Snippets of reading

On the 9th day of Script Frenzy my true love gave to me…

I’m still enjoying it, which is great, and I now have 29 pages of graphic novel script (equating to 36 comic pages as written, but Mark will change that when he draws it I’m sure). Other writing has taken a back seat, but that’s only to be expected.

When I haven’t been writing (or soaking up the unexpected sunshine, walking in the woods or by the river, or asleep) I’ve been dipping into the Solaris Book of New Science Fiction Volume 2 which I got out of the library. A couple of stories stood out:

iCity by Paul Di Filippo is a wryly humourous and interesting exploration of faddishness, fashion, gadgets, short attention-spans and ever-increasing novelty thresholds necessary to relieve the boredom. If you look too closely you might see a few cracks but on the whole the idea of competitive urban planning with almost constantly shifting layouts and architectural styles within cities was a good one.

There were two darkly humourous Mason’s Rats stories by Neal Asher, which I thought were great. Mason lives alone on his arable farm, somewhere in a future England. Alone, that is, except for the rats and the AI farming equipment. His combine harvester has agoraphobia, his tractor’s been cobbled together from military hardware and is somewhat psychotic. And the rats have adapted to circumstances and learned to use tools – could be useful to a lone farmer if only he could get them to cooperate. Together they suffer visits from men from the Ministry with their green wellies and sheafs of forms in triplicate, and somehow seem to come out on top. Mason’s Rats was a 1999 book by Neal Asher but it doesn’t look like it’s still in print – if I ever see a copy I’ll have to get it as I’d love to read more of these.

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