Showing posts from August, 2018

The Long Goodbye

The Long Goodbye Raymond Chandler, 1953 Premise: Private investigator Philip Marlowe strikes up an odd friendship with Terry Lennox, the husband of a local socialite. When addiction, envy, wealth, and conspiracy cause murder and mayhem among the upper crust, Marlowe gets drawn into a social class where all that glitters is dross. I recently reread this book and was reminded how much I love it. I love the style. I love the careful word choices that evoke very specific images and provide subtle commentary on events. The characters are larger than life but still grounded enough to be believed. I love Marlowe. He’s not a great person, but he’s decent, and he has a particular moral code. Unfortunately for him, he’s just slightly too moral for the situations he finds himself in, which means he gets beaten up. By corrupt cops, by hired thugs, by gangsters... Marlowe takes a heck of a thrashing in this book and doesn’t get much in return. It’s occasionally of its time, although th

2001: Space Odyssey

2001: Space Odyssey Arthur C. Clarke, 1968 Read Harder Challenge 2018 - A classic of genre fiction Premise: An unknowable force is guiding humanity, and has been since the beginning. First, I’ve never actually seen the movie. However, I do know all the major beats, because it was basically impossible to grow up when I did and not know all the major beats - monolith and monkeys, I can’t do that, Dave, weird space baby. When I decided to read the book, I had no idea that the book and the movie were so closely related. So all that is to say that it’s impossible for me to come at this book with anything resembling a fresh perspective. Heck, I actually worked very briefly with Keir Dullea, who played Dave in the movie. (While I can’t blame anyone working on that troubled show for being cranky, that does give me an additional hang-up about this story.) Partially because of all that, I think this is my least favorite book I’ve read by Clarke. It isn’t bad, but it isn’t actuall

To See the Sun

To See the Sun Kelly Jensen, 2018 New Release! I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for the purpose of review. Premise: Outer colonies are the rough frontier, which might be why Bram never seems to meet anyone special. That is, until he sees Gael's profile on the interstellar matchmaking service. Gael would do anything to leave his planet; he knows it's foolish to also hope for love. I've been dipping further into romance and romance-adjacent books of late, so I I thought I'd give this LGBT sci-fi romance with the pretty cover a try. And the verdict is... it's fine. It's good even. Enjoyable, well-written, two main characters who fit around each other's quirks and grow to care for each other. The complications of the sci-fi setting are decently described and fun. But, it's also a trope-riddled cliche from top to bottom. We've got your mail-order bride, your fake relationship to escape possible slavery, your instant found famil