Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Back to Some Plain Ol' Science Fiction...

I picked up Alistair Reynolds' Pushing Ice over the holidays and just started reading it the other night. And I mean just started reading it. Two chapters in it struck me that this is the first SF book I've cracked open in quite awhile.

The non-SF string started with Gene Wolfe's Latro In The Mist, which was sort of an historical SF book. I normally like Wolfe's stuff, but this one didn't really engage me. I think it had to do with the storytelling device, that of Latro authoring the tale and dealing with his injury-caused limited short-term memory, i.e. he can remember stuff that happened a long time ago, and only that which he experienced in the past few hours, so he constantly finds himself not quite knowing where he's at, or why he's in the situation that he's in. And unfortunately, sometimes neither did I.

I then read the entire Chronicles of Narnia for the first time. I'd read a comic book serialization in my Sunday school paper over the course of a year back when I was a child and of course saw The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe movie. I knew it was a work of children's literature, with deeper content that adult readers pick up on, but I didn't really grasp that it was children's literature, written in that particular style. Nothing wrong with that, and I did enjoy it, but that style doesn't really engage me too deeply. That said though, there were some scenes in the books that were extraordinarily well-written and engrossing, regardless of one's age. (Plus, I discovered that the phrase "sucks to be him" goes back to at least the early 50s in England :-)

Then over the holidays I also watched the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy.

And then finally wrapped it all up by reading the final Harry Potter book, Deathly Hollows, which was quite satisfying.

So after all that, I think I'm ready to get back to some spaceships, alien artifacts, and death by explosive decompression.

No comments: