I was happier then with no mind-set

I was happier then with no mind-set

I finished Darwin's Radio last week.  I got interested in the characters in the last fifty pages.  I hope that others get interested sooner. 

My lunch buddy at work had been out for some time, and I was bored on my break, so I stopped in at Rite-Aid a couple of weeks ago to see if there was anything on the racks that I might enjoy.  I picked up Jumper by Steven Gould.  There is no television being piped into my home, so I had no idea that there was a movie out when I bought it — I read the back, thought “huh, sounds like something I could get into,” and walked out without even noticing the “from the Director of the Bourne Identity” on the front. When I finally did notice it and looked more closely at the cover, all of the recent Hayden Christensen jokes popping up in blogs and conversation suddenly made sense.

It's amazing how much popular culture passes me by without t.v.

I've been reading it on my lunch breaks, half an hour at a time.  I like it, though it reads like YA novel to me.  I was torn, actually, trying to decide if it was YA or just very old, written in a more conservative era, but it was published in 1992.  Right now it's out in mass market paperback, and available at Rite-Aid — due to the movie, I'm sure.  I wonder who it was intended for originally. 

Oh, would you look at that — a quick look at Amazon uncovers a couple of editions that look like they were packaged for the YA set. 

I've seen other writers say this — it's hard to find a story that really captures me anymore, because I'm so busy noticing the way it's written.  In this one, for instance, it seems like he gave his protagonist the easy way out right away; I'm only half-way through the novel and there are no questions left to be answered or problems to be solved.  I'm following the guy around, where ever he decides to go today, but there's nothing in me wondering “what he's going to do about…?” 

Again, I am enjoying it  — I can pick it up after a few days and not struggle to remember what's happening; I can read for half an hour and not be bothered by putting it down, but also happy to pick it back up, when ever I manage to do so.  I will pass it on to my friend's son when I'm done.  I think he'd enjoy it.

The other thing I just finished is McSweeney's Quarterly Concern Issue 20.  McSweeney's prints short fiction, usually 'literary” and experimental.  I mentioned recently the sheer booklust it induces in me; I also read it because it is so far outside my norm.  I usually come away inspired to try something a little different in my own writing.  Reading it is often a stretch for me, but there is very little that I actively dislike and there is always at least one story that stays with me.  In this particular issue the story that stood out for me was “The Man Who Married a Tree,” by Tony D'Sousa, maybe because it was the closest thing to my usual speculative fiction. 

Next on the shelf are Undertow by Elizabeth Bear, Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me) by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson, and a long backlog of other McSweeney's issues. 

Speaking of things to read, before I go I wanted to point out this post from the new i09 blog, The 20 Science Fiction Novels That Will Change Your Life.  I've only read three of them, which doesn't speak well of me as a trufan.  I'll start tackling the rest when I get through my current backlog. 

But for now it's time for some cold medicine and some sleep.  Have a great weekend, all. 

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