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text 2018-04-23 16:50
Reading progress update: I've read 61%. - this is so good and so gut-wrenchingly sad
Letters To My Husband - Stephanie Butland

This book started with a tidal wave of grief that left me breathless and wondering where it could go from there. Then I saw that there was a timeline format of Now, Then and Between which I wasn't sure would work.

 

It works well because it's so well judged. It broadens out the world and makes me look at the people in a new context.

 

The thing I like most though is that there are no villains and no saints. These are people, some of whom are nicer than others but they're doing what they can with what they have and sometimes even trying to help each other. The odd thing is that amplifies the impact of the grief.

 

I'm reading this slowly, partly because it's too good to miss and partly because there's only so much I can take of this emotional turmoil in a day.

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text 2018-04-22 22:02
Reading progress update: I've read 90%. - loved the guidance on inter-species sexual etiquette.
Space Opera - Catherynne M. Valente

One of the alien gurus makes some amusing assertions about sex and then gives some good advice that made me smile.

 

I liked:

"Where there’s a wang there’s a way."

And the tongue-in-cheek paraphrasing of William Gibson's

"The future is alreay here - it's just not evenly distributed" 

Into


"Sex is universal, it’s just not evenly distributed."

 

But what I liked most was this advice on how to treat a sexual partner from another species:

 

"...don’t giggle when the other entity takes their clothes off, secure enthusiastic consent, don’t mix silicon and carbon without extensive decontamination protocols, tidy up your house if you expect to bring someone home, don’t expect anything you wouldn’t offer, remember that every person is an end in themselves and not a means to an end, don’t worry too much about what goes where and how many of them there are, don’t mistake fun for love, try your best, be kind, always make them breakfast, and use protection."

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text 2018-04-22 19:41
Reading progress update: I've read 84%.- What is it about Alien bar scenes? Clippy is a... Boredom. What a semi-final
Space Opera - Catherynne M. Valente

What is it about Alien Bar Scenes?

So, just like the Alien bar scene in Star Wars, this one went on for too long and tried too hard. Lots of originality. Not so much fun. I did like the replica Hilton thing though. A great metaphor for Purgatory.

 

Clippy is a...

The 321 AI race as Clippy was a hoot. God, how I hated Clippy. And do you think that AIs are named after an old spreadsheet program from Lotus but spelt backwards?

 

Boredom

The human race lacks the attention span to face the possibility of total annihilation for sixteen days without getting bored and turning to gambling and mindless entertainment. That insight right there explains the whole Cambridge Analytica-enabled, Russian-funded rise of the Far Right in Europe and the otherwise inexplicable Trump.

 

What a semi-final

That was a great twist. Got my attention all the way back and blew away the cobwebs from the Alien Bar Scene.

 

 

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review 2018-04-22 15:44
The Lord of the Wings
Lord of the Wings: A Meg Langslow Mystery (Meg Langslow Mysteries) - Donna Andrews

The town of Caerphilly, VA is hosting a Halloween event that is family friendly during daylight hours and for adults during the evening hours. Randall Shiffley hired a young woman, Lydia, to run the event and Meg was volunteered to lead the Goblin Brigade. The Goblin Brigade is the nickname for the liaisons between the police and tourists and the locals. But Meg is being run ragged, still putting out fires all over the place. Dr. Smoot's house/haunted house/museum was broken into, but nothing appeared to have been taken. People are causing trouble at Dr. Blake's zoo and a body is found. It seems that someone started a LARPers version scavenger hunt where you have a certain amount of time to find and send in proof and then you get a new list. As the event continues more things begin to happen and then Lydia disappears as the Smoot House is set on fire, Smoot is found injured and another body is found. Is she a victim, an accomplice or just not involved. 

 

I love having these books play as I drive as my kids are almost always with me and they start giggling over silly things that are read, i.e. the Ravens saying, "Nevermore," "Doom, doom," or "Room Service." Another was the pun of a coat of arms (a coat with extra arms all doing things). I love to hear them giggling or laughing and as they are teens these times are few and far between. 

 

This book is also part of series and thankfully this series does not need to be read in order. 

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text 2018-04-22 14:09
Reading progress update: I've read 57%. Nice thought and a below the belt reference
Space Opera - Catherynne M. Valente

Here's a quote that I'd like to believe is true but is probably only comforting:

 

"Because the opposite of fascism isn’t anarchy, it’s theater. When the world is fucked, you go to the theater, you go to the shine, and when the bad men come, all there is left to do is sing them down."

 

I think the previous contest stories give a nice context but go on too long. I liked the idea of the monstrous Flus who were completely unable to perceive their own monstrosity.

 

Most of the pop references are fun but quoting Conchita Würst was below the belt. I think this was one of the worst points in Eurovision history.

 

She wasn't a phoenix, just a bird set alight for our amusement.

 

 

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