First the book, though: I just finished Hammered by Elizabeth Bear. Because I'm a book grouch, I'm going to get all my nitpicks out of the way up front. I don't like cyberpunk. I don't like chapter headings that rely on time and date stamps to orient me in the story, because I don't have a context for them and don't remember what is three days before or two days later. I just can't follow.
Also, I don't believe that anyone would replace their teeth with razors and leave them that way for any length of time. It would be like having the mouth that never heals. After six months, my tongue would be whittled down to inch worm size, and the endless cuts would leave me with a relentless series of infections. I'm not signing on with that idea.
And, as I mentioned before, I didn't like that the book opened with a fake editors' note explaining that the text was a narrative created from interview transcripts and journal notes. All it did was remind me how artificial the traditional narrative story form can be, which I was happy to ignore up to that point.
Despite the fact that I don't actually like this sort of story, I did enjoy the book. It mostly cruises by on style and an engaging lead character.
I enjoyed the book. I found the ending a little confounding, because it left several story lines unresolved, and the plots that did reach resolution did not seem to be driving the action of the book until the last, I don't know, seventy pages.
Blah blah blah. I'm not going to go into it too much. I enjoyed the book for what it is. I won't be picking up another Casey book, but I will try one of Bear's other books.
We also took out RETURNER and MINORITY REPORT from the library.
Returner is a solid genre piece--the sort of gunfight skiffy that so much film science fiction seems to have become. It's basically Terminator with aliens swapped out for robots and a frightened young girl in place of Reese. She befriends a vigilante and the two of them try to prevent an ambitious gangster from starting an interplanetary war humanity can't win.
A little hokey, a little over-acted in places, a little predictable. Still, the leads had charisma, and the story actually held together. I recommend it.
Minority Report surprised me, too. It was a strange mix of Hollywood crap and effective heart-wringing. The flashback scene at the pool made me rush into the back bedroom to check on my son.
It was also much lighter on the action than I thought, and what action sequences it had were not all that effective. Good stuff.
Veronica Mars tonight! I will be in Internet blackout mode from 5 pm onward, so I don't see any spoilers. I want to watch the show to see how right -- right! -- I am that Beaver is the bus bomber.