Sunday, December 22, 2013

Emperor Mollusk Versus The Sinister Brain

I wanted to like this book as much as "Soon I Will Be Invincible."  It includes such gems as:

Relations between Terra and Luna had been strained since the Lunans had eaten Neil Armstrong in 1960.

and

I had a few pieces of art.  Some Neptunon seascapes to remind me of home.  The original Mona Lisa that Leonardo da Vinci had hidden away for fera that Terra would never be ready for the secrets of faster-than-light travel encoded in its brush strokes. ... The skull of the Loch Ness Monster, unfortunate victim of a Scottish chupacabra outbreak.  Edison's spirit radio; it didn't contact ghosts but the one-dimensional entities of another plane, though the entities liked to screw around and he could be forgiven the mistake.
Unfortunately, most of the prose is more like this:
We reached the end of the tunnel, emerging on a ledge above a vast cavern overlooking a sprawling city carved from the stone.  Hundreds of tubular creatures moved through its streets.  Zala ducked down, but we were so high up, I calculated it was unlikely they'd see us.

"Have you seen these creatures before?" she asked.

"They resemble nothing I've come across," I replied as I zoomed my exo sensors on the creatures.
It reminds me of Dave Wolverton's writing, in that the author's very distinct, somewhat flat writing is extremely effective in a narrow context, but when it comes time in the narrative to hear a different writerly voice, there's still just the flat one and what if it's not an affect deliberately chosen for artistic purposes but simply the only way they can express themself?  I was moved by Dave Wolverton's first book because his writing suited that character so well but I read five or seven more of his books and he didn't have any other voices so I gave up.  I'm scared to give R. Lee Martinez five or seven more tries because I only enjoyed this book in spots anyway.

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