Saturday, 31 July 2021

Books and Stuff (NS, No 18) - Reading in Jul 2021


Patrick O'Brian, Clarissa Oakes

On leaving Botany Bay, it takes Aubrey a little while to realise that the odd atmosphere on board is due to an attractive stowaway.  He decides not to return her to the authorities, allows her to marry her lover and undertakes to put them ashore once they reach South America.

This does not solve the problem.

In order to save Polynesia from French Utopianism, Aubrey has to conduct some solid British Imperialism.

Patrick O'Brian, The Wine Dark Sea

The ship finally reaches Peru for Maturin's long-delayed mission in support of Independence.  Let's just say that he ends up fleeing over the Andes, is fed up with guinnea pig and looses some toes.

After a long circumnavigation (five books' worth), home is in sight.
Patrick O'Brian, The Commodore

Aubrey raises his broad pennant and heads out to West Africa on an anti-slavery mission (with some French action tacked on).

Maturin meets a potto.

Charles Stross, Halting State

A cop in newly-independent Scotland is called in to an IT company.  The crime?  A gang of orcs has broken into a bank it runs in a MMORPG.  Soon things become more complicated...

For those who - like me - enjoyed Stross' Laundry Files series, this will be a welcome read.

Jack Finney, Time and Again

I'd not come across Jack Finney before.  I read this book because it as in the Gollancz Fantasy Masterworks series and that (and its Science Fiction counterpart) is a good source of new authors.  Seeing that he wrote Invasion of the Body Snatchers seemed to hold promise.

Sadly this is a book I didn't get on with.  I just found it..  dull.  I read the first hundred pages, but then gave up on it.

For the record, it's the story of a man from c.1970 who's recruited into a secret government time travel experiment.  Said time travel is achieved by immersion in period detail and self-hypnosis.  What happens when he reaches 1880s New York, I can't say - I didn't get that far.  There's a plot summary on Wikipedia.

And according to the Wikipedia page Stephen King, Carl Sagan and Robert Redford think highly of it, so there.

Bridget Collins, The Binding

This starts with a good, strong premise - that in Collin's world books are created by Binders, who take people's memories and lock them away.  Unfortunately, when it moves on to second section of the book (reconstructing the memory) it turns out to be an rather obvious love story and delves into YA melodrama.

I don't regret reading it, but I'm not going to rush out and devour Collin's other books.

1 comment:

  1. I really must re-read the O'Brian books although it will only tempt me into buying more of the Warlord Games Black Seas ships!
    I love the Laundry books but really struggled with Halting State for some reason


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