Friday, 2 August 2019

Book Review: The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am not a lover of books which are mostly dialog, they often feel like the author should have just written the script. This books suffers from that in my opinion, although it makes it ripe for a movie/TV series pick up. Having said that, I listened to the author narrate it and read along, that really helped, and did enjoy that depiction of the struggles against the gender, race based misogyny of men as depicted in this alternative post 1950s, post imagined meteorite strike history as Man is propelled to the stars to find a new home.

I came to it having read the author's 2014 Hugo Award winning short novella/ long short story The Lady Astronaut of Mars ( available at ) which is set towards the latter years of progagonist Elma York's life. The character caught my imagination in the short story and I picked up the book, my first readings by Mary Robinette Kowal so I have nothing to compare them to. The space race theme is of course very topical when I was reading these with the 50th anniversary of the landing on the Moon. This is the first book in her series and it takes in many of the themes explored in movies like The Mercury 13 ( ), Hidden Figures ( ). 

ashramblings verdict 3* On the whole I found the book's pace a bit slow, but its premis and characters intrigued me and held my attention well enough to consider picking up the subsequent in the series Articulated Restraint and The Fated Sky.

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Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Hope springs eternal

At the end of last year the Creative Writing Group I attend undertook a “Secret Sentence”, just like a “Secret Santa” but where your “gift” is a writing prompt. I received the phrase “Doing the Christmas Shift Again This Year”. Now I am an infrequent, if not reluctant, writer of prose but on this occasion that’s exactly what I did. Being pleased with the result sent it off in early February to for their Flash thread and forgot all about it till this morning when my inbox alerted me to the fact that they published it!

Working Christmas Again.

Please read it on the site and vote. Tx

So, all you budding writers out there,  Have Patience and Never Give Up!

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Review: The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid

The Reluctant Fundamentalist The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Been meaning to read this for ages. Great storyline merging a young man's thwarted love for a young woman doomed by the death of her first love, her childhood sweetheart, with his disillusionment with his work for a valuation company and with American ethics. All complicated by its setting in time, place and culture. Well narrated by the author whose flowing, precise yet minimalist style is supremely suited to the confessional way the story is told.

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