Archive for the ‘books’ Category

The Brief and Terrifying Reign of Phil

A very odd book that I picked up at the library on a whim. It is set in Inner Horner, a country so small that only one citizen at a time can stand there; the other Inner Hornerites stay in Outer Horner, waiting their turn.

Their idyllic situation is disturbed by the transformation of a local loser, Phil, into a demagogue who threatens their way of life.

Ordinarily the sort of off-the-wall humor that pervades this book is not really my thing. I think it is just too easy to come up with really random things, so it doesn’t impress me much.

However, this book is quite short, so it didn’t have as much time to bother me. I did enjoy it.

I put this into the same category as “Lint” in terms of its humor and general approach to sci-fi (as in, filed there since there is no other genre that fits).

To say nothing of the dog…

I checked this book out from the library because it had won a Hugo award. I was delightfully surprised.

This book is a genre-bending mix of science fiction (the sci-fi elements were quite light), historical fiction, mystery, and romance, with a bit of humor thrown in. I thought the writing was creative, witty, and entertaining.

I’d never heard of Connie Willis before; I’ll have to read more of her work.

In the Miso Soup

My friend David is a big fan of Haruki Murakami, so when I was at the library I picked up In the Miso Soup — a book by a completely different person who happens to share the same last name. If this were a movie I would describe it as Lost in Translation meets Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer; the whole time I was reading it I kept thinking “I didn’t realize David was into such bleak, dark stuff”. I got all the way through and started writing a blog entry about this before Wikipedia and Amazon clued me in to my mistake.

Now I’m reading a book by the author I intended to read the first time. I suppose there’s some lesson about books and covers in here somewhere.


Kelvin lent me The Dawn of Amber, so I read it last night.

Avoid! The writing is stupidly flat.

Note to all authors out there: don’t let your estate authorize sequels to your books. This turns out badly. For instance, now I will have to go desecrate Roger Zelazny’s grave.

I only have one story about Zelazny, which is that when I lived in Santa Fe I caught a glimpse of his shoe. I was at the Aztec and as the door was shutting the barrista mentioned that the guy leaving was Zelazny, and I turned in time to see the covering of the last exiting bit of his anatomy.