Posts Tagged Time travel

Friday Finds @Bibliophage’s Book Buffet |May 13

{{Friday Finds is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading }}

The Margarets
How to Live Safely in A Science Fictional Universe
 The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction    
  • The Margarets – By Tepper, Sheri S.  I tag-surfed over to brainfluff and found a lot of reviews of books I like, and the blog’s using  the same theme I had until two months ago! Small world.  Anyhow, I also am a fan of Sheri Tepper, so this goes on my list.
  • How to Live Safely in A Science Fictional Universe– By Yu, Charles.  Undermyappletree says that this is an SF-time-travel book which focuses on the human issues. The timelines are completely not linear – important characters choose to live ‘achronologically’.
  • The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction 60th Anniversary – Anthology.  Hm… I was tracking down works by a particular author, but now I don’t recall who it was.
  • 84, Charing Cross Road – By Hanff, Helene. A book created of a series of trans-atlantic letters spanning years – I saw a review at reading fuelled by tea.  I’m not sure whether this is fiction or real correspondence, but I love the phrase ‘epistolary novel’.  I also would like to say that my garden is there for slugs to eat; but, slugs don’t like thistles or horsetail rush 😦
  • Lilith’s Brood– By Butler, Octavia E. This is going to be the June book in the wsf book club – going to get a head start.  If I want first to finish the 8 or so books physically waiting on my TBR shelf, I’d best get a move on.

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In the Garden of Iden – Kage Baker

 

In the Garden of Iden  is the novel which establishes a common character in the ‘Company’ series.  Her name is Mendoza… she was rescued from Inquisition-era Spain.  This was Baker’s first published novel, and it does feel that way, somewhat. But, it’s worth sampling at least some further examples to see how her writing has matured.
 
The theme here is that time-travel is possible, and that agents are recruited to go back and rescue important objects, whether they are works of art, or specimens of plants and animals that became extinct.  The agents are effectively immortal.
 
Mendoza, nonetheless, is a young agent in her first mission. She falls in love with a local.
 
I re-read this by accident… and it was much more tedious the second time.  Sequels might be better.
 
 
 

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Blackout – Connie Willis

Be sure to have the ‘sequel’ ready

Stars: Four out of Five

Blackout takes place in the same universe as many of Connie Willis’ other stories, for example The Domesday Book, To Say nothing of the Dog,  or a short story in The Winds of Marble Arch

Something seems to be going wrong with the mechanisms of time travel to which these British university types have become accustomed.  Several characters travel to Britain during World War Two, and meet obstacle after coincidental obstacle preventing them from returning to their proper time.

The construction of the book is of several parallel but not coincident story lines, and it can be daunting to track who is happening when.  There are more plates being juggled here than I recall being active in other Willis stories – so perhaps the ambitiousness of the scope is the reason that it seems to be moving more slowly and with less drama.

Still, it’s excellently written and I am looking forward to the sequel to learn what becomes of all these characters.

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The Winds of Marble Arch (etc) – Connie Willis

The Winds of Marble Arch is a collection of short stories and novellas by Connie Willis.  She’s a very, very good writer (hence the ‘virtuous’ tag)…

Reading the stories back-to-back in a collection like this makes me realize that death, consciousness, and disorientation are recurring themes in (some of) her work.  Whether it’s the end of the world because the sun has exploded, or a nuclear holocaust, or the Titanic sinking (Passage), or an individual’s death (Lincoln’s Dreams)… things fall apart. It’s rather unsettling to read so much of it back-to-back… I have had some really odd dreams!  Don’t worry, not going to share those.

I wish there were a few more of her quirky-toned pieces in here, in the vein of To say nothing of the Dog.  There are some on the funny side, but nothing that resonates quite as much as the, well, depressing ones.

There’s one called Chances (or was it Choices?) that reminded me both of The Yellow Wallpaper, and of Sherri Tepper’s the Family Tree.

Ah, the one about trying to find the conference rooms at a quantum physics convention was funny.  Either you know where the hotel room is, or you know where you are going, but you can never find out both at the same time.  It’s told more amusingly than that, and more accurately, but can I distinguish between real quantum physics and jokes about three-strings-walk-into-the-bar? Afraid not.

So, I have a few more pieces to read still, but I am going to start the Christopher Moore book Dirty Job, and alternate through the remainder of them.  Hopefully this will cut down on the creepy dreams!

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