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el dang

Joined 11 months, 2 weeks ago


I'm currently the coordinator of the #SFFBookClub so a lot of what I'm reading is suggestions from there.

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replied to Gwenfar's status

Content warning discussion of ableist slurs

replied to el dang's status

Content warning Blindsight: minor spoiler for ~halfway through the book

replied to Gwenfar's status

@Gwenfar [unless you've now read further than me] equally horrifyingly, I think I didn't notice that because it was such a routine part of my vocabulary growing up.

The book has me more engaged now, but while that means I'm more forgiving of its flaws those flaws are still there. And I'm not sure that I should forgive it for the really ableist shit, even when it is clearly in the mouth of a character we're meant to see as somewhat flawed.

replied to el dang's status

I read on to the end of the first section, and I'm getting more into it now. I think part of the issue is that early in the worldbuilding Watts makes heavy use of a very explicit "you won't believe how bad things are going to get" style of foreshadowing which at best feels like too much telling vs showing for my taste, and at worst really contributes to the macho blather atmosphere. Now that things are starting to really happen, I'm finding the tone of the writing much less intrusive.

commented on Blindsight

Blindsight (2006, Tor Books) 4 stars

It's been two months since a myriad of alien objects clenched about the Earth, screaming …

Hrm, not sure about this book. There's a sort of macho blather to the writing that is putting me off. It's clearly establishing the character of the narrator, but it's also just tiresome to read. Lots of interesting ideas and I am feeling some suspense, but I may just not make it through this one.

commented on Don Quixote

Don Quixote (2003, Penguin Putnam) 4 stars

Don Quixote has become so entranced by reading chivalric romances that he determines to become …

This is the next group read that I'm doing with the group I just finished Moby-Dick with. After the first hour, my feeling is that the prefaces should all be skipped, but the book itself is an absolute delight. I hope it stays that way over the many months it's going to take us to read this out loud, one hour per week.

avatar for eldang el dang boosted

Alright, now that I've finished spamming my zero off-bookwyrm followers with imports from other services and catching up on recent reads: I'm and plan to move most of my talking about books there. I'll continue using this account for because Bookwyrm doesn't seem to do hashtags.

Speaking of which: October's book is over there. I've started reading it, but am too few pages in to have anything to say about it yet.

Moby-Dick (2003, Penguin Classics) 4 stars

"Command the murderous chalices! Drink ye harpooners! Drink and swear, ye men that man the …

Deeply flawed but also a true classic

3 stars

I read this over the course of about 6 months as a group read. 5-10 of us would meet for an hour a week and take turns reading chapters. It's a very enjoyable experience that way, and at the same time I don't think I'd even have finished the book if I'd tried to read it alone.

Apart from being notoriously long, it's full of meandering digressions many of which would probably have lost me. And the tone of the writing is dominated by the pomposity of the narrator, which at times is used for great effect but at others just grates. It's also extremely wordily heavy. I realise that some of this is just the literary English of the time, but Melville was well capable of using that style to dramatic effect, like in Bartleby which I found a total page-turner, or some of my favourite individual chapters of …

Fugitive Telemetry (2021, 4 stars

No, I didn't kill the dead human. If I had, I wouldn't dump the body …

What can I say, I just continue to <3 Murderbot

5 stars

I found it interesting how this book brought in some contemporary-world themes around refugees and their abusers, but that's not explored particularly deeply, it's just one more reason to cheer on Murderbot as it does its thing. Really this is just one more Murderbot instalment, and I am so very here for that.

We Are Satellites (2021, Berkley Pub Group, Berkley) 4 stars

From award-winning author Sarah Pinsker comes a novel about one family and the technology that …

Very relatable family in a very relatable dystopia

5 stars

This is the sort of near-future sci-fi that's really just one fictional innovation away from the world it was written in, and clearly used as a lens to look at ourselves. It follows one very relatable family and their challenges in adapting--and in some ways being unable to adapt--to a wave of fast social change. I identified strongly enough with each of the main characters in some way that each of their crises broke my heart a little.

The ending wrapped things up a little too neatly and I found that particularly disappointing because it broke the easy belieavability of the rest of the book. But the rest was so good that I can't hold it against book or author.

The Deep (2020, Gallery / Saga Press) 4 stars

Beautiful image, clunky writing

3 stars

I read this book a few months ago with the #SFFBookClub. The setting and imagery are still haunting me, but I found the writing itself sort of clumsy, to the point that while actually reading it diminished the impact, much of which came later as I digested the ideas of the book.