I’ve had this stack of books here on my desk for days. Weeks. Months. Years, even.
Okay, not these books exactly. Even less so, since I cut some off of the list last week. But the premise remains the same: I have books that desire to be talked about (or so they told me) and I must talk about them. If I don’t, they whisper to me as I sleep. They suggest… things. Unspeakable things. Like Soap Opera Soap. WHY GOD WHY?
Heresy by S. J. Parris
An Elizabethan thriller featuring the esteemed occultist/alchemist Giordano Bruno paired up with famed poet Sir Philip Sydney, Parris’ book is so much more than I expected or asked for (though, with a set-up like that, I didn’t have a whole lot left to ask for). The book is a good example of how historical fiction is akin to science fiction and fantasy, the trick being to create a world that’s distinctly different from our own, and make us feel that world is touchably real. The novel is not a story of good and evil, but of necessity, and the sorrows that ideologies (intolerant by nature) bring — cradled like precious gifts — into the world.
Feed by M. T. Anderson
As you know from my avowed love of Octavian Nothing (see pertinent Shortcuts), I have a deep respect and awe and love for M. T. Anderson, though it must be admitted that the only thing I’d read to create that impression was Nothing, so when I bought and cracked open Feed I was hit unawares when the opening (the voice and the characters) turned me away. But, persistent, I was seduced again by Anderson into the life of two kids during the Pre-Apocalypse (and why aren’t there more pre-Apocalypse novels? Probably because there aren’t that many M. T. Andersons). Also, it’s I Am the Cheese depressing.
Robert A. Heinlein by William H. Patterson, Jr.
Heinlein fell into being a Grand Master of Science Fiction because the Navy threw him out (for health reasons); he wrote at a pace to outstrip most modern dot-matrix printers; he was deeply political; and apparently I like RAH much more than I thought I would. Did you know that in the early part of the 20th century there was an End Poverty in California (EPIC) political movement that believed in providing people jobs by allowing workers to take over the factories to produce for their own needs, grew to national prominence and power for a few years, and was swiftly co-opted by the Communist Party and undermined by the Republicans? Neither did I.