Wednesday, May 03, 2006

UFOs and Crystal Rain Receiving Exposure

I liked this one because of the colors and the way it looked like a rain-bedraggle UFO surreptitously waiting for those in the know, however Streetsy has 5 pages of street art with UFOs. Not to endorse vandalism, of course, but some of it's tasty and obviously commissioned

1) Since Tobias Buckell has just broken into Locus' Bestseller list (a freaknormous achievement in scifi/fantasy) and is two weeks from finally quitting his day job (congrats!), I've decided today is the day to give my review of Crystal Rain, his debut novel that he kindly sent me after I posted about his prodigous self-promotion here. I linked to Amazon for ease of displaying covers and reviews, but please feel heartily encouraged to purchase at your local specialty bookseller.

It's quite good, though I wish the title tied into the story and setting better and didn't remind me so much of Chubby Rain from Bowfinger, although I admit the latter's my own problem. Buckell's written a viable, interesting world of trouble for armless amnesiac John deBrun without spilling every secret in minute narrative detail. Hooray! The reader encounters the world immersively as a stranger, and for me, there were discoveries throughout of things that locals take for granted which continually caused me to reassess what I'd assumed. How the place became as it has is gradually unfolded, and there are still elements about which I'm curious. The juxtaposition and conflict of a sacrificial Aztec-based culture with a more Carribbean-based one is fascinating, as well as the odd intrusions of leftover technology in this apparently lonely world. The story is nicely told and includes several interesting side characters like Pepper, the benignly-named scene-stealer who is a deadly mix of Predator and sidekick and worthy of a novel all his own. The strongest necessity and most difficult hurdle for a tale of this type is met: the created world and characters are vital and engaging enough to sustain lots of action at cross purposes, and the story ends satisfyingly while leaving plenty of questions and future possibilities. I'm not surprised it's doing well.

2) As we've been recently talking Doomsdays, there's another clock of which you may not have heard. The Paradigm Research Group's clock ticks down until "disclosure", that is until the U.S. goverment admits the prevalence and origin of UFOs. Lately, they've bumped it up by 5 seconds or back by 30, but something which they cannot reveal in detail has caused them to skip it forward by a whole minute to 11:59:45.

Based upon an analysis of a multitude of circumstances within and outside the nation and upon highly impacting information provided to PRG by an unexpected and extraordinary source, PRG has concluded that America is now facing an unprecedented crisis which has opened a window to disclosure wider than at any previous time.

I have become thornily skeptical in the extreme of anonymous sources, and I'd love to know what PRG heard. It better not be another prank call by a summertime junior subaltern at the State Dept., because that's just mean-spirited.

No comments: