Reading update (and Hugos)

I’ve been stalling on Our Oriental Heritage and all of the catch-up I’ve been doing with the s.f. magazines, has got me back in an s.f. mood. So I picked up Robert J. Sawyer’s Flash Forward last night and started it, and like everything I’ve read by Sawyer so far, it’s hooked me. (And hey, mabfan, I noticed you were in the acknowledgements!)


Speaking of catching up, I still haven’t read everything on the hugo ballot, but I’ve made some progress. So far I’ve read:

Short Stories

  • “Seventy-five Years” by Michael A. Berstein. I enjoyed mabfan‘s story because I live in the Metro D.C. area and could picture what he was describing. And it did make me think–how would people react to the situation presented in the story? But to me it was more of a thinker’s story than a moving story–although there was a little of that at the end.
  • “Tk’tk’tk” by David Levine. This story interested me if for no other reason than I happen to be working on a humorous (I hope) short story about a traveling salesman making his way across the galaxy, and suffering from a kind of desperation, similar to the character in this story (although the plots are otherwise completely different).
  • “Down Memory Lane” by Mike Resnick. I’ve got to give the nod to this story. It really moved me. I really felt for the characters. It was almost painful to read, but in a good way.

Novelettes
I’ve barely started on this category. I’ve read the first 10 pages or so of “TelePresence” last night, but I had to put it down because the Yankee game came on, and I haven’t gotten back to it yet. Maybe tonight. Since that’s the only thing I’ve read, it’s too early to make a call in this category.

Novellas

  • “Magic For Beginners” by Kelly Link. So far, this one has my vote, primarily for it’s originality and the quality of it’s characters. But there are three stories I have not yet read in this category, and they are all by good writers, so who know.
  • “Inside Job” by Connie Willis. I expected this one to just blow me away, and it was really good. I loved the subject matter. But when all was said and done, it was much more of a mystery story than anything else. And for some reason, I had a hard time picturing the narrator as a man. I don’t know why that is. Good story, very enjoyable, but I still think Kelly Link as an edge in this category.

I am once again thinking about doing an overhaul to my reading list website. Currently, the whole thing is implemented as a very simple LAMP application (minus the L). I’m thinking about working in some AJAX and some more object-oriented PHP code to make it more sophisticated. I’m also going to tinker with the interface once again to better make it match the theme of my blog. The question is: when will I get to it?