Category Archives: Wordy Wednesdays

Wordy Wednesday – Sail 25 by Jack Vance

Sci-fi short stories can be really hit or miss for me, but that’s true of most short stories. There’s a limited amount of space to tell the story, and in sci-fi I really want to learn about the world and technologies involved as well as the characters.

Sail 25 by Jack Vance is very well done. I read it as part of a collection called ‘The Seven Deadly Sins of Science Fiction’ that brought together stories that focus on, well, the seven deadly sins. Sail 25 focuses on sloth.

A flute-playing space devil is not in Sail 25.

A flute-playing space devil is not in Sail 25.

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Wordy Wednesday – Sleepers Awake by Kenneth Patchen

Knowing nothing about this book, I dove into it expecting nothing.

What I got out of it was confusing, but ultimately just a reflection of my own beliefs.

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Wordy Wednesday – On the Vanity of Earthly Greatness by Arthur Guiterman

Here, read this poem.

It has a perfect ending.

Wordy Wednesday – Ishmael in Love by Robert Silverberg

If I see one more story – I mean it, just one more – that has anything to do with humans wanting to fuck dolphins, or dolphins wanting to fuck humans, I am seriously going to flip my lid.

Come on in, the water’s great.

I got a bunch of short story collections, and a handful of ‘World’s Best Science Fiction’ compilations were involved. I read the 1971 edition, and there’s a story in there called “Ishmael in Love” by Robert Silverberg. Guess what it’s about?

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Wordy Wednesdays – Parasites, Paleoclimate, and the Peopling of the Americas by Montenegro et al

Here’s what I’ve been reading:

Parasites, Paleoclimate, and the Peopling of the Americas

Thrilling. Characters could use some work.

I mean, uh … can these scientists discover if the Clovis people were able or capable of bringing the hookworm to the Americas when they crossed Beringia? Can they solve this ancient mystery of love and betrayal…before it’s too late?

 

 

Wordy Wednesdays – Bimbos of the Death Sun by Sharyn McCrumb (Part 2)

Okay, so I really didn’t like Bimbos of the Death Sun. Here’s an assortment of other issues I had with it, aside from last week’s post.

Here’s that fucking cover again.

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Wordy Wednesday – Bimbos of the Death Sun by Sharyn McCrumb (Part 1)

If you don’t want to read a few hundred words of me complaining about a book, here’s the short version:

Bimbos of the Death Sun is a cut-rate murder mystery book that takes great joy in mocking nerdy misfits at a sci-fi convention. I did not enjoy it and you probably wouldn’t either.

Good? Okay, let’s keep going.

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Wordy Wednesday – Behold the Man by Michael Moorcock

It’s a novella, it’s short and to the point, and it was okay.

So Karl, he’s all depressed, right? And his lady-friend is very sharp with him, cruelly attacking his beliefs. So he goes to visit this guy he knows, and the guy has a time machine, so Karl uses it to looking for Jesus Christ.

One of those days, you know?

Well, eventually Karl finds Mary and Joseph. Mary is a whore. Joseph is a selfish jerk, deriding Mary at every chance he can. Their son, Jesus, is a retarded hunchback.

Karl believes in the story of Christ so powerfully that he steps into the role. He gathers disciples, gives sermons, and becomes determined to live this through to the end.

Though, once he’s on the cross, he begs to be let down. But he says it in English, so no one understands him.

The writing was keen, but the premise was just off for me. Karl didn’t seem really focused on meeting Christ, he just seemed to want to hang out in Christ-times. His motivation was unclear – he wanted to meet Christ, but why? I mean, did he just want to talk to him? To try to see if he was actually the son of God? To prevent him from dying on the cross?

I mean, I get the big ideas here. They just aren’t presented in an interesting way.

Overall, I’m fifty-fifty on this one. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t long. If you’re looking for a quick read that won’t stick in your mind, go for it.

Wordy Wednesday – Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Picked this up used from a guy I met at a flea market. You, however, can spare yourself the agony of rubbing elbows with the common man and simply download the book for free from Cory Doctorow’s website, which this link, uh, links to.

I bought a ton of books from that guy, in fact, and I haven’t even made a dent in the pile. This is a start. Not a great one, though.

I think I would have loved this book when I was fifteen or sixteen. It’s about a seventeen-year-old, Marcus, who gets taken in by the Department of Homeland Security after a terrorist attack on San Francisco.

He’s tortured, abused, mentally scarred, and then sent home. Then he gets angry and fights back. With hacking.

While I understand, and even agree for the most part, with the core ideas and outlook of the book, it wasn’t excellent.

The writing was good, everything moved along nicely. But the characters felt mostly one-note, and the villains might as well have had mustaches. They were basically wringing their hands in pleasure at torturing children, or cackling on their broomsticks while deliberately spreading misinformation.

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Wordy Wednesday – Emphyrio by Jack Vance

Well, I have mixed feelings about this book.

Worst cover ever? Google Image Search for Emphyrio and you’ll see that this book is somehow cursed to have awful covers.

It’s got a bunch of stuff I like – spaceships, heavy ideas, political wrangling, ancient mysteries. But it really drags at times.

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