Friday, June 30, 2006

For a wee while there, I thought I was winning. Not against the towering pyramid structure of CD's, but the modest stack of books to read, beside it. Then I remembered the other pile, elsewhere and my Aust Gate ordered arrived with three more beauties.

When I was young (I never needed anyone...) it was hard to really understand how time off from work or life could be enhanced by sitting down and just reading for pleasure. Perhaps it was the college education, and the nightmare scenario of having to read about economics or organisational psychology, again? Yet, today I'm still having to read educational texts to push forward in work as part of the seven year plan, but somehow managing to balance these against books I do want to read.

I'm almost at the end of Michael Swanwick's The Iron Dragon's Daughter and unsure what to make of it. I'm sure it's been labelled anti-fantasy (whatever that means) and dragon fans, I'm sad to say those expecting Panzer Dragoon will be disappointed. There isn't much dragon at all - and what exists - is more mechanical than flame spewing god. However, its more enjoyable than reading Dan Brown for sure. I've also started Will Self's latest, although still on chapter one and coming to grips with the text-influenced lingo. As with video games there is always a tendency to forget what you currently have and focus on the next release. The result of this (fuelled by marketing hype and previews) is that you always ended up with the majority of games being uncompleted and ultimately, unappreciated. I'm sticking to my guns with Morrowind, as there is so much to experience, but in saying that I haven't returned to its world this week, so far.

I'm hearing good things about Alan Campbell's Scar Night, and Charles Stross has his followup to the excellent Accelerando out very soon. Unlike video games,some have to consider the prospect of having to buy it on release to secure a first edition - which to some is the only version to purchase - and then you can watch its value soar (or so you hope) and proclaim in future years, that you were there first. And still the pile of books you have waiting to read, grows. The three that have just arrived from the Aust Gate are all paperback or trade paper back versions. I did consider buying the hard back version of Cory Doctorow's When Someone Comes To Town Someone Leaves Town, as the cover is frankly gorgeous. Yet even the paperback version is stunning and perfectly formed, with the added bonus of it being signed. In fact the other two books are also signed, which is a nice touch but I'll appreciate them more if they both deliver. These will be the first books I've read from Bruce Sterling (Visionary In Residence) and Geoff Ryman (Kings Last Song), so fingers crossed.

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