Monday, May 21, 2012

Progress Report: 5/21/12

Here I am looking at my previous post, and realizing that it pretty much describes exactly describes what's going on with me right now. So... yeah. If there's progress being made, it's slow and not too interesting.

So okay, what am I reading? That should at least be different.

Does anybody else make a list of books that you want to get around to someday, but then new stuff comes out and you keep reading that instead? That's what I tend to do. But I hit a lull in the new book schedule, so it gave me a chance to go back and read Hyperion by Dan Simmons. I'd heard good things about this book for a long time, but somehow it got by me for the last 23 years or so.

Glad I finally caught up. The dude writes a gripping story.

Hyperion has a Canterbury Tales structure, which is a great device if you can pull it off. Simmons makes each character's story add to the setting and mythos, and of course gives you insight into the person who's telling it. He also manages to spin your head on its axis every time. And when we reach the final story, just when you think you've got the hang of this world and the kind of revelations it tends to throw at you, he manages to ratchet up the stakes again... in a way that is unexpected, but suddenly makes perfect sense of much of what came before.

Damn good writing. I immediately plunged into the next book, The Fall of Hyperion, which does not disappoint. Simmons doesn't try to repeat the Canterbury Tales motif, which is a good call... the story no longer called for it. The story carries you along like a bullet train.

So it's good when there's nothing new coming out that you want to read. There's treasure in those backlog lists.