Reviews and Comments

David Bremner Locked account

Joined 1 year, 11 months ago

computer scientist, mathematician, photographer, human. Debian Developer, Notmuch Maintainer, scuba diver

Much of my "reading" these days is actually audiobooks while walking.

FediMain: is also me. Trying a smaller instance to see if the delays are less maddening.

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Space Opera (2018, Gallery / Saga Press) 4 stars

"Mankind will not get to fight for its destiny. They must sing. A century ago, …

Good, but not that kind of Space Opera

4 stars

Fans of Alastair Reynolds, beware, this is not your stuff. Fans of Douglas Adams, you will probably like this, if you can admit that on some level, Valente is the better writer. Or perhaps it just seems so to me because the satire is more on point for current events.

The overall arc of the story is not too surprising, but there are many extremely quotable quips. Valente seems to have a gift for humorous (pop or otherwise) culture references.

Not to talk down the book, which has no pretensions of being more than what it is, but I look forward to reading Valente putting that raw wordpower to something a little more ambitious.

The found and the lost (EBook, 2016, Saga Press) No rating

[This book] represents the first time that all of Le Guin novellas have been collected …

Content warning Mild spoiler about ending of one novella

Lonely Castle in the Mirror (Hardcover, 2022, Erewhon Books) 5 stars

Seven students find unusual common ground in this warm, puzzle-like Japanese bestseller laced with gentle …

Comforting relatable fable about growing up

5 stars

There is a lot of the setting which is specific to Japan. The epilogue mentions some disturbing statistics about the mental health of Japanese middle school children, but there is also the tourist's pleasure of glimpsing bits of Japanese culture and geography half remembered from a previous visit.

The characters on the other hand are somehow universal underneath an exotic (to an outsider) interest in forms of address. The author does a great job of capturing the anxieties and traumas of not just the extreme cases, but the everyday challenges of growing up as the anxious and unpopular kid.

The plot is immanently spoilable, so I won't say much, except that there is a definite puzzle book here as well.

The book should probably come with a full suite of content warnings for (sensitive treatment of) child sexual assault, child death, and family member death. So although I can believe …