The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Ursula LeGuin, RIP

Posted on | January 24, 2018 | Comments Off on Ursula LeGuin, RIP

— compiled by Wombat-socho

Not going to lie: I didn’t care much for Ursula LeGuin’s writing. Had to read The Left Hand of Darkness in college, and it was okay, but “The Word For World Is Forest” was crap, and “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” was vile. After that, none of what she wrote looked interesting to me, so I missed out on the Earthsea books. Still, she was a good writer, and won some awards back when those awards meant something, and if she wasn’t to my taste, well, neither were Hemingway and Waugh, and that’s just the way it is.
In other news, Jon Del Arroz got blacklisted from Worldcon this year for…well, the reasons kept changing and finally wound up being “‘Shut up’ they explained,” as is usual with SJWs. At this point, any conservative or libertarian going to Worldcon should really reconsider. Why are you giving money to people who -at the very least- don’t respect you? As if that wasn’t enough, SFWA promptly shot themselves in the foot by rejecting Jon’s membership application, for no better (apparent) reason than “He’s a meanie and he says bad things!” Well, as our Supreme Dark Lord has observed, SFWA is fully converged, infested with crazy cat ladies, and not doing anything to help actual authors. Richard Paolinelli is starting a new organization, the Science Fiction & Fantasy Creators’ Guild as an alternative to SFWA, and I wish him well.
While we’re on the topic of alternatives, if you haven’t signed up with the National Fantasy Fan Federation yet, why not? Public (non-voting) memberships are free!

So much for the news – on to the books!

Speaking of Jon Del Arroz, I picked up For Steam And Country during my spring semester book-buying binge, and a nice little adventure it is. Airships! Magic! Cute (and not so cute) little Ruritanian kingdoms! Last but not least, a (sometimes) heroic farm girl who discovers her swashbuckling destiny and the wild family history she never knew. It’s a fun little romp, and I am waiting to see what trouble Baroness von Monocle gets into next.

Marko Kloos’ Points of Impact, the sixth book in the chronicles of the Lanky War, brings us into a new phase of that war. Humanity has new ships and new weapons, good enough to beat the aliens in space – but as our hero Andrew Grayson and his hot pilot wife find out in a return to the icy colony of New Svalbard, that may not be enough to win the war, or even force a stalemate. Good story, and I’m looking forward to the next one.

Robert Heinlein’s classic Starship Troopers was on sale for $1.99 on the Kindle, and I snapped it up. Yes, I have several paperback copies, but I’m not sure where those are, and I wanted to read it again now. It hasn’t lost anything with age, and is still driving ignorant leftists crazy.

Something I haven’t been able to bring myself to finish is The Girl With Seven Names by Hyeonseo Lee. It’s the biography of a young woman who grows up in North Korea, and while it starts off pleasantly enough, as she gets older she becomes more aware of the ongoing horror story she’s living in. I read books like The Theory And Practice Of Hell and The GULAG Archipelago when I was younger with great avidity, but now I find myself unwilling to slog through the descriptions of real-life horror.

On a much more cheerful note, there is Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Manga Of Tidying Up, which is just what it says on the label. There are parts of the method I’m not totally on board with, which mainly have to do with the Japanese Shinto belief that everything, even inanimate objects like books and clothes, has a spirit, and one should express gratitude toward those books and clothes before putting them out of your life. If nothing else, it’s inspired me to get going on cleaning up my apartment, which badly needs it.

What are you reading that’s good?


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