December 05, 2004

FINISHED THE HARRY TURTLEDOVE BOOK I mentioned the other day. It was pretty good, but not his best, and not as good as In the Presence of Mine Enemies, much less things like The Guns of the South.

Several readers emailed with various Turtledove observations -- one saw him at the Los Angeles Science Fiction Writers' Assocation last week, where he observed that if he had actually gotten an academic job with his Ph.D. in Byzantine history, that would have been a seriously alternative history.

Speaking of matters Byzantine, I really liked his Justinian, written under the name "H.N. Turtletaub." In an Amazon review, I asked why the different name, and he emailed me that he already had too many books coming out that year and his publisher insisted that he use a different name. That's probably his biggest weakness as a writer: He writes too many books. It's hypocritical of me to say that, since I eagerly await the new ones, but it's still true.

I'm not sure what I'll read next. I was planning to read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, but I think it's too big to fit in my backpack and I need something portable right now. Hmm.