Experiments in Ontological Relativism

and Other Brain Farts

Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

My Suspension of Disbelief while Reading The Hunger Games

Posted by Jason on March 26, 2012

So I’ve finally started reading The Hunger Games. Yeah, yeah. I’m slow. Oh well. I’m about halfway through the first book (as an aside, does anyone else occasionally find it confusing when “The Hunger Games” is used to refer to both the title of the first book as well as the series as a whole?) and so far, I’m finding it very good… for the most part.

There’s one thing that I find keeps consistently destroying my suspension of disbelief, one thing that keeps pulling me out of the story and setting off the “that just could never happen” bells in my skull. A flying snowman moment, if you will. It’s only one thing, and maybe I’m the only one bothered by it, but it’s sort of central to the story.

It’s the children.

See, I just can’t buy that a society, any society, would tolerate watching children killing other children for entertainment without revulsion and protest at the very least, and armed uprising at the worst. True, there are some explanations given for it in the novel, but I don’t find them satisfying. Now, I freely admit that this may be my problem and not a problem in the novel itself, but that’s part of the point of writing this. I want to try to explain why this bothers me so much, and see if I’m the only one who thinks this is an issue.

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Posted in Non-Fiction, Reviews, Thoughts | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Thoughts Spurred by the Recovery of the Dune Encylopedia

Posted by Jason on September 3, 2010

This is a comment I originally posted on this article at tor.com. The article, in brief, points out that the incredible–and incredibly neglected–Dune Encyclopedia has emerged online. If you haven’t already, go download it now. Now! I’ll wait.

Alright. So anyway, the mention of the canonicity (or lack thereof) of the Encyclopedia set off more than a little nerd rage for me, and I spilled the below thoughts and memories. It occurs to me that I might have been a bit unfair. But then, only a bit.


I came here to say more or less what’s been said. I consider the Encyclopedia to be more canon–or at least truer to the original works–than the horrid schlock now clogging SF shelf space.

I remember that I bought House Atreides when it first appeared, and was incredibly enthused at the idea of new Dune material. I breathlessly read the introduction, with its mention of Herbert’s newfound Dune 7 notes, and became even more excited.

Then I read the rest of the book.

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Posted in Non-Fiction, Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Review – Angelology, by Danielle Trussoni

Posted by Jason on August 13, 2010

As promised, here’s another review. This one’s a bit longer… but then, so was the novel!

Also, what do you think of the reviews? Should I do more? Less? Other?

Angelology, by Danielle Trussoni

Cover of Angelology, by Danielle TrussoniThere are lots of kinds of logic floating around in our brains. There’s the true/false of Boolean logic, sure, but there’s also narrative logic, musical logic, and, for many of us, a big dose of movie logic. This novel contains an awful lot of movie logic.

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Posted in Non-Fiction, Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Review – The God Engines, by John Scalzi

Posted by Jason on August 13, 2010

In lieu of actual content, here’s a review I wrote recently on Goodreads. I might also have another one up later today. Also, new fiction, coming soon!

The God Engines, by John Scalzi

Cover of The God Engines, by John ScalziOverall I really enjoyed this book. My biggest problem with it is one that I often have with novellas: it felt too short and left me wanting more.

The setting was, for me, the most interesting part. I feel like a lot was just hinted at, and much more of this world exists in Scalzi’s mind. I hope he returns to it one day.

The ending, though it flows logically, left me feeling a bit… cheated. As I said, I was just growing to really like this setting, but the end leaves it changed irrevocably.

Overall, this was a good, quick read. The illustrations are beautiful as well. I’d recommend it to fans of space opera and dark fantasy.

Posted in Non-Fiction, Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Quick ‘n’ Dirty Review: The City & The City

Posted by Jason on July 24, 2009

This is a copy of the review I just posted over on Goodreads. It is in no way an attempt to crosspost to my seldom-updated blog in order to bring you what the kids call “moar content.” Move along.

 

The City & The City, by China Miéville.The City & The City cover

 

Although this book is often shelved as science fiction or fantasy, there really are no out-of-the-ordinary elements to the work (except, of course, that it takes place in a city that doesn’t really exist). Even so, however, there’s an overwhelming sense of weird to the novel that appeals to many speculative fiction fans, myself among them. I enjoyed this book immensely, and I’d just like to briefly share a few thoughts.

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Posted in General, Non-Fiction, Reviews | Leave a Comment »

Review of Iain M. Banks’ Consider Phlebas

Posted by Jason on February 12, 2009

I posted this review on my page over at Goodreads, but I thought it might go well here, too. I’m going to try to make more of an effort to write reviews (at least short ones) of books I’ve been reading. I don’t know if anyone’s really interested in reading them, but at least my thoughts are out there. Better than just keeping ‘em in my own head, where they do no one any good!

Anyway, I invite feedback as always. Hope you enjoy!

First of all, the obligatory SPOILER WARNING. Are you warned yet? ‘Kay. If you want to avoid spoilers, you can skip down to the summary at the end.

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Posted in Non-Fiction, Reviews | 2 Comments »

 
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