Semi-Daily Journal Archive

The Blogspot archive of the weblog of J. Bradford DeLong, Professor of Economics and Chair of the PEIS major at U.C. Berkeley, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Charlie Stross Recommends...

I'm going to take his pessimistic downer rant and excerpt parts that make it an upbeat recommended reading list:

Charlie's Diary: Genre neuroses 101: [O]ne of the reasons I'm so pleased with Liz Williams' recent foray into the supernatural detective field is that her two novels, [The Snake Agent]d(http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/asin/1597800430/braddelong00) and The Demon in the City, have nothing whatsoever to do with warmed-over Christian theology. They're straight Confucianism all the way, and when one of her demonic protagonists discovers that he has a conscience this is cause for regret rather than redemption. The result is oddly like Chow Yun Fat trying to make a supernatural kung fu action movie version of Miss Smila's Feel for Snow....

Vernor Vinge is swimming strongly against the flow in Rainbows End, where he envisages a future just a couple of decades hence where the machines dance. Peter Watts is doing stuff with the genre that just shouldn't be possible (evolutionary biology, exobiology, and vampires in spaaaaaace -- all done with a deft touch of plausibility and a refreshingly pleasant dose of bleakly nihilistic existential despair)....

Finally, there is the blasted heath that is fantasy.... There's some really interesting stuff going on there (paging Paul Park, Paul Park to the white courtesy phone -- or Steven Brust, at a pinch)...

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