Meh, eh, grrr and SHUT UP.
Not necessarily in that order.

Today, I am apathy incarnate. I had to write up my accomplishments from the past year in preparation for my review and about the only thing I can come up with is “I came to work and I did work things”. That, folks, pretty much sums up my job. I came, I worked, I left. No one was saved and no one died as a direct result of anything I may or may not have done. I guess that counts for a good year. Meh.

I’m still coughing too, but fortunately not as much as I had been. I think my body has once again accepted the lungs with only the occasional disgruntledness. Eh.

My cool nail polish is also flaking off. Stupid nail polish. Grrr.

I finished the most annoying book ever this weekend; The Skies of Pern. Someone somewhere mentioned to Ann McCaffrey that she might be a writer and whew! The resulting fetid story gurgled out of her brain and onto these sorry pages. Crude and vulgar stick figure cartoons would have been a better use of paper. This incarnation of the whole Dragonriders thing blew chunks (much like my cat did sometime early this morning, but without my cat’s flair and style for hoarking) so badly I was yelling at it while reading it.

Indefatigable. (I couldn’t even spell that right the first time). McCaffrey actually used indefatigable in a sentence for no apparent reason other than she could and it was big and important sounding word. The only other time I have ever run into this word in whiting was while reading the Horatio Hornblower series and it was the name of a boat. The boat wasn’t being indefatigable in it’s quest to blot the French out of the ocean, the boat was the Indefatigable (and blotted the French out of the ocean. It’s an English thing apparently). The Brits have all sorts of strange names for boats so I could let it pass as “a strange unpronounceable but important sounding boat name” but to randomly use indefatigable in a sentence surrounded by two or fewer syllable words just made me angry.

That should have been my first clue right there to put the book down, preferably in a roaring fireplace somewhere but I read on. I kinda liked the original Dragonrider stuff (Dragonflight, Dragonsdawn, The White Dragon) because is was readable and had an interesting story about an advanced civilization that came across some catastrophic event which caused it to devolve and forget the story of its origins. I like reading and discovering with the characters where they came from and why they fell. Plus, the dragons were cool. The first three books were fun, this one was like reading about a dead horse getting flogged.

Other than the occasional nickel word popping up because I suppose McCaffrey got a shiny new thesaurus and was itching to try it out, the story idea was tiring. Blah blah people squabbling, blah blah imminent disaster, blah blah dragons save the day blah blah people blame the dragons for the disaster in the first place cakes. Yawn. Been there, done that the first book, move along please. Obnoxious use of over inflated words and boring storyline I can forgive, mostly, but what really lit me off was how she dealt with the big bad.

As a recap: Big bad who tried to take out the all wise still functioning but soon to be defunct computer of the ancients from a book or two back escapes, organizes a pretty sizable resistance group, starts sabotaging the advancement of technology (I guess he was one of those traditionalist ‘science=bad’ dudes), and is clever enough to not get caught or leave any trails to him through his cell members. Except for those two pages four fifths of the way through the book when he gets the mole to get him up close and personal like to the blue screened of death computer and the “has been dead for 5 years” terminal “recognizes” the Big Bad and zaps him to death with some sort of “residual protection ray” thing it had stored up for page 358 or something like that. So the guy walks in, gets zapped and falls down dead. Why would anyone read the rest of the hundred give or take pages? For the mole?

Oh, OK, the plot can be saved somewhat from the deus ex of the residual recognizing lightning strike (obviously not a window’s platform) with the whole mole thing. Not the best but you could have the mole take over the resistance, or maybe stay as a mole and see how long, if ever (although McCaffrey’s good guys always get their man) it takes the good guys to find him, or maybe you are just too lazy as a writer to think your way through this and you just have the mole drop dead from a heart attack after watching the Big Bad get extra crispy. That’s penmanship right there. Now we don’t have to worry about any pesky plot or story and we can just merrily tool along with the dragon riders. Whooo! You know, just shut-up about the Dragonriders. No, I mean it. Shut. Up. SHUT UP. SHUT UP! SHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP!

Oh yeah, and as a side note to McCaffrey – retire Lessa and F’lar already. Dead horses, both of them.

Guah. I’m going to go read something better, anything better.

5 Responses to “Pfffft”

  1. Anne Says:

    I liked the Harper Hall Pern books too. I think the big problem is that publishers realized that anything with McCaffery’s name on it would make money even if it sucked royally, so they stopped editing her work (or in some cases even proof reading it!). They’ve also stuck her name on a lot of supposed “collaborations” that I suspect she didn’t do much writing on.

    Anyway, I’m of the opinion that anything beyond the first six Pern books probably isn’t worth shelf space (not to say that I don’t own any of them… I might).

  2. boo Says:

    Hmmm, that actually makes a lot of sense. The Skies book was something like 450 some pages (which seemed like a LOT of pages for a AM book) and with a bit of tweaking and moving stuff around and a whole lot of editing it would have made a good mind candy read. Oh yeah, and NOT KILLING OFF THE BIG BAD IN 2 PAGES. But I digress.

    I never owned the Harper Hall series so I only read them once borrowed. I can’t recall much other than I was mad and sad that poor Piemur never got to sing his grand solo cuz his voice cracked. Poor dude and I don’t think he went back to singing either. Bad breaks, but I can’t remember what he did. You know, I can’t even remember what happened to him after the books. Huh.

  3. susan the nail polish goddess Says:

    Nail polish lasts a lot longer if you use base and top coats, and do like two or three coats of the color itself. Which, I know, requires you to sit in one place for AN HOUR OR MORE AT A TIME, so it might not be feasable. You might want to try a quick-dry polish, so that subsequent layers of polish don’t take for-butt-ever to dry. Or a kind that is extra-shiny and has a top coat built in.

    We should go on a nail polish shopping trip sometime. :)

  4. boo Says:

    You know, I *have* base coat AND top coat and all sorts of funky polish but I can’t stand having to paint my nails twice, much less five gazillion times. Besides, I did a scientific study of trying all the layers goodies a whole once and it still flaked off so I got mad at the whole nail polish thing.

    Yeah, maybe I should give the whole polishy-polish layers thing another chance.

    I’d love to go nail polish shopping, I think TheMan would have some sort of fit if I brought home another bottle of polish. However, there is still room on top of my dresser for more cool colors…hmmm!

  5. TheMan Says:

    I’m doomed, aren’t I?