I made an attempt to read And Chaos Died the other night, by the late Joanna Russ.
I say “attempt” because about 5 pages in I realized it is not a casual read. This isn’t one to read while you watch America’s Funniest Home Videos. It will require some dedicated attention, solitude, and a non-weary mind. None of which I had the other night.
So I began Alan Dean Foster’s “Drowning World”, the fourth (chronological in-universe) of his standalone Humanx Commonwealth novels.
Here’s the thing about ADF. He’s not going to blow your mind with state of the art science fiction ideas, speculative science, hallucinogenic mind-fucks, or experimental narrative styles and structures. ADF tells a good, solid, entertaining science fiction story within his fictional universe. Within those stories you will find some humor, some surprises, and in this era of depressing “the universe hates us” science fiction ADF offers adventure and optimism (not unlike Star Trek).
ADF will drop you on to an alien planet, introduce you to weird aliens with weird names, and a hour later the names don’t seem weird and the aliens are beings you might even relate to. He’ll tell you one small story — one of thousands of possible stories — based in his setting.
There is something to be said for a novel you can just read and don’t have to decipher.