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Books 1-10.
11. The Imago Sequence and Other Stories by Laird Barron.
12. The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith writing as Claire Morgan.
13. Surviving the Siege of Beirut: A Personal Account by Lina Mikdadi.
14. Mammoths of the Great Plains by Eleanor Arnason.
15. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin.
16. The Robotics Primer by Maja J. Matarić.

17. Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi. This book has been praised all over the place, and it recently won the Printz Award. I like Paolo's short stories very much, and I like Paolo. But for reasons I can't entirely put my finger on, this book left me pretty cold. I admire some things about it; the world-building, the dark-but-not-bleak tone of it, the overall lean and efficient storytelling. I think that part of my issue is that I was never really hooked into the characters to care much about them; I also have the nagging feeling that the story was perhaps a little too aerodynamic and controlled for my taste. And I do think it's a matter of taste, here. My reaction to Ship Breaker reminds me very much of my reaction to books like The Golden Compass, A Princess of Roumania, and The Knife of Never Letting Go--all highly praised, award-winning books much loved by people whose opinions I respect, all of which I disliked. I'm not certain what the common thread there is, or even if there is one; but for now I have to conclude that the issue is mine. And like I said, I like Paolo's stuff generally, so I won't hesitate to pick up another book of his--this one's just a miss for me.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 18th, 2011 12:51 am (UTC)
I will never understand, not even a little bit, why anyone likes The Golden Compass. I'm not sure I've ever read such a mess of a book before or since.
Feb. 18th, 2011 07:59 pm (UTC)
We should start a club!
Feb. 18th, 2011 02:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the review. I also did not like The Golden Compass or The Princess of Roumania, so I will pass on this one.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


David J. Schwartz
Mumble Herder

Recent and Forthcoming



US Edition

UK Edition


"The Sun Inside," part of the Electrum Novella Series from Rabit Transit Press

Short Stories:

"Escape to Bird Island" at The King's English, Winter 2008-9 Issue

"Bear In Contradicting Landscape" in Polyphony 7, Coming Soon

"MonstroCities" in Tumbarumba: A Frolic of Intrusions

"Mike's Place" in Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet #22

"Proof of Zero" in Spicy Slipstream Stories, Out Now!!

"The Somnambulist" in Paper Cities: An Anthology of Urban Fantasy, Out Now!!

"Oma Dortchen and the Pillar of Story" in Farrago's Wainscot, Summer 2007

"The Ichthyomancer Writes His Friend with an Account of the Yeti's Birthday Party" in Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet Number 13, Fall 2003 (Honorable Mention, The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Seventeenth Annual Collecion); Reprinted in The Best of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet


""Stardust" at Strange Horizons


"On Making Noise: Confessions of a Quiet Kid" in Brothers and Beasts: An Anthology of Men on Fairy Tales edited by Kate Bernheimer



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