melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
melannen ([personal profile] melannen) wrote2017-04-25 07:07 pm
Entry tags:

FMK #9: Second Books

Note to self, things your circle is v. interested in: Library classification. Canadian art.

So, back on the wagon with FMK! I posted about Growing Up Weightless yesterday and I am very nearly done with Snow Queen. After that Electric Forest should be quick and then I will be caught up! Except the six library books! But we aren't talking about those!

Fewer of you than I thought voted that you change your poll answers after reading the comments! I am apparently in the more easily swayed group. :P


This week's theme is I Read the First One And It Was Good But For Years I Could Never Find The Next One But Then I Did So Here It Is Yay

(In a it's the first one I couldn't find instead of the next one, but close enough.)


How FMK works, short version: I am trying to clear out my unreads. So there is a poll, in which you get to pick F, M, or K. F means I should spend a night of wild passion with the book ASAP, and then decide whether to keep it or not. M means I should continue to commit to a long-term relationship of sharing my bedroom with it. K means it should go away immediately. Anyone can vote, you don't have to actually know anything about the books.

I pick a winner on Friday night (although won't actually close the poll, people can still vote,) and report results/ post the new poll on the following Tuesday, and write a response to the F winner sometime in the next week.

If you want to be extra-helpful, bear in mind that it may have been two decades since I read the first on, and note whether I need to re-read that one first.

Link to long version of explanation (on first poll)


Poll #18276 FMK #9: Second Books
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 47


Tales from Watership Down by Richard Adams (1996)

View Answers

F
8 (28.6%)

M
5 (17.9%)

K
15 (53.6%)

Chernevog by C. J. Cherryh (1990)

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F
11 (45.8%)

M
9 (37.5%)

K
4 (16.7%)

Invasion of Willow Wood Springs by Terry Ellis (1989)

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F
8 (50.0%)

M
2 (12.5%)

K
6 (37.5%)

Mona Lisa Overdrive by William Gibson (1988)

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F
12 (48.0%)

M
7 (28.0%)

K
6 (24.0%)

Apocalypse Happens by Lori Handeland (2009)

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F
8 (50.0%)

M
2 (12.5%)

K
6 (37.5%)

Heroing, or How He Wound Down the World by Daffyd ab Hugh (1987)

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F
7 (41.2%)

M
5 (29.4%)

K
5 (29.4%)

Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones (1990)

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F
19 (54.3%)

M
14 (40.0%)

K
2 (5.7%)

The Book of the Green Planet by William Kotzwinkle (1985)

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F
13 (65.0%)

M
2 (10.0%)

K
5 (25.0%)

Burning Water by Mercedes Lackey (1989)

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F
11 (36.7%)

M
4 (13.3%)

K
15 (50.0%)

The Tempering of Men by Sarah Monette (2011)

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F
18 (62.1%)

M
1 (3.4%)

K
10 (34.5%)

The Gypsy Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder (1998)

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F
12 (50.0%)

M
3 (12.5%)

K
9 (37.5%)

The Wizard and the War Machine by Lawrence Watt-Evans (1987)

View Answers

F
6 (33.3%)

M
5 (27.8%)

K
7 (38.9%)


alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)

[personal profile] alexseanchai 2017-04-25 11:48 pm (UTC)(link)
The Lackey is hideously racist. The Snyder I know nothing of, but, you know, judging by the racist slur in the title...

The Monette/Bear...I voted F, but really that depends on how well you liked A Companion to Wolves. If the answer is "not at all", K.
the_rck: (Default)

[personal profile] the_rck 2017-04-26 12:12 am (UTC)(link)
I know I read the Adams book, but I remember nothing at all about it. I don't think it was bad, but so very, very not memorable that I'm not convinced it was good either, especially given that I remember Watership Down pretty strongly.

I kind of think that the Jones book would have been stronger if she hadn't tried to connect it to Howl's Moving Castle. It's not that it didn't work; she was too great a writer. It's that the connection wasn't necessary for the story to work.
the_rck: (Default)

[personal profile] the_rck 2017-04-27 01:47 am (UTC)(link)
The third book in the set is even more tenuously connected to the first. I think it's a better book than the second but still not a patch on Howl's Moving Castle.

As far as the Watership Down sequel, I don't think there's anything out and out bad about it. That is, I wouldn't get rid of it necessarily (but part of that is thinking that I might some day want to write fic for the fandom and want the supplementary canon). The copy I have is kind of pretty.

But Yuletide does better Watership Down stories.
nicki: (Default)

[personal profile] nicki 2017-04-26 12:52 am (UTC)(link)
I voted for Lackey because it's a super-quick read and I think it's interesting to see what an attempt at inclusion in the 80s vs now looks like. (the take on Azetc religion is... um.. hmmmm... but in keeping with what was thought at the time, but there is also positive minority characterization for significant characters as well, in a way that wasn't terribly usual at the time.) Poor Misty tries hard.
rachelmanija: (Books: old)

[personal profile] rachelmanija 2017-04-26 01:04 am (UTC)(link)
Tales From Watership Down is unmemorable, and so disappointing because it's the sequel to something great. I'd ditch it and re-read Watership Down instead. Similarly, everyone I know who read The Gypsy Game thought it was disappointing and lackluster.

Castle in the Air isn't as good as Howl's Moving Castle, but all DWJ books are worth keeping, IMO.

Isn't The Book of the Green Planet the sequel to E.T.? Set on E.T.'s planet? That def gets my vote for "Would Most Like To Read Review Of That."
sylleptic: Ada Lovelace from the 2dgoggles webcomic, posed with her pipe and a giant cog behind her (Default)

[personal profile] sylleptic 2017-04-26 01:07 am (UTC)(link)
I think I never read the Snyder because I was freaked out by the Egypt Game. Am I remembering correctly that that one takes a sharp turn into suspense somewhere in the middle? My vague recollection is that I liked it up to that point.

The Jones is good, but I didn't love it the way I did Howl's Moving Castle, so it kind of suffered for being the (supposed) sequel.

Do you have a preference for how people vote/don't vote on the books or authors we've never heard of?
the_rck: (Default)

[personal profile] the_rck 2017-04-27 01:49 am (UTC)(link)
I adored the first half of The Egypt Game as a child and reread it repeatedly. I wasn't at all interested in revisiting the second half because it didn't do what I wanted it to do. I wanted more of the kids building their game world.
petra: Barbara Gordon smiling knowingly (Default)

[personal profile] petra 2017-04-26 01:10 am (UTC)(link)
As you know, Bob, I run the Psychic Wolves every Lupercalia. I read The Tempering of Men and my main memory is trying to remember who was who. If that's fun for you, go for it.
petra: Barbara Gordon smiling knowingly (Default)

[personal profile] petra 2017-04-26 07:04 pm (UTC)(link)
I honestly don't remember it well enough to tell you.
snickfic: (Default)

[personal profile] snickfic 2017-04-26 05:28 am (UTC)(link)
Probably blasphemy, but while Neuromancer is probably the sharper book and certainly the more seminal work, I actually like Mona Lisa Overdrive a lot better. Most (all?) of the POV characters are female and they're all a lot more sympathetic than Case in Neuromancer. I'm a fan.
snickfic: (Default)

[personal profile] snickfic 2017-04-26 06:21 pm (UTC)(link)

Yeah, Neuromancer is great for ambiance, for sure! Well-deserving of its status as modern classic.

the_rck: (Default)

[personal profile] the_rck 2017-04-27 02:31 am (UTC)(link)
I tried Neuromancer and didn't really enjoy what I read of it. It was so very clearly not a book for me that I'm not sure why I picked it up. No. I lie. I had a lot of people in my social group in college in the late 80s who thought it was amazing. I read a lot of things I didn't much like due to wanting to know what on earth people were talking about-- Watchmen, Sandman, and the Illuminatus Trilogy all spring to mind. I'm sure there were other things, and I'm sure, too, that there were things pushed on me that I actually really enjoyed.
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)

[personal profile] stardreamer 2017-04-26 06:11 am (UTC)(link)
The ab Hugh gets a K based on insider information -- the author has become a right-wing asshole pundit of the type that I personally refuse to support.

The Lackey is comfort reading for me (along with many of her other books). I don't recall seeing anything that hit me as especially racist the last time I read it; there are some racist attitudes expressed by the characters, but nothing that would make me think the author endorses them, so I take them as characterization. (AKA "okay, this guy is supposed to be an asshole".)

The Monette gets an F based on my having enjoyed her work in Shadow Unit and The Goblin Emperor (for which she used a pen name).
rushthatspeaks: (sparklepony only wants to read)

[personal profile] rushthatspeaks 2017-04-26 06:44 am (UTC)(link)
I voted M on the Lackey because it's one of her better books in terms of quality but I find it not terribly friendly. Like, she's trying very hard to be inclusive in ways that just don't hold up, and so the Aztec stuff comes across as dehumanizing and terrible, but in ways that are the fault of archaeologists and not hers, if you see what I mean.

The Gypsy Game is lackluster and unintentionally racist and Orientalist and Othering as all get out. Don't bother.

The Kotzwinkle was my FAVORITE BOOK EVER as a twelve-year-old and still holds a fond place in my memory as the best tie-in novel I ever, ever read. I have no idea if it holds up because I never owned a copy, I just basically kept the library one permanently checked out. I should hunt it down and reread. I desperately wished they would make a sequel film to E.T. using it as source material, but what I did not understand at that age was that nobody, but nobody, especially back in the early nineties, has that kind of budget. I mean I think they miiiiiiiight be able to afford to make it now but it would still be a stretch even with today's CGI. I hope it holds up. I loved that book so very, very much.

Castle in the Air is fun but minor DWJ.
ruthi: a photograph of a dormouse eating a berry (Default)

[personal profile] ruthi 2017-04-28 02:09 am (UTC)(link)
I liked the Kotzwinkle a LOT at about the same age. I remember it as being very cute, and I remember some of the things in it, but not the plot.
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)

[personal profile] sophia_sol 2017-04-26 08:32 pm (UTC)(link)
I haven't read Castle in the Air in a lot of years but I really loved it when I was younger. I actually read it before Howl's Moving Castle, if I recall correctly. I'm kind of sad to see a lot of people saying it isn't as good as Howl's Moving Castle. I, at least, liked it better!

I agree with other statements I've seen in the comments that it really didn't need to be a sequel to Howl's Moving Castle though. Having the one be a sequel to the other is just asking for the two books to be compared, and imo they just have such fundamentally different feels that comparison doesn't work.
the_rck: (Default)

[personal profile] the_rck 2017-04-27 02:02 am (UTC)(link)
The first time I read a review of a Diana Wynne Jones book, the reviewer* said something on the order of "No one writes like Diana Wynne Jones, not even Diana Wynne Jones." I think his point was that none of her books were predictably alike in the way that the works of some other authors are.

I think the Chrestomanci books work better as a series because they have more elbow room to each be a very, very different thing.

I remember thinking that, when reading some series by other authors (specifically Barry Hughart), people generally liked whichever one they read first the best. I don't think I've met anyone else who read Castle in the Air first, so I can't really judge whether these fit that mold.

*What was that reviewer's name? He reviewed for Asimov's during the mid-1980s. Was it Baird Searles or something like that? I remember that I agreed with him about most recent books but disagreed vehemently about almost all classic SF/fantasy. I was really disappointed when I branched out to other reviewers and discovered that I very frequently hated what they loved.