February 2010

Mike Brotherton, "Star Dragon"

Star Dragon is an odd collection of funny-shaped bits that shouldn't fit together, and in fact have no business being thrown into the bag all together like that.  And yet, Brotherton somehow manages to make it work.  

Sadly, about a third of the way through the book, I suddenly realized that I have lost my taste for hard science fiction.  I used to really dig the "science" in science fiction, but it turns out that this is no longer true.  I ended up skimming the technical passages, my eyes glazing over like a college freshman thrown into, say, an advanced astronomy lecture.

Beyond Pandora

Beyond Pandora by Robert J Martin is a short story that you are most likely to find in short story collections. Actually, it is probably available to read on Kindle and such because this is one of those older works that have passed into the public domain. As for me, I came across it on Project Gutenberg website.

Admittedly, I read it as I was in the mood for a slightly old-school sci-fi story. You know, something along the lines of 'In the year 2889' where the author creates his own vision of the future. Ah, it's one of those moods. So how did the story fare? Funnily enough, I didn't dismiss it as a bizarre, absolutely outlandish take on medicine. It could happen; in fact, I am sure they have played around with this idea on a few sci-fi shows.

This is Klon calling, 2 and 2 makes crazy

I went through two of Walter Sheldon's short stories recently. One, Two and Two Makes Crazy, was something I read as a wee little brat and thus, was something I had fond memories of. The other, This is Klon Calling, was new to me and was more humorous than serious but, nonetheless, it was equally enjoyable in its own right.

Information about Walter Sheldon is hard to relatively hard to find. Well, there is a little bit but all you can tell is that he was in the army and that he was a ghost writer later on. More's the pity since he is fantastic writer who had a wonderful sense of humor, a trait that is evident in both of these stories.

Two and Two Makes Crazy is a jab at folks' reliance on computers.

Neal Stephenson, Ayn Rand Fan?

I spent a lot of time researching Ayn Rand and her philosophies today.  And at some point, I started seeing Neal Stephenson everywhere.  Mind: blown.  Favorite author: tarnished.

Ayn Rand preaches Objectivism, which can be summed up as "greed is good."  She furthermore divides the world into two groups: a small group of talented elites, and the rest of the unwashed masses.  To quote Rush Limbaugh (an outspoken fan), "It is basically about the achievers of life quitting, because they're tired of being 1% of the population pulling the other 99% in the cart."