Old Man’s war was an incredible book. I was struck by the relentless logic of the plot, and the tight writing.
In contrast, the sequel “The Ghost Brigades”, limps along. The writing is nowhere near as precise, and the plot ambles from front to back cover.
I just started listening to some science fiction podcasts. Very useful when hands are otherwise occupied. The following caught my ear, Friction, by Will McIntosh, a beautifully imagined and carefully paced short story.
Another science fiction blog I have been listening to a bit is Starship Sofa. Recently they broadcast short stories nominated for the BSFA Award Best Short Story 2007. I particularly enjoyed The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate by Ted Chiang.
Moscow, Russia, 6 weeks before final cut of The Bourne Ultimatum
Scene: a small hotel room, mostly dark except where a lamp dimly illuminates the bedside table, on which we see an old black telephone, a packet of Gauloises, and an old sliver flip lighter. From out of picture left we hear indistinctly two arguing voices approaching outside. Suddenly, we hear a loud bang as one of the men is slammed into the hotel room door.
ÐÐ¾ Ñ Ð½Ðµ Ð¼Ð¾Ð³Ñƒ, ÑÑ‚Ð¾ Ð½ÐµÐ²Ð¾Ð·Ð¼Ð¾Ð¶Ð½Ð¾!” (shouting in Russian – subtitles: “But I cannot, it is impossible!”)
“Ð•ÑÐ»Ð¸ Ñƒ Ð½Ð°Ñ Ð½ÐµÑ‚ Ð¿Ð»ÐµÐ½ÐºÐ¸ Ð² Ñ‚ÐµÑ‡ÐµÐ½Ð¸Ðµ Ñ‚Ñ€ÐµÑ… Ð½ÐµÐ´ÐµÐ»ÑŒ, Ð²Ñ‹ Ð¿Ð¾Ð´Ð¾Ñ…Ð½ÐµÑ‚Ðµ!” (subtitles: “If we do not have the film in three weeks, you will die!”)
Another loud thump… running footsteps… a car door slams… screech of tires. Silence.
A key turns in the lock, and in staggers the Editor. A tall thin man, his clothes are ruffled. His face is mostly in shadow but we can discern a cut on his left cheek. His eyes are set into deep sleepless sockets. The door clicks shit behind him and he pauses for a moment in the hallway.
“God gammit!” he shouts suddenly, punching the wall. “It’s impossible!”
He walks into the room