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View Diary: Bookflurries-Bookchat: How Bad WAS It? (187 comments)

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  •  2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson (11+ / 0-)

    I kept reading it because it won the Nebula award, so it has to get better sometime, right?

    It never did.

    Only two exciting things happen in the whole book. Both of these events are followed by long stretches where the characters are marooned so they talk about classical music. This is about as interesting as listening to someone talk about golf.

    There just wasn't enough plot for a novel. In the first chapter you learn that Swan's grandmother was concerned about some imminent threat to the solar system before she unexpectedly died, but Swan can't be trusted with this knowledge. Instead of revealing what this threat is in the next chapter and giving us another mystery, KSR drags this out to the very end.

    When the "great threat" is finally revealed it turns out to be something that we have already known about for a hundred pages!

    Inspector Genette announces that she has taken care of the "great threat," so no excitement there.

    By the way, KSR starts referring to Inspector Genette as a "he" instead of a "she" for no apparent reason halfway through the book. Her behavior and anatomy do not change. Some people thought that this was daring, but I thought it was a typo.

    Maybe people voted for the novel because it contains facts about the solar system. I would never vote for a novel for that. That is what non-fiction is for.

    The novel seems to want to explore the concept of gender, but it never really does anything except describe the body parts and body types. For an exploration of gender, read The Left Hand of Darkness.

    The Simpsons Comic Book Guy says, "Worst Nebula award winner, ever!"

    •  You're right about The Left Hand of Darkness. (8+ / 0-)

      No comment about Kim Stanley Robinson or his novels. Haven't read him since the 1980s.

      FWIW, he's probably a very nice, well-meaning guy.

      Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

      by Youffraita on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 06:02:35 PM PDT

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    •  oh, boy...what a shame! (8+ / 0-)
      When the "great threat" is finally revealed it turns out to be something that we have already known about for a hundred pages!
      In Great North Road, right at the end, there are two small mistakes that I imagine will be changed in the next printing.

      A character is killed, then is walking around again, and then is in the ice being chipped out.  I had to go back and look because I didn't expect such a mistake.

      And the wrong clone who is supposed to be alive is called by the wrong name...since they all start with A...easy mistake, but again I had to check because that was kind of important.  Still, while jarring, I could see they just slipped through a truly stunning story.

      Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 06:06:17 PM PDT

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      •  You can't blame the author (7+ / 0-)

        for that type of mistake. You really can't. They're too close to the material, and they've been writing it over a period of years...they forget. (And by the end they're probably so sick of it they just want to hand it over to their editor, and who can blame them?)

        However.

        There was an acquisitions editor whose job it is to read the damn thing.

        There was a copyeditor whose job it is to make sure these kinds of errors are caught before the book goes into proofs.

        And there was a proofreader whose job is NOT to catch this kind of stuff (and it is very expensive to fix this stuff once the book is in page proofs) but who should be the final defense against egregious errors going into print.

        Apparently, none of them were paying attention.

        Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

        by Youffraita on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 06:23:28 PM PDT

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        •  I think it was such a long book (5+ / 0-)

          that when they got to the end, they were worn out, but it was odd.

          I am sure it would have been expensive to fix, but I hope they will in the next printing.  I am sure people have sent them messages about it.

          I was surprised, though.  I thought it was me, at first.

          Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

          by cfk on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 06:25:56 PM PDT

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          •  NOT you. (6+ / 0-)

            Guy gets a summer on the Moon, as his graduation gift from high school. Shit happens. Before the summer is over, all of a sudden he has put in a year or so at a different university than the one he was going to when the novel began....

            Without, of course, actually doing a year's worth of coursework, or any work, b/c it's his summer vacation and he has yet to matriculate anywhere.

            Yeah. Caught it in page proofs. Can't blame the author: he'd been working on it for years, quite apart from his day job.

            But the editor should have caught it. The copyeditor should have caught it. Well before the page proofs.

            (I think I told you about this one before.)

            Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

            by Youffraita on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 06:31:48 PM PDT

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        •  Snow Falling on Cedars (6+ / 0-)

          has one jarring glitch.  When Hatsue is is taken away to the relocation camp for Japanese, Levi keeps in touch by sending letters in care of a male classmate.  The classmate's name is mentioned once at the beginning of the book and once at the end - and it changes.

          I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

          by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 07:29:27 PM PDT

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    •  I really wanted to like the KSR series on climate (4+ / 0-)

      change - 40 degrees below zero, or whatever they were called. But I couldn't finish the trilogy. Intelligent well meaning people exchange intelligent well written dialogue without the minor detail of plot.

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