went through Hades with my hat off (ergoipsofacto) wrote,
went through Hades with my hat off
ergoipsofacto

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I ATEN'T DEAD

Considering the length of my commute, I now have... 0-3 hours of free time a day on weekdays, depending on how many cups of tea I want to pour down my face the next morning before I can hold a sensible conversation. I'm still working out how to optimize my use of all the time spent on the train; I'll probably eventually settle on using it for reading or writing, but for these first few weeks I've been working on memorizing landmarks along the sides of the track. I'm constitutionally incapable of believing I have actually gotten on the right train, ever, under any circumstances, no matter how many times I check - so I am gathering information I can use to confirm it. BUT MAYBE EVENTUALLY I CAN START BEING PRODUCTIVE AGAIN.

Anyway, that's why I've been scarce all month. I hope to become less so once I've settled into more of a routine.

May writing: ~17k words, of which approximately 9k came from what was supposed to be a short horror/comedy and is turning out thus far not to be very short, horrifying, or comedic. I have been disparagingly referring to it as ZOMBIE SOAP OPERA. I hope to finish it within the next couple weeks (maybe 2-3k more words?) and then I don't know what I'll do with it. Maybe start badgering people to beta it for me. And then revise it and hide it under a rock forever. That sounds like something I'd do.

May reading:
Carpe Jugulum, Terry Pratchett
If at some point circumstances (e.g. the passage of time, my failure to die before this point, etc.) force me to become an elderly woman, I aspire to be Esmerelda Weatherwax.

...I'm trying to think of comments other than GRANNY WEATHERWAX *_* but that really was just about my reaction to the whole thing. Mind you, the other witches are pretty great, too. And Pratchett has a great deal of fun with vampire tropes and, in Agnes's plot, VAMPIRE ROMANCE tropes. (Handsome young vampire is intrigued by her because he can't control her mind like he does everyone else's. Agnes, being a sensible sort, FINDS THIS REALLY CREEPY. I like Agnes.)

So basically it's what I expect of the better Discworld books. Fun and funny and thoughtful and the characters are grand and... ... GRANNY WEATHERWAX *_*

[SHMN'S INCREDIBLY TERRIBLE BOOK], [she who must not be named]
I... have debated the propriety of saying anything about this book here. Partly because I don't really consider it worthy of the title of "book"; partly because I had no motives in reading it other than the ulterior ones; partly because it feels a bit mean-spirited going for the throat of something so stupid, and going so far out of my way to do so. I'll compromise by not giving the book's name, or hers.

It is amazingly, catastrophically bad. It is a towering edifice of onanistic incoherence. It contains lines like "He snarled at her calamitously, eyes ferocious with discontent" and "She was, therefore, she knew she existed – even though her very subsistence was defined by the kaleidoscopic thoughts tumbling through her; not distinguished by anything more than neurons transmitting electrochemical signals." It's sexist, racist, homophobic, and tries to score edginess points with ~TRAGIC AND BEAUTIFUL MENTAL ILLNESS!~ The protagonist is a relentlessly awful person. The plot is fucking stupid.

SHMN once told me I would never understand it because I didn't have feelings. Perhaps. What I do understand is this: it is utterly incompetent on every level; it is recreational only on the level of watching a particularly narcissistic car plow into a freight train. It is offensive, and it is stultifying. Whatever the cost of putting it through the vanity-publishing process, I do not believe she will ever recover that investment - she's not as famous or as clever as she thinks, it's overpriced, and I harbor a naive hope that people who read more than 0.75 books a year can recognize it for the dreck it is. You are not an author, SHMN, and you are not better than me.

The Obsidian Dagger, Catherine Webb
TERESA HATCH FOR PRIME MINISTER.

As with other Catherine Webb / Kate Griffin books I've read in the past, WOW THIS IS BASICALLY DELIGHTFUL. Webb / Griffin has a few distracting idiosyncrasies when it comes to prose, but setting those aside, I've got nothing to complain about. And I was aware of those going in, so they didn't even throw me that much this time. GREAT CHARACTERS, CLEVER SCIENCE THINGS, CLEVER MAGIC THINGS, DID I MENTION TESS IS THE GREATEST, AND LYLE IS A FANTASTIC AWKWARD NOT-DAD. And the action-y sequences are, as I have come to expect, really damn good: exciting and creative and fun, and full of explosions.

I was going to finish The Doomsday Machine last night, but then beer happened instead. But I'm quite enjoying that one as well. Basically the Horatio Lyle books are marvelous, and I would recommend them to... people who like the sort of things that I like?
Tags: books
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