No putdowns!

Last Sunday’s hasty post by my husband may have been the result of me picking up a book for just a minute, when I hadn’t finished my MGC post yet. And then suddenly the book was done, and it was 1:30am, and I was falling flat on my face…

Then came the bad news: suddenly, it was 8:30 in the morning, the alarm had been going on and off and was giving up, and my husband was bringing me tea and asking why he hadn’t seen the MGC post, and did I not get this done, or that done? Fortunately, the man I love understands “Um, there was this book.” (It’s one of many reasons he’s perfect for me.) In fact, I’ve yet to encounter an author who doesn’t understand that – we all pretty much got into this business from loving stories. (As far as money per hour goes? Should have been a welder.)

In fact, that’s one of the highest compliments I’ve gotten – people complaining that I made them lose sleep.

However, my darling man and I do not have much in the way of overlapping fiction tastes (or music tastes, for that matter. Although the day he heard me listening to …I think it was Pantera… and gave me a Very Odd look, followed by explaining that the last time he’d heard that song, it had been blasting out of a tank as the crew charged into battle… certainly afforded a glimpse into our very different pasts.) So when he asked, “What was it?” I could watch his eyes glaze over lightly at the description. “Glad you enjoyed it, love.”

Fortunately, that’s why there are friends. They’re not just there for the books we hurl at the wall and then hurl invective about after it – sometimes, they like the same things we do! Sometimes they can even help when we’re searching for things we vaguely remember, like “Hey, does anyone remember the Scifi series that was about a doc treating aliens? It wasn’t Sector General, no, the doc was a lady.”

(Speaking of, trying to find 90’s SF you vaguely remember on amazon? No, don’t type Science Fiction Medical” into Amazon. *shudder* between the zombie craze, Doctor Who, and Kung Flu, doubt I’ll ever find that series I borrowed from the library again!)

Anyway, what was the last book that made you lose sleep, or was otherwise un-put-down-able?

12 comments

  1. A strange Miss Marple story: The Moving Finger. For some reason, having the detective only at the end made it more interesting. I recently bought a used book of collected Agatha Christie novels April so I could re-read it and see if it were as good as remembered.

  2. That would have been Tim Powers’ “The Anubis Gates.” I read the last page, saw it was 0400 and the alarm was set for 0600, said “what the hell”, flipped back to the front, and started at the beginning again. It was a sleepy day at work. Because it was *that* kind of book, so dense you’re sure you missed all sorts of details while following the main story…

    Alas, Powers never wrote anything else like that.

    Robert Silverberg once wrote about writing a “master work”, in the old sense of a journeyman proving mastery of his trade. He was talking about a particular story he wrote to do that; overloading the story with problems to be solved, to show that he could interleave multiple crises and plotlines while still making a coherent story. “The Anubis Gates” is like that; it starts off slowly, and then different bits start forking off, subplots develop, and you’re going “WTF?” as you’re reading… and then he starts drawing it all back together, a thread at a time, while you change from “he’s never going to get this pile of random bits to fit together” to “well, obviously, how else?”

    Not every book is like that, or needs to be. I’m not one to turn up my nose at a simple unpretentious story told for entertainment. But sometimes you reach into the hat and pull out something *way* better than you expected…

    note: I’ve given copies of that book to friends, none of whom were as impressed as I was. Just shows that I need a better class of friends…

  3. Science Fiction Medical

    The one with the human I think female on the left side, gazing upward and to the left in soft focus, with foggy space center fading in?

    Was set in something like the galactic medical center or something?

    I think it was by Stasheff, but that MAY just be that it was next to his space veterinarian one. (which had a green cover)

  4. Could your series be Stardoc from year 2000?

    “Dr. Cherijo Grey Veil leaves Earth and accepts a position as a physician at Kevarzanga-2’s FreeClinic. Her surgical skills are desperately needed on a hostile frontier world with over 200 sentient species—and her understanding of alien physiology is nothing short of miraculous.”

          1. And a good enough referral for me to buy. I’ve read the Sector General novels and was looking for more.

  5. Couple days ago I wanted a quote from The Call of the Wild … found the quote, also found myself rereading it all the way from beginning to end. Fortunately for the rest of my day, it’s relatively short.

Comments are closed.