Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday Salon: Progress and Updates and Other Stuff

So the Europa Challenge launched a little over a week ago and we already have lots of participants- and we're always looking for more. I promise I won't post about this constantly but I will probably be talking about it often so please bear with me if it's something you're not into! My first challenge post is up on that blog and will appear here on Tuesday.

In the mean time I'm also working my way through my personal month-long science fiction challenge. So far results are mixed. I enjoyed How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe but gave up on Paolo Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl. I just... wasn't feeling it. The lack of exposition made the story hard for me to follow and my favorite character died halfway through. And it was hard for me to feel sympathy for the titular windup girl, a horribly abused machine. I have this mental block about being able to sympathize with artificial life forms. It's why I didn't like that Spielberg movie, "A.I.". Yes, the robot tot was cute- but it's a robot. And yes, the toaster in The Windup Girl is a pitiable toaster indeed, but still a toaster. So, not for me. Moving on, I started The Stone Gods, by Jeanette Winterson, in many respects similar to Windup but takes off thanks to Winterson's masterful writing into something sublime and beautiful.

Today I have my last improv class and the usual Sunday errands and whatever time I have for reading will be devoted to the Winterson book and Get Me Out of Here, by Henry Sutton, a crazy little thriller from Europa Editions. I'm taking the Sutton slowly- a chapter a day, since my goal for the month is two Europas and I've finished one already. So much fun, as always.

What are you enjoying reading today? I hope you have a great Sunday. More Sunday Salon here.

13 comments:

Nana Fredua-Agyeman said...

I am a poor fan of Science Fiction though this is about to change with the Isaac Asimov's novels I have bought. Hardcore sci-fi, even the movies, throw me off a bit. However, there are some I do love... is Inception a sci-fi movie? Because I enjoyed that movie tremendously.

Alexia561 said...

I'm not a huge science fiction fan either, and no longer try the hardcore sci fi titles. I'm okay if they have a dash of fantasy, but otherwise I find them too dry and I get bored.

Good luck with both of your challenges!

Sandy Nawrot said...

It would be a major stretch outside my comfort zone to read sci-fi. I probably should, just to prove I can. I think The Doomsday Book is sci-fi lite, right? I did really love that book, so maybe I would surprise myself.

bermudaonion said...

Hey, I admire you for even trying The Windup Girl. I plan to start Outside Wonderland for my book club meeting on Thursday.

Booksnyc said...

Glad to hear the Europa Challenge is off to such a great start - you found a passion out there for these books!

Have a great Sunday!

Cassandra said...

I'm odd. I love science fiction as a concept. I'm really picky, though, about the execution. I love the old-school serials best. I also love my sci-fi on TV, but not as much in movie form. I know, makes no sense. I'm curious about the artificial life form thing - did you see Robin Williams in Bicentennial Man? I loved that movie! He may be one you can sympathize with. He's a bit like Pinocchio. I'll leave it at that.

Planning my first Europa challenge read. I hope to get started soon!

unfinishedperson.com said...

Science fiction can be tricky...I'm very, very selective in what I read in science fiction. Of course, I have a feeling that I was spoiled as a youth with reading Isaac Asimov. Almost everything in the genre pales in comparison.

As for bearing with you, I guess I'll try...if I have to. ;)

Today I'm continuing to read The Road to Ruin by Donald E. Westlake, the 11th in the Dortmunder series. Dortmunder is a hapless burglar, who always gets involved in hare-brained schemes with his group of cronies and this one's no different.

Alyce said...

I love science fiction but haven't read very much since I started blogging. I have good intentions to read more of it for fun.

I gave up on Windup Girl too, it was just too weird and the situations were so horrible.

reviewsbylola said...

Feel free to post about the Europa challenge all the time! It gets me even more excited.

Kathleen said...

Happy Sunday Marie. I'm with you on not connecting with non-human life forms like robots. I haven't read much science fiction though and would really like to read more in the future.

Zibilee said...

Oh, I am sorry to hear that The Wind-Up Girl didn't work for you! I had been rather excited about that one. I don't think I would have all that much trouble sympathizing with the robot, as I tend to anthropomorphize everything. I hope your next SF read goes more smoothly for you.

caite said...

The Windup Girl is on of the few books I simply could not finish, despite trying more than once.

Space Station Mir said...

It's interesting that you say you have trouble sympathizing with artificial life forms. I grew up watching Star Trek, so I'm used to considering androids like Data or holograms like the Doctor, as people, although their character arc was always about how it took awhile for humans to take them seriously. I'm also watching battlestar Galctica right now, I wonder what you would think of Cylons, machines that look and act like humans. The humans in the series often humorously refer to them as "toasters."