melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
melannen ([personal profile] melannen) wrote2017-05-16 04:47 pm
Entry tags:

FMK #12: Our Oncoming Apocalypses

Well, happy birthday to me, I guess. I would tell y'all to try to figure out what I'm wishing on my birthday candles but you might and then it won't come true.

Last week's F winner - pulling past Coraline at the last minute - was C. J. Cherryh with Downbelow Station. The K leader was actually Starship Troopers, but for the first time ever, the K leader did not have a plurality of K votes; in fact it in was in the top five for F as well. So I'm invoking the hidden rule that the K winner must have a plurality of K votes and giving it to Hominids instead (I knew that was going to be a hard one for K, you don't get a hugo/nebula win if you're comprehensively terrible.)

I am still skating about a week behind on reading but I did finish Castle in the Air! It was good. Review upcoming. Captain Blood coming soon (hopefully tonight.)

For this week I think it's finally time to pull out Apocalypses and Post-Apocalypses. Whoo.

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.

Link to long version of explanation (on first poll)


Poll #18379 FMK #12: Apocalypse
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 36


I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (1954)

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F
10 (45.5%)

M
2 (9.1%)

K
10 (45.5%)

The Long Tomorrow by Leigh Brackett (1955)

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F
10 (52.6%)

M
3 (15.8%)

K
6 (31.6%)

The Chrysalids by John Wyndham (1955)

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F
11 (52.4%)

M
4 (19.0%)

K
6 (28.6%)

On the Beach by Nevil Shute (1957)

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F
9 (36.0%)

M
6 (24.0%)

K
10 (40.0%)

Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank (1959)

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F
11 (55.0%)

M
1 (5.0%)

K
8 (40.0%)

Damnation Alley by Roger Zelazny (1969)

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F
9 (45.0%)

M
2 (10.0%)

K
9 (45.0%)

After Things Fell Apart by Ron Goulart (1970)

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F
6 (40.0%)

M
1 (6.7%)

K
8 (53.3%)

Juniper Time by Kate Wilhelm (1980)

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F
11 (47.8%)

M
6 (26.1%)

K
6 (26.1%)

Blood Music by Greg Bear (1985)

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F
10 (45.5%)

M
5 (22.7%)

K
7 (31.8%)

Always Coming Home by Ursula K. Le Guin (1985)

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F
7 (25.0%)

M
19 (67.9%)

K
2 (7.1%)

Nothing Sacred by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough (1991)

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F
9 (50.0%)

M
7 (38.9%)

K
2 (11.1%)

Rootless by Chris Howard (2012)

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F
7 (53.8%)

M
2 (15.4%)

K
4 (30.8%)


hannah: (Pruning shears - fooish_icons)

[personal profile] hannah 2017-05-16 09:37 pm (UTC)(link)
Always Coming Home would make you very happy. I mean you, someone who appreciates foraging and permaculture and dissects fantasy novels' stated birthrates and the role of older women in post-apocalyptic movies. It's not about the apocalypse, or even the post-apocalypse: it's so long after that it might as well be the time between us and the Lascaux paintings. People have rebuilt, and it's beautiful.
rachelmanija: (Books: old)

[personal profile] rachelmanija 2017-05-16 11:07 pm (UTC)(link)
I think it's more of a dip into periodically book than a read straight through book, and that's why I voted marry.

I only vaguely recall The Long Tomorrow, but what I recall was being bored. Leigh Brackett's space opera is charmingly OTT, so this was quite disappointing. I think I read Alas, Babylon and it was boring, but I'm not sure if it was that or a different post-apocalyptic book of the same vintage.

I'm not sure how good Blood Music is, since I read it ages ago, but it has an interestingly unusual biological apocalypse - everyone become psychic glop, IIRC.

The Chrysalids is one of the ur-narrative "persecuted psychic kids in batshit religious post-apocalyptic landscape," and I recall it being a good version.

I have not read On the Beach but knowing the premise, I voted kill to spare you. I also know the premise of I Am Legend and voted kill on the basis that we've all practically already read it.

I am totally unfamiliar with most of the others!


ellen_fremedon: overlapping pages from Beowulf manuscript, one with a large rubric, on a maroon ground (Default)

[personal profile] ellen_fremedon 2017-05-16 10:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Read The Long Tomorrow so I know what I should do with my own unread copy!
isis: (Default)

[personal profile] isis 2017-05-16 10:24 pm (UTC)(link)
I have only read On the Beach and The Chrysalids but I think both of them are well worth reading.
isis: (Default)

[personal profile] isis 2017-05-16 10:43 pm (UTC)(link)
Chrysalids is very different from Triffids. I liked them both, but I liked Chrysalids better. The trope of a society which seems ordinary but is gradually revealed to be very much not so is one I love. (Especially since I had no idea what it was about when I started reading, so everything was revelatory.) Also the trope of a far-future Earth where correspondences with our Earth aren't obvious but can be figured out.
gehayi: (storyteller (yuki_onna))

[personal profile] gehayi 2017-05-16 10:58 pm (UTC)(link)
I voted to kill three books, as I hated two of them (On the Beach and Blood Music, both of which I threw in the garbage--I'm not a fan of the human race getting wiped out by nuclear war or by alien viruses, especially alien viruses that compel you to merge your identity with others) and found the author of the third (Kate Wilhelm) quite tedious. I've tried reading Wilhelm's stuff in the past, and it always makes me feel that I'm being lectured to.

Maybe this can just be chalked up to my preferring happy endings.
muccamukk: Gregory Peck looks up from the book he's reading. (Books: Hello Reading)

[personal profile] muccamukk 2017-05-16 11:16 pm (UTC)(link)
Voting Fuck on On The Beach because I enjoyed the movie.

I feel like I read The Chrysalids in middle school, but don't actually remember anything about it.
muccamukk: Text: The soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 1 Sam 18:2-3 (Christian: Queer Text)

[personal profile] muccamukk 2017-05-17 01:28 am (UTC)(link)
I mean, like every does totally die, but they are kind to each other too, which I liked.

Also, if you decide to skip the book, the movie has Gregory Peck as an iron woobie, and Ava Gardner as a smoking older lady (and like other people and a plot and stuff, but eh).
seekingferret: Photo of me with my 2012 Purim beard, with stripes shaven into it. (Default)

[personal profile] seekingferret 2017-05-16 11:18 pm (UTC)(link)
Damnation Alley is worth an F and a listen to the Hawkwind song.
marginaliana: Buddy the dog carries Bobo the toy (Default)

[personal profile] marginaliana 2017-05-16 11:57 pm (UTC)(link)
I thought I am Legend was absolutely dire but I can't remember why.
snickfic: (Default)

[personal profile] snickfic 2017-05-16 11:58 pm (UTC)(link)
I voted K on Alas Babylon (extremely by the numbers but also very sexist) and Damnation Alley (a bit Mad Max: Fury Road, except dull and without any of the feminism - and that was the novella, so I can't even imagine how dull the expanded novel must be).

Edit: Also a K for the Wilhelm, based on my finding Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang both dated and dull.

Marry for Le Guin, because Le Guin is always good for a marry vote in my book, and a fuck for Blood Music. That's another one where I've only read the short story; possibly if all you want is the barebones idea of the thing, it might be worth it to go hunt the short story down instead of reading the novel.

And a question: what happens to the novels that don't win the F or K votes? Do they just keep hanging around your bookshelf?
Edited 2017-05-17 00:00 (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)

[personal profile] alatefeline 2017-05-17 01:01 am (UTC)(link)
Always Coming Home is a very strange book, but it is also a book that may have saved my life.
gehayi: (Default)

[personal profile] gehayi 2017-05-17 01:21 am (UTC)(link)
What's it about? And how did it save you, if you don't mind talking about it?
neotoma: Neotoma albigula, the white-throated woodrat! [default icon] (Default)

[personal profile] neotoma 2017-05-17 11:06 am (UTC)(link)
Mostly voted 'K' on the 1950s works -- they do not age well.

Le Guin is always worth trying, even if she's not quite the right thing at the moment.
torachan: (Default)

[personal profile] torachan 2017-05-18 03:07 am (UTC)(link)
I agree that Alas Babylon is probably pretty sexist. I haven't read it since I was a kid, but I loved it so much then and reread it several times, so it's tinged with a lot of nostalgia for me, so I think you should give it a try.
jesse_the_k: Two bookcases stuffed full (with books on top) leaning into each other (books)

[personal profile] jesse_the_k 2017-05-18 06:22 pm (UTC)(link)
Chiming in with a marry for the Le Guin -- I had to start it twice before I found her rhythm, but it's worth the effort. The "we survived and it is still good" is just what's need around now.

I adored Junioer Time when it came out -- very of-the-moment, political thriller plus nature appreciation. I'm afraid to see if the suck fairy landed.
stellar_dust: Stylized comic-book drawing of Scully at her laptop in the pilot. (Default)

[personal profile] stellar_dust 2017-05-20 01:18 am (UTC)(link)
Wow everybody was so excited about the books that no one even said happy birthday