vr_trakowski: (pages)
I just finished reading John M. Ford's The Last Hot Time.  It's an Elfland-returns novel, that I believe is seriously riffing off of the Borderland series in its own way--a sort of mirror-image, and much darker.  It's fascinating...and it doesn't quite work. 

I hate to say that about a Ford book, because I adore his Growing Up Weightless and How Much for Just the Planet?.  But this one hints and sketches and whispers and never quite explains what's going on, and the characters are almost flat, far too calm--almost as though they've been tranquilized.  It's like reading through gauze; one doesn't ever quite see or feel clearly.  And it's a great pity, because there's so much potential in this book.  

Alas, I can't recommend it as a must-read, though it's certainly worth the look if you're in the mood for a magic post-apocalyptic novel with a good dose of noir.  Which sounds like a dippy description, but sf/f fans will know just what I mean... 
vr_trakowski: (pages)
I just finished reading John M. Ford's The Last Hot Time.  It's an Elfland-returns novel, that I believe is seriously riffing off of the Borderland series in its own way--a sort of mirror-image, and much darker.  It's fascinating...and it doesn't quite work. 

I hate to say that about a Ford book, because I adore his Growing Up Weightless and How Much for Just the Planet?.  But this one hints and sketches and whispers and never quite explains what's going on, and the characters are almost flat, far too calm--almost as though they've been tranquilized.  It's like reading through gauze; one doesn't ever quite see or feel clearly.  And it's a great pity, because there's so much potential in this book.  

Alas, I can't recommend it as a must-read, though it's certainly worth the look if you're in the mood for a magic post-apocalyptic novel with a good dose of noir.  Which sounds like a dippy description, but sf/f fans will know just what I mean... 
vr_trakowski: (Peace)
I quote this almost every year, but every year it's worth saying. 

"All over the redeemed City they are working joy-blind,
Shaping pots, baking bread, sewing fabrics and wounds,
Making with their hands the ultimate prayer
Of those who endure in the hope of the truth of the world:
Please, you gods and fellow mortals,
Let us do it right,
Let us do it right, this time."

--John M. Ford

vr_trakowski: (Peace)
I quote this almost every year, but every year it's worth saying. 

"All over the redeemed City they are working joy-blind,
Shaping pots, baking bread, sewing fabrics and wounds,
Making with their hands the ultimate prayer
Of those who endure in the hope of the truth of the world:
Please, you gods and fellow mortals,
Let us do it right,
Let us do it right, this time."

--John M. Ford

Question

Oct. 6th, 2010 10:35 pm
vr_trakowski: (huh)
I am way, way out of date.  Is there any other Trek book besides John M. Ford's How Much for Just the Planet? that uses the word "dagnabbit"?

Question

Oct. 6th, 2010 10:35 pm
vr_trakowski: (huh)
I am way, way out of date.  Is there any other Trek book besides John M. Ford's How Much for Just the Planet? that uses the word "dagnabbit"?
vr_trakowski: (Default)
"All over the redeemed City they are working joy-blind,
Shaping pots, baking bread, sewing fabrics and wounds,
Making with their hands the ultimate prayer
Of those who endure in the hope of the truth of the world:
Please, you gods and fellow mortals,
Let us do it right,
Let us do it right, this time."

--John M. Ford

vr_trakowski: (Default)
"All over the redeemed City they are working joy-blind,
Shaping pots, baking bread, sewing fabrics and wounds,
Making with their hands the ultimate prayer
Of those who endure in the hope of the truth of the world:
Please, you gods and fellow mortals,
Let us do it right,
Let us do it right, this time."

--John M. Ford

Hmph.

Sep. 6th, 2009 11:06 pm
vr_trakowski: (shelf space)
So I finished both Persuasion and The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress.  

I'm given to understand that Persuasion, the last of Austen's novels, is one of her best, but I disagree.  I'm cognizant of the style of the time, but it reads like a synopsis rather than a novel--there doesn't seem to be a complete conversation anywhere in the book.  To me it feels like she got tired of it partway through, and hurried to finish it rather than develop it.  

I do like the fact that the heroine is not only proved right but says so at the end.  Though I had trouble telling from the hero's behavior just what he was supposed to be feeling until it was spelled out. 

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress is not what I'd consider one of Heinlein's better efforts, and not just for the outdated attitudes about women.  It goes on and on towards its goal, sometimes at tedious levels of detail or needless diversions into the author's political theories, and then finishes lickety-split, leaving the reader falling over the edge of the ending and wondering how things got sorted out afterwards.  I can understand why he did what he did with Mike, but it still feels like a cop-out, and I knew someone was going to die by halfway through the book. 

And all the way through I kept thinking, perhaps unjustly, that while Heinlein did it first, John M. Ford did it better.  

Hmph.

Sep. 6th, 2009 11:06 pm
vr_trakowski: (shelf space)
So I finished both Persuasion and The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress.  

I'm given to understand that Persuasion, the last of Austen's novels, is one of her best, but I disagree.  I'm cognizant of the style of the time, but it reads like a synopsis rather than a novel--there doesn't seem to be a complete conversation anywhere in the book.  To me it feels like she got tired of it partway through, and hurried to finish it rather than develop it.  

I do like the fact that the heroine is not only proved right but says so at the end.  Though I had trouble telling from the hero's behavior just what he was supposed to be feeling until it was spelled out. 

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress is not what I'd consider one of Heinlein's better efforts, and not just for the outdated attitudes about women.  It goes on and on towards its goal, sometimes at tedious levels of detail or needless diversions into the author's political theories, and then finishes lickety-split, leaving the reader falling over the edge of the ending and wondering how things got sorted out afterwards.  I can understand why he did what he did with Mike, but it still feels like a cop-out, and I knew someone was going to die by halfway through the book. 

And all the way through I kept thinking, perhaps unjustly, that while Heinlein did it first, John M. Ford did it better.  

vr_trakowski: (lightsaber)
"All over the redeemed City they are working joy-blind,
Shaping pots, baking bread, sewing fabrics and wounds,
Making with their hands the ultimate prayer
Of those who endure in the hope of the truth of the world:
Please, you gods and fellow mortals,
Let us do it right,
Let us do it right, this time."


--John M. Ford
vr_trakowski: (lightsaber)
"All over the redeemed City they are working joy-blind,
Shaping pots, baking bread, sewing fabrics and wounds,
Making with their hands the ultimate prayer
Of those who endure in the hope of the truth of the world:
Please, you gods and fellow mortals,
Let us do it right,
Let us do it right, this time."


--John M. Ford
vr_trakowski: (artichoke)
As I quoted last year:

"All over the redeemed City they are working joy-blind,
Shaping pots, baking bread, sewing fabrics and wounds,
Making with their hands the ultimate prayer
Of those who endure in the hope of the truth of the world:
Please, you gods and fellow mortals,
Let us do it right,
Let us do it right, this time."


--John M. Ford

It's worth repeating. 
vr_trakowski: (artichoke)
As I quoted last year:

"All over the redeemed City they are working joy-blind,
Shaping pots, baking bread, sewing fabrics and wounds,
Making with their hands the ultimate prayer
Of those who endure in the hope of the truth of the world:
Please, you gods and fellow mortals,
Let us do it right,
Let us do it right, this time."


--John M. Ford

It's worth repeating. 

In Memoriam

Oct. 4th, 2006 09:31 am
vr_trakowski: (Vincent)
John M. Ford died on Sept. 25th.  I've read only a few of his works, including the stunning Growing Up Weightless, which I highly, highly recommend.  But what I remember him best for was his clever, flawed, deeply hysterical Classic Trek novel How Much for Just the Planet?.  This is, bar none, the funniest Star Trek book ever.  And I say that with confidence even though there are more I haven't read, now, than those I have.  Despite the fact that it has an awkward and unbelievable subplot, HMFJTP is a riotous and in-character read full of sneaky cameos (Sgt. Benton!) and in-jokes.  Apparently Mr. Ford was known for never writing the same kind of thing twice...which I rather regret. 

And Edward Albert died on Sept. 22.  He seems to be best known for a role on ST:DS9, at least in my circle, but I will forever remember him for his recurring role as Elliot Burch on Beauty and the Beast.  He played a suitor for Catherine--a bad guy turned good guy turned very dead guy. 

Requiescat in pace, gentlemen. 

In Memoriam

Oct. 4th, 2006 09:31 am
vr_trakowski: (Vincent)
John M. Ford died on Sept. 25th.  I've read only a few of his works, including the stunning Growing Up Weightless, which I highly, highly recommend.  But what I remember him best for was his clever, flawed, deeply hysterical Classic Trek novel How Much for Just the Planet?.  This is, bar none, the funniest Star Trek book ever.  And I say that with confidence even though there are more I haven't read, now, than those I have.  Despite the fact that it has an awkward and unbelievable subplot, HMFJTP is a riotous and in-character read full of sneaky cameos (Sgt. Benton!) and in-jokes.  Apparently Mr. Ford was known for never writing the same kind of thing twice...which I rather regret. 

And Edward Albert died on Sept. 22.  He seems to be best known for a role on ST:DS9, at least in my circle, but I will forever remember him for his recurring role as Elliot Burch on Beauty and the Beast.  He played a suitor for Catherine--a bad guy turned good guy turned very dead guy. 

Requiescat in pace, gentlemen. 
vr_trakowski: (Default)
"All over the redeemed City they are working joy-blind,
Shaping pots, baking bread, sewing fabrics and wounds,
Making with their hands the ultimate prayer
Of those who endure in the hope of the truth of the world:
Please, you gods and fellow mortals,
Let us do it right,
Let us do it right, this time."


--John M. Ford
vr_trakowski: (Default)
"All over the redeemed City they are working joy-blind,
Shaping pots, baking bread, sewing fabrics and wounds,
Making with their hands the ultimate prayer
Of those who endure in the hope of the truth of the world:
Please, you gods and fellow mortals,
Let us do it right,
Let us do it right, this time."


--John M. Ford

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