TSD Review on SFReviews.net

SFReviews.net weighs in on “The Sagan Diary,” liking some parts more than others but ending up generally positive in the end:

Quibbles about style aside, The Sagan Diary reinforces the humanism of Scalzi’s earlier books, and leaves you with a simple message. This is your life. Live it.

Indeed. The review is here. Also, thanks to the last line of the review, I have this song running around in my brain. Ah, the early 90s.

11 Comments on “TSD Review on SFReviews.net”

  1. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, father of pangolins

    WOw. The girl in the video is teh hott. But I’ve never heard the song. Glad it didn’t scar my brain.

    Good work on the review. I guess I should read the book, although I’ve heard it already.

  2. It sounds like a mostly positive review (must get that macro working). And I don’t know about Tom, but in my own head my prose is much more florid and prosaic when I’m ruminating than what comes out in my everyday speech and writing, so I’d expect a diary to reflect that. Especially one writen with a BrainPal. I haven’t had a chance yet to listen to the audio, yet, but it sounds like it would be right on.

  3. Yup. Also, there are better tracks on the album. I particularly like “May This Be Your Last Sorrow” and “It’s Written All Over My Face.”

  4. Damn you, Scalzi! I had never heard that song before, and I was happy that way. Now I’ve got one more stupidly talentless band to try and erase from my memory.

  5. Heh, the last line of that review made ME think of “Life’s what you make it” by Talk Talk (whose last 2 albums, Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock, are a total departure from their earlier New Romantic-y stuff and 2 of the best albums no one has ever heard of).

  6. Do I need to read Ghost Brigades before I read this? Cuz TSD is on my desk. Screaming to be read. I just don’t want to be lost.

  7. It helps if you do, Jeremiah. It takes place after TGB but before “The Last Colony.” But it has a preface section that serves to catch you up if you don’t (I put it in there for that purpose).

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