An Evil Guest

The cover for Gene Wolfe's An Evil Guest

Gene Wolfe makes me feel…dense.

Not stupid, per se. I find that his prose is always clear, if sometimes antiquarian, and eminently readable. This is in contrast to, say, Pynchon, who often seems to revel in obscurity.

No, I just end up feeling like I am not smart enough to ferret out the subtext in his writing. I know it’s in there, but I’ll be damned if I can see it clearly.

I’m sure I’ll get around to re-reading An Evil Guest at some point–his books always seem to warrant returning to–but right now, I’m still uncertain if I even liked it: the turn-of-the-last-century, stilted-feeling prose, the odd juxtaposition of futuristic elements into this old-feeling milieu, and finally, a sense of just not being entirely certain what the fuck is going on all left me a little ambivialent right now.

But it does have Cthulu in it, at least off-stage.

There’s something about the day today

It started out brisk–almost too brisk for my bike ride to the coffee shop (since the Gaggia’s on the fritz)–but it has warmed up to merely pleasant with lots of sun.

I am suddenly pining for the Bay Area. Badly. It’s been nearly two years since our last trip out there–it’s feeling like it might be time for some travel.

Axis

I ran across Robert Charles Wilson’s Spin right about the time I ran across Charlie Stross’ Accelerando–in thinking about it, I suspect I heard about both of them at Making Light. I know that’s where I heard about Spin.

Having read the first book, I picked up its sequel, Axis, though not before it was in paperback.

On the one hand, it’s not badly done, but on the other…I just can’t recommend it.

The Republican I find myself unable to dislike…

is Mike Huckabee.

I know that on certain issues we stand diametrically opposed–I would never vote for him, and I wouldn’t expect him to vote for me if I were running for President. But at the same time, he strikes me as being most truly thoughtful and compassionate. Maybe that’s why the press seemed to paint him as a rube during the Republican primaries. He also has a pretty good sense of humor. He seems like someone you could actually work with, even if you did disagree on certain things.

Maybe that’s an incorrect assesment, but I don’t think so–in every appearance I’ve seen of his (admittedly not many) he seems truly at ease with himself. I don’t think you see that when you’re putting up a front.

Glasshouse

Charlie Stross' Glasshouse

I “discovered” Charlie Stross about, oh, 2 years ago. The first book I picked up was Accelerando. I judged it to be well-written, but not entirely to my taste.

Iron Sunrise I liked somewhat better. Not one of my favorite books of all time or anything, but a solid story, actual characters, you know, all the stuff that a good book should have.

Then I found The Atrocity Achives, which amused me greatly. Lovecraft meets computer geek, complete with Linux, Palm Pilots and bureaucracy. Ah, joy.

So last week, in a fit of actual book buying–I do this at a much slower pace than I used to–I picked up Glasshouse. Like Iron Sunrise, it’s definitely more in the sci-fi thriller category, but it also does it well.

I will note that, this novel has an amusing interaction with Charlie’s public embrace of the Bechdel Test.

These are the things that yogis think are crazy…

We were in class earlier, and several people were talking about this clip.

Mind you, the way she’s doing it, she’s only able to do most of that stuff because she’s really young. It takes skill to do it (and I can do most of it except for the bits involving the actual bow) when you’re twice her age. 🙂

What Sarah Palin wants

Sarah Palin wants your daughter to be given abstinence-only education about sex–which seems to have not been very effective with her unmarried five-month-pregnant daughter.

Sarah Palin wants to make sure every woman or girl who becomes pregnant is legally bound to deliver her child no matter whether she was raped or a victim of incest.

I will piss and moan about FISA and the bankruptcy bill and whatever, but, in the end, I will vote Obama/Biden for these reasons.