Reading notes, week 25

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Tried to read This Is How You Lose The Time War, Middlegame, Gideon the Ninth and Deeplight, but they were all in various ways Not For Me. I may be able to read Deeplight later, but at the moment I can’t get into it; the other three are various combinations of “too close to the skin” and “sort of horror, really”.

June 20: Emergency Skin by N.K. Jemisin. I almost gave up because it looked like environment dystopia to start with, but I’m very glad I didn’t because it’s so optimistic. It’s about assumptions more than anything else. Ends well, too.

The Haunting of Tram Car 015 by P. Djeli Clark. A Hugo finalist I could actually read! Not quickly because I’ve been hyperfocused with my new toy, MuseScore (making choir scores for when we have a choir again). It started a bit slow and dullish but it picked up after a while and proved to be excellent. It does feel like every other paragraph could be an ending, though.

June 18: Eilonwy Wanderer. Wonderful! Go read it!

June 18: Stone Mad, sequel to Karen Memory. As gripping as the other one but there seemed to be less story. Liked it a lot anyway.

June 15: Several Competent WizardsMairelon the Magician/Kate and Cecelia/Enchanted Forest crossover. I hope it’s intentional that the author calls James Tarleton “Tarlington” and the Marquis of Schofield “Sheffield” or it’s a very bad case of “get the names right dammit”.

Lied van Angst by Almar Otten. #4 in the series that I previously read #3 and #2 of, in that order. Grows on one. I like the protagonist a lot though I wish she’d make up her mind about her boyfriend. — PSA: when someone changes their name for whatever reason, the name they used to have isn’t their “real name”. It can still be their legal name (as in my case), or their deadname (if they’re trans) or just their former name, but the person’s real name is the name they’re using and people know them by. (This writer could have avoided my mini-rant by having the protagonist ask “what were you called before then” instead of “what’s your real name then”.) Also, this IRA subplot is a bit superfluous, no? — Turns out that it does give a vital clue, and the characters lampshade it or I’d never have worked it out. I suspect it is because I really don’t know the genre conventions.

June 14: Icoondrift by Almar Otten. Earlier in the series than Gebonden Kapitaal. Almost a book-against-wall moment early on: police are investigating a scene-of-crime house and deduce that there’s been a second person living there because there was a book on the table that clearly came from a gap in the bookcase, with a bookmark in it, and it couldn’t have been the victim reading it because nobody ever rereads a book. I wonder if this writer reads much himself.

Index of reading notes is here.

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