Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Not reading Black Library right now

Sorta have ventured off the Black Library books since I got sorta stagnated in Ravenor. I have decided to take a break from them until the new McNeil and Abnett: Horus Heresy books come out.

But I
haven't stopped reading. Just finished the Forever War by Joe Haldeman which was a really fun read and also just re-read Pattermaster by Octavia Butler which is still one of my favorite books of all time. Both books couldnt be more different than each other but that's how I love reading Sci-fi.

Forever War is a very pulpy book and a great quick read. What I thought was pretty interesting was that Haldeman is a Vietnam vet with true combat experience but his actual combat writing wasnt as engaging as the stuff in McNeil's or Abnet's stories. I know that McNeil and Abnett aren't vets and this has given me something to think about. I suspect that those with no combat experience inherently romanticize combat and it shows in the writing/movies or whatever while those that have been through it know that it's a hellish experience that can't really be described and completely sucks at every level. Over all the Forever War is a good read and holds up pretty well to the tests of time considering it is over 30 years old. I liked the book and thought it was perfect for travel reading. I wouldnt go as far as saying it's the best Military Sci-fi ever like some but is is worth checking out.

Patternmaster by Octavia Butler is one of my favorite books of all time. I stumbled apon Octavia Butler's books when my wife was taking a Sci-fi reading class at UCSC and she had to read a couple of her novels. She is the type of author I wouldnt typically read but once I read that first book she became one of my top 5 authors. Her books really take any typical Sci-fi/fantasy reader out of their comfort zone and she handles some pretty heavy topics. The way she confronts issues of race and gender are really amazing and gets you thinking about issues and views that are insanely complex. I get annoyed that she is consistently defined as just an African American or Woman's issues writer when I find her topics to be very board, complex and should be interesting to everyone,
The reason why I re-read Patternmaster this time (this is my 3rd reading)was Ravenor. Both books deal with psykers in completely different ways. Octavia Butler really thought through combat between psykers and it is very cool. She also completely dives into a host of issues that Psy powers would generate on a social level and its really interesting. I thought Ravenor (the part I read) just didn't really dive into the whole consequences of Psy powers and ow complex This book is the 3rd in a series of books that are independent but in the same Universe. The other novels are Mind of My Mind, and Wild Seed, there are 2 others: Clay Ark, and Survivorist(which is out of print and impossible to find) but those aren't connected as much. Overall its a great book and she is a great author. Might be a little strange to the typical military sci-fi reader but I can highly recommend her books.

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