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Books, January 2012
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*** Algis Budrys – Rogue Moon. A great idea for a story, explored in a fascinating way. I found a lot of the interpersonal hoo-ha kind of annoying and distracting, but the basic elements of the story and the characters involved were good. And there are some great twists along the way.
*** Hilary Mantel – Wolf Hall. Pretty good. The main character was pretty interesting, but honestly most of the book was about Henry VIII’s desire to divorce/annul Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn. And therefore, the fact that the book ends before we get to the end of Anne’s story (i.e. beheading) made it feel incredibly incomplete. Yes, I know the book was (supposed to be) about Thomas Cromwell, but the story of Anne Boleyn really became the dramatic center of the book, and the arc of her story should have defined the book’s.
**** Frederick Pohl & C.M. Kornbluth – The Space Merchants. Written in 1952, The Space Merchants is a surprisingly insightful look at our possible future — one ruled by consumption, commerce, and advertising. If Pohl and Kornbluth’s conception of advertising is a little heavy-handed, it’s still far more prophetic and nuanced than many of the alien invasions and future dystopias of mid-century science fiction.


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Mantel is writing a sequel (possibly two sequels) to Wolf Hall. I for one can't wait; I loved it.

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