In Which One's Own Good Is Regarded Dubiously

29 August 2005

I haven't been feeling up to par the last few days, so I've been spending most of my time down on the couch, not up here at the computer. Lots of reading, fewer journal entries.

This morning I finished reading Naomi Kritzer's Freedom's Apprentice. I think this series is better than her first series, and I always like to see authors improve. Looking forward to the third in the trilogy. I also read Patrick O'Brian's The Commodore, which got to some plot points I was looking forward to having addressed. I'm swiftly running out of this series, but I'm hooked enough by it that I'm not having much success with pacing myself.

I picked up Linnea Sinclair's Finders Keepers, but it just wasn't for me. It hit several of my hot buttons in a romantic relationship all together, right off the bat, and didn't do much else in the first sixty pages. So I put it down and went to see why Shards of Honor didn't annoy me when this one did, because the situation (enemy combatants fall in love...sort of; not an exact fit in either book's case) seemed so close. I hadn't reread Shards of Honor in something like six years, and it was a good choice, comfortable without being overworn.

Now I'm reading David Feintuch's Midshipman's Hope, and it's making me appreciate Maturin in the O'Brian novels all the more. Maturin provides a useful alternative to the Royal Navy's viewpoint: there are times when Maturin's ideas about life or the ship are wrong and not useful, and there are times when he has a better perspective from the outside than anyone does on the inside. He doesn't fall into civilians always being right or always being wrong, and meaning well is not always enough.

I think I may have a higher/stronger standard for when hazing, physical violence, and strict hierarchy are "necessary" than the average. My suspension of disbelief is much harder with SF in particular, because in a fantasy universe, you can just stipulate that the culture in question hadn't gotten to the whole human rights/consensus government thing yet in the first place, rather than having chucked it for some reason or in some circumstances. Kids get presented with a lot of things as "for their own good," and big huge chunks of them aren't either. And sometimes it's all right to do things for adults' convenience instead of kids' good -- one of the things a kid has to learn is that he/she is not the center of the universe -- but honesty, y'know, we look well on that honesty thing around here.

Anyway, anyway. Some of the long-awaited pictures from London are up now: Sunday. There's a link at the bottom to Monday's pictures, but those won't be going up today or, in all likelihood, soon. It's not an immediate priority for when I'm feeling better. Eventually, though. Really.

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