Finished Left Hand of Darkness. It carried a pretty excellent pace until the last chapter, but I think my only qualms were that in the final run you’re expecting to turn the page and see “The End” not because of the writing but because there are only a few pages left in the book, which you expect to be mostly filler & advertising blurb. That said, the ending isn’t quite on par with the rest of the story, but it beats the rude drop-off of most writers.
She doesn’t really delve into the science in her fiction, which ordinarily bugs me, but it seems she weaves it into the story the way other authors incorporate their character backstories which I found comfortingly supportive of my suspension of disbelief.
Next up is either Plautus or Shadow and Claw. I don’t know what it is with me and classical books at the moment, everyone asks me if I taking a lit exam … my English lit teacher at school was an American who only had us read one classic (Romeo and Juliet I think), some modern fiction (I want to say Clockwork Orange but it might have been Lord of the Flies), taught us to use video cameras and how to critique TV. He showed us an episode of Airwolf and I got credit for noticing that as they were supposedly at 30,000 feet and at peril of freezing over, a telegraph pole went past the cockpit window.
And before you ask if I was in retard class; yes, kinda. They were experimenting with mixing the “streams” and I wound up mostly in classes with other kids who were disruptive and really only interested in getting out of school or beating up other kids. We were the last year of kids taking the O-Level courses so I think someone decided we could be guineapigs for mixing streams: put the thickos with the hard workers and maybe it’ll rub off; I’m here to prove it did. Our geography teacher once let three other kids pin me down and write on my hands, arms and face for nearly 15 minutes before telling *me* off and making me stand outside the classroom for the rest of the lesson.
I think its taken me all these years to get around to reading the stuff that I’d expected/wanted to read those last years of school.