Words, Words, Words

November 9, 1999

Writing is good therapy for my hand, so I took extensive notes during my trip to World Fantasy (mostly of panels, since it was a good thing to do while I was listening). However since tonight is Buffy/Angel night, I don't expect to have much time to write this, so I'll postpone the first part of my con report until Thursday. In its place I'll begin a regular feature of reviewing every book I read as I finish it. This feature will continue until I get tired of it.

Proxies by Laura Mixon is a competent and original thriller set in a sweltering (literally) future world. A secret government project that created humanoid waldos has been subverted by its founder, who is planning to steal an experimental starship; meanwhile, a mysterious renegade has stolen one of the proxies and is working to thwart her. It's a more than pleasant way to while away an afternoon, but a bit short in the wow! department.

Dragon is the latest Vlad Taltos novel from Steven Brust. It has a nicely intricate structure with three interwoven plot threads: one starting in the middle of a battle, one explaining how he ended up in the battle, and one set years later as he reflects on what it all meant. It's also compelling reading, and if you aren't looking for fancy structural tricks you'll hardly notice they're there. The plot suffers a bit when Vlad goes up against suicidal odds without a plan--all the handwaving in the world can't make up for the fact that that's just plain dumb--but it's still one of Brust's better novels.

More on Thursday. (The first part of my con report, at least.) See you then.

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