Books for the Reading

Lynn Wienck, The Chisholm Trail Bookstore

It’s spring here and everything has blossomed into a riot of color. The
redbuds are florescent pink, the lilacs are… lilac. The Bradford pear
merry white blossoms have disappeared. Monsoon season as started, although
there are clear days where turtles can be seen trying to cross narrow,
one-and-a-half lane paved no-shoulder roads.

I’ve been buying science fiction for the reading and it seems I’ve been
purchasing it everywhere: stores and a healthy index figure for the
wonderful world wide web cart. How much and how fast can I push into the
cart? I must say, I do a pretty good job.

John Scalzi’s Fuzzy Nation is, according to the dust jacket blurb, a
reboot of H. Beam Piper’s Little Fuzzy (with the permission H. Beam Piper’s
literary estate). I liked Little Fuzzy ( and just knew I had it on the
shelf, but it disappeared as soon as I reached for it and probably several
years past. (A comparison would have been nice as I remember none of the
original.) In this version, the protagonist, depicted in shades of gray, is
a prospector who discovers a planetary mother lode of gem about the same
time he discovers a native-world species. The book is a whole lot of fun,
and interesting with a none-too-subtle moral message.

Also into the cart went Metatropolis edited by John Scalzi. This book
consists of five stories by five authors about similarly structured cities
of the future – some of the stories I understand, some not. Curious about
the prefix, meta, I got such terms as “beyond” or “about” or “later stage”
when I went researching. The same terminology links each tale. The message
seems to be that cities are born, cities die, cities evolve. Still, I find
it a little difficult to wrap my head around the city of the future, however
that city is envisioned, when the building of the city is the author’s
imagination. I’ve been through these tales twice, but think perhaps another
go is required. I’m starting to “get” it.

I’ve started is Neal Stephenson’s Diamond Age. I’m not sure quite what
this is all about, but there are vignettes, small drama everywhere. I’ve
only just started. Extreme poverty and extreme wealth exist side by side.
The book seems to describe a dystopia controlled by major entities;
nanotechnology and I guess you would call it “body sculpting” seem to be
part of the tale. Hey, I’m just along for the ride, however the author spins
it. It’s not my city, not my world, but I’m a visitor, and I’ll have to
learn the vocabulary. However, it’s a rough ride with some frontier justice.

Enough of science fiction cities. The bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrush are
in bloom. A ground fog in the early dawn made the open ground by the road
look very mysterious and rather soft gray. The air is warm, mellow, and
slightly humid – it’s spring, spring, spring.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *