I have decided to attempt to read all the books that have won a Hugo(*). Since of the 30 I've already read I only actively disliked one,"The Snow Queen" by Joan Vinge, and really liked most of the others, this should be fun :) Read "Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang" by Kate Wilhelm (after Lily reassured me that the 70's author from unisfa is the same as the 90's author I read during my exploration of the W's of Freo Library) which was pretty good if a little old-fashioned (Asimov not Dickens :) ) in style. Currently reading the winner from the previous year, "The Forever War", which actually comes across as more modern and a Real Book. It manages to convincingly and interestingly extrapolate war of the future while including the sort of gritty, satirical take on what war is really like that "mainstream" fiction has been exploring since WWII (and even more since Vietnam, think Catch 22 or MASH) but doesn't seem to make it much into s.f.
I got this really strong sense of deja vu reading "Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang", all those rather cold but not evil not-quite-human children reminded me of something I've read, I think Beggars in Spain. Which then combined with this blog entry on attitudes to the poor to help me realise that's exactly what bugged me about "Beggars..": while it was made clear that the poor and stupid needed looking after, it was implied that that's becuase they are incapable and uninterested in looking after themselves. I got the strong feeling the author had never had any lower class, ill-educated friends and tends to view them as a Scary Other.
Next week, the Postgrad Careers fair! Good timing, eh? Oh! And "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" is great, I'm very glad Phlebas managaed to persuade me to see it.
Finally, a link for Katie and Penny :)
(*)I'd do the Nebulas but I can't find a decent printable list with just the novel winners. I may have to compile my own from here.