25 May 2015

Thank the Maker: A Review of The Galaxy Game, Karen Lord

With an attraction to Netflix that continues unchecked, intermingled with an unrelenting level of procrastination that would alarm even my university days self, this girl's blog has been neglected. I applaud my blogger friends who have the willpower to post monthly and offer complete amazement to those who manage to populate their sites daily. And to all my other excuses spastically bouncing in the caverns of my brain, I say to you be quiet, it is time to write. It is time to write; thank the maker.  

Inevitably there will be books by our favourite authors that will leave us less than inspired. Does this mean a disillusionment of all that was, a complete abandonment of an author you once held in regard? Reading is an immersive event, subsequent to our moods, place in the world, and perceptions. Subjectivity regulates the book game.

Many an acquaintance of mine presuppose my SF tendencies are a comedic commentary of my so-called geekness; a geekness that too my credit is more allure than reality. The newly minted holiday of May the 4th finds me at the epicentre of expectation with grand hopes of arriving at my son's school in nothing less than full Boba Fett armour.  My response, is meh, my fandom while pure is a contained aspect, one that I gladly will share but less likely to wear. This geekness I don whether I choose to or not, follows me, defines me, stretches beyond my own personal narrative. 

Surprisingly, I am a bigger nerd than I ever thought, simply based on assumptions. A blogger friend posted "Book Reviews are for Readers, Not for Authors", an article exploring the practise of faux reviews to either discredit competitors or boost one's own works. The heart of his rationale is reviews are for readers and thanks to this article, I am here this morning, writing. But the writing comes less easy, more complex as I strive to achieve objectivity in the face of my own personal predispositions. While I struggle with the notions of how I am viewed in my community, a parallel runs with my inferences of the authors I gravitate too.

Hence Karen Lord's The Galaxy Game, a star-spanning political enigma that bewildered me, leaving me uncertain of what I read but wanting more. In her short SF career, Karen Lord has made a name for herself, gifting the world the magic that is her Redemption in Indigo and the unique quality that the genre clearly needed in The Best of All Possible Worlds. I am a devoted fan. The Galaxy Game left me questioning whether it was just me or just the plot, or just the wrong time in my life to pick up this type of book. To the point, it tested my resolve to review books. A recent post of mine resulted in an author banning me from Twitter. Being an obscure blogger with little ties in the SF community, the action shocked me, guilted me, made me realize my words, while mild have power. Being a Karen Lord fan, how was I to write a review without causing a possible negative response? 

Realization or maybe even a sense of defiance, I sat down and started to process these feelings of guilt, returning to why I created this blog; the joy of reading and sharing. The Galaxy Game is not for the SF newbie, nor is it for the SF vet who likes things a little more normal than alien. The book is tough. I was lost, unsure who was who, unable to process the scientific means by which people travelled through the universe.  I was not a fan of this tale but I look forward to the next instalment. Lord continues to be one of the next best things in SF. Not all the stories she will share will ring true for me, but that doesn't mean it won't for you.