Random Reading Notes

A couple of notes about what I’ve been reading that haven’t been transferred from my written journal:

Tolkien does an amazing job of adding detail to the travel log chapters. While I’m not a fan reading about scenery, I don’t hate these chapters. Tolkien seems encyclopedic in his knowledge of the natural world and puts it to good use. Again, I’m struck by the similarity in the feeling that both Tolkien and Dahl give the landscape.

Read the first 30 pages or so of The Disappeared by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. I couldn’t get into it. Too many characters, and strangely, too much going out without much explanation. I’m all for the gradual revelation of information, but I felt like details were being purposefully left on the sideline. The pacing was off to me. Also, Rusch has a tendency to use some of the same passive writing qualities that I do — these are things that annoy about my own writing.

Currently reading Faith & Fire by James Swallow in an effort to expand my experience with “military” sci-fi. I’m enjoying it well enough, though a contention of the plot has annoyed me. I am interested in seeing how the author handles his female characters. One thing that I’ve noticed: while the setting involves quite a bit of jargon, it doesn’t slow me down. As a writer in the speculative genre, I worry about having too many “made-up” words. I’m not a hardcore sci-fi fantasy reader, so if I can keep up with no problem, I assume anyone can.

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