"A library doesn't need windows. A library is a window." – Stewart Brand

Aug 26, 2013

Read Something! DIARY by Chuck Palahnuik

Chuck Palahnuik

Literary (?) fiction

Misty Wilmot was supposed to be a famous artist, but somehow that didn't quite work out. Somehow she ended up with a husband and a daughter and a dead-end waitressing job at the run-down hotel on Waytansea Island, where she's found herself living after marriage and pregnancy deferred her dreams. Somehow she's supposed to manage things alone after her husband, a building contractor, put himself in a coma through a failed suicide attempt. After his clients started calling, complaining of rooms in their houses found boarded-up, of strange obscene messages left inside.

All Misty wanted was to be an artist, before married motherhood on this picturesque island distracted her. Now, she's at the end of her rope. It doesn't help that all her mother-in-law wants her to do is take up her long-forgotten paints. It's what Misty's daughter wants, too. And many of the old island families are asking after her art... Something begins to seem not quite right as everyone on the island goes to increasing lengths to spark Misty's creativity. It's not clear what her art is supposed to accomplish - but it's becoming increasingly evident that she won't be allowed to not paint.

This is a dark and snappily written little novel for those of us interested in just how far people will go, and how awful the things they do will be, to ensure their own survival. It's by the author of Fight Club - so expect a healthy dose of meta and a plot twist or seven thrown in for good measure.

Aug 15, 2013

Read Something! REDSHIRTS by John Scalzi

John Scalzi

Science fiction

Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been posted to the Intrepid, the flagship of the Universal Union fleet. It's a prestigious post, but when Dahl arrives on board, he finds that life aboard the Intrepid is just a little... well, strange. To start off, it seems like the crew avoids their senior officers. Those that don't tend to get assigned to away teams, and those assigned to away teams... often end up dead. Then there's the Box, a device of unknown provenance that consistently offers solutions to insoluble problems just in the nick of time. Something isn't right on the Intrepid, and Dahl and his friends are going to get to the bottom of it - even if it means their world will never be the same.

Scalzi has written a fast-paced, entertaining narrative great for fans of Star Trek and similar sci-fi shows as well as people who enjoy a healthy dose of "meta" in their fiction.