20 August 2012

C.J. Cherryh Wants Me To DIE!

Okay.  This is impossible.  Last week was so freaking hard to finish Downbelow Station, I am literally trying to figure out what kind of magic worked in my favor.  Still, I won't have the review up until tomorrow and I have already lost a staring contest with Cyteen.  For a second I thought, if I try real hard, I can read anything in a week.  Then the nuts and bolts and dry beans rattling around inside my skull were kicked into life by my wife when she saw the my future tombstone sitting on the bedside table.

So I google'd that online stopwatch thing that professors use to freak the crap out of their students during tests and set to figuring out how long it will actually take me to read this book.  Trying to read Downbelow Station at a frantic pace ruined it for me as you'll see tomorrow, so I determined myself to read at a reasonable enough pace that I could make some sense out of this tome.

It turned out it would require about 4.5 hours of reading each day to finish Cyteen by Saturday.  This is physically impossible for me.  After work and trying to be a dad, husband and maintain at least some of my friends throughout this challenge, there is no way I could read that much every day.  A couple of days, maybe three, yeah I could keep that pace.  But this would cause not only a loss of face time with my family, but a loss bed time, in which my idiot brains leak from my mouth to my pillow.

So then I thought I could get the audiobook and listen during my 1 hour commute every day.  Alas, the math still does not add up.  Not only is 3.5 hours exactly .5 hours more than Downbelow required of me, but the audiobook is actually longer than it would take me to read it, so I wouldn't even get the full hour worth of reading time.  Shit.  Now what.  Okay, brain, make this work.

Millennia pass...

Alright.  I think I know how this can work.  As you have probably noticed, apart from last week, the trend was becoming that Monday was the new Sunday and then Tuesday became the new Monday.  Last week got be back on track and I was excited to stay on time this week when car trouble sucked my day away.  So, I haven't been exactly studious at keeping each book within the precise week allotted to it, but I have been able to make up for it eventually.  While I've been disappointed about shifting my weekly goals, I would be absolutely heart-broken to not be able to finish this challenge on time.  

With all that in mind, I think the way this works is to take two weeks to finish Cyteen.  I know that is terrible.  There are no words for how disappointed I am, BUT the silver lining is that next week, when I am supposed to read Foundation's Edge next week, I can listen to that as an audiobook on the way to work and read Cyteen at night.  That doesn't give me quite enough time for the audiobook, but hopefully I'll finish Cyteen a little sooner than 14 interminable days from now so that I can still finish Asimov next week.  How I'll do that and crank out 2 reviews AND all the retrospective shtuff I normally go through, for the 1970s which I'm behind on, I don't know.  At least I'd be on the right side of my 64 week goal.

What do you all think?  Is there some magic pill I can buy to make this work better?


  1. After we move, you can totally take 1 hour reading breaks. We'll make a reading nook. I won't tell anyone.

  2. I suggest just taking your time and read properly. Some books are bound to take longer, but hopefully this will be offset against others that don't. I mean, both Downbelow and Cyteen are quite hefty. And there are a few more to come, like Green and Blue Mars (the latter I'm currently battling with, not because it's a bad book, but because of it's length and detail). Other times I can read two to three books a week. I read Speaker for the Dead in one and a half days (yes, it's that good). Don't fret it - I'm sure you'll catch up :)

    1. Yes Emil, you are probably right as usual. I've been disappointed with my overly fast-paced reading of a couple of books and I definitely don't want that to happen with Blue or Green Mars. I'm a little nervous to get myself too backed up beyond the point that I can make up, but your point is well taken. I think my plan will work well to keep myself from getting behind, but I also won't fret too much about taking even longer on Cyteen if I need to. As long as I can stay on pace. I know it's stupid but I really want to meet my goal and I'm willing to reread some books if that's what I need to do. Thanks for the suggestion!

    2. And there's still the Outside the Norm, with The Famished Road also being a beast ;) I certainly don't envy you. Funny how all these hefty books seem to congregate at the same time. I can also wish you luck. Hyperion that follows Cyteen is no slouch either, but it does ease up a little with Bujold - unless you feel the need to catch up with the Vorkosigan saga before you read those Hugo's. The following decade has it's own breed of heftiness, like the 4th Harry Potter (which makes no sense reading without reading the first 3), two (2) Connie Willis books (and we know how long-winded she can be), Blue and Green Mars (which needs the preceding Red Mars) and a difficult Diamond Age. Damn, and I'm suppose to support you in the challenge, not discourage. Sorry.

    3. Ha! No, I need to have a realistic plan if I'm actually going to finish. As to the series, I read Red Mars which was great and I'm really glad I did or the others probably would have been weird. I've also read most of the Potter books at least twice so I'm not worried about re-reading those, I'll just start in on #4. The Vorkosigan saga is another story though. If I remember correctly, isn't that one something like the 14th book in the series? I don't think I have a chance in hell in catching up there so I'm just going to have to hope for the best.

      For OTN, Okri is going to have to become a low priority and I'll just contribute late, unfortunately. It seems to be a good group in terms of jumping into the conversation whenever someone brings something new to the table.

      All that being said, there is a distinct possibility that a Hurricane is headed directly for us here in South Florida so I may have some extended reading time soon. Maybe I'll be able to catch up?

      Thanks for the help, warnings, and all the comments!


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