hello. today i will think about things and concepts. feel free to do this too, but be careful

I'm thinking about doing my book reviews on my blog instead of on here. What do y'all think?

Next up is After On by Rob Reid. I don't remember much about it, but the cover has a glowing power symbol set into an eye, so probably scifi?

Finished Temper by Nicky Drayden. She's a local author, apparently. This is her second novel. It did NOT go a direction I expected at the outset, which I appreciate. In the back half, I was so enveloped in the world that I was in danger of missing my bus stop. I'm going to have to look up her previous book, which won some awards. wandering.shop/media/R4ZsQozbB

One further thought on Artemis: I need more queer, anarcho-communist scifi. I am interested in how Artemis might throw off its corporate masters and become democratically run by the residents. How they might do away with their sheriff and administrator. I think it would be an interesting story and feel like we need optimistic depictions of stuff like that. A bit like Moon War by Ben Bova, but less capitalistic and more prominent queer characters.

Next up is An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard. I picked this up off the shelf in the book store on a whim and know nothing other than what the back cover said and I've already forgotten what that was. Something about magic, I bet.

Anyway, yeah. Other than that thing in the CW, I quite liked the book. There was also an afterward on the rough math he'd done on how the economics of a Lunar city would work out and how much it would cost to visit for two weeks, etc. It was self-described as boring, but I found it funny and interesting. I'll be keeping my eye out for Weir's next book (which I assume will exist). I'd be interested to see him deal with space ships and stations, too. Asteroid mining. Etc.

Small spoiner for Artemis by Andy Weir 

Small spoiner for Artemis by Andy Weir 

Anyway, I am here for caper-heists + action science. And the main character was pretty awesome. I don't know if she and I could be friends, but she was great to read. I wanted her to win and I wished good things for her. But she was not, like, this morally upstanding person. The author mentioned the movie Chinatown as an influence and you can see it.

UNLIKE The Martian, this one has, like, more of a story. The Martian is Man vs Nature. This one is more about people having conflicting interests and agendas bumping into each other in the context of a really hostile environment. I guess it's a bit of a heist story? There's at least two heist-like situations. Or capers? I'm not clear on the distinction.

Artemis is the name of the first city on the moon. Like The Martian, there's a pretty high level of rigor in how the space stuff is treated and some very exciting emergency science/engineering improvisation.

Phew! OK. That was a long thread.

The next book I read, which I just finished this evening, was Artemis by Andy Weir. This is the guy whose debut novel, The Martian, was made into the movie with Matt Daemon. Context: I really, really liked The Martian (the book. The movie was pretty OK).

So, yeah. Over all, I liked the book. I was rooting for the main character to win the whole time. I was rooting for her to fall in love and for the love to work out the whole time. Every time the relationship progressed a click I was super happy. Don't let my criticisms make it seem like I disliked it. This is a case of being able to look critically at something you enjoyed and see it's flaws regardless.

Oh. Haha. I almost forgot about this bit. It's super small, but I was amused. The book, a few times, uses the word "equip" in a super stilted way. No one says things like, "The sword flew out of my hand and skittered across the floor, so I equipped my dagger and rushed him." There's a TON of verbs that would work there, but "equipped" feels super weird to me. The author prolly has played a lot of RPGs. Heh. Same, Zoe. Same.

Last thing, I think: A lot of NPC-types centered the POV character pretty hard. Like, she's real young and finds herself very quickly trusted by powerful people who have every reason not to trust people easily. A bit like Luke Skywalker just waltzing into being handed a FIGHTER JET by the Rebel Alliance. Maybe a little more heavily than that example.

OK. Comparative potion over. Now I will contrast Breaking Legacies and Dragonoak. Heh.

The main thing I wanna say about differences is that while Dragonoak is, in many ways, ABOUT trauma and how we deal with it and rise above it and left each other above it and could, thus, be pretty triggerey for some readers... I don't think Breaking Legacies is remotely as triggerey. Bad things happen to characters, sure, but they're not as detailed or drawn out BY FAR.

She was put in a horrible situation and had to choose between shitty and more shitty. It's not really a betrayal to choose "shitty" in that situation, IMO. The fault for that lies in the person who created the situation, not the person put in it. IDK. I felt like the fiction was saying that it was her fault because no one around he was like, "Uh. No. You did the right thing. Let's try to fix the shitty part, but it's not you. You did the best anyone could."

I feel like the main character (again in both stories) took a lot of blame for things that were, like, a million percent not her fault? I guess I understand intellectually that there are people who do that, but it seemed so self-flagellatory. There is, in particular, one moment that is treated by the main character (and even many characters around her) as a giant betrayal. But I'm not sure what moral framework exists where she did the wrong thing.

I guess I would like to have seen a bit more divergence of opinion between the two characters and some amount of having to compromise. When there were disagreements, it was mostly around one of them being wrong and OH HOW WRONG they were. Which leads me to...

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