Monday 27 January 2014

A Month of Sci-Fi

A Month of Sci-Fi

Roadside Picnic - Arkady and Boris Strugatsky (1971)
Childhood's End - Arthur C.Clarke (1953)
Foundation - Isaac Asimov (1951)
Hyperion - Dan Simmons (1989)
Dune - Frank Herbert (1965)

For some reason I have spent the last few weeks on a strict diet of science-fiction. Perhaps it was the aftershock of A Girl is a Half-formed Thing. I went through quite a bit of sci-fi in my teens, and return to it every now and again. Indeed a few of my Top 100 are sci-fi. (Riddley Walker, Cities of the Red Night, War with the Newts, A Scanner Darkly, the Day of the Triffids ... ) However I haven't read a lot of the classic sci-fi books and thought I might try to plug at least a few of those gaps. Recently I had found the Dune and Foundation novels in a charity shop and I have a few shelves full of sci-fi so thought I'd pick a couple from there as well.

Tuesday 7 January 2014



Looking back, I've had a pretty good hit rate with 2013's books, even if I didn't manage to read at a particularly fast rate. I always think comparing books is invidious but it is interesting to see which ones pop out from the year's reading. Goodreads allows you to print out your books read for the year which is a handy little gimmick and responsible for the image above. It is also helping me to write this review.

Saturday 4 January 2014

A Girl is a Half-formed Thing

A Girl is a Half-formed Thing - Eimear McBride
[The Vapour Trails Book of the Year 2013]

"I know. The thing wrong. It's a. It is called. Nosebleeds, head aches. Where you can't hold. Fall mugs and dinner plates she says clear up. Ah young she says give the child a break. Fall off swings. Can't or. Grip well. Slipping in the muck. Bang your. Poor head wrapped up white and the blood come through. She feel the sick of that. Little boy head. Shush."

The quote above is a full paragraph from the first page of one of my books of the year. Like a mash up of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Boy and The Country Girls written by Kathy Acker this is an intense, dark and stylistically exhilarating book.