David Drake, Republic of Cinnabar Navy – a decent Space Opera

Tor.com has its Space Opera Week now, and it’s going to add quite a few items to my To-Be-Read pile, especially since Space Operas tend to be multi-volume endeavours. It renewed my interest in the Vorkosigan Saga by  Lois McMaster Bujold, one of THE great genre series that are still waiting for me, and put The Uplift by David Brin on my radar, and also reminded me that I have first two omnibuses of Saga waiting on my shelves (I wanted to wait till it’s all finished, but it’s very tempting to start right now…).

My decision to start David Drake’s Republic of Cinnabar Navy series had nothing to do with it, volume one was what I got for my monthly Audible credit this April, volume two I listen to right now, and I believe it to be an excellent example of this particular subgenre, with all its vices and virtues.

Also, a rare example of American covers being superior, the oldschool ones are original Baen, the shitty ones – relatively recent Titan version. Luckily, Audible.co.uk chose Baen for audiobooks.

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Patrick O’Brian, Aubrey & Maturin series (introduction)

We use the term „genre literature” to describe fantasy and s/f, but it’s, of course, not precisely correct. Literature may be divided into genres according to technique, tone, content or even length (as Wikipedia tells us). That being said, fantasy and s/f often self-identifies itself as “genre” in opposition to so-called “literary fiction”. As long, as we remember that there’s nothing inherently worse about f&s/f and many of its examples are much more ambitious than “regular” novels, there’s nothing wrong with using this term. Just as long as there is no hint of self-deprecation.

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Some thoughts on summer reading and “Craft Sequence” by Max Gladstone

Two different topics (unless we make Gladstone’s excellent series our designated Summer Reading this year… why not 🙂 )

First… the more I think about it, the less I like the idea of “summer reading” as almost a subgenre of its own. Every magazine, every bookshop feels obliged to create a special list of books you should buy and read on the beach. With implication that people read “serious” books all year, and need some pointers for lightweight books they can relax with on vacation. Lay down your Kafka and Dostojewski, get some Arthur Conan Doyle and Agata Christie 😉 Well, nobody reads any more, and if they do, there are no special books for beach. Or, rather, there are, but they are shit.

If one doesn’t read at all during the working year… I’d recommend re-reading his/her favourites from long ago, be they Narnia, Watership Down or Clancy. And after vacation continue with good books of any kind, maybe in audio, long drives got some of the people I know back into reading.

Ola’s choice in the previous post is excellent and I can recommend every one of the books there, but they will be equally good for winter commuting.

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