20111112, Marilee

Asimov's December 2012


Williams wrote about how she had a lot of problems with books using apocalypse when she was young, and there were a number of stories in this issue that were apocalyptic.

One of my problems with many of these are the ends. The best one I liked of that type was:

"The Black Feminist's Guide to Science Fiction Film Editing" by Sandra McDonald. I was laughing all the way through until the last two sentences.

The one I actually liked all the way through was "Sudden, Broken and Unexpected" by Steven Popkes. He pulls in music, cyberpeople, computer patterns, and ~love, whirls it all together and comes up with what first sounds like a good ending.

Peter Heck does the reviews, and I already have five of the six:

Among Others - Jo Walton

Firebird - Jack McDevitt

The Apocalypse Codex (Laundry 4) - Charles Stross

The Games - Ted Kosmatka

Pavane - Keith Roberts

Heck's review of Jo's book is a bit odd. He says "... in which an incautious reader might assume there are considerable autobiographical elements" and, well....

You can read all of these reviews here.
20111112, Marilee

Seed by Rob Ziegler


This had a good enough page on Amazon that I bought it from SFBC. It's much more loose than I expected. Post-apocalypse has put everybody on our continent under the toe of Satori. Satori is a dome that looks like legs and bones and tendons, and can be changed in minutes by the order of the brain. Satori actually started with some human founders, but she'd hung them up near the top of her dome and keeps them so she can run things using their faces.

A number of clones come from Satori and it turns out that while all of them are working against her, they also plan to kill off all the humans. They don't need humans; after all, they're a lot more trouble than the clones.

The few sections of the book never really come together and there's never really a good finish. However, I love the picture of the front. You'll note that not only does Rob Ziegler mention Bacigalupi in his Acknowledgements, but a review from Bacigalupi is on the front page muddling a part of the picture.
20111112, Marilee

Thanks to The Changeling!


Many thanks to The Changeling! The first time I put the shampoo on my dry hair, I used a lot more than usual because the shampoo is thick. I mixed the shampoo and water in a bottle with the push/pull opening and since then it's been great!

More speaking of health stuff, I've been using those little disposable razors (more than once before I throw them out) for decades, but my hands are tremoring enough that I'm giving myself little cuts. Any recommendations for an electric razor? Small, light, better batteries, no need for a billion blades -- I'd appreciate that.

I ended up getting rid of the old recliner and buying another. I use the lift recliner fairly often these days, but it's not comfortable to just sit in and read and/or watch TV. The new one moves by electricity and is very comfortable. Junie thinks so, too.

I've started having trouble with the narcotic that I usually have with night meds so I can sleep. I'm only getting about four hours of sleep and can't have more for four more hours, which really messes up the day. I'm going to try starting eight hours earlier tonight and see if that helps because we have bookgroup on Saturday.
20111112, Marilee

9 Ded Crickets...


... and I was the one who killed them. These two cats aren't are interested in them. I planned to be back online sooner, but it looks like I'm going to have to find time to see my primary doctor. My left leg around the knee is swollen and sometimes the knee just drops. So far, all the places I have set to hang on to have worked.

And now, my yearly medical database has died. It's on Microsoft Works, which still worked up until a few days ago (Windows 7 has decided it isn't allowed anymore). Fortunately, I have a backup and can add the most recent from the papers I file. I'm going to have to find something else that works like MSWorks, and then it will take time to get done.

I managed to get the bed linens off and washed and the clean ones on, I'm looking forward to sleeping there.
20111112, Marilee

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles


Nick had their premiere for a new TMNT show and I had to watch. In the first renal failure, the TV showed only medical stuff and Nickelodeon, so I watched TMNT every day. The new one is more violent, but more realistic, too.

And, since I've been sick for the last couple weeks, watching TMNT today sort of goes with 1987. Last week I had a fever, cough, and nose-running; this week I have a weird set of scabs on the left inside & outside of my nose. It doesn't hurt so much now, but I don't know where it came from.

I've been online every few days just to check mail, but I expect to be here more often. In the process of sitting in the recliner and turning catalog pages, I found a couple of interesting ads that are obviously expected to make people pay more for perfectly normal flash drives: tv/radio, photo bank.

I'll post again, soon, I hope.
20111112, Marilee

Asimov's October/November 2012


I'm taking this to bookgroup tomorrow so I want to talk about it, and did the last two of the bookgroup's. There's still some that I read for myself and I'll keep trying to get them in.

Williams has an editorial on how SF has scarred children. I was surprised because they never scared me, but they really took to her. Kelly goes on to discuss technologies that copy real-life and wonder if they really will be real life.

I liked:

1. The Mongolian Book of the Dead by Alan Smale -- an American gets caught in Ulaanbaatar when the Chinese roll in. They're apparently very skilled because every thing is changed immediately. The American is pulled out to help put the Mongols back in place -- will he live?

2. The Second Engineer by Gary Rinehart -- The engine room on a large spaceship has a voice trying to get the engineers to follow what it wants. Why?

3. A poem -- The Season by Ken Poyner -- what do crabs look for in Virginia Beach?

4. Chromatophores by John Alfred Taylor -- four people start out being a different group than other people and then even their group is different.

5. Shattering by Steve Utley -- a man leaves his wife to leave the system and then finds where he is.

6. The Stars Don't Lie by Jay Lake -- I thought the beginning of this was plodding, but it moves to encourage a couple of people to really find out what was in fantasy.
20111112, Marilee

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi


This is the bookgroup book for August. In a far future Thailand, we see a changed world. Our currency is now calorie because the oil is all gone. There are five main characters winding together, apart, and with outer people as Thailand becomes closer and closer to stop functioning. The character that we see the most often is an engineered person who belonged to someone who came to Thailand for work and then left without her. Why pay to take her back when he could get a new one for less at home? She then accidentally causes a civil war.

We see all the twists and deviations flashing through the book and we had about half the group who didn't want to push through the mazes. I liked it a lot as do the rest of us.

In September 2010, the novel won the 2010 Hugo Award for Best Novel category, tying with China Miéville's The City & the City. In May 2010, the novel won the Nebula Award for Best Novel. In 2010, the novel won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. In 2012 a translated version of the novel by Kazue Tanaka and Hiroshi Kaneko won a Seiun award for "Best Translated Long Fiction" at the 51st Japan Science Fiction Convention.

(I took that from the Wiki; it's a lot to type.
20111112, Marilee

Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher


This was the bookgroup book for July and only those who had read the rest of the sequels liked it. Apparently this one, and the next five or so, are completely fantasy. Not a bit of SF.

This story starts out in a rural area where the families & households work to stay safe, but have evil people come and take their stuff. The stuff is supposed to go to the important guy, but they need to take it themselves. The Furies belong to certain people and give them power for their Fury name. A lot of the Fury names seem a bit silly, but the world isn't graphic.

The important people from the household try to keep the stuff safe and then the big guy also safe. They find out that one of the big guy's immediate group below him is going to try to kill the big guy and take his place. Then the man who is in charge of the household makes a wonderful winning move and gets to step up to a new place, much too far up, as do others in the household.

It's all fantasy, and I'm not reading the sequels until it turns into SF.
20111112, Marilee

Fell in the Shower


I haven't been online for a couple of days and can't sit up for much longer, so this is it for today.

I think I know why I fell on Tuesday,* and I slipped and knocked just about everything down my left side against something. In the beginning, I took a long time to get to the bed, up, and stop breathing like crazy. I have a hematoma on my head and my left hand hurt so much to move that I thought it might be broken. I called EMTs and they were very nice and took me to the ER. My hand was x-rayed (with me gasping) and it's just really sprained (and purple). I asked the ER doc about vasculitis, the stroke I had three years ago, and he didn't know anything about that, just like back then. I had a very nice older man who was a hospital volunteer and helped me all the way out to the cab.

When I got home, I just fell into the recliner and after an hour or so, I started feeling pain along the right edge of my right foot, and, much worse, under my left breast. I searched on the computer and found that if there was bruising, it was probably a broken rib(s), and if it was unbruised, it was probably torn muscles or ligaments. I went into the bathroom to find which, and saw I had giant bruises on my side from my waist to my ankle -- the top one was 2x4" -- and fortunately, no colors under my breast.

At this point, my hand hurts to pick things up, but not much to move and almost every thing else is fine except for the chest wall pain. The online items I read all said I should see a doctor after 2-3 days, and I'm beyond that. I'll have to make an appointment for next week.

I've managed to sleep and sit in the recliner for about four hours at a time without a lot of problems, but the only way I can walk or do other things without hurting is to press my hand under the breast. One of the items said a wide stretching band would help, but I don't have one of those. Mine are all shorter and narrower.

I hope this stops hurting soon!

*My hair is about four inches longer than in this picture and it's hard to wash because it will make cylinders with the outside wet and the inside dry. I have to pull each cylinder apart and stick the hairs into the water a few times. On Tuesday, it took me 15 minutes to wash my hair and I was actually thinking about getting out and resting on the bed and then going back and washing the rest of me. I didn't, and I'm pretty sure that's why I fell -- too much standing with both hands not bracing somewhere. I'd planned to get my hair cut when it got cool enough that I don't have to use clips outside, but I'll have to get it cut sooner.
20111112, Marilee

**** Spam


I think only one of my friends doesn't use some kind of non-Live-Journaled tag, so she should just email. I'm going to set to kill replies that only have LiveJournal.