Religion and sexuality are two of the most difficult subjects to engage as a writer. Regardless of the writer’s intentions, someone is going to be deeply offended or challenged, probably both. Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land seeks to both offend and challenge. Heinlein uses the eponymous stranger to stand on a soap box and examine humanity’s penchant for ideology and sexual repression. Clearly a product of its time, the novel does not hold up as well on the speculative fiction front. On the psychological front, the novel can and does retain an impactful message for humans to examine their own foibles.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
To say that Gene Wolfe is a difficult author is both a compliment and a knock. In Shadow of the Torturer, the first in a four book series known as The Book of the New Sun, Wolfe’s strongly allusive language is on full display. From character names to descriptions to articles of clothing, Wolfe uses language in the most deliberate fashion. Not a single word chosen by the author is random and throughout this novel, one can see the author’s love and command of language.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
CORRUPTION: A Marshal Boothe Tale of Justice (SIMON VECTOR)
Of all the villains in literature, the serial killer is the most terrifying for one simple reason: it could be anyone. And yet such monsters command our attention as an audience as few others do. In Correction by Jak Holding (a prequel novella to Simon Vector), the audience is given the background and choices which led to the “Mad Doctor of Mars” Gerald Ruhming to be on the Alpha Draconis penal colony. The fast-paced novella serves as a portal to enter the deranged mind of a very human monster.