30 August 2009

Read in August

Charles Stross's short fiction collection Wireless is good. Several of the pieces feel like they're sketches for novels, rather than fully fleshed out. That might just be the effect of them being short.

I recently read a bunch of Le Carre - the Smiley trilogy and then A Most Wanted Man. All good, and a very interesting contrast. The earlier novels are almost devoid of politics and describe spies who seem to almost fear ideology. The newer ones (including The Mission Song and The Constant Gardener) are all concerned with wrongs going on in the world, and Le Carre definitely wants to draw our attention to them.

Karl Schroeder's Pirate Sun is another great installment in the Virga series. Very strange, very cool science fiction here.

Re-reading of Robert Low's viking stories (The Whale Road and The Wolf Sea) just confirmed my liking of them. The internet tells me there's now a third volume - The White Raven - which I must get hold of.

I also read the first of Tim Severin's viking series, Odinn's Child. It is not as good as Low's take, but interesting. He also seems to be adding a supernatural element - ghosts and the like - which is odd in a historical novel. It's deliberately somewhat ambiguous whether these elements are actually real or just hearsay, but I'm not convinced about the approach. It is good enough to look for the rest of the series, so don't take those quibbles to seriously.

Game Chef 2009 is about to begin