to move the plot forward. Then it's insane for several pages (revolution! war!), and you're back to walk-abouts, drunken parties, and philosophical dialogue.

Cibola Burn, James S.A. Corey (The Expanse) - W00t, this book was finally released yesterday. I like it so far, but leave it to the James S.A. Corey authors to take one of the turning points in human history - the ability to travel to other solar systems - and turn it into petty-politics-as-usual. There's a greater mystery promised with the (allegedly) dead alien race that created the wormhole gates, so hopefully it will rise above the bickering that usually takes front and center in this book series.

That said, the characters and world-building are good as usual, which is why these books scratch my itch to see realistic depictions of the future of space travel. The writers are nowhere near as poetic as Robinson, but except for some over-used descriptive phrases, you don't notice much.

What's next:

Another in Robinson's solar system series, TBD.

ETA: due to the recent Amazon bad behavior, I bought the two most recent books I'm reading using B&N Nook. My Android tablet lets me have Kindle, Nook, and Kobo apps, and probably others as well, which is awesome. I do read a fair bit in a regular internet browser during breaks at work, and so far, the Nook for Web does not perform as well as Kindle Cloud Reader. It logs me out every few hours, and then loses the page I was on, and sometimes does not sync the current page with my Android Nook app. None of this is a deal breaker, though.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 18th, 2014 10:17 pm (UTC)
I so love the Mars series! That reminds me that I could probably read it again, soon. I like a lot (but not all) of his other books, too--Galileo's Dream and The Years of Rice and Salt, especially. So glad you mentioned him--found that his latest book (Shaman) is available right now from my library on Kindle. I've been reading another pre-historical period book, Stone Spring by Steven Baxer, so I'm in the mood.

Robinson has a horrible plot problem--not only do they not move, they don't conclude. But like you say, he writes so well...I read him anyway.

Edited at 2014-06-18 10:18 pm (UTC)
Jun. 18th, 2014 10:22 pm (UTC)
I liked the beginning of Galileo's Dream - showing Galileo in his historical context was fascinating. Once he's 1500 years in the future on Europa, though, calling it a "dream" didn't help me accept the situation. No spoilers, please, as I do plan to try to continue on with it, but I feel like he wasn't a "fish out of water" enough. Robinson is saavy enough about the history of science and historical changes of worldview to do better with Galileo in the 30th century.
Jun. 18th, 2014 10:27 pm (UTC)
Read it too long ago to know any spoilers, let alone arguments!
Jun. 18th, 2014 10:35 pm (UTC)
He definitely is a beautiful prose-ist, though. Reading him is influencing my fiction prose, I think.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )