So this past month I finished up Angry Lead Skies by Glen Cook just in time for the next book for The Sword and Laser book club to be selected. The selection this month was Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End. I blew through that one and since have also read Whispering Nickel Idols, also by Glen Cook.
Childhood’s End is considered to be a classic. It was published in 1953 and has a lot of ideas about technology that are quite astounding considering the time that it was written. One of the odd things about this book is there is not really a main character, besides humanity in general. It is pretty interesting in that aliens suddenly appear over the earth (NOTE: this was not as cliche when this was written…), but rather than demanding the earths leaders or starting to blow the earth up they instead usher in a period of peace and prosperity. Soon everyone is doing what they have always wanted to do. No one does jobs that they don’t like and everyone becomes super educated. Really it is a story about how humanity might evolve. I found it to be very entertaining, although also very unbelievable. I have since ordered quite a few more Clarke books (amazingly this the first book of his that I had read) off of the ole auction site.
The Garret P.I. series and takes place in the city of TunFaire, a fantasy setting where humans aren’t the only guys in town. The city is trying to figure out its identity after a long war (think many many generations worth) has come to an end. There is much racial (speciesal?) tension in the city and odd things always seem to happen. Especially around the central character Garrett. Garrett is an ex-marine who survived the war, and has been making a living in the private investigator business. It’s got the whole 40’s private dick charm going on, but is set to fantasy stories…. an odd idea that works out remarkably well.
Angry Lead Skies is the 10th book and was met with some bit of panning by the critics as he enters in some inconsistencies in the storyline and it was taken to be a little to serious and a little to science fiction like. I didn’t really have any problems with it and thought it was pretty good. As a matter of fact, this series has probably taken me a long time to get through because it is less serious. Don’t get me wrong, it is very well written and I have been enjoying it immensely… Just not as much as a few of Cook’s Other series.
Whispering Nickel Idols was the latest in the Garret P.I. series (until next month when a new installment hits the shelves….. just when I finally catch up). I think I probably enjoyed this one a bit more than the last as it dealt a bit more with some of the characters that I like and to me had a bit more of an interesting storyline. The only thing that some people have complained about is that the dead man does most of the actual work in this book. Once again, I didn’t really mind it.
I am trying not to give too much away in spoilers, so in effect these reviews or comments seem rather short and pointless… I really don’t know how to reconcile that. Oh well.