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E.G.

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[Nov. 27th, 2015|09:40 am]
E.G.
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Two weeks of out of the usual activities! Travel led to much media consumption.

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie, via Audible. It took me a while to get used to Celeste Ciulla's reading performance. She was careful in her intonations as Breq, the AI, and I first found it off-putting. I slowly realized how valuable it was for me: i would have read Breq's speech rhythms as my own (as best fit the writing) and would have not had the somewhat alien experience. In retrospect, I deeply appreciate hearing the book read to me as enriching my experience. The theme of guilt and setting things right was quite engaging, particularly in a text that is aware of privilege, both of the reader's world and the created world . While the narrative ends with plenty of room to explore more of the universe, i'm not sure how led i am to follow Leckie in her further explorations.

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson, via Audible. Listening Length: 31 hours and 55 minutes.
I listened cross country, and i'm still in the pre-cataclysm period. I've found the Neil deGrasse Tyson character just a *touch* distracting. I hadn't put a name to the entrepreneur character. Other reviews say Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos. Richard Branson came to my mind, although I think he has better people skills than the character in the book admits to having. I think i will listen at higher speed if i ever want to be finished with it.

Portal by Eric Flint & Ryk E Spoor, via Baen. This is the third in a trilogy that i did feel led to complete. (Perhaps because it was clearly a trilogy as opposed to a series.) Both the first book (Boundary) and Seveneves address the NASA vs corporate space flight question in a way that makes me wonder why it didn't seem to come up in The Martian. This third book continues, resolving the international (underhanded) competition narrative, and brings to a closure the arc of discovery. There's certainly MUCH room for the discovery to continue, and it nags at my mind: why would you leave now? But the narrative has a strong reason for the closure it provides. Indeed, i suspect it would take inhuman endurance for the characters to stay focussed on the discovery and not on their own physical needs (such as for some time in gravity!)

Valentine & Hart Books by Missy Meyer, via Kindle. I found her husband's kinda Mary Sue-ish Magic 2.0 series to be peasant geeky diversions, so i thought i would give this series a try. It's a fun conceit, and the "bad misleading government" narrative might give way to something with a bit more grey, but i don't think i will read any more in the series.

Tanyth Fairport Adventures, by Nathan Lowell, via Kindle. Unlike the Valentine & Hart series, i will read more of Nathan Lowell's Tanyth Fairport. Clearly set in a familiar context where women have gendered restrictions, the narrative provides for those women to be recognized by me as having strength, wisdom, and creativity without the addition of the supernatural. The supernatural is introduced, but in a world where the magic is expected to have been in the past. I look forward to the unfolding of how Tanyth comes to understand her experience. I enjoyed Lowell's Solar Clipper Trader Tales a great deal, particularly due to his attention to the practical details. I joked about how many times in the Solar Clipper tales that characters put their coffee cups into the dishwasher. Here, too, characters do dishes and attend to mundane practicalities in a way that seems natural to the narrative and delightful to this reader.

2001: Space Odyssey : It leaked out to Christine i'd never seen this. Thus, last night we watched. There were a multitude of places where visual designs reminded me of other movies (Star Wars), movies made after this one came out. That, and some of the visions of the past-future, were fun to reflect upon. Ma Bell videophone booths were entertaining, after using FaceTime a short time before with my sister's family. Paper instead of tablets, the formal dress of scientists (insert hilarity here). The inside of the earth to space station shuttle plane looked like the insides of current airplanes -- except empty. The lack of crowds and noise and bustle in the concourse and the empty spaceliner seats to the space station seem implausible. (The cost of extras, i wondered?) I often think of movies as being short stories: this seemed more like a poem. The last 25 minutes or so has a great deal of visual special effects. I wish i knew how it felt to see those effects in a world where they were done prior to computer animation. (It's similar to my wish to know what it felt like to experience the opening notes of Led Zeppelin I's Good Times Bad Times) The color palette and different effects are now familiar from Tron , Doctor Who, and countless other movies and shows. What did it feel like to be in a dark movie theatre to see that for the first time?

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: tx_cronopio
2015-11-27 08:45 pm (UTC)
LOL. The best thing about seeing 2001 is now you'll get the joke when people say, "I can't do that, Dave."
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[User Picture]From: elainegrey
2015-11-28 05:20 pm (UTC)
My colleagues and i had a boss named Dave, so the sound clip of "I'm sorry Dave" circulated frequently. I had a vague idea of the plot line and now ... I have a vague idea of the plot line. 8)
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[User Picture]From: gurdonark
2015-11-28 01:27 am (UTC)
I read the first two Leckie novels. I hope to read the third soon.
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[User Picture]From: elainegrey
2015-11-28 05:21 pm (UTC)
Ah! I've heard another friend less enthused with the second novel. Good to know it's inspired you to read the third.
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[User Picture]From: randomdreams
2015-11-28 01:37 am (UTC)
I love Stephenson but man he needs an editor. His current editor lets him spend far too much time at the keyboard.
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[User Picture]From: elainegrey
2015-11-28 05:20 pm (UTC)
That does seem to be a common refrain about this work!
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[User Picture]From: annie_r
2015-11-28 12:39 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the lovely card!

Did I write here about Seveneves? I loved the first 2/3 or so, but the last section was a slog to get through.
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[User Picture]From: elainegrey
2015-11-28 04:19 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure you did but my reading consistency hasn't been as good as i'd like. Google isn't helping me find it.

It looks like the need to tighten up and shorten the story is a common complaint. Not sure i can take four months of this one story. (I don't have that much time in the car, thank heavens.)
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[User Picture]From: seawasp
2015-11-28 01:32 pm (UTC)
Given the ages of the protagonists, neither Eric nor I could justify the continuing hijinks of the main crew flying through space. That kind of thing's a young person's job, and Helen's pushing 60 and even A.J. has passed 40 and Jackie can see 40 approaching fast.

So we wrapped up THEIR adventures, but Castaway Planet gives us a look at what happens in that universe about 150 years on. That one's written more to the Heinlein Juvenile/ YA target, though.
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[User Picture]From: elainegrey
2015-11-28 04:12 pm (UTC)
I know, i was just all "HOW CAN YOU LEAVE NOW????" And then i think about my state of health as i go through a spasm of coughing. (AJ's lungs, your lungs, my lungs: thanks for the characters with breathing issues! )
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[User Picture]From: seawasp
2015-11-28 05:28 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm glad you wanted to see them go on. :) There are a couple refs to the original cast in _Castaway Planet_.

The real hero-with-breathing-problems so far in my works, of course, is Erik in _Polychrome_.
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[User Picture]From: wuweibaby
2015-11-28 02:51 pm (UTC)
It was awesome in the theater in 1968. I was 18. My friends and I were on LSD :D
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[User Picture]From: elainegrey
2015-11-28 04:13 pm (UTC)
The whole film seemed to have room for plenty of pharmaceutical trips. 8)
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