I picked this up at the library because it's considered a "classic" of the urban fantasy genre, which I love. I wasn't disappointed, genre-wise; althoI picked this up at the library because it's considered a "classic" of the urban fantasy genre, which I love. I wasn't disappointed, genre-wise; although it lacks a lot of the depth that de Lint can (but doesn't always) bring to his books, it still has charming characters, a heartthrobby yet mischievous leading man, a plucky heroine, and some rockin' guitar solos. My main beef with this book was the pacing; the whole thing took place in the space of about a month, and as a result, a lot of the character development felt very, very rushed. This is, of course, coming from the girl who thinks 500 pages is "just about right" for the average novel, so take my words with a grain of salt. The ending, while satisfying in principle, lacked something in completeness--I felt a bit abandoned by the author, seemingly for no good reason. BUT the girl gets the boy, the villains get their comeuppance, and the band gets to rock out, so it's hard to complain. Plus? Extra super bonus in the form of AWESOME 80s outfits and concert descriptions. White beaded sweater and jean skirt, anyone?...more
The first time I tried to read "Aye, and Gomorrah" (the short story that this collection is named after), I didn't get it at all. Delany's writing isThe first time I tried to read "Aye, and Gomorrah" (the short story that this collection is named after), I didn't get it at all. Delany's writing is very opaque at times, and the 11-year-old that I was didn't always understand the themes he deals with (class, family, perception, concept-refraction--yeah, he's also a literary critic). I found this book on my shelf the last time I went to my parents' and decided to try reading it again. I whipped through it over the course of a very busy two weeks and am very glad that I did so. His writing, while at times (as I said) opaque, is excellent--he's something of a "writer's writer." His stories don't cling to any particular sub-genre of SF (at least, not that I can tell)--instead, they tend to be very cerebral, focusing more on concepts than on characters or plots. (Though not as much as Italo Calvino...) Delany is also black, gay, and dyslexic, making him something of a triple-threat minority SF writer....more
This book makes me uncomfortable. Which, I think, is a point in its favor. It details several high-profile environmental justice cases that EarthjustiThis book makes me uncomfortable. Which, I think, is a point in its favor. It details several high-profile environmental justice cases that Earthjustice, formerly the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, has been involved in across the U.S. These cases include a dispute over stream care in the Pacific Northwest, a battle against the placement of a nuclear power plant in a poor Louisiana parish, and a water dispute between native Hawaiian poi farmers and wealthy sugar cane farmers. Turner (and Bill McKibben, who wrote the foreword to the book and is listed as a contributor) spares no grimy legal detail in his retelling of these cases; and for me, his sometimes palpable glee when he writes about Earthjustice besting its opponents through agile legal maneuvering is offputting. And I'm a treehugging hippie. Many of the cases, especially the Louisiana and Pacific Northwest cases, have a distinct N.I.M.B.Y.ist overtone--and what's obvious to most of us in an era of increasing globalization is the fact that the N.I.M.B.Y. phenomenon offers no permanent solutions to environmental problems. I don't think that environmental law is worthless as a result, but I do think that well-known organizations like Earthjustice need to rethink their legal strategy to look beyond the N.I.M.B.Y.s and work towards crafting lasting legal solutions to the pressing environmental issues of our time and our childrens' time. ...more
I only managed to get about 150 pages in before I had to return this book to the library, but I fully intend to go back in three days and check it outI only managed to get about 150 pages in before I had to return this book to the library, but I fully intend to go back in three days and check it out again. It is that awesome. While it is certainly an excellent read for anyone who's into 20th century and contemporary music, what makes it stand out from other well-written books of musical criticism is its ability to tell the story of the 20th century through music. World War One is fought and re-fought by the Second Viennese School and Les Six; the emergence and growing madness of the German state are played out, literally, in concert halls and clubs; and the first tentative notes of possible national and ethnic harmony are heard amidst the wreckage of the first half of the 20th century. I haven't made my way past the Roaring 20s and le jazz, but stay tuned for updates. Coming up: Red China and Mozart! Sonic Youth and Bjork! That crazy John Cage guy!...more
This YA series is one of my absolute favorites. The feast descriptions alone are worth the read. I don't know that all of these books reward the adultThis YA series is one of my absolute favorites. The feast descriptions alone are worth the read. I don't know that all of these books reward the adult reader, but they're absolutely amazing for the larval set. I actually just brought one back to my apartment to give it another read, and so we'll see how it does, indeed, reward an adult reader.