Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Books: Good stuff to read.

Just wrapped up Charles Sheffield's Aftermath; an interesting novel set in a world staggered by the effects of Alpha Centauri, our nearest stellar neighbor, going supernova. It has a good storyline, EMP, freakish post-apocalyptic weather, astronauts, a creepy Hannibal Lecter-like doctor, good hard science (what with Sheffield being the actual 80-lb brain scientist,) and there's even a sequel for me to buy. Yay! :)

I've been meaning to read more Steven Jay Gould, having thoroughly enjoyed Dinosaur In A Haystack. I knew I'd like his stuff, because despite his Steven King-esque output, like Heinlein you almost never see his stuff in used bookstores; folks tend to keep his books. On my last trip to McKay's, I scored big time, and was able to snatch copies of Ever Since Darwin, The Mismeasure Of Man, and Bully For Brontosaurus. I'm stoked.

For years I've been trying to remember the title of a book I read back when I was dispatching for SmithKline's corporate flight department in Atlanta. Nights got long and lonely around the hangar, and so I had plenty of time to read. One of the pilots left a novel lying around; it was a Cold War espionage thriller with a fascinating plot revolving around a secret KGB academy in the woods and the sudden re-appearance of a US pilot declared MIA in VietNam. I really enjoyed it and wanted to get a copy for myself, but I hadn't been able to recall the author or the title; only that there were Russian nesting dolls on the cover of the hardback. I have literally laid awake nights trying to remember what it was. Mad props to Kit for ending years of torture through freakish coincidence. Off to Amazon. :)


Lizard said...

Books NOT to read: Dick's "A Scanner Darkly". If there's a Big Summer Movie coming out, my SF Book Club (anyone else reading this in the Louisville area, check out meetup.com for the location and time) traditionally reads the book it was based on, which this year was the aforementioned.

Quote from last nights meeting:
Group Leader:So, who read this?
Me: Does struggling through the first hundred pages and giving up count?
GL: Yes!

The most positive response anyone had was "It's not his best work".

Currently, I am working my way through the well-written, but very long, "Song of Ice and Fire" series by George RR Martin. Read if you like very low magic fantasy and a grimly realistic look at medieval life. (None of this "Well, it's a feudal culture, but Our Heroes have the values, morals, and ethics of enlightened 21st century westerners")

Kit said...

Glad I could help. Your post reminds me that I have a copy of Gould's Dinosaur in a Haystack still in a box from when I moved here. I need to dig it out and actually read it.

Anonymous said...

If I am not mistaken, the Cold War novel you are looking for is called "The Charm School," and the author is Nelson DeMille.

- Andrea ("Typhoon" on The High Road)

Anonymous said...

Whoops - sorry. Should have read the whole posting before I chimed in.

- Andrea