Work right now is a speeding freight train, if every box car was actually a dumpster filled with burning tires and every bridge was under frantic construction as the smoking, metal beast approaches; I labor madly at each bridge to cobble something together that barely supports weight if nobody looks too closely, before speeding off to the next. Fingers in dikes, etc. Reading time has slowed to a turgid crawl, and with it easy blog topics. I’ve started several posts, only to abandon them two paragraphs in as boring and self-indulgent. Into the breach comes an emergency post from Far Beyond Reality, which gives me a chance to prattle about myself while I put together the next award-winning essay. Enjoy, all.
1. What was the last sf/f/h book you finished reading?
The Bonehunters by Steven Erikson, as any faithful Two Dudes follower would know. Almost done with Alastair Reynolds’ On the Steel Breeze.
2. What was the last sf/f/h book you did not finish reading and why?
Toshokan Senso, because it was an awkward love story set in a barely tenable future Tokyo, which glossed over everything I thought might be interesting in favor of annoying people having hate-crushes on each other. Incidentally, my wife enjoyed it greatly.
3. What was the last sf/f/h book you read that you liked but most people didn’t?
I have no idea. David Brin’s Existence sparked the most heated discussion I guess. I can’t think of anything else I staunchly defend against an ignorant majority.
4. What was the last sf/f/h book you read that you disliked but most people liked?
Probably either Name of the Wind or Game of Thrones. They may be very good, but I bounced off pretty hard and didn’t press on with either.
5. How long do your single-sitting reading sessions usually last?
Maybe 20 minutes, unless everyone else is asleep and I’m really into something.
6. What are you currently reading?
The aforementioned Reynolds, The Burning Dark by Adam Christopher, and Interstellar Patrol II by Christopher Anvil. The latter two are mostly on hold while I finish up library books (Reynolds). Oh, and I have a few pages left of Saraba Yurei, which I cheated and wrote about anyway last January.
7. Do you like it so far?
Um, referring only to the Reynolds at this point, yes, though I wish he’d stop being pastoral and go back to being weird. Those books were more fun.
8. How long ago did you buy the book you are currently reading (or the last book you read)?
Library. I mostly read library books, ARCs, or something I bought in a book sale grab bag.
9. What was the last physical sf/f/h book you bought?
Good question. Probably a pile of Japanese SF when I was there last November. I buy very little, except at the Half Price Books warehouse sales. ($20 bucks to fill a bag! That’s potentially 50 paperbacks!)
10. What is the sf/f/h sub-genre you like the most and why?
My heart belongs to Hard SF. In my younger days, I wanted to be an astronomer until calculus destroyed any illusions I had about my competence. Hard SF satisfies my brainy side while giving me the outer space that I will never get to experience in person. I also enjoy cyberpunk and space opera a great deal.
11. What is the sf/f/h sub-genre you dislike the most and why?
Er, romance? I guess? Horror, if we’re including it in the speculative family. I have enough worries in my life without intentionally scaring myself.
12. What is your favorite electronic reading device?
I have the cheapest Kindle available. There’s probably better out there.
13. What was the last sf/f/h eBook you bought?
I don’t think I have ever purchased an ebook.
14. Do you read books exclusively in one format (physical/electronic)?
As with music, it is the content that concerns me, not the medium. I will read whatever is available, though I confess to favoring the Kindle for anything over 400 pages or so. Wrist fatigue and all. Oh, and the Kindle is the business when I travel to Japan. To think that I used to haul around 20+ CDs and 5-6 books in my carry-on.
15. Do you read ebooks exclusively on a single device, ie. an eBook reader, a smartphone or a tablet?
I periodically read on a computer. I own a Kindle. I have no smartphone, the kids and wife dominate the tablets. I would guess that I’m running a 70-30 print to ebook ratio right now.