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Alone on a Wide Wide Sea by Michael Morpurgo
Babymouse Burns Rubber by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
Babymouse Cupcake Tycoon by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
Bite Me by Christopher Moore
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Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve
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Fullmetal Alchemist 03 by Hiromu Arakawa
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Meanwhile by Jason Shiga
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Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
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The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
Tuesday by David Wiesner
Twin Spica 01 by Kou Yaginuma
Twin Spica 02 by Kou Yaginuma
Urgent 2nd Class by Nick Bantock
The Way They Wove the Spells in Sippulgar by Robert Silverberg
West Coast Journeys by Caroline C. Leighton
Writers of the Future by Charles Oberndorf

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



The Way They Wove the Spells in Sippulgar: 06/27/11

cover art

There was a time when I was enchanted by everything I read by Robert Silverberg. Over the years though my tastes in books and his approach to writing have drifted apart somewhat. Now I find his science fiction hit or miss.

"The Way They Wove the Spells in Sippulgar" was published in the October / November 2009 issue of Fantasy and Science Fiction. It follows a man on a journey to a far dessert town to investigate the disappearance of his brother-in-law. Sippulgar has always been a place he has wanted to visit so he goes with mixed emotions and is soon enchanted by one of the local cults.

Silverberg does a wonderful just at creating memorable cities and cultures. Sippulgar on paper reminds me of how Liore is shown in the first episode of Fullmetal Alchemist (either anime version). Liore's a sparkling dessert town in the grips of a cult leader and Sippulgar follows magical beliefs and ancient religions that other parts of Majipoor have left behind.

But... I have problems with Majipoor itself. When I first read Lord Valentine's Castle I didn't notice how massively huge the planet is supposed to be. I only noticed it in a cursory fashion when the action turns to the castle itself which is built in proportions to make the fabled Tower of Babylon seem like a doll house.

Here though the story seems to spend a lot of time describing how big Majipoor is. And yet travel doesn't seem to take much longer than it does here. But Majipoor doesn't have extremely high tech transportation. And all this thought about how things just don't add up geographically got in the way of my enjoyment of the good parts of what happens at Sippulgar.

Three stars.

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