March 29th, 2010

20111112, Marilee


I'm yawning like crazy and I was in bed longer than I planned. I realized I could finish the book if I read an hour extra so I set the alarm for 1pm. When it went off, I was still tired because I kept waking up with wet patches on the bed where my ankles had been. So I slept until 2:45pm. And now I'm yawning again.

I got money, mailed a DVD, and got groceries. I've started washing the cat blankies.

A retired major general got an Army contract on the basis of three special traits: veteran, black, and disabled. The disability? Sleep apnea. When people found that out and started talking about it, he gave the ~$100 million back. All the people I know use CPAP machines and actually work better because they get sleep. I know there are people who don't, but how do you manage a big contract that way? He was nominated by Obama to be the head of TSA and has backed out because of the "service disabled veteran" bit.
20111112, Marilee

Confluence: Child of the River, Ancients of Days, Shrine of Stars by Paul McAuley

This is an SFBC omnibus and with 878 pages it was really hard to hold. The story was a little hard to hold, too. It has a strong feel of fantasy with an SF wash over it. All the semi-SF in the book have existing fantasy tropes, and there are even people called mages and things called demons.

This habitat, Confluence, was created by the Preservers who have left the galaxy. They uplifted 10,000 species, but after they left, the species fought so much that the story starts at a point relatively equivalent to the late 1700s with half the habitat glassy from nukes. There are still machines that can be used, but few and they die quickly.

Yamamanama, usually called Yama, is in a bloodline that hasn't been seen in a long time. He wants to know how to find his people, but in the meantime finds other people and does good things and saves as many people as he can. There's a revelation near the end that was obvious all the way through.

Even if McAuley had stuck with the SF mirage, I think these books would have been much better worked down to one book.