Thursday, 6 March 2014

Loncon3 homework

Recent SF-community strife looks to be settling again, so hopefully everyone attending Loncon3 later in the year can start to look forward to it. (In the meantime, remember to read all Internet content in the style of Adam Buxton’s BUG. Much funnier, and far less enraging.)

My first-and-only convention to date was the World SFF conference in Brighton last year, which highlighted a gaping hole in my knowledge of the genre. (I sometimes sort-of knew what people were talking about. Although, thinking about it, I get that for pretty much everything, not just SF...)

I plan to read some of the bazillion things that I Should Have Read between now and August, but this is an exercise I’ve done before.

Then, things went just-about-OK, but there were plenty of classics that I found myself shrugging at, bored by, or thought were just plain bad.

Problem is, I find myself short on patience these days, but still find it tough to stop reading a book I’m not getting on with. Reading through gritted teeth (erk) is not fun. The last to suffer this fate was Wolf Hall, which I loved until about half-way, when all my reading momentum seemed to vanish and I had no real desire to continue. (I think the not-my-cup-of-tea nature of the topic finally caught up with me.)

Books I love, I’ll read in two days. Books I hate, I’ll persevere with for weeks, until the tears set in.

Horrible truth of reading, that I spend most of my life reading books I don’t even like.

It doesn’t help that I’m a slow reader. At the World SFF con, one panel member spoke about how long a typical book might take people to read, and gave the upper bound at around six hours. I looked around the room hoping for raised eyebrows – my own rate would probably make it at least twice that.

This effectively makes novels twice as long, so I need to focus on my main preferences and hunt for the Ten Most Readable Great SF/Horror Novels Ever.

Suggestions welcome. Yes, even from you, Google Web Crawler.


  1. Hi Seth,

    Whatever you do, don't read The Cuckoo's Calling. I always buy hardback books because I like to re-read them without them falling apart. What a load of rubbish. It went straight into the bin after I made myself read to the end. I really don't know how JR Rowling could write such a thing, albeit under another name. Regards
    Avid Reader

  2. Am feeling smug now, as I got about 3/4 of the way through Wolf Hall before my cup of tea alert light started flashing, managed to wade to the end though but paid the price with "Bring up the Bodies", didn't get past page two.... Hint Two: Don't intermix reading Wolf Hall with wading through the Game of Thrones series.