09 July 2012

Reading vs. listening

I'm partway through the audiobook version of A Civil Campaign -- listening on my way to/from work for the past week or so. This book was amazingly fun on many levels. It was released in 1999, somewhat early times in the world of the internet. Ebooks didn't exist. The sale of ARCs on eBay wasn't quite so pervasive yet.

Baen Books did the unthinkable -- it released the first few (5?, 10?) chapters online for free in the months preceding the official release. The slavering fans waited eagerly for each snippet during that period, eagerly checking Baen's site. (Okay, fine, I'm projecting, because that's what I did...) At that point in my life, I belonged to the Bujold ListServ, back when I had no kid and more free time. The local DC area listees would occasionally get together to discuss LMB books, other SFF books, and any other topic under the sun. We even dragged pseudo-locals to our get-togethers, like Doug Muir, who lived on the island of Saipan at that time, but happened to be visiting family in the DC area. It happened that the local listees met at a restaurant in Northern VA on the after a new bit of the book was released. It was the scene where Miles is discussing Count VorMuir's shenanigans with uterine replicators and little girls (not really as bad as what you might be thinking...). Count VorMuir is a venal, sneaky, self-serving character, and though only a bit player in the book, is quite memorable. Lois "tuckerized" Doug into Count VorMuir, which was especially amusing becuase Doug is none of those things. Regardless of the appropriateness of the characterization, we took great pleasure in making Doug read that scene aloud to the group (10 or 15 of us) in the restaurant. We definitely caused a ruckus by laughing and carrying on.


I loved reading the book and have reread most of it over the years (except for that incredibly painful dinner party scene...). As a book, it is funny, painful, introspective, and filled with subtle (and not so sublte) action. In the book, Lois uses 5 characters as viewpoint characters, with notably different "voices" for each one. I liked Miles and Ekaterin best on the initial read and the rereads, with Ivan third, then Mark, and last Kareen. What has struck me during this audiobook experience, is that I like Miles's voice the least and Ivan's the most. Perhaps because his comments are just so damn funny, or because I just finished Ivan's book.

Have any of you out ther in blog-land listended to a book with multiple viewpoints like this and came away liking one of the other characters better in the audio version vs. the print version? Or even in books with single character viewpoint?

Regardless, I'm very much enjoying getting to and from work right now and am ever hoping for some traffic to make my ride longer...

07 July 2012

Letters from camp

ThePinkThing is finishing up two weeks at sleep away camp -- her first time at overnight camp. She is coming home tomorrow. We got a total of 2 letters and 1 postcard up until today, when we found 3 letters and 1 post card in the mail. Apparently the stationery she picked out needed more than a single stamp and they were rejected (and eventually made it back to her for resending). There were some really funny ones in the bunch today. I've even reproduced the spelling errors, which I find sort of charming. I will say that I'm offended that TheHusband's letters had stickers all over them, and mine had nary a one. Humph!


Dear Mommy,

I miss you allready. it is really fun. The first day was grate, wish you were hear.



Dear Mom,

today I'm going to wher my whit dress for shabot. I cant belive my first week is allready coming to a end.

P.S. The lunch ladys are nice


Dear dad, today we saw a bear in the forest. We allsow saw a rainbow. I hope a bear is not at the bottom of the rainbow.

Dear mom,

I'm writing this pstcard because they have letter writing time. It doesnt count as a letter

Dear Dad,

Yesterday I got to feed gouats and pet a rabit! He was so soft. I only have a week left. and I'm about half way throw Hary Potter.

Love you,


I can't wait until tomorrow, then I'll get the full scoop!