May book log

Ebooks in May:

Finished reading the third and fourth books in the Time Traders series by Andre Norton, having read the first two books and started the third in April. All four books are out of copyright and available as legal free downloads on Project Gutenberg and mirrors. This is the complete set of the original series written in the 50s and 60, although some co-authored books were added many years later.

Andre Norton — The Gifts of Asti. Short story available from Project Gutenberg, briefly reviewed here.

Elizabeth Bear — Shoggoths in Bloom. Novelette which I received as part of the Hugo Voters Packet, a collection of electronic editions of many of the works nominated for the Hugo Awards, made available to voting members of this year’s Worldcon. It’s also available as a free download at Bear’s website. Hard to review without giving away too much about it. It’s a moral fable riffing off Lovecraft. I admire the technical skill, and liked the story, but found myself feeling a little colder about it than I might have expected given the skill and subject matter. I think this is at least in part because I’m not into Lovecraft — it’s sufficiently well executed that I’m not excluded from the story, but I’m sure there’s stuff I’m simply not getting. I’m also Not American, and I think this does have some influence when it comes to a visceral reaction to some of the subject matter.

Print books read in May:

Only one completed. Wandered into the remainder bookshop, and wandered out again with the hardback of the latest Dalziel and Pascoe novel, “A Cure For All Diseases” which I *had* been leaving until it came out in paperback because I hadn’t expected to find time to read it. Sat down and read it that weekend, with much enjoyment.

Started a re-read of “Unnatural Causes”, the third book in the Dalgliesh series by PD James.

I usually put links to Amazon on my book log, for the benefit of people who think, “I’d like to read that.” I am now torn on this. Amazon have annoyed me once too often, and I really don’t want to give them any more custom than I can help. On the other hand, I have always tried to offer multiple sources for stuff I pimp, especially when I’ve been doing some price comparison, and as far as I can tell nobody has ever bought something through any of the other links other than one episode of buying DVDs from Play, while I get one or two sales a month through Amazon. They also have the click-through stats available, so I can see how many people found the link interesting enough to visit, and I can see that a fair number of people do find the links worthwhile even if they don’t buy anything. At ten or twenty quid a year I’m not doing it for the money, but it is nice to know whether people find the links useful. So no direct links this month, but I’m going to have to think about this a bit harder.


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