Hyperion

By D. Simmons

After reading the first of four books, I wrote a one-line comment on Goodreads saying, “Liked it despite numerous annoyances.” After reading the second, I change my statement to “Didn’t like it despite numerous qualities”. These are mainly related to the authors indisputable ability to create and maintain suspense, and to surprise. Book one ends with a cliffhanger so epic that I had to pick up book two immediately. But I won’t be reading the rest of the series.

Continue reading Hyperion

Mrs. Dalloway

by V. Woolf

What an odd book! With no plot whatsoever, the narrative flows from one point of view to another, sometimes smoothly and sometimes making nearly unintelligible jumps. Almost every character that’s mentioned, no matter how thin their connection to the titular Mrs. Dalloway, her friends and family, gets to to ‘speak their mind’. I struggled to find connections. At times I struggled to tell what the hell was going on. But despite the oddity, I mostly enjoyed reading it. The writing is unorthodox, occasionally poetic, and I was struck by its beauty more than a few times. So here I’ll save some of them:

Continue reading Mrs. Dalloway

The City & The City

by C. T. Miéville

I devoured this book in three late-night readings and I couldn’t stop thinking of it during the days in between. It defies generic placement; calling it sci-fi would attach to it a load of unwarranted expectations, yet saying it’s just a noirish crime novel staged in a fictitious setting would hardly do it justice. It’s a captivating, unsettling and above all, incredibly original work of art and imagination.

Before you continue reading, be warned that it will be very hard to avoid spoilers in this review, and that your enjoyment in and appreciation of the book might be entirely ruined if you do get spoiled.

Continue reading The City & The City

Quote: Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Two dismally absurd persons… were posted at the front door; and in one of them I recognized a postboy discharged from the Boar for running a young couple into a sawpit on their bridal morning, in consequence of intoxication rendering it necessary for him to ride his horse clasped round the neck with both hands.

A New Home for Themed Challenges and Halls of Fame

Following the unexpected shut-down of the Bioware Social Network Forums, the Themed Challenges Group (previously mentioned in my N7 Day posts about Solo and Duo Themed Challenges) was forced to move to a different location (since, obviously, we refused to just lie down and bleed out).

Themed Challenges and Halls of Fame now constitute a dedicated site, Prestacious’ Challenges, hosted by the founder and leader of the group, a fabulous guy and a good friend, Prestacious. Along with the various challenge series, the new site also hosts the Gold Solo Speedruns Hall of Fame, and the Platinum Solos Hall of Fame (which is since recently under the management of yours truly).

The bulk of the Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer community has moved to BSN Unofficial Forums, so submissions for the Halls of Fame are mostly done there, in the Themed Challenges and Hall of Fame thread and the Platinum Solos Hall of Fame thread. However, submissions are also welcome on the Forum associated with Prestacious’ Challenges site.

Come visit us, get challenged and inspired, and get ready for the journey to Andromeda!