5 May 2012

Recent Reading

I have been a very bad blogger of late, I can only apologise. I have some modest plans for this blog, it's just taking me a while to get things sorted.

In the meantime here is a quick round up of stuff that I've read over the last month.

The Gambler's Fortune - Juliet E. McKenna
The 3rd book in the Tales of Einarinn sees us back with Livak as the first person narrator. The story takes us to the Forest, the Mountains and even into the eastern land of Solura, showing the reader different peoples and their societies. We see a lot of Mountain society as a faction of Mountain folk declare war against the lowlanders.
I think I prefer Livak as narrator to Ryshad - Livak feels a bit more fun to me. This book shows us more of the author's world building skills as we see how the different societies work within themselves and interact with others. This book has less focus on the elemental wizards and more on folklore and aetheric magic, and the hunt for answers that combine the two.

Fables from the Fountain - Ian Whates (ed)

This collection of short stories (which I bought a while ago and only recently finished), is about a group of fannish folk who meet in a pub (the eponymous Fountain) once a week and swap stories - several of which take on a distinctly science fictional tone. With a variety of big names contributing you can be sure that the collection is high quality writing and very entertaining.

The Cosmic Verses - James Muirden Illustrated by David Eccles

This is a book about the history of cosmology, entirely in rhyme, with amusing illustrations. It's genius!
I really liked the ancient bits (shocking, I know) and was interested in medieval and early modern sections, especially about the role that Islamic cultures played in preserving wisdom. The progress of human knowledge is fascinating. The modern sections had formulae in the verse, which I found a bit confusing. Then again towards the end there was a section that described how a star goes supernova to the same meter and rhyming scheme as The Lady of Shalott, which is weirdly brilliant.

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