Thursday, April 29, 2010

Catch up

Ok, here it is, I'll just give a teaser here about what I'll write, and then those who care can read the entire thing.
Fahrenheit 451: high school reading material, good emotions
Childhood's End: a bit weird, and more psy-fi than sci fi.
Wrinkle in Time: Kids book on the top 100 list of sci fi novels. Kind of a chick book, but the list compells me.
Snow Crash: Hiro Protagonist. Actual main character name. I think Heroes ripped this off.

Fahrenheit 451: Apparently everyone but me read this in high school, so I'll not go into too much detail. Basic premise: if we continue to value entertainment over knowledge, eventually, knowledge will be considered dangerous, and we'll burn all our books, and pay people to do it. Classic Dystopia, but I really enjoyed how Bradbury delved into the emotions of someone who is struggling against all he knows, but feels is not the way things should be. There is a paragraph toward the end of the book that struck me, and probably will remain how I remember the book. One of the old exiled professors talks about mourning the loss of someone. When we are gone, no one will ever, ever do things the way we do things, or say things the way we say things. Even if someone had a list of all the things we've ever done and will do, and tried to duplicate them, it still would not be the same. We are individuals, and that makes the loss of anyone a terrible loss.

Childhood's End: Weird. Basic premise: Aliens come to earth, and they take over all the workings of the world. They prevent humanity from going to war with itself, and then things just kind of settle. The real reason that they arrive is to make sure humanity's big moment goes off without a hitch. Humanity's big moment: All the kids, everywhere, develop beyond the normal capacity for thought and paranormal stuff, and they all become part of a really creepy/huge/weird overmind. the end. of earth. cuz the kids blow it up when they transform to pure energy. oh an the parents all have to watch it and then they have to leave. the end.

A Wrinkle in Time: Epic good and evil, with a bit of religion thrown in. Basic Premise: The Darkness is taking over planets and galaxies, and there are a few people with certain characteristics that are good at fighting darkness, and do so. Heroine triumphs by saving her little brother from the Darkness (represented by a big brain that controls people and takes away their free will) because she has something that the Darkness doesn't have; love. Yeah, it is kind of sappy at the end, but really a great wholesome kids book. That's right, kids books make it on the top sci fi novels of all time.

Snow Crash: really good cyber punk! And the (Hiro) Protagonist uses swords. a lot. I'm fairly certain that the Character of Hiro Nakamura, in the TV show Heroes is at least loosely based on this guy, but I'd have to do some research on that. There's definitely some entertaining views of the future, in both political, technological and social areas. If you've ever worked in any corporation you know the power of the three ring binder, which is the way corporate tells everyone exactly what policy is an how to follow it. Franchises are the way of the future, why not have a Mafia Franchise. Really a complex book, with a lot of double meanings and political satire, and mumbo jumbo. and the book was long! I love that! mainly because some sci fi novels get in, tell the story, and get out. but Snow crash takes you deeper into the world, into the minds of the people, and develops not just the main character, but the main nine characters. world building, at it's finest.

There you have it, I'm all caught up

Friday, April 23, 2010

Faith and Fiction round table: Offworld

recently, I have been really bad about blogging. But I have continued reading, mostly on my top one hundred list, Fahrenheit 451, Childhood's End, and a Wrinkle in time. I'll make a brief blog on each soon, but not this time.

also in the mean time, I participated in my first "book club" type thing. Offworld, by Robin Parrish. Just the basic gist for now, and maybe I'll get to a full blog also.

you can read the first chapter here: for a look into the writing style.

Amy: Do you read very much science fiction?

Ronnica: I do read and enjoy science fiction (and yes, enjoy Star Wars and Star Trek), but have never read any from a Christian perspective. I think this was a good example of how it could be done.

Mark: I read almost all mystery, but I picked up Offworld because of the author. I found Robin Parrish when he was covering Christian music for and followed his career off and on since then. I read and loved his Dominion Trilogy as well.

Jonathan: I've gravitated to science fiction primarily in the last few years, mainly because of the freedom that science fiction has to build a world, or describe our own in the distant or not too distant future.

Carrie: I can't say that I make a regular habit out of reading science fiction. I love watching science fiction movies but apart from Asimov, Lewis' Space Triology and Beddor's Looking Glass Wars, I'm not very familiar with this genre. I agree with Mark in saying that the biggest draw (and, quite frankly, the only thing that kept me reading!) was the mystery aspect of the book. I wanted to know how it would play out.

Jonathan: I've been thinking more about it, and through the discussion, I think that I've distilled a little more about how I feel about it: Parts of the book are well written, entertaining, intriguing, and compelling. If the whole book took place on Mars, or if all of the events of the blackouts were strung together, it might have gained a cohesive element. i realize that the blackouts allowed a slow reveal for the author, but there came a point that I just wanted to have the story, instead of the interruptions.

Mark: This book wasn't deep or complex. It was designed to be a sci-fi action tale. Taken as a sci-fi action tale, it was great. It won't take a spot on my best books of all time list, but I plan to loan it to some friends and rave about it to others.

Ronnica: I also enjoyed it and think it was worth reading it. Sure, it's not the best BOOK, but it's quite good at what it's supposed to be.

I'm not a fan of action (in movies or books) and generally just get lost/bored until the end until you see the outcome. But other than the action scenes, I really enjoyed Offworld.

Carrie: Generically speaking - I could take this book or leave it. If I had to choose between this book and the others that I'm looking forward to reading, I would leave Offworld behind. Science fiction just really isn't my thing at all and while I wouldn't by any means say that this book was horrible - I just didn't feel anything for it.

Here are the other fine people that I participated in some interesting discussion about the book, so you can visit their sites for more of this discussion.

Reading to Know
Ignorant Historian
Random Ramblings from Sunny Southern CA
Behind the eyes, oversimplified
Mrs. Q Book Addict
My Friend Amy