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.
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”:http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/. I know that’s where I heard about “Spin”:http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/007262.html.
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.
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.
Nor have I worked in an office for years. This is why I probably hadn’t heard of “PowerPoint Karaoke”:http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2008/03/02/slide_show/. I would have to have an awful lot to drink beforehand. Still, sounds a hell of a lot more fun than the regular sort.
I “discovered” “Charlie Stross”:http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/index.html about, oh, 2 years ago. The first book I picked up was [“_Accelerando_”:http://www.accelerando.org/book/]. I judged it to be well-written, but not entirely to my taste.
“_Iron Sunrise_”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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_”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Atrocity_Archives, 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_”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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”:http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2008/08/bechdel_test_roundup.html.
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. 🙂