Thursday, September 22, 2011

Recent reading

Kethani by Eric Brown

Aliens send artefacts to Earth to enslave the human race, as told through the perspective of the inhabitants of a Yorkshire village with an unusually high rate of cancer and suicide. Nobody seems to notice what the aliens are doing, not even the author.

Cosy British SF as it is done at the start of the new century.

Yellow Blue Tibia by Adam Roberts

Cold War nostalgia in a tale of an SF writer given an unusual assignment by Stalin, and then being told to forget everything, which works for the next 30-some years. Spends a long time setting up the mood, then infodumps a not-quite-resolution.

Rocket Girls and Rocket Girls: The Last Planet by Housuke Norjiri

The two light novels (each slim enough to finish during one bathtime) that were the original source of 2007's delightful anime series, now available in English. The anime was a very faithful adaptation of the source material -- just omitting the by then very dated visit to Mir at the end of the first book, and segueing that mission into the one at the start of the second.

Ouroboros Wave by Jyouji Hayashi

A series of almost puzzle-driven hard-SF shorts scattered across several decades in a fairly standard Earth vs space colonists setting -- a very modern execution of something that was at one time almost the backbone of the genre.

Friday, September 02, 2011

A summer evening at last

After work, along with a couple of colleagues, I cycled to the Toft Beer Festival, where we sat at the table outside in the warm evening sunshine and enjoyed the beer, until it came sunset, and time to be heading home.

For the first time this year, the warmth lingered as the light went. It was pleasant cycling in shorts and T-shirt; and even just a few minutes ago, going out to drop tea-bags and apple cores into the compost bin, wearing nothing but a towel around my waist, the paving was warm underfoot, and the air mild long after sunset.

I had in the past come to expect the light to be going before the warmth through July, but not so in recent years. Now that is a most unusual thing to happen until an Indian Summer day like today.