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Terry Pratchett may have Alzheimer’s, but thankfully that’s not stopping him from writing excellent books. In fact, if anything the quality keeps going up.  The Long Earth was one of the best books I’d read in a while, and Dodger doesn’t disappoint. The setting is London, approximately during the Victorian era, though there is a certain fantastical element to it, and some liberties are taken with historical accuracy. Really though it all works. The main character, whom the book is named after, is a Tosher. That is basically, someone who searches for lost coins, and other valuables in the sewers.

Dodger aids in the rescue of a young lady whose name we never learn (spoilers), encounters several famous personages such as (more spoilers) Dickens, Sweeney Todd, and more. There is a little bit of Pratchett’s well known humor, but not as much as I might have liked, and that is probably the only complaint I can levy against the book. Well, I suppose the brevity could be cause for complaint as well… but really the book ended right when it needed to. And with a nice lead-in to possible future sequels.

If you like Terry Pratchett, it’s probably already on your list. If you like historical fiction, and don’t mind a book that isn’t perfectly historically accurate this also would be a good bet.


So it seems like only last week I was ranting about how pretentious and unaccessible Mieville is. I recant nothing, but at least with Un Lun Dun, it’s ostensibly a children’s book, so you’ll probably only have trouble reading the book if you’re a kid. I’ve also ranted in the past about authors who neologise (I can’t believe Chrome doesn’t think that’s a word.) without a real need. Enders is probably the worst offender in this case, making up shit left and right when we already had perfectly good words for it. On the other hand, you have all kinds of invented words in Un Lun Dun, and it all ties together with the fiction and makes sense. And there are tons of words, from the dozen different smog denizens, to Unbrellas (broken umbrellas), to the Wordhoard (Mieville’s take on Orpheous’s library), and more. So much more. Yet somehow he manages to pull it off, and every neologism fits into the story.

As a word of warning, there are a few spoilers coming up, but I won’t spoil anything super important, so I encourage you to keep reading anyways. So pretty early on the main character gets memory wiped, and her “trusty sidekick” has to step in and take over. The prophecy was wrong, things don’t work out “as written”, and there’s no guarantee of a happy ending. In fact, shortly before this happened I was kind of disappointed because of the reveal that there was a chosen one, and a prophecy, and let’s be honest, that’s a trope that’s been investigated almost to death. In main stream fiction, I can’t think of the last time that trope was subverted. In fact, the only thing I can really think of is my friend Aaron’s D&D campaign where the party wasn’t the heroes, rather we were a group of adventures who went out to try and save the world after the “big damn heroes” messed up the prophecy and the end of the world started proper. The occasional bit in Un Lon Don where the prophecy comes up again, and is wrong, or slightly off was quite entertaining.

All told this was a quite fun romp into the “Alternate world right next door” fantasy. If you liked Narnia or The Golden Compass, you should probably add this too your to-do list.

Drama Cover

So everyone loves some good drama right? Well if you like interpersonal drama (Susan likes Ted, but Ted is secretly sleeping with Bill) prepare to be slightly disappoint. There’s some in this, but the name actually refers to the fact that the main character is on the stage crew for a high school drama class. I’ll be honest, this sounds really freaking awesome to me. I wish I’d gone to a High School where our Drama class had enough of a budget that we had a stage crew. The little Drama I did in HS the actors were also the stage crew. Then again, if I had had the opportunity to make props and sets that’s what I might well be doing.

If only I’d been born 15 years earlier maybe I could have been making star ship models for ILM and blowing up model tie-fighters in the parking lot. If I didn’t know that almost everything was done with CGI these days I might just pack it up and move to Hollywood right now.

So yeah… can you say tangent? Anyway, this book has a little bit of high school romance, including an almost Midsummer’s Nightesque mixup (which I alluded to above, but changed the names to avoid spoilers), but it’s handled well. I really hope that there is half as much acceptance in real life as was represented here … then again, he didn’t actually come out of the closet to more than a few people so who knows. Basically what I’m saying is it’s nice to see the issue come up, and be handled well without it being focus of the book. In some ways I feel that when we get to the point where gender identity and sexuality can be different from “the norm” without drawing undue attention … or being the focus of the story, or drawing away from the focus, then we as a species are maybe, just maybe, starting to grow up a little.

Anyways, yeah this is a great book. I’m not so interested in the Baby Sitters Club books, but I have added Explorer to my to-read list. So in summery, I’ve avoided really talking about the content of the book because I don’t want to spoil the whole thing… the play’s the thing right?


cthulhu tales cover

Do you like Lovecraftian Horror? Do you like Short Stories? Do you like Graphic Novels? If you answered yes to all of these things, you need to do yourself a favor and read Cthulhu Tales. Many of the stories have wonderful little twists. There’s even one that breaks the Fourth Wall. My biggest complaint with this is that it is way too short. I would have liked more stories, and maybe a couple that were a bit longer. On the bright side, it wasn’t until I was writing this review that I realized the book I read was Volume 2. There are three more volumes as of this writing. So that’s great, except that it just bumped my to-read list up to 229 books/series.

Do you have favorite stories from the Lovecraft Mythos? Games? It is an excellent Genre in my opinion, and I would love to know what you recommend!

So I just finished the second book in the Pathfinder series, by Orson Scott Card. This is a quite excellent pair of books (with it being very likely that there’ll be a third.)

You’re likely familiar with the Clarke’s Third Law:

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Some minor spoilers, these books are science fiction, not fantasy, but they very much appear to be fantasy at first. The books involve time travel, and preventing the end of the world, and those are all minor enough spoilers I don’t think knowing it will adversely affect your reading of the stories.

All in all the stories feel fairly internally consistent (which can be important in any book involving time travel) and even though the book is thick as a brick I tore through it in what feels like just a few days, though a quick look at Good Reads tells me it was almost exactly week, since I finished Erebos on the 2nd, and started Ruins the day after.