November 17th, 2008

earthsea

November Books 21) Alias vol 4: The Secret Origins of Jessica Jones

21) The Secret Origins of Jessica Jones

I'd been looking for this for ages, having very much enjoyed the first three books in the series. Jessica Jones, superhero against her will, confronts her internal demons, both the guilty secret of how she acquired super powers, and her personal nemesis. There are so many pages here where Bendis and the artists achieve statements that couldn't be made in any other medium - the schooldays flashback, Jessica's first encounter with other superheroes, and the unspoken parts of her conversations with her friends and lovers. As I said of an earlier volume, it would probably require more familiarity than I have with the Marvel universe to fully appreciate it, but I very much enjoyed it all the same.
earthsea

November Books 22) Year's Best SF 13

22) Year's Best SF 13, edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer

As always, a generally good selection, with a lot of the stories revolving around virtual identities and gaming. I had read two of the 25 before, as they were Hugo nominees; of the rest, the ones that will stay with me are the first, "Baby Doll" by Johanna Sinisalo, a terrifying tale of future sexuality; in the middle, "End Game" by Nancy Kress, which retreads some of the ground from her "Beggars in Spain" but takes it in a new direction; and the final story, James Van Pelt's "How Music Begins", a tale of alien abduction, romance and a high school band. All good stuff; I still have the Dozois collection to look forward to.