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el dang Locked account

eldang@outside.ofa.dog

Joined 11 months, 1 week ago

Also @eldang@weirder.earth

I'm currently the coordinator of the #SFFBookClub so a lot of what I'm reading is suggestions from there.

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el dang's books

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Siren Queen (Hardcover, 2022, Tordotcom) 4 stars

It was magic. In every world, it was a kind of magic. "No maids, no …

I'm more than halfway through this book and still not sure what I make of it. It's a pleasant read, but I'm not finding myself particularly engaged with any of the characters, so I'm also not really invested in whether things go well or poorly for them.

#SFFBookClub

He Who Drowned the World (Hardcover, 2023, Tor Books) 3 stars

Zhu Yuanzhang, the Radiant King, is riding high on her recent victory that tore southern …

Couldn't hold my interest like its predecessor did

3 stars

Content warning Spoilers for all over both books

Babel (2022, Harper Voyager) 4 stars

Traduttore, traditore: An act of translation is always an act of betrayal. 1828. Robin Swift, …

Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus (EBook, 2021, Independently Published) 5 stars

Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is an 1818 novel written by English author Mary Shelley. …

An unexpected pleasure

5 stars

I wasn't expecting to like this book anywhere near as much as I ended up doing! The story as told in the book is much more interesting than the limited image of it that's got in to popular culture, and this was my first encounter with the whole thing. It's so much more about deeply flawed Victor Frankenstein (TLDR: our reading group kept using the term "main character syndrome") than about the mad science process. And while the creature is far from likeable, his portrayal has genuine pathos, even though most of what we hear about him is secondhand through the recounting of someone who hates him.

There are several impressively strong resonances to the modern world, between the general lack of ethics in tech and the current wave of "AI" hype. And of course big self-centred men who think that extreme success in one sphere gives them licence to …

Tales from Earthsea (2002, Ace Trade) 4 stars

Earthsea itself given more life

4 stars

This collection of stories introduces some good new characters and adds some backstory for others and their teachers, but really it's Earthsea itself that gets fleshed out, and particularly the magic school at Roke. The stories cover a range from the foundation of that school through a sort of coming-of-age tale about Ged's teacher Ogion, on to the immediate aftermath of the previous book, Tehanu.

I didn't find the end of the last story satisfying, but Le Guin described it elsewhere as a bridge to the final book, so perhaps it's just intentionally so. I'll certainly be coming back to Earthsea sooner or later--I seem to read about one of these books a year--so I will find out.

Babel (2022, HarperCollins Publishers) 5 stars

From award-winning author R. F. Kuang comes Babel, a thematic response to The Secret History …

spoiler-free vague review + CWs for this book

5 stars

A long, heavy, beautifully written and very biting book about the ways in which colonialism coopts people and institutions, and the simultaneous difficulty and necessity of resisting that. Deeply and cleverly tied in with real 19th Century history of Britain and its empire, while also being a fantasy story with a very specific magic system that I enjoyed in itself.

I highly recommend this book, but it should also come with some content warnings: * Colonialism * Lots of depictions of racism * Abusive parenting * Abusive academia * Violence * Not afraid to kill important characters

#SFFBookClub

Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus (EBook, 2021, Independently Published) 5 stars

Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus is an 1818 novel written by English author Mary Shelley. …

Somehow I ended up doing a bunch of pre-20th century group reads lately. Out of all of them, this is by far the book I like the best. Dracula is wonderfully atmospheric but also painfully racist; Moby Dick's best parts are absolutely gorgeous but it could have done with a massive edit, also racism; I got bored of Don Quixote after a while. But this one is wonderfully and tightly written, and I'm reasonably confident that everything obnoxious in it is intentionally so (in short: oh, Victor is so perfectly hateable).

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Babel (EBook, 2022, Harper Voyager) 4 stars

From award-winning author R. F. Kuang comes Babel, a thematic response to The Secret History …

Content warning First Interlude of Book 5

Content warning First Interlude of Book 5