How many have you read? Mine are bolded below, with links to reviews where available.
A pitch perfect book trailer for Ancillary Justice, done by the same person who did the wonderful Starships video. It’s uncanny how the video manages to capture the setting and story using only pre-existing sources. This got my imagination firing on how good a real movie or television series adaptation might look and yet. And yet… One of the things that sets Ancillary Justice apart is its use of pronouns and how we see the world through Breq’s eyes only, who is either unwilling or unable to make gender distinctions. Doing the same in a visual medium is much harder; the effect will be lost if we’re seeing actors who are “clearly male” or “clearly female” and they can’t all be Tilda Swinton. It would be a very different experience and one that needs lot of care and attention to get it right. I’m not sure anybody could do it right.
It’s a day that ends in a “y”, so Sarah Hoydt must’ve said something stupid again. Yup:
The main reason I like first person singular is that for a moment it tricks you into that space behind the eyes of another person, relieving the loneliness of that narrative voice that can only ever describe your own life.
This is a universal and enduring quality. I’ve had teachers tell me — and to an extent they’re right — that first person is “less believable” because you KNOW you haven’t done those things.
Who believes that? Seriously, who believes that? Nobody, that’s who. First person singular is how you tell what you did this weekend to your cow-orkers around the water cooler on Monday. Nobody would confuse that with what they did that weekend. But that’s not the annoying thing about this quote. Rather, the tone of voice is what grates. I blame Heinlein for this. He was a master of selling total bullshit with a straight face, sounding authoritative even when it was clear he was talking out of his hat. But filter it through 3-4 generations of right wing imitators and it becomes what you see here: all the bullshit, none of the authority.
It takes a ten minute video for professional John Lennon crossed with Sasquatch impersonator/Youtube anime critic Digibro to grope towards the same idea as Damon Knight managed to express in one simple sentence: “science fiction is what we point to when we say it”. In other words, that on a certain level the quality of a given anime is determined by the sum of opinions about said anime and that as opinions shift, the critical consensus about this anime will also shift. Not the most stunning of insights, but anime criticsm is indeed roughly on a par with science fiction criticism fifty years ago.
Seeing New York be blown up by aliens, London submerged under glaciers in a new Ice Age or Tokyo trampled by Godzilla is old hat, but seeing your own neighbourhoods being smashed by the after effects of a comet hitting Earth, that’s something else entirely. On The Edge Of Gone is Corinne Duyvis’ second novel, an apocalyptical survival science fiction story that takes place in and around Amsterdam. As such it’s an entirely different feeling when it isn’t people desparately trying to escape the Bronxy to flee for the safety of New Jersey, but rather have the heroine trying to make her way from Schiphol to Gorichem and the dubious safety of the shelter they were promised a place in…
It’s also interesting that Duyvis has chosen to set her novel here in the Netherlands when she’s writing for a mostly American audience; I don’t expect many readers will be familiar with Amsterdam outside of the tourist hot spots, if at all. Thomas Olde Heuvelt meanwhile has rewritten his fantasy novel Hex to move it from the Netherlands to upstate New York to make it more accessible for the US market. Two different strategies from two Dutch writers looking for foreign success. Duyvis held a book presentation a few months back at the ABC here in Amsterdam in which she explained her reasons for writing her novel the way she did, as shown in the video above.