As of 9:20PM EST on November 23, I have read 56 books in the year 2009. Pitiful when compared to the 118 I had managed at this exact moment one year ago. Clearly, I am paying too much attention to schoolwork.
What was the 56th? The Kundalini Equation by Stephen Barnes. Long out of print, it tells the tale of Adam Ludlum, a 20th-Century everyman who discovers a long out of print book by Savagi, a (superpowered) martial arts master. Said book was written sans koans or mysticism and obfuscatory metaphor, just crystal-clear prescriptions for the sufficiently driven to make chi-powered asskicking machines of themselves. For reasons that become clear, the protagonist discovers this was a very big mistake.
His Sol-20 computer weighed fifty-two pounds, had cost him three months' salary and about a hundred hours of spare time. When Adam carried it home from the shop, it was just a carton—a series of cartons, actually, with its wires and various small connections still undone, its parts still wrapped and boxed and cannistered, waiting for the Computer Fairy to come and breathe life into them.
Bwahahahahahahahaha! I'm sorry. It's just that it's set in the 80s. Remember Neuromancer and its whopping "...three megabytes of hot ram"?
Seriously though, Kundalini Equation is cool as hell. How did it fall so completely off the radar? Aside from it, I didn't think anyone was doing this particular genre in the West and now, in the span of a single year, I've discovered Nathasha Mostert's Keeper of Light and Dust, Jane Lindskold's Thirteen Orphans sequence and Kylie Chan's Dark Heavens. I mean, whoa. At the rate I'm going, my shit's going to be passé by the time I actually finish it. Scary.
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