drcpunk (drcpunk) wrote,

Recent Reading

2. Alarums & Excursions #424

3. Gamemastering, by Dominic Wasch. Some really useful advice well expressed (e.g., GMs are players too and must not martyr themselves for the sake of the group), some really useful advice where it reads like a translation (as I recall, English isn't his first language), and some advice I disagree with. Worth my time, in any case.

4. The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume Three, by Jonathan Strahan. I am trying to read more anthologies, as I own rather a lot. Strahan is a good editor. Not every story in this book is to my taste, but all are very good. I felt the same about Volume Two. I own Volume Four, and the reason I'm not getting Volume One is I have too many of the stories in other anthologies. For some reason, I'm less impressed with his Eclipse anthologies. Each has at least a couple of stories I really like, but each also has at least a couple of stories that I don't think are that good, as opposed to not to my taste.

5. Thou Art But a Warrior, by Anna Kreider. This is a supplement setting for the roleplaying game Polaris. It's interesting. I need to play more Polaris to know how well this one works.

6. Among Others, by Jo Walton. It is as good as those who have read it said it was, and that is very, very good indeed.

7. Steal Across the Sky, by Nancy Kress. Interesting. Good premise about aliens apologizing for a crime committed against humanity. The crime makes sense, as do the various reactions to the news about what it is. But, there are a few plot developments leaving me saying, "Wait, how did the people doing X find out about Y?" There are also a couple of cases "Why didn't Z occur to anyone?" There are also cases of "Just why are the aliens doing V?", although to a degree, I can accept as an answer "They are aliens who do not think llike humans do -- or who do, but then, really, how much do we know about what our fellow humans think?" A lot of why all of these issues arise is that the focus of the novel is on human reactions, not on the hard science or on solving mysteries, which I understand, but this sort of thing has been pulled off better. While I'm not keeping this one, it is well written, with characters who somehow manage to get my sympathy, as that is something Kress pulls off well.
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