June 16th, 2008

red panda eating bamboo

booklog: A Fire in the Sun, George Alec Effinger

This is a sequel to When Gravity Fails, which is a long-time favorite. The style is cyberpunk / noir / hard-boiled. The setting is a future Middle-East city (although actually it's based on the New Orleans French Quarter). The first-person protagonist is a street punk who's been picked out (for reasons unknown to him) by one of the local bosses for advancement.

I like the book because of the Middle-Eastern cultural setting; I haven't come across a lot of SF&F done in such a setting. The way the culture is handled has the ring of accuracy, but I'm not from that part of the world so don't take my word for it. I also like that the protagonist is Muslim and his relationship with his religion changes throughout the series. I don't see a lot of SF&F books or detective books with this sort of treatment of religion.

In this book, Effinger is more or less a subscriber of the Lois McMaster Bujold style of plot development, which could be summarized as "think of the worst thing that could happen to your character and then do that to him and see how he deals with it."

Good solid entertainment for fans of the genres in question.
red panda eating bamboo

beadstash reduction retreat

I spent Wednesday thru Saturday in exotic Pacifica, California. I went to visit the ocean and to make a dent in my bead stash.

I waded in the ocean but didn't go surfing or swimming—I wanted to, but I didn't have any body-heat-retaining water clothing, and the ocean was pretty cold. I spent a lot of time looking at the waves.

I made 19 pieces of jewelry and I'm pretty happy with them. I still have a lot of beads left though!

Photos below. More photos available on my Flickr page.

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