May 27th, 2020


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Arthur C. Clarke's Venus Prime 1: Breaking the Strain, by Paul Preuss

Second paragraph of third chapter:
She’d garnered valuable information from the Snark before–in that split second when it had paused, hovering motionless inches above the ground, computing new coordinates–she’d jumped clear and sent it on its unprotected way. Precisely where she was. Precisely what day, month, and year it was. That last had come as a shock. Memories had been swarming more thickly with every passing minute, but now she knew that even the most recent of them was more than a year old. And in the hours since she’d jumped, while she’d been trudging through the snow, she’d contemplated the burgeoning strangeness of her sense of herself.
This was part of a Humble Bundle that I got in 2016 because of various Zelazny-related items. It's an expansion of "Breaking Strain", a 1949 story by Arthur C. Clarke, and the first in a series of six volumes by Preuss featuring the mysterious Sparta, whose memories of her own origin are unclear and unreliable, and gets mixed up with a very weird plot involving the transport of a first edition of Seven Pillars of Wisdom to the planet Venus. It started a bit clunky but developed well enough and kept my attention to the end; not Great Literature but a step or two ahead of the pulp stories which it is rooted in. You can get it here. I'm not inspired to get the rest of the series though.

This was my top unread book acquired in 2016. Next on that list is Alan Moore's Jerusalem.