Forty Signs of Rain (plus a rant)

I’m half-way through Forty Signs of Rain by Kim Stanley Robinson, and so far it is global warming, NSF grant reviews, exiled Tibetan monks, a stay at home dad, and rides on the DC Metro. A pretty dull mix, especially the NSF parts, but it is really pretty interesting. Such an odd mix that I keep thinking, “did someone dare him to write an interesting novel with these ingredients?”

That said, the NSF proposal review meeting has far more drama than any of the battle planning meetings or political scheming meetings in David Weber’s “Honor Harrington” books. I finally forced myself to give up on those when I was going back to replot scenes to make them minimally exciting. The space battles are great, but the rest of the books are tedious interior monologue and committee meetings. The characters can’t even walk and advance the plot at the same time. I figured that he’d get better at writing as the books went on, but after six books, it was clear that he was amply rewarded for being mediocre. It is really embarrassing that these are “bestsellers”.

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