FF: Various and Sundry

Kel Wonders Why Moriah Isn’t On The Cover

My reading this week has been rather scattered because I’m taking some of my reading time to work.  Still, I manage a little just for fun.

For those of you just discovering this part of my blog, the Friday Fragments lists what I’ve read over the past week.  Most of the time I don’t include details of either short fiction (unless part of a book-length collection) or magazines.

The Fragments are not meant to be a recommendation list.  If you’re interested in a not-at-all-inclusive recommendation list, you can look on my website under Neat Stuff.

Once again, this is not a book review column.  It’s just a list with, maybe, a bit of description or a few opinions tossed in.

Recently Completed:

Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett.  Re-read.  Lovecraft meets silent film.

Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya, this week volumes 19-23.  Manga.  Re-read.  Sorry that the story is over…

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip.  Re-read.  Held up well for me.

In Progress:

The Throme of the Erril of Sherill by Patricia McKillip.  Quest fantasy, a bit on the light side.

The Life of Greece by Will Durant.  Audiobook.  Up to the Dorian incursion.

Also:

Smithsonian’s most recent.

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9 Responses to “FF: Various and Sundry”

  1. Alan Robson Says:

    I’ve long been a fan of John Sladek. In 2002 Dave Langford scoured the world and put together a book called “Maps” which consisted of every bit of unpublished Sladekiana that he could find in a myriad of obscure publications. Well, that was then and this is now and in the intervening years even more Sladekian bits and pieces have turned up here and there and so now Langford has published “New Maps” with lots more Sladek magic in it. I’m currently reading it and revelling in it.

    John Sladek never wrote a dull word. Everything he put on the page is pure gold, but in some ways he was his own worst enemy. A novel called “The Reproductive System” is never going to sell to the easily embarassed (even the American title “Mechasm” is somewhat suspect) and can you imagine the embarassment of going to a library or bookshop and asking for a novel called “The Muller-Fokker Effect”? Well, swallow your embarassment — both are utterly brilliant, laugh out loud funny and very clever books. And so is everything else John Sladek ever wrote…

    Meanwhile, I have new maps to read…


    -Alan

    • Beverly Martin Says:

      Thanks! A new author for me to enjoy!

    • janelindskold Says:

      Save me Googling… I know the name but not any of those titles. Is there one that was really popular?

      • Alan Robson Says:

        Probably his best known novel is “Roderick”. There’s also “The Steam Driven Boy”, a collection of short stories which has some brilliant parodies in it. For example, it contains a robot story written by I Click AsIMove…


        -Alan

  2. Beverly Martin Says:

    I finished Fullmetal Alchemist and enjoyed it. The tips I read here really helped! Thanks! Now, I have started Fruits Basket Collectors Edition 1 by Natsuki Takaya. It contains the first 2 volumes of the series. So far my only problem is getting the boys mixed up.

    I also finished Cygnet by Patricia A. McKillip. This book consisted of The Sorceress and the Cygnet and The Cygnet and the Firebird. I enjoyed the 2nd book much more than the first. That was probably because all the world building was mostly done. I plan to read more by this author.

    I am also reading Hardcore Twenty-four (Stephanie Plum 24) by Janet Evanovich. The original formula still works. Still funny.

    • janelindskold Says:

      Yes. The art for Fruit’s Basket is much more realistic, so it’s easier to get characters mixed up than in the more stylized art of Fullmetal Alchemist. Just wait until they start growing up — this is a story that spans several years in the character’s lives.

      I’m glad you were able to get into McKillip. I find her ornate prose stimulating, but in our day of car chase writing, I find that readers often lack patience.

      I don’t think we’ve gotten to 24, but maybe??? Anyhow, next car trip if we haven’t!

    • janelindskold Says:

      Oh… Sidenote. Can’t remember if I mentioned this but in Fruit’s Basket sometimes who is saying what is indicated by a little icon on the word balloon. Cat face for Kyo, Rat for Yuki etc. Tohru is a little onigiri. This doesn’t happen right away, but… Also, almost every character has one or more nicknames. Shiguri is sometimes “guri” etc. Nicknames will vary with who is talking to whom. Very realistic… I have a friend named Rowan who is often called Roeo by one of her friends but rarely by others. However, American readers who are used to one name all situations can get confused. But really, it’s no odder than “Bob” for “Robert.” Or “Jack” for “John.”

  3. Jeremy Tassoff Says:

    It’s been ages since I’ve re-read any of Patricia McKillip’s works, but both The Forgotten Beasts of Eld and the Riddlemaster trilogy have survived multiple purges of my overflowing bookshelves.

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