Friday, 23 July 2010

The Stars My Destination & UBIK

A sf novel by Alfred Bester written in 1956.

I got about half way through. The main character is a mentalist with a bad temper. This really didn't interest me. It just seemed like a adventure story, and nothing more. I heard the end is very good, actually looks more about the character and explains why the book might have been called "Tiger, Tiger!" originally. It's hailed as a really good sf book, but I just wasn't getting anything more than the 'adventure story' from it. Not reading till the end to justify that either if I'm honest.

After this I tried to read UBIK by Philip K Dick, which has an awful cover (Stars isn't much better). I don't like the SF Masterworks covers, I prefer the Gollancz 'bubbly' ones. After reading ~15 pages I was totally confused. He introduces you to a swarm of characters and words that he seems to use throughout his novels (homeopapes, and many more) that you can't really figure out. It's just not an enjoyable read when the reader is expected to absorb pages worth of conversation that only the author understands. It's literally like reading German (of which he seems to use in every book -- at the start of UBIK it's a poem). I may come back to it. I'm having a break from sf now.

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