Saturday, January 30, 2010
You remember me!
Ah, hello. Fancy seeing you here! Sorry we haven't been about much in the last few days - We caught the plague again. Not a particularly virulent variety, but just enough to keep us off work and firmly ensconced on the sofa watching the first (and best) season of Heroes.
And now you're here, you're just in time for a books-read-this-year-so-far post. Ha!
We must do better than last year's feeble attempt to read more than the year before. We came sadly short of the heady heights of 23 books read back in 2008, only managing to read 14. But, this year will be different. This year we will astound and amaze you all, not only with the amount of non-Star trek books we will read, but also - well, I haven't thought of a "but also" yet, but I'm sure something will crop up.
Anyway, to start things off, here are the first four books-read-this-year:
1. Star Trek Vanguard: Precipice, by David Mack
I'm saving myself the bother of writing this one up as I know you just don't care. I will say this, however: David Mack is one of the finest writers of our time (in my opinion, of course), and continues to make reading about the lives of those caught up in the contininuing events related to Starbase 47, aka Vanguard Station, a pleasure.
2. Nation, by Terry Pratchett
I took me a little while to get into this book because I was of the opinion "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", i.e. This isn't a Discworld book, so why should I bother. Well, I'm glad I stuck with it as it's a terrific story.
Without wanting to spoil the story for anyone who wants to read it, here is the author's note:
This might look like a book set in the Pacific Ocean. Nothing could be further from the truth!!!!!* It is in fact set in a parallel universe, a phenomenon known only to physicists and anyone who has ever watched any episode of any sf series, anywhere. Different things happened, some people lived at different times, some bits of history have been changed, some things are made up out of real pieces (like the beer and the last five minutes of the Sweet Judy**) and so on. But the Great Pelagic Ocean is its own place.
Oddly enough, though, after the book was finished I learned that the Society Islands in the Pacific were named after the Royal Society in London by the famous Captain Cook, because it had sponsored the first British scientific survey of the islands. Sometimes it's hard to make things up . . .
* All exclamation marks were provided by The Author. They are not my own addition.
** A sailing ship wrecked upon the island of Nation by a tidal wave.
3. Grinny, by Nicholas Fisk
This book scared me silly when I first read it as a child and it's still creepy and disturbing today. It centres around a family whose Great Aunt Emma (or Grinny, as she's nicknamed by the daughter) turns up out of the blue to stay with them. The thing is, the mother and father have no clue who she is until GAE says the phrase "You remember me!", and then it's as if a recognition switched is flipped. The two children Tim and Beth, and their friend Mac, quickly discover Grinny's horrifying secret and set about ridding their family of Grinny in the hope of saving the world.
4. Stardust, By Neil Gaiman
Now, this was not the amazing read that I thought it would be. Don't get me wrong, it's very good (especially as it doesn't feature Ricky 'I'm an irritating unfunny twat' Gervais, like the film version did), and a very easy read, but just not on par with the film's grander scale of character, marvel and enjoyment. I also didn't find it very involving.
Well, that's it for January. I hoping to read at least another four books in February, but we'll see how well that goes nearer the time, eh?