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17 May 2017 @ 08:46 pm
Reading, Listening, Watching  
Reading: Still labouring my way through Her Smoke Rose Up Forever. I've had this problem with single author anthologies before that, no matter how good the individual stories, their similarity gradually makes each one seem more of a chore to get through. I gave up half way through a Jeeves and Wooster anthology for this reason. I am, at least, through the novellas now and back into a run of shorter stories.

Listening: Just finished listening to The Writers' Room podcast on Chris Boucher. I am not at all sure Boucher is pronounced the way they are pronouncing it (Bow as in "he took a bow") but I'm not entirely sure it's pronounced the way I've always pronounced it (Boo). Other than that, I've agreed with most of what they've said ("Robots of Death" is the strongest of his three stories and "Image of the Fendahl" the weakest - there are some plot oddities, particularly in Fendahl and Robots isn't really a Whodunnit much as it apes the form. It is odd that Boucher goes from an interest in AI and Robots in his first two stories to something much more traditionally in the gothic horror model in his last).

Watching: This week it has been most new Doctor Who (Oxygen) and old Doctor Who (Planet of the Daleks).

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/447662.html.
daniel_saunders: Kafkadaniel_saunders on May 17th, 2017 08:29 pm (UTC)
Anthologies: I think it varies with the author. I read some Ursula K. Le Guin stories a while back and they were quite different from each other. I suspect Jeeves and Wooster, from what little I've read of them, are particularly repetitive and not written to be read in rapid succession. The problem I find with short stories is finishing one and running out of momentum to start the next one.

Re: Boucher, I think I assumed Boo too. I think Fendahl is my favourite story of the three, though. I'm not sure why I prefer it to Robots I just do; as for Face, I find the religion vs science idea a false dichotomy and I'm not sure I feel comfortable with the presentation of mental illness. It's better than other religion vs science and mad computer stories though and does have points of interest.

Re: Oxygen, I'm looking forward to hearing what you think. I really liked it, but the other fans I've spoken to hated it.
louisedennis: bookslouisedennis on May 17th, 2017 09:03 pm (UTC)
Yes, it must vary a lot between authors. Jeeves and Wooster it was definitely a case of the fact that there is basically one thing these stories do and one really can't read more than 30 of them in a row without becoming heartily fed up.

It surprised me a little, given how well-regarded Tiptree is in many circles, to find how repetitive these stories are on the theme that men (even the most mild-mannered) are, at heart, violent rapists before whom women are helpless pliable objects and that the only real solution to this is death (often of the entire human race). That's not all of the stories, but it's there in enough of them that I'm getting weary of it, particularly the nihilism of the premise with which I really don't agree just gets depressing after a bit.

On the other hand, I suppose in the 1970s when the bulk of her stories were written, so much science fiction barely mentioned women at all except as vaguely unknowable wives and secretaries, they may have seemed startlingly different - and, of course, one would only have been reading one or two of them a year, not a whole load in quick succession.
Pollyjane_somebody on May 29th, 2017 11:36 pm (UTC)
Surnames, like placenames, are often just impossible to guess. I suppose their reading has the merit of at least following the pronunciation of a known word with the same spelling pattern (voucher). I've no idea, but on first reading would likely have thoughtlessly said "boo-shay" (almost certainly wrong!), whereas a more considered guess would be something close to either "butcher" or "busher". And now I'm vaguely intrigued as to what it really is.

(Thoughts partly inspired by the fact that my maiden name was fequently mispronounced (as well as mis-spelled) and by the unpredictable pronunciation of French-origin placenames in the vicinity of my home city.)
louisedennislouisedennis on May 30th, 2017 02:39 pm (UTC)
I've always assumed something along the liens of Butcher or Busher but I've no idea if I've made that up or I've actually heard it somewhere. It is noticeable, now I come to think of it, how American commentators often get french derived names wrong. I was listening to another recent podcast about a Doctor Who book called "Fall of Yquitine" which I'd always assumed started "Ik" but which they pronounced "Yak" (I was subsequently justified when the author of the book wrote to them to say it was "Ik")