Ringworld and Shriek: An Afterword

My “currently reading” has been stalled at Ringworld for a couple of weeks. I couldn’t manage to slog all the way through it. I’m not sure if I should be ashamed of not being able to get through A Larry Niven book or not. I mean I gave it a shot, right? I suppose I can understand why it’s a classic: it has some pretty amazing ideas contained within it’s pages.

Many things I have enjoyed greatly over the years have been clearly influenced by this book. The Star Control series of PC games seems like a good example. The Spathi race definitely seems very puppeteer-like to me.

One recurring problem I had with the book was that the single female character seemed like a throwaway. She never got to be more than a good luck charm and a love interest. And maybe she redeems herself later, but her sitting around doing nothing for the whole first half of the book irritated me.

Ah well. More time to spend on books I like. I checked out Jeff Vandermeers Shriek: An Afterword from the library, and knew that it would be one I would not want to put down from the very first sentence on the very first page.

It has everything I like. Historians. Old forbidden books. Fungus. Ambergris feels like a city you could actually visit, even if only in dreams. It has a continuity, a feeling that it really does have a history. I’m halfway through and I want to keep reading straight through until the end, but I also don’t want to put it away after I’m done.

Also, I should point out that I've been reading his blog for some time, which is great.  And I really should have read this book before now. I can't even remember where I found that blog originally.  I'm going to guess it was Warren Ellis.

Ok, I’m going to go read more now. Stay tuned for Nanowrimo updates.

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