FF: When An Author Is Too Good

Mei-Ling’s No Fool

When, this past week, I finished In the Frame by Dick Francis, I decided to try another of his novels.  However, the one we chose started out with a liberal dose of tension, including shouting matches, profanity, and both physical and vehicular violence.  I couldn’t take it, so I’ve put it aside for a time when my life is a bit less unsettle. 

Sometimes an author is too good at what they do!

For those of you unfamiliar with this column, 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.  And it’s also a great place to tell me what you’re reading. 

Recently Completed:

In the Frame by Dick Francis (Really by him, not by his son, Felix).  Audiobook.  I’m a sucker for stories that feature art, and the author’s note about how he came to write this one was fascinating.  Enjoyed very much.

In Progress:

Fool’s War by Sarah Zettel.  Future SF with intelligent AI characters.  Would be done, but my reading time this last week got traded for other things a couple of times.  It still holds up very well.  Recommended.

Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers.  Audiobook.  I could probably recite parts of this one along with the reader, but that’s okay.  Ian Carmichael does a brilliant job.


Not much.  This last week really wasn’t my own, and when it was, I wrote.

5 Responses to “FF: When An Author Is Too Good”

  1. James Mendur Says:

    “Piranesi” – sort of redeemed by the ending, which was interesting, but it was tiring to get there.

    In Progress:
    “Gideon the Ninth” by Tamsyn Muir – I’m enjoying this, about a warrior in a decaying, space-faring society of necromancers.

    This is a case where people getting so excited about the wrong things had kept me away from this book. “Lesbian necromancers,” everyone kept shouting about this book, and that’s ALL that I heard about it. Well, I have no desire to read lesbian sex in a second-world high fantasy so I avoided the book. (I only started it as part of my Hugo research.)
    Yes, several of the main characters are lesbians but there’s been no sex so far and this reads more like a necromancers’ courtly intrigue from an “I don’t give a fig” Goth-Musketeer’s POV in a decaying, space-faring society of worlds. I would have grabbed that book in an instant if someone had said THAT to me instead of just shouting “lesbian necromancers!”
    I hope the sequel (the actual nominee for the Hugo this year) holds up.

    • janelindskold Says:

      Your different description is interesting. I find discussing books with people fascinating because what I value in the book and what they value are so often very different. It’s even odder when you’re the author and see what people find in your book that you didn’t realize you’d put there, but is there nonetheless.

  2. futurespastsite Says:

    A friend put me on to Dick Francis and I’ve enjoyed every book I’ve read by him, with his under-stated protagonists who always manage to push through. Just finished “No Good from a Corpse” by Leigh Brackett, the novel that brought her to the attention of Howard Hughes who asked her to collaborate on the script for “The Big Sleep” and many other future films. He was surprised when she arrived in Hollywood and he learned she was a woman–but had the good judgment to hire her just the same. Good decision. (Her last script work before we lost her was the first draft of “The Empire Strikes Back.”)

  3. Harry Palmer Says:

    I’ve read almost all of Dick Francis’s stories and really enjoyed them. The most enjoyable to read was about Sid Halley (several books) and Hot Money, which I just finished.

    Reading a story with a lot of gutter language makes me wonder at the abilities of the author. I’ve done my best over the past 50 years to avoid books which are filled with gutter language since they usually take away from the story.

    Our local library has reopened so I may go visit them soon to see what they have which is new. I do have a lot of new books which I’ve purchased in the past few months, so I don’t need more books to read. Oh well, maybe I’ll try to work on my Iris and clean them out so they will blossom again.

    Enjoy the week and stay cool!

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