Sci-Fi Update

So, as you might remember, I got a whole bunch of SF novels from a friend of mine and started reading right away. And I was super-exited about it. I mean, when I was a teenager I used to read that stuff and loved it. Now, reading this stuff again… now come on. I have to admit that I’m somewhat disappointed. Some of the ideas are really neat, but god – writing a book starts with a good idea, granted, but you also have to be a good craftsman. No way around that. So I’ve been reading two books by Larry Niven, The Mote in God’s Eye and Protector. The premises are actually okay, but come on, Larry, at least make an effort to explain the far-out settings and speculative stuff you are writing about. And there is this wonderful thing called a transition. If you don’t know how to move from one scene to another – FIGURE SOMETHING OUT! Don’t just jump from one scene to the next without any transition at all. That’s a real affront to the reader, in my opinion. And the character development? It’s been a loooong time since I came across characters that are that flat. Sorry, but Niven get’s two thumbs down. I’ll slowly work my way through the books, though, there is some Asimov and Herbert coming up, which might be a more rewarding read.

Aside from that, I started reading Redmond O’Hanlon again, namely Into the Heart of Borneo. I’ve read Congo Fever and Trawler a couple of years ago and like them a lot. He doesn’t disappoint – it’s still a good read, although he’s really obsessed with birds, something I couldn’t be less interested in. Oh well. For more info, here’s a link to a Salon Interview from 1997.

What else? I’m starting to really get into 60s and 70s psychedelic/space rock. Seriously, put Hawkwind as a station into Pandora and rock on. And I’m sick. Sore throat. Probably a fever, too.

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