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Reprint from Inksome: More Reviews...

Comments on Through Wolf's Eyes, by Jane Lindskold, The Disunited States of America by Harry Turtledove, All Seated On The Ground by Connie Willis, The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate by Ted Chiang, Tideline by Elizabeth Bear and even a few on Candide by Voltaire follow. No spoilers far as I can see, but I'll insert a cut anyway.

I have now finished Through Wolf's Eyes, by Jane Lindskold. A human child, survivor of a lost expedition is raised by sapient wolves until her mid teens when another group of humans arrive, and she accompanies them back. The result is quite entertaining in a Tarzanish fashion. I shall probably read the next one in this series as well.

The Disunited States of America by Harry Turtledove is number four in a YA series. Perhaps the first was better, but this one falls kinda flat. H. Beam Piper and Keith Laumer have both done a whole lot better with the crosstime travel theme. Oh well...

At this point, the Hugo winners were announced, so I went looking for them. Most of which turned up on the net, though I'm awaiting The Yiddish Policeman's Union from the library. My thoughts on the others:

All Seated On The Ground by Connie Willis: The Aliens finally arrive... and no matter who does what, do nothing more than stand there looking disapproving. Someone needs to find out why, and thereby hangs a delightful tale of Christmas, choirs, and the dangers of ignoring your subordinates. That was fun, and made up for slogging through the entirety of Disunited States. Read it - it's wonderful.

The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate by Ted Chiang was also worthy of the award; a tale of mythic Baghdad, and the judicious use of time travel.

Tideline by Elizabeth Bear. After finishing this, I was pleased to learn that it was based on one of </a></b></a>elisem' s wonderful art necklaces, entitled "Sinner in the Hands of a Mildly Startled Buddha". A lone surviving warbot scours the beach for beads and trinkets with which to make up memorial necklaces for the rest of the members of her platoon, human and otherwise. The story is quite as wonderful as the art piece that inspired it.

A train of thought begun by Through Wolf's Eyes and followed through Tarzan of the Apes ultimately reminded me that I had never actually read Voltaire's Candide, so that's what I'm reading now, courtesy Project Gutenberg. OK, most of the time "classic" is pedagoguese for "hideous slog to get through" but in this case, not so at all. Our Hero gets tossed out of his sheltered existance for kissing the heroine in the unexpected presence of her father, the Baron, and into a wild ride through the "real world" with no real idea of what's going on through the first part of the book. In passing, Voltaire manages to sideswipe just about every stereotypical convention of the romantic genre, giving us weird stories, strange lands, clashing armies, unexpected meetings full of purple prose dumped unceremoniously into the pit by disasters passed off in a line or two, and so on. Rather more than a shot of wry... I'm halfway through and mighty grateful to Proj. Gutenberg.