Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at
Thu Aug 15 04:22:53 EDT 2002

Hi all,

We were away for a couple of weeks (sweltering in Tucson, AND 
suffering from the lack of cyber cafes in the place), and I got home 
way behind with studying, and with an essay due.  So I've missed the 
list horribly!  (May have missed some messages, so apologies if I'm 
saying things that have already been said.)

First and most important thing I wanted to say was welcome back to 
Elise!  (Won't go into as many exclamation marks as I'm feeling here, 
case we get into another What Excessive Numbers of Exclamation Marks 
Signify deal). Erm.  Would I be out of line to say not only Welcome 
Back(!), Elise, but also, have you told everyone your married name? :)

Right.  Well, the only compensation for being miserable in Tucson was 
finding quite a large number of wonderful books, many of them 
originally recs from list members, so a partial run-down follows.

First wonderful one was _War for the Oaks_.  I'd never heard of Emma 
Bull before mentions here, but have been very actively searching for 
anything of hers since Dorian lent me _Falcon_, which I loved.  WftO 
was way up there on my short-list of favourite reads this year.

Also found _Bone Dance_ by EB, which was well weird, and less 
comfortably enjoyable to read than WftO, but I also liked a lot. 
(And a very appropriate cover-pic, as so very rarely happens.)

Then I found _Sky Coyote_, by Kage Baker, about which I had recently 
asked, and which Melissa recommended.  I also loved that - a bit to 
my own bemusement, as having a description of the time/place settings 
of the first two Company books, and the main character of each, I'd 
never have thought it'd be SC that would be the hands-down favourite. 
But the feast... <sniggers>  I'll definitely be looking out for the 
next books in the series.

Next was _Crystal Sage_, by Kara Dalkey.  I found it enjoyable, but 
not hugely memorable.  Has anyone read her YA Water series?  Only the 
second and third were available in one bookshop, and only the third 
in another, and none second-hand, which was annoying.

Then the only real disappointment of the lot - _The Interior Life_, 
by Katherine Blake.  It sounded so much like something I'd love, and 
was so not.  I don't know what was most annoying about it - the 
"real-world" main protagonist's transformation from harried 
house-wife to gourmet cook, PTA activist, (and still "fantastic in 
bed", as per her husband to a drunken colleague) - nope.  The single 
most annoying thing for me was the scene in which she steps in and 
rescues a battered wife and kids (complete strangers), convincing the 
wife to get help and packing them off on the bus to a shelter in 
about 15 minutes flat, and then goes off home to tell her husband 
never to get cross and yell at them again.  Urgh.

Back to the good stuff.  Also got another couple of the Debra Doyle & 
James McDonald Mageworld series, which I didn't discover on the list, 
but just came up recently in the fanfic discussion, right? 
Unfortunately, I'd to mail some books home, and those were among the 
mailees, which I regretted when finding that Book 2 left you pretty 
much hanging.

Then I read _Wheel of the Infinite_, by Martha Wells.  Excellent! 
It's almost disturbing to the system to read two top contenders for 
favourite of the year so close together. :)  I just loved this one - 
wonderful world (including religious system), great characters, 
engaging mysterious element to the plot, very satisfying ending.

That left _The Element of Fire_ also by MW, her first book.  Reading 
it after WotI, I was sure it would be disappointing, but I've almost 
finished it now, and love it too!  It's set in Ile-Rien, same land as 
_The Death of the Necromancer_, and her next one will be also. 
Tarja, you were the (first I remember) other Martha Wells fan on the 
list, right?  I *still* think the ending of _City of Bones_ is a 
let-down, but other than that...  (Yes, Dorian, these are going 
straight to you next, if you were going to ask.)

And there's still _Lirael_ (Garth Nix was another list rec for me) 
and _Fool's Run_ and _Moon Flash_ (early PMcK, think that's the name) 
to come.  Unfortunately I didn't come across either _The Curse of 
Chalion_ or _Diplomatic Immunity_ second-hand (unsurprising really), 
and reluctantly had to steel myself not to buy the new hard covers, 
which wasn't easy.  Especially when I saw 2 copies of TCoC in the 
library and could neither read them there nor check them out.

Only remotely DWJ moment was in Barnes and Noble when a friendly 
fellow browser in the SF/Fantasy section tried to recommend Robert 
Jordan to me, and I ... couldn't quite bring myself to recommend he 
go up to the kids section and get DWJ instead.  (Plenty of hers in 
the kids & YA, very little in adult.)  Oh, which reminds me - I was 
surprised to see Dark Lord always shelved in kids/YA.  Over here, it 
was marketed as adult.

And *finally*, my feeling about the uterine replicator was that a 
medical system which could make a uterine replicator (not to mention 
all the other things they could do) could surely to goodness take 
care of morning (noon and night for some of us) sickness. Nothing 
else could have made me even consider missing the fun parts of being 


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