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.
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.
As it’s been a while since I dipped into my trove of rejection letters, this week I turned to random.org, asked them for a letter, and got an “E”. So I reached into the folder and pulled out this nice one, from Pulp Eternity, which is either from the end of 1998 or the beginning of 1999:
This week I was reading The Vagrant, by Peter Newman, in which Ted Danson, Steve Guttenberg, Tom Selleck, and a baby wander through a post-apocalyptic wasteland that―oh, wait, sorry, that was Three Men and a Baby. No, in The Vagrant, there’s just one man, a baby, and a goat. And, eventually, a few hangers-on. They are definitely wandering through a post-apocalyptic wasteland, though.
So this week I’m reading, for, somehow, the first time ever, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, by Douglas Adams, of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame. (Yes, I did read HGttG, which made me laugh. And I read Last Chance to See, which also made me laugh, but made me sad at the same time. So that was confusing. Perhaps I needed a few decades to recover.)
This week I’m reading Hyperion, the Hugo award-winning novel by Dan Simmons, in which … uh … well I’m not really sure I can explain what’s going on, because it seems really complicated. Suffice to say there’s a planet named Hyperion that seems to be about to become ground zero in an interplanetary war between a couple of different human factions (one planetary, one space-based), and which is also haunted by a possibly shapeshifting, definitely fearsome creature, called the Shrike, which essentially teleports around impaling people and hanging them as ornaments from its gigantic backwards-in-time-traveling aluminum Christmas tree, and which is worshiped as a god throughout inhabited space, and which our small band of protagonists is currently traveling upriver, Heart of Darkness-style, to visit. Oh and also there’s a huge planetary labyrinth (one of at least nine such labyrinths on different planets) full of cruciform parasites whose significance I don’t yet know.
But other than that nothing is happening.
This week I’m (still) reading MaddAddam, the final installment in Margaret Atwood’s dystopian/post-apocalyptic series that began with Oryx & Crake. Dystopian fiction and post-apocalyptic fiction are not the same thing, of course, but all three books in the MaddAddam trilogy qualify as both because their present-day scenes take place after the destruction of (most of) humanity, while their flashback scenes take place in the dystopian burbclaves that preceded the apocalypse. Hence you get to eat your dystopia and have it too. Or something like that.