What Science or Fantasy based fiction are you reading right now?
We all like reading this stuff; you're probably reading something right now. So what are you reading, who is it by and how is it working out thus far?
I'll set the ball rolling - this week I'm reading Jack Vance's 1957 novel, 'Big Planet'. As I may have mentioned more than once before now, I'm a big Vance devotee and am enthralled by everything I've read of his to date and 'Big Planet' is turning out to be no exception to this. He has a real gift for creating vivid landscapes on alien worlds and then populating them with cultures of a plausible absurdity in ways that give a knowing nod and wink to Swift's 'Gulliver's Travels' as well as the adventure fictions of late and post-Victorian writers such as H. Rider Haggard and Edgar Rice-Boroughs.
Here's an example: "They [...] set off once more across a land of peaceful farms and stone houses, undistinguished except for the fact that each house carried on its gable an intricate tangle of brambles and spiny leaves. / Glystra called to Clodleberg. 'What on Earth are those bristling thorn=patches?' / 'Those are the ghost-catchers,' said Clodleberg easily. 'This section of country abounds with ghosts; there's a ghost for every house, sometimes more; and since they always give a quick jump which takes them to the roof where they can walk back and forth, the traps discourage them sadly ... The very home of ghosts is this Mankelly Parish, and witches too ...'/ Glystra thought that no matter how ordinary and uneventful a Big Planet landscape might appear, it was still - Bib Planet. / [They] passed big red farm-wains with six-foot wooden wheels, squeaking and groaning like scalded pigs. They were loaded with red melon-bulbs, bundles of orange vine, baskets of green okra. The lads who walked barefoot alongside goading the long necked [beasts] wore tall conical hats with veils of white cloth about their faces. / 'To fool the ghosts?' Glystra asked Clodleberg. / 'To fool the ghosts.'(from Chapter 10, 'Big Planet' by Jack Vance Loc 1461 of 3110)
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