So this week, I’m still reading Great North Road, the science fiction murder mystery by Peter F. Hamilton that I was reading two weeks ago.
It’s been a while since I reached into the great big stack of elementary school documents and assignments that my folks shipped out to me a while back, so I thought that this week, instead of another teaser from Great North Road, I would go get something out of the pile of forty year old papers. And so I present to you this “Happy/Sad” assignment:
So this week, and probably for a week or two more, I’m reading Great North Road, a science fiction murder mystery by Peter F. Hamilton. As far as I know, this book, like the excellent Fallen Dragon, is a standalone novel, unrelated to and not set in the same universe as the “Commonwealth” novels (the also-excellent Pandora’s Star and Judas Unchained, the what-most-people-seem-to-consider-better-but-I-consider-only-pretty-good “Void” series, of which I’ve so far only read the first one) or the “Night’s Dawn” series, of which I’ve so far read, uh, nothing. It’s also, being Peter F. Hamilton, a doorstopper, or would be if it weren’t an eBook, which is why I’ll probably still be reading it next week. Fortunately, like most Hamilton books, it’s shaping up to be―you guessed it―excellent.
So this week I was reading The Spirit Clearing, a novel (which would have been better as a short story*) about a young man who, after surviving a horrific car accident, wakes to find that his left eye has been drained of all coloration, but has gained the ability to see ghosts, auras, the past, and, possibly the future. Trading a baby blue for second sight? Sure, why not.
So this week I am, you guessed it, still reading The Original Shannara Trilogy. At this point, I’m well into the third book, in which the band has to track down a shady who has absconded with all their cigarettes … no, wait, that’s not right. In this book, the druid Allanon and his current band of reluctant followers have to stop the Mord Wraiths (humans corrupted by the use of malign magic) from poisoning the Silver River and overrunning all the civilized lands, and some other lands too while they’re at it.
So this week, we (meaning mostly me) watched “Ready Player One”, Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the book by the same name. As he has done in the past, Spielberg took a book that was kind of so-so and made a humdinger of a thriller out of it. And if it maybe peaks right at the beginning, during this epic race/chase through the streets of New York (one of the best I’ve seen in years), well, I can forgive him for setting a bar he can’t subsequently clear. Because any movie that includes a Holy Hand Grenade is a movie I have to love.