Back to: Friday cat vlogging | Forward to: Dr Strangecraft, I presume?

Is Monday over yet?

I was going to post something intelligent today, but my brain crashed and the words refused to line up.

Just so you know: I aten't dead yet, and normal service will be resumed shortly.



Even though my Monday started eight hours later then yours did, I can totally relate to that feeling.


But at least Jennifer Morgue is out as an ebook :)


I'm not as thunk as dreeple pink I am!

More likely, the vile cough-your-lungs-up-bug got to you?

Abolishing Mondays would be a good idea, anyway .....


I barely made it through the grocery today. Argh.

But the National Zoo has a baby gorilla!


Yeah, my Monday has been an exercise in avoiding the pains of an intestinal bug that Eva brought back from the East Coast. Sleeping seems to help.


I think that Monday is a very bad way to spend 1/7 of my life.


At long, long last my Monday has finally departed.
And subtly laid, the Pratchett reference.
Pardon, Sir Pratchett.


IIRC the cartoon Cat, Garfield, always had a problem with Mondays.


...and if it helps your brain at all today's Guardian reports that David Cameron has a copy of "Saturn's Children" on his bookshelves...


Your brain crashed because you are using unstable extensions. Try removing the extension "science fiction" and rebooting.


Ken: that would be this book, not this one, right?

"This updated edition shows how a high taxing, high spending State devours individual liberty, expropriates private property, damages material prosperity, blights the prospects of the young, undermines the family and demoralises the weak and vulnerable."

Oh look, I appear to have google Amazon-bombed a Thatcherite prosperity gospel sermon for the High Tory faithful with a satirical tale of a libertarian utopia. I wonder how that happened?


Maybe not - there's a few other genre works on the shelves.


TechSlave@6: Knights are addressed using their personal name, so it would be "Sir Terry".


Looking at the image at (sorry)

It looks like the book in question is on the bottom shelf (with the red cover).

I think you've got the right of it Charlie.


Charlie @ 10. No -apparently it's yours:

13 Saturn's Children by Charles Stross

An "erotic futuristic thriller" according to Amazon. I've never heard of it. And Cameron's never read it.

But just wanted the kudos of being cool enough to own your work. Of course how that makes you feel is another matter.


Monday was a slow one to be sure but Tuesday is shaping up to be better. Lots to keep me going at work, my first crack at Muay Thai when I get finished, then I get to start reading Toast now that I finally got Anathem out of the way...


Serraphin: I suspect the Guardian reporter is just reading the titles off the same photograph as everyone else. Certainly on the photo I linked to, only the title can be discerned, not the author.


Cannonball: Was Anathem any good? I blow hot & cold on Stephenson: when he's good he's very good, but there's always that tendancy to tip over into massive amounts of verbiage which goes no-where much.


But I'm wondering if we can start a "Cameron idolises lefty liberal author" rumour?


If Mr Stross had wanted to avoid confusion, he should've called his book "I, Ho-bot"


Phil A, I thought so.


So John Crace (who wrote the Guardian article) has never heard of "Saturn's Children"? Shame on him. Why doesn't the Guardian employ educated journalists anymore... grumble...

David Harris


Thanks, I knew I was mussing it up somehow or another.


Phil @17:
Re: Anathem. Well, it's got massive amounts of "verbiage which goes no-where much".

I got through the Baroque Cycle (all three tomes) but they were at my limit of amount of digressions & discursions I'm willing to put up with as a reader. Anathem exceeded that. It took me two goes to read Anathem, mostly on account of it taking over 100 pages before 'plot' eventuated. The BIG IDEA (when it finally got revealed) is quite neat but I found the journey contained too much tedium for my tastes.


Right: File Anathem under "Can't be arsed" then.


I'd describe Anathem as an introduction to parts of philosophy disguised as fiction. It's *much* more readable than the Baroque Cycle, I think. Ah, I see Abigail Nussbaum agrees.



I don't deny that it is a staggering work of imagination, and complete in a single (doorstop of a) volume, unlike the Baroque Cycle. The worldbuilding is top class and there are many nuggets of Stephenson gold buried within. It's very cleverly done. The mostly positive reviews reflect that. But it's my least favourite Stephenson.

I have two problems with it. One is that parts of it read like a re-hash of Jostein Gaarder's "Sophie's World". The Nussbaum review (which is excellent and accurate btw, but the parts she liked are the ones that put me off) refers to its blatant didacticism. I don't like to be lectured at and if I wanted to read a treatise on philosophy, I'd get a textbook. "Anathem" has appendices!

The second is more structural. In "Snowcrash" for example, we get a killer opening chapter which is a wild ride that sucks the reader into the world; we are 'there' and identify with Hiro & YT. Then the digressions into Sumerian myth etc. begin, but by then, I care enough to want to keep reading & find out what happens to Hiro, YT etc.

"Anathem" starts really slowly & the waffling is pretty much from the outset, before hooking the reader (me) in or making me care about the characters, so the waffly bits were all the more tedious. And I so wanted to like the book.

From this interview:,14334/

AVC: Do you think about accessibility when you're writing? Do you worry about whether readers will be able to keep up?
NS: Anathem is about as far as I'm willing to go in the direction of asking the reader to bear with me. Some of the especially technical stuff, I relegated to appendices. The appearance of technical appendices in a work of art is not necessarily a bad thing, but it's definitely a warning, like hitting the rumble strip on the edge of the highway.

I wasn't willing to bear with him.


Anathema unfortunately is off my to-read list. I never made it through the Baroque cycle, and I doubt I ever will. I'm glad to hear it's much more readable, Anathem. Because the digressions, while the author is quite obviously obsessed with his concepts, simply drove me away.
But definitely judge for yourself, I have a friend who loved the Baroque cycle. But only one.


Anathema. Heh.


People who like Stross' books, but find Stephenson too long-winded may enjoy Rushdie. _The_Enchantress_of_Florence_ seems like what you might end up with if Stephenson ever let an editor near one of his manuscripts.

Personally, I enjoy all three authors.


Quoting Stross @11: "Oh look, I appear to have Amazon-bombed a Thatcherite prosperity gospel sermon for the High Tory faithful with a satirical tale of a libertarian utopia. I wonder how that happened?"

So, does this mean that an enthusiastic Stross reader should read the Hobson + Duncan nonfiction book, to get the full enjoyment from Saturn's Children (Charlie's book)?

That kind of thing could generate more sale of the "Thatcherite prosperity gospel"....



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on January 12, 2009 10:14 PM.

Friday cat vlogging was the previous entry in this blog.

Dr Strangecraft, I presume? is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Search this blog