Stef (firecat) wrote,

mid-week reading meme

What are you currently reading?

P.N. Elrod, Bloodcircle (Vampire Files #3). Urban fantasy/detective-mystery. I find these books kind of interesting and calming, but some people might find them dull. The're set in the 1930s and written sort of in the style of old pulp noir novels, but they're somewhat less gritty and less sexist/racist than many of those. In this one more than the previous two, I think, there's somewhat more telling than showing, at least in the first chunk. I mean there's a lot of time spent on characters telling each other about things that happened in the past, and characters watching other characters, which isn't the usual style for genre fiction these days. The partnership between the main character and the sidekick is unusual. There's very little tension between them, and they're more or less equal partners, although with different strengths. So again that makes less opportunity for high drama than in many genre books. I like that the vampires in this series have some traditional vampiric traits along with the "drinking blood" one.

Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire, the fourth book in the October Daye series.

Lilith's Brood, Octavia Butler. Hey, I just found an article about this trilogy by Joan Slonczewski, who is one of the guests of honor at Wiscon this year: "Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis Trilogy: A Biologist's Response" in which she says that Butler's "vision is presented in terms remarkably consistent with modern molecular biology, even predicting developments that have occurred since the novels were written" e.g. "In the years since Dawn was published....Microbes and plants have been shown to possess surprising capacities for "genetic trade" with other species, even taking up naked DNA released by dead organisms and incorporating it into their own chromosomes. Our current view of bacteria is that...these single-celled organisms evolve so as to keep only the limited set of genes they need for their current environment, but retain nearly endless capacity to acquire new genes, such as genes for antibiotic resistance, from DNA 'out there.'" Also "Lilith’s ambivalence about the Oankali, and about her own genetic heritage, echoes Butler’s own experience in the community of writers. For many years, Butler was one of only a few Black female writers of science fiction. Her gifts were embraced and appreciated by many fellow writers, and found success with supportive publishers. Yet for publication, she had to accept cover illustrations depicting her Black characters as Caucasian. Butler’s success required denial of her own racial identity, just as some of the early women writers of science fiction had to deny their gender by writing under male pseudonyms. Thus, she shared Lilith’s dilemma by accepting literary success at the cost of part of her own identity."

What did you recently finish reading?

Driving Mr. Dead, Molly Harper. Paranormal romance one-off set in the Half Moon Hollow universe. Harper is a great comic writer, and some parts of the subplot about the heroine's fiancé ring true. There's something off about the characters in this one though. The vampire starts out with a certain personality and then suddenly changes to another personality, and I'm not persuaded as to why. Actually that makes me realize that characterization is just not Harper's strength in general, or perhaps I should say that her characters in general are kind of broad. (The main protagonists sometimes have more depth.)

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Tags: books, memesheepage, reviews
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