In the end, I couldn't sleep anyway. Just as my computer sometimes crashes as it shuts down, staring out at the room for the entire night with a single error message marring the Eomer wallpaper, I was caught out of my normal rhythms by Connie Willis' Bellwether. Once I started, I had to finish, to see the threads tight in their final weave. When the end added an unexpected link to story archetyes, I was just giddy with book-geek excitement. Wow. Couldn't believe she'd pulled it off in quite that way.
Of course, then I was awake. Not enough to start another book, but enough to drift into the thoughts that are liable to haunt anyone in the middle of a quiet night, staring at the ceiling fan and waiting for sleep to creep into the light and carry you off, despite your vigilance.
A restless night is a good trade for a book that shakes up your expectations. It's cool to find a story (a new title, in a brick & mortar sci-fi section) that adds to the way you perceive what is possible. As these perceptions tend to harden with circumstance and experience, anything that shows them for them the permeable fences they can be and not the solid brick certainties you take them for is to experience freedom over and over again.
The reader in me is raising a glass of fizzy happiness at the view before retiring for a catnap.