January 26th, 2005, 09:29 PM
Yes I will be at Boskone. Cool to see you again. Are you going to read ?
January 27th, 2005, 03:54 PM
Hip, cool, jiggy wit' it
Not unless they're making a new town in Australia called Boston
Originally Posted by Himself
January 31st, 2005, 09:29 PM
Hip, cool, jiggy wit' it
Well,l, I've finally read The Wreck of The River of Stars . While I enjoyed it, I can't say it matched the enthusiasm most of you seem to have for it in me. There are a lot of good things about the novel which have already been touched on several times by others so I won't reiterate, I'll just mention the few negatives I had from it.
As I think Erfael mentioned, I too found it took a while for it to get rolling, and I found the start rather clunky with it's less than subtle "now we're going to introduce this character and get to know a bit about them, now we're going to introduce the next one" approach. Personally I prefer characters to reveal themselves gradually through dialog and important scences, having to make your mind up about them yourself, rather than being blatantly told exactly what a character is thinking and feeling at any given moment. It was something that I struggled with a little through quite a few sections of the novel, but I seem to be the only one that's mentioned it so maybe that's just my preference or it's in my imaginiation.
Don't get me wrong, I thought the level of characterisation was excellent and a credit to Mr Flynn, just a little too in your face for my tastes. While on the characters I also found it difficult to particularly like, dislike or even care about most of them for a lot of them time. While they were all quite diverse as characters the largely shared an approximate level of flaws and strengths (though different in themselves, of course) so I found it difficult to empathise with the characters on a varied scale.
I probably have one or two minor quibbles but I think they're more to do with my own personal tastes and aren't necessarily problems with the novel, for what it is.
Other than that I thought the novel had a number of good things about it, Mr Flynn certainly did make you feel like he has real knowledge and experience sailing between the stars.
February 3rd, 2005, 09:12 PM
I made a deliberate decision to use a mainstream "omniscient narrator" after a discussion of why genre fiction stuck with 1st or limited 3rd narrators. [It's not to everyone's taste: I had problems following when I first tried to read Gore Vidal's LINCOLN.] But, there are two ways to show a train wreck. One is to sit on the shoulder of a passenger and let the train wreck be "revealed." The other is to show both trains coming closer and closer.
Originally Posted by emohawk
February 7th, 2005, 08:17 AM
I am bogged down at around 100 pages and the story is starting to seem a little interesting to me now
So I will push on.
February 13th, 2005, 01:45 AM
The Wreck of the River of Stars - what a great novel to start 2005. I know I'm coming to the party late, but you can blame user lemming for not sending me the book *last* Christmas.
The author takes a few forgiveable liberties with language and gravity, but the galaxy of personalities on the ship is truly fascinating. I don't remember the last time I read a story that was populated with so many fleshed-out characters. They gave the novel a great deal of emotional texture that is so often missing in speculative fiction (spe-fi?). It's an effect that would be difficult to reproduce on a movie screen, at least with the current crop of screenwriters and directors.
Especially refreshing was the gay engineer. As a serial fan of Arthur C. Clarke, I've always appreciated the way he works in different sexualities into his stories, but it's fantastic to read a gay character that is completely fleshed out and actualized with desires intact. Too many contemporary gay characters in literature and mass media are gay in fashion sense only (think Will of 'Will & Grace').
A small criticism: I'm surprised this phrase made it past the proofreaders:
If this doesn't seem familiar, computer geeks, read it out loud and you'll understand that the author is referring to the Turing Test, a method for determing whether or not an intelligence is really an intelligence. The phrase is even used in the correct context, referring to Rivvy, the ship's AI, so it was a bit of a puzzle to see it so. The Turing Test is named after Alan Turing, one of the fathers of modern computing and a reclusive genius; also gay and persecuted as such, given estrogen injections and convicted of homosexuality in post-WWII Britain. He committed suicide a short time later. Parallels with Bhatterji?
All in all, a deliciously morose tale, outstanding in its characterizations and worthy of remaining on the bookshelf, waiting for a rainy day.
February 13th, 2005, 11:16 AM
Prefers to be anomalous
Welcome to the forum, oxalyn.
There definitely were several typos in the text that made it past the proofreaders (some that made me wonder whether they were intentional typos), but I was so wrapped up in the wordplay and thought-twisting that it didn't distract me. I'm pretty sure I do remember specific reference to Turing in the book, perhaps in addition to the phrase you mention. The background on Turing you describe is interesting. If it seems to parallel with Bhatterji, then it probably was intentional, because I have a feeling that this author has a reason and a purpose for every single word he writes.
February 19th, 2005, 09:55 PM
I went to Michael Flynn's reading at Boskone, and also got 2 of my books signed. I still have 2 books from the Firestar series at home, I couldn't find them in time to bring them to the con.
He read from Wreck .... it was very cool, and even though I just finished it recently I am already thinking about a re-read.
I was also able to find the other 2 books of the Firestar series in the Dealer's Room.
June 25th, 2005, 11:34 PM
It is said by Eaton Grubb, the cook, who knows less than he thinks he does.
Originally Posted by oxalyn
June 24th, 2006, 07:01 PM
Prefers to be anomalous
For those who enjoyed this book as much as I did, I want to mention that Flynn has a new book coming out - the one he mentioned working on in this thread. Eifelheim
June 25th, 2006, 01:29 AM
Thanks Intensity, I have put it on my Amazon wish list so I will remember it in about a year when it goes into paper.
Originally Posted by intensityxx
October 18th, 2006, 07:25 PM
In my bid to play catch-up with this forum, I cleared out my local bookstore's scifi section a couple of weeks ago. On the evening in question, I also had to accompany my wife to some Louis Vuitton soiree immediately after the purchase. And so, while my wife perused, and sometime between that glass of champagne and those little finger sandwiches with the shrimp in the gelatin, I took the time to look over my acquisitions. Of the 20 or so books I picked up that night, The Wreck of the River of Stars stood out.
When I finally got around to reading it, I initially found it a hard go. The language and wordplay that delighted so many on this forum, I personally found distracting. Lines like "There was a twinkle in his eyes, but there were no eyes behind the twinkle" and "But Mr. Corrgian is a certain kind of man; and by that I mean, a man who is always certain.", while admittedly clever, felt like intrusive embellishments that only served to take me out of the story. However, halfway through the novel, things began to pick up for me and, as the characters developed, and their situation grew more dire, I was hooked. Aside from the odd annoyances ("Some people are said to have piercing eyes, but hers actually left puncture wounds." and a later description of something twisting and turning like "a bag of kittens"), I loved the back half of this book. I ended up finishing the last 300+ pages in one sitting.
October 19th, 2006, 11:43 AM
You know, my husband also found the narrator's voice distracting when he was reading it. He kept getting annoyed at how snarky and sarcastic it was. However, that was basically my favorite part about the book - the omniscient narrator being snide about these foolish folks who can't see how they're totally screwing themselves.
Ahh, yet another case of different strokes for different folks.
October 19th, 2006, 01:35 PM
Prefers to be anomalous
Hmm, I never viewed it as snarkiness. And while Flynn did toss off the little confections that LordB quoted, there were also some beautifully subtle wordplays that just took my breath away.
I very much enjoyed Michael Flynn's reading at WorldCon too.
I just received my copy of Eifelheim!
October 19th, 2006, 01:57 PM
Ooh, how was he at WorldCon? I saw him on one panel, but it was a bit overcrowded with big names and he didn't get to say much. Some authors are great at readings at it really gives you a better/different understanding of their work.
Tags for this Thread