If we were having coffee, you’d either be in my house or witness to just about the first time I’ve left my house since getting home from my dentist appointment on Wednesday. This, if you’re me, constitutes a certain type of pure bliss, and it has been a lovely, wonderful long weekend, one where I have mostly not been wearing pants and yesterday I did not bother to shower until just before bed.
Let’s talk geek shit, then, because at the moment it’s what I’ve got. Again, I haven’t left the house in a few days.
ITEM THE FIRST! I abandoned a book this morning, R.E. Stearns’ Barbary Station, when it became clear that despite starting off with an absolutely scandalous amount of potential the writing was never going to click for me. This book is about a duo of lesbian engineers who steal a colony ship and present it to a gang of space pirates, hoping that the gift will get them into the gang, because the galactic economy has gone to shit and “find a job with a pirate crew” is, under the circumstances, a sound plan. They then discover that the pirates living on the station are sort of trapped there, because the AI running the place has gone rogue and has decided Kill All Humans is the right way to deal with things.
I mean, come on. I can’t resist a single thing about that premise. This was bought the second I knew it existed.
One of them is a hacker, and hacking is presented as this drug-induced, hallucinatory metaphor-space, and the idea is fascinating. In fact, damn near all of the ideas in the book are fascinating. Everything about it is fascinating. What it isn’t is good, unfortunately. The writing is clumsy at best and the book is at least one solid editing pass and a new draft away from being a good read. I don’t normally like to slag on books I didn’t like here, especially if they didn’t piss me off in an entertaining way, but part of me kind of hopes that someone will read the premise and decide I suck at deciding if things are good and buy the book anyway. I need R. E. Stearns to sit down with a really good editor for her next book, and then to reissue this one. Major disappointment.
(I’m not alone in this assessment. The book currently has the worst overall star average of the nearly 600 books I’ve reviewed on Goodreads– only 3.19/5. It’s tied with a Chuck Wendig book that was the victim of a prolonged and stupid review bombing. That’s bad.)
Also, the font the book is written in is borderline unreadable. I thought I’d get used to it but it was still pushing me out of getting lost in the book before I bailed. With a better-written story, it might not have mattered, but with a poorly-written one, it was just One More Thing.
That was unpleasant, so let’s talk about ITEM THE SECOND! which is Red Dead Redemption 2. I actually took that picture by pointing my camera at my TV, because I got to the top of that mountain and looked off over the edge and thought Jesus, when I started playing video games, I was playing Asteroids, and now this. Because you can go anywhere you can see in that picture.
I will have a lot more to say about this game later, believe me, but for right now I just want to bask in how outstandingly beautiful the game is, and how it got me to spend a couple of hours this afternoon not bothering to advance the story at all but just exploring and hunting, which is kind of a ridiculous way to spend your Sunday before going back to work. There are things I don’t like– the control scheme it starts you with is terrible, and once you fix the terrible control scheme you’re still left with something that will lead to you occasionally firing a gun in a crowded tavern by accident or punching your horse. Both of those activities are kinda frowned upon.
I’ve done more geekery this weekend, but the one other thing I wanna talk about is going to get its own post, I think. So … wanna go hunt moose with me? Because I kinda want to bag a moose today.
My Patreon promotion is still running through bedtime tomorrow, or maybe even longer than that if I decide I feel like it. Subscribe at the $2/month level or above and I’ll send you an autographed, print copy of my newest novel, Click.