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el dang

Joined 1 year, 10 months 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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Acceptance (2014, Macmillan) 4 stars

From the publisher---

It is winter in Area X, the mysterious wilderness that has defied …

Fitting end to an amazing series

4 stars

I don't think I liked this book quite as much as the previous two, but it still sucked me in and I'm not sure how better the trilogy could have been wrapped up. There are a lot of still unanswered questions at the end, which feels fitting but something about the style of this one felt like a tease, where the previous two volumes felt more convincingly like the answers simply weren't there to be had.

I still love and strongly recommend this trilogy overall.

The  lathe of heaven (1973, Avon) 4 stars

“The Lathe of Heaven” ; 1971 ( Ursula Le Guin received the 1973 Locus Award …

Weirdest thing I've read by Le Guin

4 stars

It's funny how of all the books I've read by Le Guin, the one that's set on a baseline plausible Earth-in-my-lifetime would turn out to be the weirdest. Also funny how in what starts as a pretty reasonable extrapolation from 1971 to ~2000 has one repeated glaring error: multiple references to the perfect cone of Mount St. Helen's.

Against that background, we get a story of a man running away from his dreams because they give him a power he doesn't understand and can't control. And another man who wants to channel that power, setting up a modern Daoist fable about the hubris of trying to control too much.

The Core of the Sun (2016) 4 stars

Set in an alternative historical present, in a "eusistocracy"--An extreme welfare state -- that holds …

A very topical dystopia

4 stars

The "Finnish Weird" label that I've seen bandied around fits but also doesn't quite - it had me expecting a bit of a lighter quirkier book than this turned out to be. The first scene or two definitely feels like that, but it quickly becomes apparent that a more serious dystopia is being spun, along lines set out by the cover.

Actually I should praise the cover more: it's one of the best book covers I've ever seen, because it tells a lot of the story but without spoilers since none of it made sense until I had reached the relevant parts of the book.

avatar for eldang el dang boosted

I'm eldang on cohost too. To be honest I have as yet to see anything really compelling about it, but until I find the Perfect Social Network I'll always be interested in new attempts.

The financial model is interesting, but I have concerns about switching one monolotihic company-run moderation policy for another. And I get the sinking feeling when I read the staff account that they haven't actually used Mastodon and its forks... but that can't be true, can it?

Terminal Boredom (2021, Verso Books) 4 stars

"Born from the obsessive and highly idiosyncratic mind of a cult figure of the Japanese …

Interesting ideas; tone I found hard

3 stars

This collection of stories explores some interesting territory around mental illness and sense of self, but ultimately the standoffish tone of almost all the narration grated on me. For any one story I think it was a reasonably effective device, but across the whole book it really limited my emotional engagement.

City of Brass (2017, HarperCollins Publishers Limited) 4 stars

"Step into The City of Brass, the spellbinding debut from S. A. Chakraborty--an imaginative alchemy …

A big story with a lot of humanity in its magical beings

4 stars

Content warning major spoilers