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Marilee J. Layman

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April 3rd, 2007

04:24 pm: Carnival by Elizabeth Bear
This is entirely different from the Hammered trilogy, and appears to be a single story. In the future, Governors (AI) have been set in charge of Old Earth, keeping creative individuals, allowing little reproduction, and "assessing" the rest of the population in the name of ecology. There are some rogue planets that have not joined the Governor's Coalition and New Amazonia is one of them. Two Coalition diplomats go to negotiate New Amazonia into the Coalition, but they each have their own plans as well. New Amazonia is much like the opposite of Old Earth -- women are armed and in charge. Gay males, called "gentle" are okay, but studs are locked up and used for reproduction. They eat meat and have pets. They have their own mutinous organizations. They have unlimited power, and there starts the story.

Betrayals, unlikely alliances, and unusual beings all combine to give a complex and compelling story. Recommended.

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04:30 pm: Sideways
I didn't like this as much as the general population did. I suppose I'm not much for the ends justifying the means.

Two buddies start out on a wine country trip the week before the wedding of one. That one, Jack, really just wants to have sex, lots of sex, before he gets married. The other, Miles, is a middle school English teacher with a book at an agent. Early on, they meet two women and have dinner with them. Jack spends the next few days having sex with Stephanie while Miles talks books with Maia. Miles accidently tells Maia that Jack is getting married on Saturday. Maia tells Stephanie who tries to kill Jack. In the end, Jack is happy to get married and there's indication that Miles and Maia will get together (although the agent lets him know the current publisher has rejected it -- I can see why from his description). That's a pretty happy ending, but a lot of really ugly things happen along the way. Not my kind of thing.

I started out watching a documentary, "The Corporation," last night, but 10 minutes in, I was already bored, so I just mailed it back today.

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