9. Dickson, Gordon R. Hour of the Horde (159 p.)
10. Leiber, Fritz. The Leiber Chronicles: fifty years of Fritz Leiber (601 p.)
(Two Sought Adventure: The Jewels in the Forest, The Automatic Pistol, Smoke Ghost, The Hound, Sanity, Wanted--an Enemy, Alice and the Allergy, The Girl with the Hungry Eyes, The Man Who Never Grew Young, Coming Attraction, A Pail of Air, Poor Superman, Yesterday House, The Moon is Green, A Bad Day for Sales, The Night He Cried, What's He Doing in There?, Try and Change the Past, Rump-Titty-Titty-Tum-Tah-Tee, The Haunted Future, Mariana, The Beat Cluster, The 64-Square Madhouse, The Man Who Made Friends With Electricity, Bazaar of the Bizarre, 237 Talking Statues, Etc., When the Change Winds Blow, Four Ghosts in Hamlet, Gonna Roll the Bones, The Inner Circles, Ship of Shadows, Endfray of the Ofay, America the Beautiful, Ill Met in Lankhmar, The Bait, Midnight by the Morphy Watch, Belsen Express, Catch That Zeppelin!, The Glove, The Death of Princes, A Rite of Spring, The Button Molder, Horrible Imaginings, The Curse of the Smalls and the Stars)
11. Gaiman, Neil. Anansi Boys (400 p.)
12. Heinlein, Robert A. The Door into Summer (159 p.)
February total: 1,319 pages
2011 total to date: 3,749 pages
Hour of the Horde had a few bits that interested me (such as the concept that there is a "hysterical strength" for mental powers as some argue there is for physical strength), but really wasn't all that engaging overall. It's brain candy at best.
I had a similar, though not quite as lukewarm reaction to "The Door into Summer", but I must admit two things about it: 1. It's one of a few--possibly the only--novel-length time-travel story I've read that argues that paradox is impossible because the timeline is immutable, and 2. It's one of the few Heinlein stories I've read where I didn't notice any sharp turn of tone or plot into left field 3/4 of the way through the book that threw me out of the story and put a massive damper on my enjoyment of the book. Either there isn't a wrenching turn in this one, or I predicted it pretty early on from the foreshadowing and thus it wasn't all that sudden nor a surprise.
The only Fritz Leiber stuff I'd read to this point was some of his Lankmar stories, so this collection was somewhat eye-opening. Most of the stories were good but not great, but I enjoyed most of them. I think a few of these stories might make for a kernel around which a solid movie script could be written (maybe big-screen, maybe made-for-TV movie or an episode of something like Dr. Who or Twilight Zone for others); particularly, "Four Ghosts in Hamlet" and "Jewels in the Forest" (which has always been my favorite Lankhmar story), and with modern advanced in CGI and compositing, I'd love to see a moviemaker take on "237 Talking Statues, Etc."
Someone recently told me I really should read Anansi Boys, so when a copy recently fell in my lap, I decided to go ahead and do so. It's not my favorite Gaiman story, but it was quite enjoyable and is as thoroughly recommended to y'all as it was to me. One sign of Gaiman's mastercraft at work: The whole way through, I found myself thinking that there should be a movie of this and that Lenny Henry would make a perfect Fat Charlie. Then I got to the end, and discovered that Gaiman had written that character specifically with Lenny Henry's voice in his mind! Gaiman absolutely nailed that voice. And they really should make a live-action movie of this, with Lenny Henry as Fat Charlie, and maybe someone like Mos Def or Jamie Foxx as Spider. I don't know who'd be good to play Anansi himself ( maybe Ernie Hudson?) or any of the women's roles, though (I keep flashing to Caroline Lee-Johnson, but only because she played the wife on Chef!).
Feudalism: Serf & Turf