Friday, October 5, 2007

Slow Read

I finally finished reading my recent book selection yesterday. The book, DYING OF THE LIGHT was written by G.R.R.Martin; the author of the THRONES series. THRONES impressed me with the sheer level and vast scale of epic undertaking he attempted to shove into a trilogy. Like many authors he failed miserably and the trilogy exploded into seemingly never ending volumes of soap opera level proportions, but I was intrigued and already hooked to see how he resolved certain aspects of the story. He didn’t satisfy the questions rattling around in my mind. Instead he took the addiction path, killing off or finalizing one aspect of the multi tasking storylines and wove new trails of unsettled intrigue into the mix leading to yet another 1300 page volume in the making. I finished one of those volumes in about a week, but the novel I just put down, written by a younger author took me three weeks to complete and it was but a 365-page story.

It wasn’t complex or difficult to follow, as the fifteen page glossary in the back may have suggested, there were definitely fresh science fiction ideas for the time period, the rogue planet that wondered aimlessly through the galaxies until captured by a complex red giant system surrounded by six yellow dwarf stars. The rogue planet was settled by representatives of every civilized human planet for what was to be referred to as a Galactic Festival. For the duration of the rogue planets capture the multi cultural planets gathered to display their arrogance in what they termed a representation of art and culture. A neutral experiment in cooperative extravagance; the story takes place on this rogue after it has broken away from Fat Satan’s (the red giant) hold and was drifting away from the light of the suns and their life supporting heat. Now I found that part interesting but it only took me through the prologue, unfortunately the rest of the book read like a cheap harlequin romance. A love triangle (or quadrangle?) between a girl, her ex boyfriend, her current husband whom she later learned that marriage in her husbands culture was actually more of a slave/concubine relationship where she was property, wife and available sex toy to her husbands guild family and close friend. And then there is the final off world character that plays manipulator in the background finally admitting his hopeless love for the girl and is outed as being responsible for the entire syrupy story of conflict as he set everyone at odds with one another. Lies deceit and treachery, how Shakespearian, and yet a real snoozer for me.

A glutton for punishment I undertook another of his earlier novels, and it isn’t half bad. FEVRE DREAMS is a riverboat adventure on the Mississippi in the mid 1800’s. The twist being the Captain of the ship is a vampire (oops, don’t tell anyone, the book hasn’t actually revealed that yet, but I see it coming) I read half the book in one setting. It definitely shows a rapid growth in the author’s skill.


sue said...

I think that is one of my mind "blocks" against reading sci-fi. I love to watch it, but in reading it I have a hard time following all the different things that get "made up" and how they fall together.

Needless to say, this will be one of them I skip... ;)

Vin De Vine said...

Ah, that is what I love about fictioon in general. The make believe inventive worlds so different as imagnation allows yet so very familiar because after all the stories still come from a within a human mind.

Jan said...

For some reason, I just can't get into sci-fi, but my husband absolutely loves it!

I think I'm just not smart enough, or something! :)

Vin De Vine said...

Oh Jan, don't sell yourself short, there is so much to take interest in, we can't absorb or develop an interest in everything.
Personally I have trouble with crsfty things or pretty much anything mechanical. I know I have the aptitude, but the interest falters and priorities replace my time and efforts in those particular areas of my life.

Vin De Vine said...

Ummm, I believe the word we are looking for is *crafty*
maybe I could spend a little more time working on my spelling grammar and typing abilities...