Monthly Archives: May 2016

The Scar and the Next Read

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To those who are new here, I have a policy when doing a book review. I talk about my impressions from the book, but I do not mention any details. My reviews (if they can even be called such) are 100% spoiler free because I talk in generalities.

The Scar was great. Mieville is an excellent writer. The Scar: think Melville meets Lovecraft meets a dash of RR Martin’s Fevre Dream. Mieville has one of the most polished styles I’ve read in a while. I’ve heard people say he is too wordy with his descriptions. I think he does it just about right.

I disliked his handling of sex (of what there was) but it did fit the despair of the novel quite well. Except for the use of “f***” for intercourse. Every time he used it, I was jolted back to now and out of the story.

No heroes in this story, no one to look up to. There was a sort of honor among thieves morality going on – a pirate code as it were. I am not sure if Mieville is the sort that writes heroes or understands what one is. But his skills as a writer means I give him pass. After all, Dostoyevsky never had any either. The closest I can think of is Alyosha from The Brothers Karamazov, but he was hardly Errol Flynn!

Anyway, The Scar is probably the best book I’ve read in years. I will be reading the rest of his catalog.

Currently on the reading docket. 

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I’m only on the first chapter but it is good so far. That means I got myself trapped in three books at the moment besides the 7 I’m on for my school work. The one above, Merton’s The Seven Storey Mountain and Sheen’s The Life of Christ. I’m immersed in medicine and theology!

Ah, am I a boring snoot. I can’t wait to be writing again.

 

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Reading Platter

Still desperately trying to keep up the non-school reading. Up next is a wacky one, but I love these sort of books, although I tend to get bored rather quickly with them.

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I used to work with a guy that was all about this stuff. Enoch and the giants of the Bible, and the alien seeds. It is hard to keep interested with such a glaring infinite regress. If aliens existed, they would be creatures such as us. Not like us, mind, as similar in any specific, concrete, way, but like us as in contingent, physical, living creatures.

Even if we posited a species that, somehow, evolved at a hyper rate to achieve some sort of space faring civilization and achieved a singularity and achieved some Clark- like superiority such that they were able to kickstart planets such as ours. Granting all that, they would be still contingent beings just like us. And the question would be then: if we need them to explain us (because of holes in our own knowledge or whatever) how is their being any more comprehensible than ours? And if they were not somehow some advantaged race of fast evolvers, but simply beings like us. Then how do we explain them? And back and back you would have to go until you would need some sort of master planner.

God. It is a mysticism for the modern age.

But it is fun to read about.

I have read a few science fiction books that take this sort of premise (that our civilization or planet was kickstarted by advanced aliens) as serious. I wonder if anyone has ever taken it the other way in a science fiction setting. That it is believed but false and where could you go with such a premise?

Ah, I know. Nothing comes to mind right away, but lay back a moment, close your eyes. See? Things start to form, do they not?

Next is:

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I know nothing about this book nor even much about the man. I have, however, heard the work praised by many whose opinions I hold to some account.

I also have the entire Ante-Nicene and Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers set (some 20 volumes) that I want to start chewing down. Plus a daunting list of over 300 theological (largely overwhelmingly Catholic) works that I was just getting started on before I whimsically entered school.

I am saving the bulk of my unread Lafferty for after I finish school. That with the writing I’m leaving undone, is my carrot. I will, as a good man must (hee hee) let my wife be the stick, or, at least be the one that holds it.

Man, I really wish I had more interesting things to post now, but it will have to wait. I should be done in August. September at the latest – I hope.