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[personal profile] garran
Most of the month has passed and is past, but that's all the more reason to get on with posting about the last one.
Sean Stewart, Mockingbird
Lois McMaster Bujold, CryoBurn
Samuel R. Delany, Stars in My Pocket like Grains of Sand (reread)
Little reports:

CryoBurn has the worst of Bujold's titles (much worse in my estimation than it would be without wiki-style BumpyCaps), but it is one of her better books -- not one of her best, but good enough that I am satisfied with it, as the first new novel in one of my favourite series since I started reading it in 2003.

Astute readers may notice that Stars in My Pocket is the only novel assigned in my class that I reread in full as it came around, in addition to reading it in preparation. This was necessary because I wrote my long paper on it, but it would have been even for the class conversations, because the book is so ambitious and dense with detail.

(I want to talk more about my class, and how it went, and I'm not sure that I will, but I'm marking my intention here in hopes that it will galvanize me regardless.)

This is all a bit vague and fragmentary because I am tired. I am writing in bed in a small, aging farmhouse in Ontario somewhere which belongs to Joanne's grandmother, typing on the internet because it's the future; we flew into Ottawa around the solstice to see her family, and drove out here for Christmas proper. (Her parents, with startling generosity, gave me several science fiction novels and a tiny video camera.) It's my first time hanging out in the part of my country home to more than half of its inhabitants (I'd slept in Toronto once and eaten dinner in Windsor another time, but on neither occasion really stopped to look around), but due to an illusion of scale -- the city I usually live in being more densely populated than anywhere I've stopped -- I have been able to avoid being provincially overawed. I am more daunted by the more local culture shock, the polite, slippery mass of family tradition not my own (but maybe it will become mine).

I am here because Joanne and I agreed after the summer that we didn't want to spend weeks at a time apart from one another ever again in the foreseeable future, which I guess is one of the more active definitions of family. She is in arm's reach of me instead of time zones away, chortling and exclaiming over a non-fiction book. She just told me about Skara Brae, a ruin in Scotland of a 5000-year-old settlement where they had locking doors and sophisticated furniture. I am always excited by places like this, where we have the gross physical record of civilization but no direct linguistic record. It expands the historically possible.
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Andy H.

February 2013

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