sábado, 23 de noviembre de 2019

The Menace from Farside, by Ian McDonald (#Luna series)

In a way, it is true what is said about this short novel: that Ian McDonald collects the leftovers of the splendid trilogy of Luna and makes this story; but a rather entertaining story I can say, based on the great work that is the worldbuilding of the previous books.

The plot is about an adventure of four young not so friends in the Moon surface and, you know, Lady Luna knows a thousand ways to kill you: In other words, it's like the 1986 movie Stand by Me, a story of coming of age style. At some point Ian McDonald seems to laugh at himself, I assume that referring to some negative criticisms received about the trilogy - for example, the author "threatens us" with a cake, or the frequently mention of the word telenovela - but as I said the novel is at least entertaining, and for me its main defect is that this short novel loses if we compare it with its bigger sisters.

In short, considering the literary quality of Ian McDonald’s prose, a minor work from him is preferable than a good one by some other authors.

Note: I love it when the cover illustration of a science fiction novel reflects its content helping the reader imagine the story, something that is not so frequent.

lunes, 18 de noviembre de 2019

Science Fiction and the Mass Cultural Genre System, by John Rieder.

First of all, this is totally an scholar book and the readers to whom it is addressed are mainly other scholars. In other words, the author does not care about the enjoyment of reading, but it does not mean that this book is not interesting, quite the opposite.

Briefly, the book deals about science fiction genres with a innovative point o view, at least for me. Basically, the main idea is that the literary genders are the result of its cultural, economic and technological context and its appearance is attributable more to their background rather than to a single seminal work. For example, Frankenstein, commonly considered a seminal work of science fiction, but the author analyzes this novel from the perspective of its historical context and the gothic literature as a whole; or the pulp novels of the 30s, that is: escapism, cheap leisure for the working classes, etc. This part of the book is simply excellent.

The author addresses other issues: feminism and ethnicity in literary science fiction, and also some science fiction movies but of the latter too superficially in my opinion (in comparison to the other themes of the book) and he is not so successful in his analysis.

Overall, a rewarding reading, although it is not for all readers, it is recommended for those interested in science fiction genres as a subject of study.