September 18th, 2007


judge a book by its cover

My eyes were caught caught caught by the Gollancz Future Classics. SF in classy part-textured covers, on thin silky paper instead of the usual dishcloth bogpaper that makes my fingertips feel like no-one cares. Fuzzy books, shiny books, books with bobbles and bling and glow-in-the-dark.

I bought Fairy Land by Paul McCauley because a) it was the shiniest b) I'd never read it and c) it passed the three-page test. It was a nice enough read, shiny millennial retro with literary flourishes and only one triple goddess cluster bomb. It was a doozy, though -- three pages or so of goddess ramble, by the end of which I felt like smacking someone round the head with a copy of Reay Tannahill's Sex in History. Also, there was a lot of beating on the main character. He didn't seem that bad to me, but almost everyone in it kept going on about what an arse he was, almost as if they'd originally been a series of short stories and he'd been a late (and annoying) interpolation designed to stitch up the narrative. Still, it reminded me how much I like to read zippy scifi. Any recommendations?

Speaking of goddess bollocks, last night's Comics Brittania, eh? An interesting watch... It's fast approaching time contemporaneous with myself and hence getting into the zone where I can shout at it for "getting it wrong". I suspect the story may be too multithreaded to get right, anyway -- the comments were already showing direct contradictions in the space of five minutes, and I imagine that'll only get worse next week. The story's not settled yet. What does come across is this rather desperate gang of editors, writers, artists etc. who, faced with shrinking time, money and resources, were all desperately looking for magic formulas, shortcuts, recipes, sure-fire theories ("girls want to cry" "heroes should be big") which could be used instead of original ideas, good stories, good art... not that I have any idea what could be done about that, of course. Maybe it's inevitable, in the life of any media.

Also, a cat in a washing machine:

creative commons cat

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