One more reason to hate facebook. Marty G. posted pics of his Hawaiian holiday. Lovely. I actually contacted Martin a couple of days ago to fill him in on the ongoing production developments. Halfway through update, he stops me to marvel: “Wow! I see a whale!” He was in San Francisco at the time.

To those of you who asked me to weigh in with my thoughts on The Golden Compass. Well, it was a fine book for young readers. Just fine. I do, however, wonder why it is that authors of juvenile fiction have a hard time parceling out exposition, instead choosing to deliver backstory and revelations in big undramatic globs. I loved reading most of the Harry Potter series but found that every book would end with a lengthy chapter or two in which all of the book’s mysteries are explained like a Miss Marple Mystery. In the case of The Golden Compass, in the space of one conversation our heroine is given backstory on the mystery, her uncle, the fact that he is in fact her father, and that, oh yeah, Mrs. Coulter is her mother. At the time, all I could think was: Wow, what a mind-blowing revelation this could have been!

Overall, Pullman creates a very interesting world and some very interesting characters (my favorite being Iorek Byrnison, the armored bear). It was surprisingly dark, something I loved, but the story took a strange turn for me very late when they started talking about Original Sin and its connection to the Gobblers’ experimentation. This was the point when the alarm bells started going off in my head. I couldn’t tell if they were the “author has a lesson to teach us” alarm or the “author has an axe to grind” alarm (they both sound amazingly similar), but it was enough to turn me off the rest of the stories.

By the way, I heard back from Jill at Pyr (a fellow pug owner I might add). She is offering, suitably enough, free copies of The Blood Debt: Books of the Cataclysm Two (the follow-up to The Crooked Letter: Books of the Cataclysm One) to three lucky readers who finish The Crooked letter and are ready to continue the series. Winners will be announced sometime in mid-January so start reading.

I’ll be getting around to The Crooked Letter once I’ve finished Alas, Babylon – which shouldn’t be all that long from now as I ended up reading the first 150 pages in one sitting.

Today’s pic: Marty G. and Stephanie in Hawaii.

Today’s mailbag:

Charles Schneider writes: “Will you guys get any kind of break after the mid-season finale?”

Answer: The writers never get a break.

Debi writes: “You mentioned that Harmony would be the 17th episode (August 13), but now it’s the 14th.”

Answer: Harmony has been moved up in the schedule.

Randomonity writes: “It’s my birthday on the fourth! (tomorrow here in Australia) Care to wish me happy birthday!”

Answer: Sure thing. Happy Birthday!

AMZ writes: “I’m very excited about the new category, and the chance/excuse to finally read a Straub book. I’ll have to see if I can find all the books for this month somewhere.
What was the motivation for the new genre?”

Answer: I read and loved Dan Simmons’ Summer of Night, another book in the genre.

Lou Anders writes: “Actually, I’m only Hugo-nominated, not winning.”

Answer: Well, in our hearts, you’re a winner, Lou. Also, I notice Fast Forward 1: Future Fiction from the Cutting Edge, edited by Lou Anders, sitting on my bookshelf. A future scifi book of the month club nominee perhaps? An SF anthology would be a nice change of pace.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.