the Little Red Reviewer

Posts Tagged ‘cold war

The Restoration Game, by Ken MacLeod

Published Sept 2011

Where I got it:  rec’d review copy from the friendly folks at PYR

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This is one of those books that spoils the ending right away.  But as new blogger friend Alison said,when you know the ending, the author has to work that much harder to surprise you along the way.  And there were some great surprises here.

Gamer geek girl Lucy was born in Krassnia, raised in America, and now resides in the UK. The homeland of her mother and grandmother, a disputed area of southern Russia, is Krassnia part of Russia? part of Georgia?  Doesn’t really matter, since Krassnia and it’s sacred mountain aren’t on any map, and the Krassnians would prefer to keep it that way.  But gamer geek Lucy is too busy worrying about her company’s newest MMORPG release, Dark Brittania, to care about Georgian / Russian border towns.

That is, until she gets a call from her mother, who practically begs her to make a video game about Krassnia, based on The Krassniad, a collection of Krassnian folklore.  A few tweaks to Dark Brittania, some changes to the script, a new voice-over, and poof, the Krassnian version is complete and ready to go. Doesn’t matter that it’s a complete rip-off of Dark Brittania, as only a few hundred people in Krassnia are going to have access to it.

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Welcome to the Monkey House, by Kurt Vonnegut Jr

Published in 1968

where I got it: purchased used, this is a 1970 printing

why I read it:  been reading his stuff for a long time, and loving every word of it.

You can’t tell from the reviews on this site, but I’ve read a LOT of Kurt Vonnegut over the years. Although there is such a thing as Vonnegut overload, the more I read his stuff, the more I like it.  Welcome to the Monkey House is collection of his earlier short works, written between  1950 and 1968.  A lot of the stories are hilariously dated, but mostly, they are just hilarious in the darkest way possible.   A few of the entries are straight up Scifi taking place in the near or far future, but many of them take place present day (a la the American 1950’s) and have to do with humanity going sour, and us thinking we know everything when in reality all we’re doing is screwing things up more by trying to do right.

I read my first Vonnegut novel, Galapagos, at around age 19. I had no idea who Kurt Vonnegut was, or what the point of the novel was, I just knew that I liked it and that I wanted more.  As the years have passed, I’ve realized why I love Vonnegut so much:  The man says what he thinks, all the time.  in literature, in scifi, in interviews where politics come up.  He says what he thinks and believes, and doesn’t give a shit what anyone thinks.  One day I hope to be that brave.

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.