Went back and forth about whether I should read this, since she disowned it. It's true that it's not as meaty, engrossing, or well written as her otheWent back and forth about whether I should read this, since she disowned it. It's true that it's not as meaty, engrossing, or well written as her other work. I knew it took place in the Patternmaster universe, but I didn't know that it also took place in the world of her novella "A Necessary Being," which was discovered and released in Unexpected Stories a few years ago. One of the two Hao characters from that story, Diut, is a main character in Survivor.
Not a must-read, except for Butler completists. Now all that's left for me is to get to her archives someday! (My kingdom to read Doro-Jesus...)...more
My least favorite of the Patternmaster series (well, I haven't read Survivor), but still wholly engrossing. An impressive first book. I liked Wild SeeMy least favorite of the Patternmaster series (well, I haven't read Survivor), but still wholly engrossing. An impressive first book. I liked Wild Seed best of the four Patternmaster books....more
Oof. This one got dark. The end was really tough to read. As always, though, fascinating and meaty themes to consider, and un-put-down-able writing. IOof. This one got dark. The end was really tough to read. As always, though, fascinating and meaty themes to consider, and un-put-down-able writing. I really liked the alternating Past/Present chapter structure and the main character family. I was expecting more connection to Wild Seed and Mind of My Mind, since those two shared some characters. Clay Dana and psionics are mentioned for maybe a paragraph or two, but that's the only overt connection. However, I like that Butler always surprises me; I trust in Butler and what she's setting up and fleshing out about the world she created in this series.
I started reading the Patternmaster series as published in Seed to Harvest, which puts the books in order of the chronology of their events. Having read three and some reviews, though, I'm kind of wishing I had read them in the order she published them, which I believe was Patternmaster (#4), Mind of My Mind (#2), Wild Seed (#1), Clay's Ark (#3). Guess I'll have to do that for the reread!...more
Didn't entrance me quite as much as Wild Seed but it was super interesting to follow the shifting power dynamics and see Doro's authority challenged.Didn't entrance me quite as much as Wild Seed but it was super interesting to follow the shifting power dynamics and see Doro's authority challenged. I missed old feisty Anyanwu/Emma from the first book though. She was such a force in Wild Seed that seeing her sitting quietly at the edges of this story was a little sad. Onward to Clay's Ark!...more
This was one of those books N read to me before bed at intermittent intervals over a long period of time, and I never know how to rate those books becThis was one of those books N read to me before bed at intermittent intervals over a long period of time, and I never know how to rate those books because my experience of them is so disjointed. Like, sometimes I sleep through the end of a chapter, or we go weeks without reading. But I liked this! Wyndham's writing is really well-crafted, and a pleasure to hear. I remember being really into The Midwich Cuckoos, so the story of this one probably didn't grab me quite as much, but it's still a good tale....more
2.5 Sorry, don't attack me. Maybe if I had read it when I was growing up I would be more receptive to it now.
I liked the structure, the mix of longer2.5 Sorry, don't attack me. Maybe if I had read it when I was growing up I would be more receptive to it now.
I liked the structure, the mix of longer and shorter vignettes that sometimes recalled each other but worked on their own. Some of them were really entertaining. (I mean, in "There Will Come Soft Rain," the only character is a house. Super cool.) But the writing itself didn't often spark me.
I have to just say, also, how magnificently sexist it is. "But it was published in 1950! Stop trying to hold mid-century writers to modern standards of gender equality etcetera etcetera etcetera!!!" I know, you guys, and I'm sure you'll let me have it in the comments like you always do.
I'll just never understand how all these immensely creative SF writers, who could think us ahead in so many radical ways, could not imagine a place for women in their futures that was different than the one they saw around them. In The Martian Chronicles, thousands of human explorers then colonists head to Mars to build it up, and it's always all male crews. Until women are finally flown in literally to decorate the houses the men have built. The only other mention of women during the building-up-the-planet phase comes in "The Shore"- he writes that "Mars was a distant shore, and the men spread upon it in waves" then talks about all the different waves of men, saying "They were the first men." Then this one-sentence paragraph: "Everyone knew who the first women would be." Then he goes on with "The second men" etc. etc. "Everyone knew who the first women would be"? Spoiler alert: they ship up a rocket full of prostitutes.
Even the brief glimpse we get of the native Martian race (before they are all but wiped out by humans) shows a married Martian couple, Mr. and Mrs. K, and of course the woman is cleaning the house and cooking. How can an author who imagined magnetic dust to clean a house and a fire table filled with silver lava in which to cook dinner fail to imagine a world in which this is not "women's work"?
"The Silent Towns," though, is the worst. After the humans head back to Earth, the main character thinks he is the only one left on Mars. But one day the phone rings, and there is a woman's voice on the other end! He drives halfway across the planet to find her, but OH SHIT YOU GUYS GUESS WHAT she's a fatty! So of course he turns right back around and hides from her on the other side of the planet.
Anyway. I know this book is important to a lot of people. Bradbury had a wonderful imagination and built a memorable world in these stories. It wasn't my thing, but I guess that's why I write my reviews and you write yours! ...more