Helliconia Spring, by Brian Aldiss. Science fiction classic with amazing worldbuilding, in a world where each season lasts for hundreds of years. Also relentlessly gross and grim, with characters who didn't engage me at all. Gave up.

Yet I feel strangely cheered that a brilliant man like Brian Aldiss can commit a sentence - not meant to be funny - like Something in his hollow belly went whang at the thought.

Even the best of us sometimes write "Something went whang."

Into the Night, by Suzanne Brockmann. I had somehow missed reading this installment of her Troubleshooters Navy SEALs series. Sadly, it was the worst one. Mike Muldoon has no personality - he's young, hot, likes older women, and... uh... that's basically it. White House staffer Joan DaCosta is incredibly annoying. There are stupid misunderstandings galore, plus yet another ridiculous romantic obstacle impossible to take seriously: Horrors! This completely perfect man is younger than me! Also, virtually nothing happens in the entire book.

The subplots were way more interesting, but the WWII one (which I liked a lot) had little page time, and the doomed romance between Mary Lou and the sweet Arab guy ended incredibly depressingly, with him probably dying of injuries sustained in the action climax and everyone falsely believing that he was a terrorist. I wonder if this is resolved in a later book, and I just don't remember it because I didn't have the context that would have made it seem relevant. (I remember what happened to Mary Lou; I mean what happened to Ibrahim Rahman.)
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)

From: [personal profile] davidgillon

"Something went whang."

Presumably because it was a dark and stormy night?

From: [personal profile] thewormthatflies

Did you give up on Helliconia Spring during the prologue or afterwards? I remember that I found the prologue quite dull the first time I read it, and I almost gave up, but liked the rest of the book (and series) a lot more.

It totally is both gross and grim, though.

(Edited for grammar.)
Edited Date: 2015-04-11 11:23 pm (UTC)
kore: (Default)

From: [personal profile] kore

My favorite was the pit creature, a giant mouth at the bottom of a sinkhole

kore: (Default)

From: [personal profile] kore

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

From: [personal profile] kate_nepveu

Mary Lou & Ibrahim are resolved in the next book, _Gone Too Far_, which is also the Alyssa/Sam book.

I wouldn't say _Into the Night_ is the *worst*, because Mary Lou and Ibrahim, but I definitely don't like it.
ldybastet: (Default)

From: [personal profile] ldybastet

Somehow I managed to get through all three Heliconia books... Not quite sure how. But I can't remember a thing except a vague sense of... Winter? It's like my whole brain glaze over every time I try to direct my attention to the memory. LOL

From: [identity profile] jorrie-spencer.livejournal.com

Didn't Mike have submissive tendencies? I remember that felt fresh when I read it, if I am indeed remembering this correctly.

I should say that I discovered Brockmann and read like 7 books or hers in a row and had a blast and felt very positive about them. This was one of them, if not a standout read. I also think I remember what happened to Ibrahim but geez if I can find anything to confirm it.

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com

He did! Sadly he never actually explored them. There's a male sub/female dom pair in a later book - dammit, her titles are so generic - it's Tracy/Decker. HOT. And I'm not saying that just because I like femdom. Brockmann is really good at it.

I feel very positive about the series as a whole. I think part of the issue with this one is that since I accidentally read it last, I was also comparing it to my favorites.

From: [identity profile] jorrie-spencer.livejournal.com

At the time, just having submissive tendencies was completely new to me as a relatively new romance reader. So it had more impact than it no doubt would have now.

I read the Tracy/Decker book, and I liked what she did there, but by that time my Brockmann high was on a downswing. Even if I thought she was doing something fairly nuanced with Decker's storyline over a number of books. (I was not one of those readers who wanted him paired with Sophia. At ALL. So I was a bit baffled by the resulting controversy.)

But I will always love Brockmann for being the first (that I'd read) who had a (part) Indian hero in Max Bhagat. They were pretty thin on the ground, if not nonexistent, at that point. At least in my experience. As a complete aside, I LOVE that Mills and Boon are delivering India-set romances now. So many changes…

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com

Brockmann was ground-breakingly progressive for the time she was writing, in a whole bunch of ways. She had a number of heroes of color, not just Max. Not to mention the whole Robin/Jules storyline.

From: [identity profile] vom-marlowe.livejournal.com

I stopped reading these years ago, but I remember disliking this one. (This era is when I bailed.) I don't actually remember what happened to Mary Lou by the end of the series--could you tell me?

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com

You know, I'm now realizing that maybe that storyline is resolved in Gone Too Far, the Sam and Alyssa book. I think I'll re-read it forthwith. All I remember is that Mary Lou and Haley are kidnapped, and Sam thinks Mary Lou is dead, but she isn't. Adventures ensue! And then they get a divorce and go on to have better lives apart than they did together.

From: [identity profile] vom-marlowe.livejournal.com

I remember the kidnapping! But I don't remember Mary Lou getting a HEA. I thought she should, after she turns herself around. I shipped her with Ibraham pretty hard, gotta admit.

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com

I now can't remember if she gets a romantic HEA, or just survives a harrowing experience and emotionally moves on. Will have to read the book to find out, clearly.

From: [identity profile] nuit-belle.livejournal.com

I now can't remember if she gets a romantic HEA, or just survives a harrowing experience and emotionally moves on. Will have to read the book to find out, clearly.

I know the answer! If you want to know before you start the book...
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (Default)

From: [personal profile] larryhammer

I actually finished Helliconia Spring, though it was a bit of a slog. When I picked up Helliconia Summer a month or two later, I realized I couldn't remember a single thing about the first book aside from that I had finished it -- and put the sequel back on the library shelf. Even as a voracious two-book-a-day teen reader, life was too short to put up with that.


From: [identity profile] oracne.livejournal.com

I think he and Mary Lou did end up married, but it's been years since I read it.

From: [identity profile] yhlee.livejournal.com

Brian Aldiss is a good writer whose works I have never been able to get into, is the impression I got from my few tries. It just happens. :]


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