Saturday, May 17, 2003

Into the Forge, by Dennis McKiernan
The story of the Great War of the Ban - hinted at in the other book of his I've read, DragonDoom. I can't sort it all out yet. Definitely enjoyable, but, I don't know.. over complex. Fun to see how he has his different races and "ethnicities" interact (which parallel human ethnic types). No Tolkien, and no Bradbury either, but he tells a fun story. I don't mind skimming fast over these to get to the point, and it doesn't seem to hurt the story. On to the next volume "Into the Fire". (at least it is only a "duology").

Riding the Jetstream: The Story of Ballooning:From Montgolfier to Breitling by
John Christopher, Brian Jones

Adventure, danger and more - a good look at the history of ballooning, and the efforts to go around the world by balloon. There is a charm to think of the French and the first balloons - inspiring, and within reach of many. Far more technical and expensive now. Looking at the efforts to win the prize for a global balloon flight I can't help but compare these efforts to the X Prize, and the attempt to open up space to non-governmental efforts. Heck, considering the Rutan involvement in the global balloon effort, there are even some of the same players.

Holes, by Louis Sachar

Charming. Really a fun book about justice, injustice, promises broken and promises kept. My kids (20 and 15 years old) went to the movie and began pestering us to see the movie - then went out and got the book. Now, I've read the book and want to go out and see the movie!

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Golden Apples of the Sun, by Ray Bradbury

Bradbury is unequaled. He claims not to be a science fiction writer - but when you write classics like Martian Chronicles or the "what if a time traveler killed a butterfly 100 million years ago" story "A Sound of Distant Thunder" in this volume, it is hard to argue with him being in the SF camp - but he is more, much more. The "Garbage Collecter" is one I liked a lot - a powerful tale about what a nuclear apocalypse might mean. Love, joy, sadness and sorrow. Bradbury is fabulous. I picked this up because we
went to the Mixed Blood Theatre's excellent production of The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit. It is a great show - the story of six friends who, one summer night in the barrio, chip in and buy a "wonderful Ice Cream suit" to share. The play follows all six on that night as they each get 1/2 hour to wear the suit. Hard to describe, but a magical story.