I recently (finally) finished Vernor Vinge’s A Deepness in the Sky. Great novel. To recap, this was one of those that I’d started/re-started several times, not because I didn’t like it, but because I was constantly distracting myself with other books. Like most books I get into, it went fairly quickly in the end.
This next comment will be unfair and incomplete, but I wanted to mention in the context of my belief that Vinge is a great hard science fiction writer: I did notice an occasional clunkiness to the language in this one. No specific examples, and they’re not really necessary, because my point is that the power of Vinge’s ideas and storytelling were more than enough to let me gloss over an occasional bit of language that broke me out of the narrative moment.
In the aftermath of finishing Deepness, I decided to go back and re-read A Fire Upon the Deep (this is the book that Vinge wrote seven years earlier; the story actually takes place long after the story in A Deepness in the Sky). So far, about a quarter of the way through, I do think the writing Fire is tighter. Also, I’m re-enjoying the novel immensely.
I’m also currently reading China Miéville’s Kraken. This is my first Miéville novel, and I’m really struck by how much he and I appear to have in common as writers (style, etc.). Probably just convergent evolution. I’m sure we have a lot of the same influences. I guess my main point is asserting that reading his work makes me feel some sort of validation that there is room for people who write like me. Not sure why that was a concern; I understand on the top levels of my brain that there is room for everybody.
Call it reinforcement of another supporting beam in the mind of a writer who has spent years and years swimming through an ocean of insecurity. Not to mix metaphors.