Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Speed Reading

One author I read once said in an interview or on his webpage to not read his newest book too quickly as it was an arc and that he was ending the series. That advice went away, and yet even if I had heeded it, I don't know if I would have read the book an slower.

There are certain books and sometimes authors whose books can only be devoured. You are absorbed into them, and you have to finish them just to make sure that the characters come out of everything all right.

... or don't.

One of these books is Charles Stross' latest: The Fuller Memorandum. I believe I started it Sunday night, and I finished it last night.

The Fuller Memorandum is the third novel in the Tales of the Laundry, and I could not get through it fast enough.

Like the other Laundry books, this one accelerates, and you worry about Bob Howard, and if he's going to make it out alive this time. Stross even teases the whole tale with a prologue by the protagonist telling you he's writing all this down after the fact, and yet you read the book and still wonder if he's going to make it.

I hope Stross can continue the Laundry series with such strength, and yet still write other fascinating hard science fiction stories. Like a sequel to Iron Sunrise.



And so now, I am on to Boneshaker by Cherie Priest. It was lent to me by a coworker and I am going to try to read it. It has two marks against it from me from the start. It's a steampunk tale, and apparently it's also about zombies.

Now, I knew it was steampunk because my coworker told me that, but I could also tell because the protagonist on the cover is wearing goggles that are a variation on acetylene goggles. I did not know about the zombies until I was a couple chapters in.

You see, I try to avoid reading the blurbs on the back (or inside flap) of a book I already know I am going to read. I've had too many experiences in the past where a turning point of the plot is revealed, and I spend the parts of the book leading up to it waiting for that event to happen.

To explain my demerits, first off, my aversion to steampunk. Maybe it's because I was never that much into history. Steampunk is just an alternate earth thing that I've never enjoyed.

Than there's zombies. I'm not a zombie fan. I've seen three zombie movies total: "Shaun of the Dead", "28 Days Later", and "Zombieland". I don't like horror movies, and so I won't be watching any of the George Romero films. So I am finding it hard to look forward to the inevitable outbreak in Boneshaker.

A boneshaker BTW is normally slang for the large front wheeled bicycles of the Victorian era. The book is about a boneshaker that is a coring vehicle like what Cave Carson drives.

I will give it a chance, but I've got a slew of books reserved at the library, and once they come in, I better be engrossed, or this book goes back on the shelf.

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