Monday, May 14, 2012

Broken-spined paperbacks

An interesting summary review of the six contenders for this year's Nebula by Chris Barsanti in The Millions.  Nothing here really attracts me this year (except Embassytown, of course, but I'm not sure if I'm up to it), but I loved his description of  "Among Others" by Jo Walton. (Especially since I just talked to an old friend who was reading a much-loved Ace Double until it fell apart in his hands.)

Walton’s real story is Morwenna’s love of science fiction. The novel is told in diary form, and nearly every entry includes some finely argued notation on the joys and merits of what she’s reading. Her list is heavy with dark transgressors like Samuel R. Delany and John Brunner, as befitting Walton’s late-1970s setting. There’s a gripping, deeply-learned love here that goes beyond mere fandom, delivering one of the most intelligently impassioned odes to science fiction, and reading in general, ever put to paper. As Morwenna says on entering her father’s study: “I actually relaxed in his presence, because if there are books perhaps it won’t be all that bad.” Anybody who has felt the glow and tug of mind-warping joy that comes with devouring a stack of broken-spined sci-fi paperbacks will know exactly what she means.


David Chute said...

Reading Marion Zimmer Bradley has been known to raise estrogen levels alarmingly in otherwise manly men.

Christian Lindke said...

Apparently, you've never read "Hunters of the Red Moon"

All kidding aside, I think that the Jo Walton book is the one that intrigues me the most. Walton's "Farthing" is a delightful combination of Cozy and Political Thriller. It kicks off a series of books -- though I've only read "Farthing."

Walton is also a fan of Susan Palwick ( which speaks well for her. Palwick was a mentor of mine as an undergrad, and I was blessed to be her student. Palwick is a very good writer, and an even better professor.