13 June, 2006

Send The Man Some Kleenex

Big Orange Michael is reading Dean Koontz' Watchers.

That book bears in my mind the same distinction as Theodore Dreiser's American Tragedy. They are both books I loved but have sworn to read only once. When I read Watchers I wept through 2/3rds of it. I have never since been so moved by a fictional story.

On the topic of books, I just finished reading Robert Charles Wilson's Blind Lake. It was quite good, but I wonder about my dimming interest in Sci Fi. I used to devour Sci Fi books in great fistfuls like M&Ms. I just don't see that many people doing interesting things with it anymore. I've read Dune already, I've read Dick already. I've read Asimov and Ellison. Is anyone doing anything besides watering down these authors? Occasionally I'll stumble across a goodie (Dr. David Brin is a newer favourite) but so much is so uninteresting to me. Stephen King recommended RCW, which is why I shelled out the $7.99. I think I'm glad I did, even though it ended on a strange note.

I miss Sci Fi. It's perfect for reading in the summer, when you're hot and blinded by the sun and want to take a more interesting vacation. I thought I'd try something new, but I see myself re-reading Dune at this point. Stillsuits here I come.


At 11:52 AM, June 13, 2006, Anonymous brittney said...

A friend just sent me Philip K. Dick's "Lies, Inc." I can't wait to start it.

At 12:10 PM, June 13, 2006, Blogger Michael said...

I am actually reading the Koontz to debate it with a buddy of mine. He says Koontz is one of the greatest writers ever and my feelings...well, I won't get into it.

Let me recommend RCW's latest novel Spin, which you can buy in paperback now or check out of ye olde library.

Other good sci-fi:
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Old Man's War by John Scalzi
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (and go for the sequel Children of God)
Singularity Sky by Charles Stross

Those are few I've read and enjoyed....

At 1:37 PM, June 13, 2006, Blogger Kat Coble said...

Scuse me for being brief, but I typed all this out once and then Safari crashed.

Brittney, good luck with Lies, Inc. It's Dick's wierdest novel (and that's saying something.) I think I remember that you like Lewis Carroll, though, so you'll probably enjoy this. Everyone's complaint about Lies, Inc is the wierd acid trippy turn it takes.

Michael, I kind of agree with your buddy and kind of don't. Some of Koontz' books are among the best works of fiction I've ever read (From The Corner Of His Eye) and some of them are just dreadful. But everything he does is writing to connect, not to impress and I enjoy that about him.

Regardless of how you feel about Watchers when all is said and done I implore you to read From The Corner of His Eye.

At 1:59 PM, June 13, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alastair Reynolds has been making a name for himself lately. I just finished Century Rain a few weeks ago and loved it. He's also got a great set of books in the Revelation Space series, though the final book (Absolution Gap) was a bit disappointing IMO.

Still, I'd give Century Rain a try, and I second Michael's suggestion of Ender's Game.


At 3:10 PM, June 13, 2006, Blogger Michael said...

I hate to tell you this, but I tried From the Corner of His Eye and couldn't make it past the 50th page. It just didn't grab me and it's rare that I will pick up a book and not finish it. But this was one of them.

My thing with Koontz is, whenever I read his books, I feel as if I'm reading the same novel over and over again. I can read his newest book and I swear to you I've read it before. His style seems to be a complete lack of style. At least in his recent books.

I think the man has some good ideas for stories, but they might work better as short stories. Life Expectancy was too long by 100 pages and the Odd Thomas books were too predictable. I know part of my thing with Koontz is that I read a lot and so I tend to start guessing ahead or see things coming before they develop in the stories. It may just be me being "book snobbish."

And I'm not sure, but it Century Rain part of Reynold's future history univrese...I only ask because I'm one of those who hates dropping in a series in the middle....

At 5:09 PM, June 13, 2006, Blogger HUCK said...

See, I agree with Michael. The only thing Koontz is trying to connect with is another royalty. He's got a formula to churn out beach books, that's all.

I usually try to weather through a book once I've started it. I've even tried more than once with Koontz, but it always happens. Eventually my eyes begin rolling at such a rate that I'm never able to relocate their point of departure. I've tried to read 'Midnight' and 'Dragon Tears' and couldn't stop laughing at their unfounded hokiness.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all about a good beach book. I just finished 'Altered States' by Paddy Chayefsky, and thoroughly enjoyed it's hokiness. The difference, I think was that this book, unlike one of Koontz, was that the idea was plausible. There was some smidgen of a connection to reality which allowed the ideas presented to avoid being laughable.


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