Sunday, August 16, 2009
Excess! Excess! Read All About It...
A couple of reviews up at the mid-August edition of the SF Site caught my eye this morning.
Paul Kincaid reviews an Aqueduct Press book, Centuries Ago and Very Fast by Rebecca Ore. He seems to think it's a novel rather than a collection of linked short stories. He concludes:
There are passages of beautiful writing in here, scenes of genuine wonder, and a sense of humanity that is palpable. Yet when they emerge it seems to be in despite of the author, whose attentions always are focussed elsewhere. This would have been a much more interesting book if she hadn't chosen to make it about sex.
He also has some general comments to make on slash fiction and on fiction that focuses on sex:
Sex, as a goad for human behaviour and a model for social interactions and relationships, is endlessly fascinating because we still have not discovered the limits to its permutations. Fiction about sex and its ramifications, therefore, is always worth paying attention to. The problem with the sex act, however, in all its limited variations, is that it rarely makes for interesting fiction (it may be arousing, but that is a different thing).
The other review is of Julie Phillips' The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon, by Richard A. Lupoff. His review doesn't have anything new to say about the book. He praises it for being one of the most important nonfiction works published in the field over the last few years. But he picks as one of its "very small flaws" Phillips' "going overboard with her research and wandering into "TMI (Too Much Information) territory." The Sheldons' purchase of a chicken hatchery and Allie's flower garden was apparently too much for him.
De gustibus, and all that...