July 8, 2015

Slate rips into Ernest Cline's "Armada". "Ready Player One" was the most self-indulgent, nostalgia-coasting, Marty-Stu, spot-the-80s-reference, 'weren't we just the awesomest? well weren't we?' piece of crap I've ever read. (The only semi-redeemable bit was an enjoyable Kaiju Big Battel that coasted on mashing up all these characters you know from other, better works of pop culture) Apparently "Armada" shows that one weird trick might be the only trick this author knows.

I'm not generally one to judge so harshly; any popular book is doing SOMETHING right, but what this book does well is so not worth doing that I get upset how it has grabbed attention that would have better gone to other superior musings on video games in sci fi (like Leonard Richardson's Constellation Games, a book that really made an effort to thoughtfully speculate about what the games of a starfaring alien society's distant past (i.e. when they were roughly at our level of technology) might have been like. (Disclaimer: I did some reviewing/suggestions for that title... but it really is fantastic.)

In other genres, it's nice to know Milan Kundera is back
To get married today is to announce, to yourself and to the world, your belief that you are a coherent person capable of extrapolating your current wishes, priorities, and motivations into the future. To get married today is to recognize yourself as a grown-up at a time when other ways of enacting adulthood are notably limited.
Alice Gregory

Charles Dickens would stockpile names for use for characters...

Boys' Names: Robert Ladle, Joly Stick, Bill Marigold, Stephen Marquick, Jonathan Knotwell, Philip Browndress, Henry Ghost, George Muzzle, Walter Ashes, Zephaniah Ferry (or Fury), William Why, Robert Gospel, Thomas Fatherly, Robin Scrubban

Girls' Names: Sarah Goldsacks, Rosetta Dust, Susan Goloring, Catherine Two, Matilda Rainbird, Miriam Denial, Sophia Doomsday, Alice Thorneywore, Sally Gimblet, Verity Mawkyard, Birdie Nash, Ambrosina Events, Apaulina Vernon, Neltie Ashford