That title sounds a little self-important but I just wanted to write a post explaining that I haven’t totally stopped blogging and, well, it seemed to hit the right note. It’s been a while and I didn’t mean to go this long without posting. But, life eh?
Work, a young child, the daily grind plus ramping up training and joining a new BJJ gym all meant there was little time to read or review. However, a concerted effort to regain one of my favourite hobbies, alongside martial arts, has meant that I’m back in the game.
I did read one book whilst I’ve been maintaining blog silence but it took so long and was read in such small spurts that I think it really affected my judgment of it.
I’ve been really wanting to read David Brin’s Uplift War series for quite some time and had finally collected the opening sequence of books from various secondhand shops (before the big continental move). As such, I’d put them to one side away from the teetering book tower to ensure I could get at them and, obviously, read them. The premise was right up my street and I had high hopes.
Unfortunately, whether it was the circumstances I was in or something else, Sundiver, the first in the series, did not gel with me. The background to the story was excellent; a large alien existence made up of numerous races; humanities own endeavours to raise up intelligent species from the animal world; politics, conflict on Earth and in space. All great.
But, the caveat for me was the awkward main character and his depiction. His backstory, a heavy handed tragic loss, was clumsily shoehorned in to the story. Plus, it felt like a very ungainly way to shape the protagonist as a damaged but tough guy. None of it sat well with me and the later introduction of a very embarrassing, and slightly teenage level, romantic interest took the wind out of my sails.
The ideas in Sundriver were exemplary big sci-fi. But maybe I wasn’t committed enough or perhaps the decades since it’s publication had aged it somewhat. A shame, but I doubt I’ll be reading the rest of the series soon.
Published by Bantam Books