it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken

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Book 5: A Widow for One Year, John Irving

 I found three and a half whole pages of A Widow for One Year that I really like. From page 311-314 of the Random House hardback edition (eep! should I be commenting on books from my publisher in public? ah well, too late now--and though I've had a policy in the past of not commenting on fiction here, it seems disingenuous to attempt the fifty-two book challenge and not say anything about what I'm reading.), the letter from the crazy fan and Ruth's subsequent diary entry.

Anyway, in particular I like the bit about any book that's any good being a slap in the face to somebody, and the musings on how the sexual and societal expectations for a woman writer are different than for a man. I think Ruth (Irving? Is that Ruth talking, or is she serving as an auctorial mouthpiece there? I can't tell.) is as wrong as wrong can be--Anais Nin, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Dorothy Parker seem to me to have been excused by genius from the social expectations of women in their day. But I also think the comment about novel writing requiring near-absolute solitude is happy horse-shit, too.

On the other hand, while I disagree with what the passage posits, I sure as heck like the way it's written.

If everybody else jumped off a bridge, would you?


Quit partway through


HUGO: Alfred Bester, The Demolished Man


HUGO: Mark Clifton, They'd Rather Be Right


HUGO: Robert Heinlein, Double Star


HUGO: Fritz Leiber, The Big Time


HUGO: James Blish, A Case of Conscience


HUGO: Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers


HUGO: Walter Miller, Jr., A Canticle for Leibowitz


HUGO: Robert Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land


HUGO: Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle


HUGO: Clifford Simak, Way Station


HUGO: Fritz Leiber, The Wanderer
NEBULA: Frank Herbert, Dune


HUGO: Roger Zelazny, ...And Call Me Conrad

HUGO: Frank Herbert, Dune

NEBULA: Daniel Keyes, Flowers for Algernon

NEBULA: Samuel R. Delany, Babel-17


HUGO: Robert Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

NEBULA: Samuel R. Delany, The Einstein Intersection


HUGO: Roger Zelazny, Lord of Light

NEBULA: Alexei Panshin, Rite of Passage


HUGO: John Brunner, Stand on Zanzibar

NEBULA: Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness


HUGO: Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness

NEBULA: Larry Niven, Ringworld


HUGO: Larry Niven, Ringworld

NEBULA: Robert Silverberg, A Time of Changes


HUGO: Philip Jose Farmer, To Your Scattered Bodies Go

NEBULA: Isaac Asimov, The Gods Themselves


HUGO: Isaac Asimov, The Gods Themselves

NEBULA: Arthur C. Clarke, Rendezvous With Rama


HUGO: Arthur C. Clarke, Rendezvous With Rama

NEBULA: Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed


HUGO: Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed

NEBULA: Joe Haldeman, The Forever War

WFA: Patricia McKillip, The Forgotten Beasts of Eld


HUGO: Joe Haldeman, The Forever War

NEBULA: Frederik Pohl, Man Plus

WFA: Richard Matheson, Bid Time Return


HUGO: Kate Wilhelm, Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang

NEBULA: Frederik Pohl, Gateway

WFA: William Kotzwinkle, Doctor Rat


HUGO: Frederik Pohl, Gateway

NEBULA: Vonda N. McIntyre, Dreamsnake

WFA: Fritz Leiber, Our Lady of Darkness


HUGO: Vonda N. McIntyre, Dreamsnake

NEBULA: Arthur C. Clarke, The Fountains of Paradise

WFA: Michael Moorcock, Gloriana


HUGO: Arthur C. Clarke, The Fountains of Paradise

NEBULA: Gregory Benford, Timescape

WFA: Elizabeth A. Lynn, Watchtower


HUGO: Joan D. Vinge, The Snow Queen

NEBULA: Gene Wolfe, The Claw of the Conciliator

WFA: Gene Wolfe, The Shadow of the Torturer


DICK: Rudy Rucker, Software

HUGO: C. J. Cherryh, Downbelow Station

NEBULA: Michael Bishop, No Enemy But Time

WFA: John Crowley, Little Big


DICK: Tim Powers, The Anubis Gates

HUGO: Isaac Asimov, Foundation's Edge

NEBULA: David Brin, Startide Rising

WFA: Michael Shea, Nifft the Lean


DICK: William Gibson, Neuromancer

HUGO: David Brin, Startide Rising

NEBULA: William Gibson, Neuromancer

WFA: John M. Ford, The Dragon Waiting


DICK: Tim Powers, Dinner at Deviant's Palace

HUGO: William Gibson, Neuromancer

NEBULA: Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game

WFA: Barry Hughart, The Bridge of Birds

WFA: Robert Holdstock, Mythago Wood


DICK: James P. Blaylock, Homunculus

HUGO: Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game

NEBULA: Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead

WFA: Dan Simmons, Song of Kali


CLARKE: Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale

DICK: Patricia Geary, Strange Toys

HUGO: Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead

NEBULA: Pat Murphy, The Falling Woman

STOKER: Stephen King, Misery

STOKER: Robert R. McCammon, Swan Song

WFA: Patrick Suskind, Perfume


CLARKE: George Turner, The Sea and Summer

DICK: Rudy Rucker, Wetware

HUGO: David Brin, The Uplift War

NEBULA: Lois McMaster Bujold, Falling Free

STOKER: Thomas Harris, The Silence of the Lambs

WFA: Ken Grimwood, Replay


CLARKE: Rachel Pollack, Unquenchable Fire

DICK: Richard Paul Russo, Subterranean Gallery

HUGO: C. J. Cherryh, Cyteen

NEBULA: Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, The Healer's War

STOKER: Dan Simmons, Carrion Comfort

WFA: Peter Straub, Koko


CLARKE: Geoff Ryman, The Child Garden

DICK: Pat Murphy, Points of Departure

HUGO: Dan Simmons, Hyperion

NEBULA: Ursula K. Le Guin, Tehanu

STOKER: Robert R. McCammon, Mine

WFA: Jack Vance, Madouc


CLARKE: Colin Greenland, Take Back Plenty

DICK: Ian McDonald, King of Morning, Queen of Day

HUGO: Lois McMaster Bujold, The Vor Game

NEBULA: Michael Swanwick, Stations of the Tide

STOKER: Robert R. McCammon, Boy's Life

TIPTREE: Eleanor Arnason, A Woman of the Iron People

TIPTREE: Gwyneth Jones, The White Queen

WFA: James Morrow, Only Begotten Daughter

WFA: Ellen Kushner, Thomas the Rhymer


CLARKE: Pat Cadigan, Synners

DICK: Richard Grant, Through the Heart

HUGO: Lois McMaster Bujold, Barrayar

NEBULA: Connie Willis, Doomsday Book

STOKER: Thomas F. Monteleone, Blood of the Lamb

TIPTREE: Maureen McHugh, China Mountain Zhang

WFA: Robert R. McCammon, Boy's Life


CLARKE: Marge Piercy, Body of Glass

DICK: Jack Womack, Elvissey

DICK: John M. Ford, Growing Up Weightless

HUGO: Connie Willis, Doomsday Book

HUGO: Vernor Vinge, A Fire Upon the Deep

NEBULA: Kim Stanley Robinson, Red Mars

STOKER: Peter Straub, The Throat

TIPTREE: Nicola Griffith, Ammonite

WFA: Tim Powers, Last Call


CLARKE: Jeff Noon, Vurt

DICK: Robert Charles Wilson, Mysterium

HUGO: Kim Stanley Robinson, Green Mars

NEBULA: Greg Bear, Moving Mars

STOKER: Nancy Holder, Dead in the Water

TIPTREE: Nancy Springer, Larque on the Wing

WFA: Lewis Shiner, Glimpses


CLARKE: Pat Cadigan, Fools

DICK: Bruce Bethke, Headcrash

HUGO: Lois McMaster Bujold, Mirror Dance

NEBULA: Robert J. Sawyer, The Terminal Experiment

STOKER: Joyce Carol Oates, Zombie

TIPTREE: Elizabeth Hand, Waking the Moon

TIPTREE: Theodore Roszak, The Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein

WFA: James Morrow, Towing Jehovah


CLARKE: Paul J. McAuley, Fairyland

DICK: Stephen Baxter, The Time Ships

HUGO: Neal Stephenson, The Diamond Age

NEBULA: Nicola Griffith, Slow River

STOKER: Stephen King, The Green Mile

TIPTREE: Mary Doria Russell, The Sparrow

WFA: Christopher Priest, The Prestige


CLARKE: Amitav Ghosh, The Calcutta Chromosome

DICK: Stepan Chapman, The Troika

HUGO: Kim Stanley Robinson, Blue Mars

NEBULA: Vonda N. McIntyre, The Moon and the Sun

STOKER: Janet Berliner and George Guthridge, Children of the Dusk

TIPTREE: Candas Jane Dorsey, Black Wine

WFA: Rachel Pollack, Godmother Night


CLARKE: Mary Doria Russell, The Sparrow

DICK: Geoff Ryman, 253: The Print Remix

HUGO: Joe Haldeman, Forever Peace

NEBULA: Joe Haldeman, Forever Peace

STOKER: Stephen King, Bag of Bones

TIPTREE: [a short story by Raphael Carter]

WFA: Jeffrey Ford, The Physiognomy


CLARKE: Tricia Sullivan, Dreaming in Smoke

DICK: Stephen Baxter, Vacuum Diagrams: Stories of the Xeelee Sequence

HUGO: Connie Willis, To Say Nothing of the Dog

NEBULA: Octavia Butler, Parable of the Talents

STOKER: Peter Straub, Mr. X

TIPTREE: Suzy McKee Charnas, The Conqueror's Child

WFA: Louise Erdrich, The Antelope Wife


CLARKE: Bruce Sterling, Distraction

DICK: Michael Marshall Smith, Only Forward

HUGO: Vernor Vinge, A Deepness in the Sky

NEBULA: Greg Bear, Darwin's Radio

STOKER: Richard Laymon, The Traveling Vampire Show

TIPTREE: Molly Gloss, Wild Life

WFA: Martin Scott, Thraxas


CLARKE: China Miéville, Perdido Street Station

DICK: Richard Paul Russo, Ship of Fools

HUGO: J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

NEBULA: Catherine Asaro, The Quantum Rose

STOKER: Neil Gaiman, American Gods

TIPTREE: Hiromi Goto, The Kappa Child

WFA: Tim Powers, Declare

WFA: Sean Stewart, Galveston


CLARKE: Gwyneth Jones, Bold as Love

DICK: Carol Emshwiller, The Mount

HUGO: Neil Gaiman, American Gods

NEBULA: Neil Gaiman, American Gods

STOKER: Thomas Piccirilli, The Night Class

TIPTREE: M. John Harrison, Light

WFA: Ursula K. Le Guin, The Other Wind


CLARKE: Christopher Priest, The Separation

DICK: Richard K. Morgan, Altered Carbon

HUGO: Robert J. Sawyer, Hominids

NEBULA: Elizabeth Moon, Speed of Dark

STOKER: Peter Straub, lost boy lost girl

TIPTREE: Matt Ruff, Set This House in Order

WFA: Graham Joyce, The Facts of Life

WFA: Patricia A. McKillip, Ombria in Shadow


CLARKE: Neal Stephenson, Quicksilver

DICK: Gwyneth Jones, Life

HUGO: Lois McMaster Bujold, Paladin of Souls

NEBULA: Lois McMaster Bujold, Paladin of Souls

STOKER: Peter Straub, In the Night Room

TIPTREE: Joe Haldeman, Camouflage

TIPTREE: Johanna Sinisalo, Not Before Sundown (US title, Troll: A Love Story)

WFA: Jo Walton, Tooth and Claw


CLARKE: China Miéville, Iron Council

HUGO: Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

WFA: Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

Tags: 52 book challenge, baa baa black sheep, literary wank

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