Out of the Quickmuck

It’s been a slog, but finally, 400pp in, Stephenson’s Quicksilver is starting to come to life. It’s about time, considering that the second book is out already, and I hate getting lapped by the paperback of a novel.

I still need to finish Jasper Fforde’s first book (The Eyre Affair) and his second, since my wife did. And for some unfathomable reason I restarted Gravity’s Rainbow — no, I know, I wanted to compare Stephenson and Pynchon, got a few pages in and was hooked again (damn, Pynchon makes the Blitz and early post-war Germany so poetic…).

John Burdett’s Bankok 8 is captivating (but half read, and I need to get on with it). Nearly done with Alan Glynn’s The Dark Fields (a rather horrifying tale of a pill that makes you lots smarter). Toss in a few old Computing Surveys (mostly oldish articles on database implementation, a hobby I guess) and the first couple of chapters of a book on DirectX-9 shaders, and you have my past couple weeks’ reading, modulo some noodling with paperbacks (Walter Jon Williams Angel Station, whizzed through Rocket Ship Galileo because it was there and it had been 15 or 20 years, maybe a couple that I forget). Where does the time go?

Didn’t go to the book signing on Friday after all. “I’m not a fan, I just read the stuff.” That my copy of The Confusion is signed is mere coincidence, trust me.

I watched the last 45 minutes of the Skiffy Channel’s attempt at Riverworld, and it sucked so badly that I was entranced. The Riverworld is supposed to be metal poor, so the poor blighters don’t build airplanes or rockets or anything else plot-breaking, yet in the made-4-teevee version the characters are duking it out with metal swords. Lots of wooden acting, bad fighting choreography, bodies falling into the river. At one point a boat has to make a high tide (the. riverworld. doesn’t. have. tides). This has gobbler written all over it.

Also queued up, SciFi’s Children of Dune miniseries. Two hours in, it’s pretty good. Actually, after watching the first two hours I think I finally know what was going on in the rather miserable Dune Messiah. I’ll have to dig out the CoD paperback and re-read it; it was decent, as I recall. (God Emperor of Dune wasn’t quite as good, and everything from there on was pretty bad).

The David Bowie concert in Seattle on the 14th was pretty good. The opening act, The Polyphonic Spree, was pretty bad (imagine peppy, pop-ish and very repetitive choir music that simply refuses to end).

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