Posted by jukkahoo
I seem to have a fairly large mail delivery problem. I keep getting all kinds of notions and memorandas, warnings and failure notices from all over the world. Apparently my emails aren't getting thru. Darn. And I really wanted to let Ukembi Tsakalulu (or was it Stakalala?) to know... that... arm, now what was it? Anyway, Rhonda also seems to have difficulties with my emails, as do surprisingly many Russian or Czech operators, who have sent me at least three hundreds notifications during last two months. I'd really like to know what the problem is, since there must be something really important going on.
I read a good book this week. It's called City of Pearl by Karen Traviss. Good alien characters (especially these wonderfully reserved wess'hars), plenty good plot and full, rounded story of respect for other lifeforms, of rules and vice versa. But the main thing is her character building. These people are real, flesh and bone, capable of all kinds of things in the name of whatnot; good and bad etc. And she does it with little nuances and small gestures (and some larger ones). Traviss ei väännä asioita rautalangasta. (It's a great Finnish idiom, unfortunately it doesn't translate that well - anyone care to try?). Her first novel and apparently the first of a proposed (guess?)-parter. Holds its own and needs no sequels, but if she can hold her level of writing I'm going to carry on with her. There is a fairly interesting interview from on her own website, from which I'll just steal a bit:
Interviewer: Would you say the golden rule, of treating others as you would be treated, is something you've ended up exploring, without offering simplistic answers?
Karen Traviss: Yes, and it's about realising the consequences of what you're doing. We're all too often unconnected to the consequences of what we do and the way we live, from the dangerous insularity of driving in a cocoon of a car to where our waste goes. It's also about exploring the really intense emotions that we have. Revenge: will it really make you feel better? Personally, I'd go for it with a pickaxe, but some of my characters do and find it doesn't help. Does intent and motive matter? That's a big theme in all the wess'har wars books, because the wess'har don't care what you think or say, only what you do. "I didn't mean to hurt you," cuts no ice with a wess'har, and that has its own dodgy logic loops. We live in a society where pleas in mitigation make a difference to how we feel about the perpetrator. No, I don't offer simplistic answers, because there aren't any. The best you can do is let the reader have a think about what the answer might be for them, and - more importantly - that it might be different for someone else.
Oh. I went and saw Alexander.
Troy was bad. This was abysmal. Can't really say which one was worse, but I tend to sway towards Alexander (as the less bad one) since at least it did try to get things right. Failing gloriously (not in a good way, unfortunately), but at least they had the decendy to portray ancient Greeks as sexually free-minded, however wrong this may be according to modern Greeks. The setpieces are magnificent, level of detail is pure eyecandy (can't say for sure how historically accurate, but it looks good though), large fight-scenes (especially Gaugamela) are waaaaaa-ay better than in Troy and Val Kilmer is good. Less said about Cryboy-Colin and Mrs Botox-Lips, the better.