Apologies for the near-total silence around these parts; work on the survey is eating up most of the brainpower not allocated to the day job, and I don’t really have anything left for the blog posts I know I want to write (such as the one about Gullstruck Island by Frances Hardinge). I keep meaning to at least pull together a links post, but (a) I don’t really have the time to do that, either, and (b) my personal fatigue seems to be translating into a more general exhaustion with the sf blogosphere, where so many discussions seem to just be re-runs.
What does still pique my interest, as ever, is discussion of specific work, so don’t fear that the short story club will fall by the wayside. (Even if, er, I failed to post my own thoughts on last week’s story. Must get round to that.) And io9 has started a book club, for which the first subject is The Quiet War. I’ve never actually tried to read a comment thread on io9 before, and hadn’t realised how ludicrous the comment-ordering system there is, but it’s interesting to see how much antipathy there is for the novel, more than you might expect from the general critical response when the book was published last year. There are many sentiments along these lines:
i agree with what so many others have said – this book was a challenge. when i saw the author’s former career listed on the inside back jacket (of course when i was finished) it all made sense – the book really reads like it was written by a research biologist.
Which is similar to the problem some had with that passage about Europa I posted the other day; though I would tend to give McAuley rather more credit for deliberateness than io9’s commenters do, I think.
Bonus fact: one of my friends recently read The Quiet War and strongly disliked it in part because she is a research biologist, and felt that McAuley’s science wasn’t up to scratch; that is, she objected to detail of lab techniques that she wouldn’t use now because cheaper and better options are available, without any explanation as to why those options might not be available in the future.