I've read two of this year's Hugo novel nominees, and I have to say I'm underwhelmed.
The first was Paolo Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl. I would have liked this a lot more if the author had a less florid style, rather than one that screamed “look at me, I'm writing!”. Much of the book is written in the present tense, which may have been meant to give it an exotic feel, but pulls me out of the story. I sort of buy the premise that we're past peak oil and that evil GMOs have run rampant over the world destroying crops, but it seemed to me that much of the technology seemed to be more plot-driven rather than coherent (lessee, we can do all this nifty gene manipulation and even build artificial people: we have all the tech we need for that but somehow have forgotten about long-distance communications, like radios?) On the plus side, it did feature my favorite family, the Solanaceae.
Next was Cherie Priest's Boneshaker. This is the sort of book I really should like: alternate history, set in a place I'm familiar with, zombies, neato machines, pirates – what's not to like? A lot.
( Rant about BoneshakerCollapse )