Blogging Other

My RSS Feed is Broken

My RSS feed has broken and so new posts are no longer showing up in Google Reader. I am trying to fix it, but have no idea what caused the problem, so it is proving difficult. My husband normally sorts these technical issues out for me really quickly, but he’s gone to Turkey on business and so won’t be able to help me out until Sunday.

I’ll be adding a new post each day, so please check back regularly to see my latest posts.

Hopefully I’ll get it sorted soon.

2000 - 2007 Other Prizes Science Fiction

Perdido Street Station – China Miéville

 Winner of the 2001 Arthur C. Clarke Award and the 2001 British Fantasy Award. Nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, Locus and British Science Fiction awards

When the Booker longlist was announced there was some anger from the science fiction community that China Miéville was excluded from the list. Damien Walter was particularly vocal on Twitter, and so, keen to ensure I wasn’t missing out on a great author, I decided to read one of his books. It was agreed that Perdido Street Station was the best and so I bought a copy. I was a little daunted when a 870 page chunkster dropped through my letter box, but I was still keen to find out why people were raving about this book.

Perdido Street Station began really well, with vivid descriptions of a strange world.

Sil lived and worked and slept in the tub, hauling himself from one end to the other with his huge, webbed hands and frog’s legs, his body wobbling like a bloated testicle, seemingly boneless. He was ancient and fat and grumpy, even for a vodyanoi. He was a bag of old blood with limbs, without a separate head, his big curmudgeonly face poking out from the fat at the front of his body.  

Isaac, the central character, is employed to study winged animals by a secrective creature who has lost his wings. I loved the character development and the imaginative plot – I was hooked for the first half of the book.

Everything started to go wrong at about the 500 page mark. The plot deteriorated into one long chase scene; I became bored by the continual fighting and longed for the thoughtfulness of the beginning to return. The ending was also a disappointment. It was such a shame, as I was really enjoying it.

I can see why this book won so many fantasy awards, but now I know why it didn’t win the Booker, or any other literary fiction prize. This book is beautifully written, but it doesn’t have the depth required for literary fiction. It is an incredible work of imagination, but in the end it lacked enough emotion or depth for me.

Recommended to people who are very passionate about their science fiction, but not to lovers of literary fiction.


Have you read anything written by China Miéville?

I was very intrigued to read that he is planning to write a book in every genre. He is clearly a talented author and so I will read more of his books in the future. I am especially tempted by his latest book  The City & The City,which is described as detective noir novel. Has anyone read it?


Links I’ve stumbled across this month

It has been a long time since I last posted a set of links, so I apologise that some of them are a bit old, but if you haven’t seen them then they are still worth looking at!

Scribbit has a great post about how blogging has changed over the years.

The Wonder of Whiffling takes an interesting look at words in the English language. I’d love to read the book, but the website has a few quotes to keep me going until I get a copy! 

I love looking at bookshelves, so enjoyed having a glimpse at Neil Gaiman’s bookshelves.

There is a lot of wisdom for both new and old bloggers in this 50 Blogging Lessons To Know If You’re Starting Today post.

Toast It Notes – Are they madness or genius?

I found this free tool for checking the load speed of your blog. I discovered that mine loads really slowly, so am working on that! It highlights exactly which parts of your blog are causing the problems, so it is a very useful tool.

Books I’ve been persuaded to buy


Between Mom and Jo, by Julie Anne Peters recommended by Amanda from Zen Leaf.

I only discovered Amanda’s blog during BBAW. This was the first book review I read on her blog. I knew that she would become a favourite when her first post persuaded me to part with my money. She describes it as “the best book about GLBT issues I’ve ever read.” I love the fact she describes it as being emotional and stereotype-breaking. I hope that I enjoy it as much as she did.

City of Refuge by Tom Piazza recommended by Wendy from Caribous Mom

City of Refuge looks at the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  Wendy says that it  “leaves the reader with hope and a glimpse into the enduring spirit of a community.” She gave it 5 stars and as we have a similar taste in books anything she likes has a strong chance of ending up in my TBR pile. This one went straight onto the list!

The Monk by Matthew Lewis recommended by She from A Book Blog. Period.

I was very intrigued when She described The Monk as an “18th century version of a screwed up soap opera. No… Jerry Springer.” I hadn’t heard of it before, but I hope to read it very soon.

Did any of these books attract your attention too?