John Scalzi

A Quantum of Snow

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Washington DC is known for its political gridlock.  It also suffers from snow-induced gridlock and it doesn’t take much of the fluffy white stuff to shut things down.  Today is one of those days, when a lightly drifting stream of snow has shut down offices, schools and induced a slightly panicked style of driving among the local denizens.

I just finished reading John Scalzi’s latest novel, The Human Division, which was originally published online in a serialized form. Ten years ago I would have definitely made an effort to read it online, but life is too busy these days to consume anything on time. I get to it when I get to it, I guess.

Scalzi is entertaining. He is deft with words and more often than not I am sync with his sense of humor. I know now that I am going to find his books a comfortable, enjoyable read.  This one was as well and an interesting addition to the universe he crafted in his first novel Old Man’s War.  It had a very open-ended ending, however, which to say the least, was deeply unsatisfying. It was mitigated somewhat by the episodic nature of the chapters (a result no doubt of the online serialization of it) but I was definitely frustrated by how many questions were left not only unresolved but barely even moved in the direction of resolution.

I would still recommend it to fans of Scalzi because it is a good read and you’re already invested in the first four novels set in the same universe.  But I sure hope he’s intent on coming back to this universe again in the future.

Posted by Xaviar Xerexes in Blog, Words, 0 comments

Fiction Reading This Summer

I read a bunch of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels this summer, not really in order though.  It’s just a wonderful series, funny, but a coherent enough fantasy world that you care about the stories and the characters.  I wish I’d had these to read when I was a kid.

I’ve also been reading John Scalzi’s novels lately.  He’s a fairly “lite-science” science fiction writer and pretty efficient at telling a tale (things happen! characters move!). They’re good reads and the 3 part “Old Man’s War” series is good fun.  I’m in the middle of reading Zoe’s Tale, which is a re-telling (so far) of parts of the “Old Man’s War” series but from the perspective of Zoe, who while a central character in the series never dominated the perspective of the original books.  This one is entirely from her point of view, which as a teenager, is much different that the adults around her.

Here’s an interesting video of a conversation between Cory Doctorow and John Scalzi which covers in part Zoe’s Tale.



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