Monday, 20 March 2006

Other worlds...

Back from my little holiday. It was my daughter's spring break last week and so she spent it with my mother and then I took Thursday and Friday off to visit with everybody. It was a good little break but although it's nice to get out of the house and see my family and veg out, it's always good to be home again. Although we've been slacking at home in terms of cleaning and sorting and fixing but I find it's always better to avoid work nearby just in case I accidentally want to do something about it. *laugh*

I've finished Forever Peace (Haldeman) and am now well into the fourth book in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series: Shadow Rising.

First, some comments about Forever Peace: Very good. Not a sequel to his award winning "Forever War" but along the same lines, with a lot of the same themes and ideas. It reminded me of Robert Sawyer's Hominids (Neanderthal Parallax) books which I loved, just on the level of style and environment - this action-adventure drama taking place at least partly in an academic world. "Forever peace" also takes place (primarily) in the military world both in the very heart of it (high and low) and the outer edges. As with "The Forever War", I felt a little disappointed with the ending but for the opposite reason. In "The Froever War" the peaceful happy ending is nice but I don't really see it as part of the real story. "Forever Peace" also ends nicely, as is expected, but I wanted more. It felt like he didn't much care about how it turned out and just wanted to say 'and they all lived happily ever after'. I just wanted to know about the details and the process, the problems, the issues, the battles, etc. Even if it was a quick, 20 years later, "Julian is doing this now", "Marty lives in such and such a place", etc. I needed to be let down a little slower.

Shadow Rising, although I'm only a few chapters in and it's a big book (as they all are in this series), I'm really liking it. It's got a lot of stuff that I don't remember from reading it before and it's really building on the powerful roles each character is going to play, specifically Rand, Mat, Egwene and Nynaeve, and Moiraine. That's what I like about books like this. It's exciting to see the underdogs rise up and clean up, fight their way to their predestined place at the top, especially having read much of what's going to happen, knowing where they are going, and really feeling a part of the action. I'm always amazed at authors who can write such long and intricately interwoven series: how do they keep it all straight? Does Jordan have all these details about characters and events laid out in a massive database somewhere or is he keeping it all in his head? I can imagine this bearded South Carolinan gentleman living in his 200 year old house (see here), deep in his Wheel of Time universe, having to snap himself out of it when his wife calls him for dinner. I don't know. The man's a marvel.

I submitted my article for the Journal of Hospital Librarianship last Wednesday. About Bracken's IM reference service? Remember? That was the deadline and I hope that I submitted it correctly and they accept it. I think they will. It's a pretty good article if I do say so myself. Now I'm working on my review of that "World Libraries" book (still -- it's very grating to read), researching for a possible paper on information ethics, helping with our CHLA poster for the conference, and doing some web stuff of course.

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