Summer Reading, SF style

I have returned from England and am now all tan since it never rained once the whole time I was there.  But I did get to ride the London Underground, took pictures of Hadrian’s Wall and saw lots of castles.  I also did some reading.  I know.  Big surprise there.

I finally got to read a novel my husband has been pushing on me for months.  Heroics for Beginners by John Moore is the story of Prince Kevin Timberline who is in love with a princess.  Unfortunately the princess can only marry the man who returns the Ancient Artifact Model Seven to the kingdom and Prince Kevin really isn’t good at that sort of thing.  But he tries anyway and fails miserably, but by failing, saves everything.  It’s a funny, easy read.  I read it in one evening. 

And don’t think too hard about it.  If you think too hard you’ll see
all sorts of plot holes and problems and wonder why the heck Lord
Voltmeter doesn’t just kill them rather than locking them up.  This is
not a thinking book.  This is a book for going out to the beach and
getting my scrawny, too pale body burned while I laugh at the jokes.

The second book is a kids book, but since some of the best
speculative fiction is for kids, I rationalize browsing the childrens
section of the bookstore pretty well.  While I was in England I kept
seeing ads on buses for a movie called Stormbreaker.  I’d never heard of it, but on hearing that it was about spies,
well, I had to (and yes, with all the fun gadgets and improbable
villains, yes, spy fiction is very close to speculative and sf.  At
least to my mind).  So I dragged my husband to the movies and then,
finding out it was based on a book by Anthony Horowitz, I dragged my
husband to a bookstore to find it (though he claims we already have
enough books).  Stormbreaker follows 14 year-old Alex Rider as
he gets turned into a spy.  And no, this isn’t at all like Cody Banks.
This is darker and a lot more fun.  I recommend it.

Enjoy the heat.