Tea From an Empty Cup

Cadigan, Pat. Tea From an Empty Cup. New York: Tom Doherty Associates, 1998.

Reason read: Read in honor of January is Drink Tea month even though this has nothing to do with the beverage.

I have admitted this before, science fiction is usually not my cup of tea. Or in this case, an empty cup is completely accurate. I made an exception with Willis’s Doomsday Book because it was clever and, more importantly, there was substantial character development. I had a hard time drinking in Cadigan’s Tea From an Empty Cup because it was missing the element that matters most to me – the character development. I ended up not really caring about a single character. Unfortunately, that made the ending bitter and hard to swallow.
The premise is simple, a young man is found murdered with his throat slashed. He isn’t the only victim but for homicide detective Dore Konstatin, it is important enough that she dons the victim’s ‘skin suit and enters the artificial reality of Nee Yawk Sitty, the apocalyptic cyberspace playground. She needs to play the same game Tomoyuki Iguchi played before he died. She needs to be him before he died. Her first lead is an allusive witness by the name of Body Sativa. Meanwhile, Tom’s friend, Yuki, is trying to uncover the same mystery.
Confessional: At first I thought this was a science fiction erotica story. The references to sex come quickly and often (pun completely intended).

No quotes to quote.

Author fact: Cadigan is famous for his science fiction.

Book trivia: Tea From an Empty Cup is dedicated to five different people. I wish I knew why. They all seem like very important people, though!

Nancy said: Nancy said Tea From an Empty Cup is “a great example of melding of science fiction with postmodernism” (p 69).

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “Cyberspace.Com” (p 69).

January’s Time

This year, more than ever, I am struck by time’s marching; the relentless footfalls of days and weeks passing by. I know that is mortality speaking, but it rings eerie in my mind nonetheless. Not helping the doom and gloom is the first book on my list, On The Beach by Nevil Shute. I wanted a different book from Shute but there isn’t a library local enough to loan it to me.

Here are the planned books for January 2018:


  • On The Beach (AB) by Nevil Shute (previously mentioned) – in honor of Shute’s birth month.
  • Clara Callan by Richard Wright – in honor of Sisters Week being in January.
  • Tea From an Empty Cup by Pat Cadigan – in honor of January being Science Fiction Month.


  • Partisans: Marriage, Politics and Betrayal Among the New York Intellectuals by David Laskin – in honor of January 26th being Spouses’s Day.
  • War Child: a Child Soldier’s Story by Emmanuel Jal – in honor of the end of the Sudan civil war.
  • Travellers’ Prelude: Autobiography 1893-1927 by Freya Stark – in honor of Freya Stark’s birth month.
  • Practicing History by Barbara Tuchman (AB) – in honor of Tuchman’s birth month.

Series Continuations:

  • Mrs. Pollifax and the Golden Triangle by Dorothy Gilman – started in September in honor of Grandparents’ Day.

For the Early Review program for LibraryThing:

  • Brain Food: The Surprising Science of Eating for Cognitive Power by Lisa Mosconi, PhD (finishing).
  • Pep Talk for Writers: 52 Insights and Actions to Boost Your Creative Mojo by Grant Faulkner (also finishing).

Dervish is Digital

Cadigan, Pat. Dervish is Digital. New York: Tom Doherty Associates, 2000.

Right away I knew Dervish is Digital was going to be weird. The story opens with Dore Konstantin, a detective lieutenant in charge of TechnoCrime, Artificial Reality Division, meeting with an arms dealer. Later, she is spending time discussing demons and blowfish with a cyborg. It’s almost as if you aren’t meant to follow Cadigan’s off the wall imagination. It gets even stranger so my only advice is to hang on. Maybe you aren’t supposed to understand it all. Snarly Konstantin is supposed to be solving a case involving someone stalking his own ex-wife but it gets more complicated when the East/West Japanese and Hong Kong deviants are introduced. While Konstantin’s character is shallow and underdeveloped, Cadigan does an amazing job of describing Konstantin’s world. Cyberspace is richly detailed and completely believable. I never did latch onto the idea of there was a real crime to solve, but the story was an interesting ride.

My only gripe? Cadigan loved to describe anatomy as “wasp-waist.” I get the look Cadigan was going for, but after awhile I started to believe she couldn’t think of any other way to describe someone as having a narrow waist.

Reason read: September is Cadigan’s birth month..and if I’m still reading this in October, October is computer learning month. Whatever that means.

Author fact: according to the all-knowing Wikipedia, Cadigan is local. Schenectady and Fitchburg.

Book trivia: the main character, Dore Konstantin is introduced in an earlier novel by Cadigan called Tea From an Empty Cup. Yup, I am reading them backwards. Here’s what I’m hoping, Konstantin is an underdeveloped character in Dervish because she has been completely spelled out in Tea.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called Cyberspace.Com (p 69). For the record I want to say that Pearl doesn’t mention that the same character is in both Dervish is Digital and Tea From an Empty Cup. There was no way for me to know the two books are linked.