Been away from blogging for a while – the buildup to Christmas was pretty work intense, and by the time Christmas day rolled around I found myself stuck with a nasty head cold. But aside from becoming a minor biohazard at an inopportune moment, Christmas has been going pretty pleasantly. My family’s not very big on Holidays in general, so there’s very little tension there.
I’ve spent some of my convalescence finishing up my reread of Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun, and finally got around to cracking open its follow-up, Urth of the New Sun, for the first time. For those not in the know, Book of the New Sun is probably the best SF series of the latter part of the 20th century, and you should read it. The story follows the wanderings of a disgraced professional torturer and executioner through a distant-future Earth which has come to resemble something out of Tolkien’s nightmares as a result of technology and interstellar cross-pollination. It is very, very strange and likes to play a lot of mind-games, but unlike so much modernist/pomo stuff out there it never loses sight of the ultimate aim of telling a really cool story. It’s very heavy on the theology and metaphysics, but you never feel like you’re reading a freshman philosophy paper written under the influence. Urth is so far shaping up to be good fun. It ditches a lot of the narrative weirdness of the main series in favour of a more straight-forward and action oriented approach, but at the moment I don’t mind things getting a little lighter on my brain.
Oh yes! And very special Christmas swag was received:
Unfortunately my Latin skillz are still not up to the task, but perhaps it will help ward off the noonday demon when I get around to doing my exercitationes.
(Link courtesy of Arts & Letters Daily)