Mace Windu's purple lightsaber

If you're turning 13 and love Star Wars, it makes sense that you would want a purple lightsaber for your birthday. My son got one--over my initial objection that he already had way too many lightsabers of other colors. Now I know what's behind Mace Windu's purple light saber, and also that this hue of magic weapon may actually have been a personal request from actor Samuel Jackson, when he agreed to play Mace Windu in the films. (I got that from Wikipedia, which quoted an interview on The Late Show with David Letterman.) Yes, of course: who wants to wage galactic battle, and not have your lightsaber clearly identifiable among other Jedi?

Have you ever wanted to

be in more than one place at a time? David Brin tells us what it might be like in his novel Kiln People. In the future, it will be possible to stay home and send a "ditto" out shopping for you. You can then "inload" the memories from your ditto to learn what it experienced. Albert Morris is an investigator who has done this multiple time. His dittos have been crushed, shot, and drowned. Albert has taken on the disappearance case of Professor Maharal, one of the co-creators of the dittos. Will Albert find Professor Maharal before his new people-xeroxing falls into the wrong hands? Read on to find out...

Nebula Award Winner


The Nebula Award is an annual award given by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America for the best U.S. book of those genres. The winner for best scifi/fantasy novel this year is Powers by Ursula K. Le Guin. It is the 3rd in the Annals of the Western Shore series. If you have never read Le Guin, this and her Earthsea series may be a good starting point. Located in the Teen collection, these series are some of the best written & exciting fantasy adventure books. Adults will want to read them too! Le Guin is an extremely prolific writer. She writes for adults, teens, and children as well as writing non-fiction, poetry, & short stories. Other book awards she has received include a Hugo and Nebula for the Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed: an ambiguous Utopia; & the Locus SF Award for the Telling. She is also one of the finalists for the 2009 Locus SF Award for Lavinia.

The Captain's Tale

Do you have a favorite book or movie that has stuck with you since childhood? One of mine was 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. I think the Disney movie hooked me. The scene with giant squid was one of my favorites of any movie.

As I grew-up, I was pleased to discover the sequel, The Mysterious Island. It was made into a movie as well. The movie was made by different people and I don't think it was as good as the Disney.

What do you think?

Infinite possibilites...

What would happen in we lived in a world where reality was constantly changing? A world where infinite realities merge and no one remembers anything exactly the same? In Finity, author John Barnes asks this very challenging question. Professor Lyle Peripart has been hired by industrialist Geoffrey Iphwin to investigate the mysteries that no one remembers and which may or may not have happened. The world is a strange place when infinite realities collide!

A fish tale, of sorts

In her alternate histroy science fiction novel The Moon and the Sun, Vonda N. McIntyre portrays the moral struggle of Marie-Josephe de la Croix. Marie-Josephe is the sister of Father Yves de la Croix, the natural philosopher of King Louis XIV of France. Father Yves has just returned from a sea voyage with the possible source of immortality, a living sea monster. As the story unfolds, Marie-Josephe must decide between the powers of her world and her own conscience. What will she choose?

Time Travel

Have you ever wanted to travel through time? Jack Finney author of Invasion of the Body Snatchers tells us about the time traveling adventures of Simon Morely in his stories Time and Again and its sequel From Time to Time. Si is recruited by the U.S. Government to take part in a time travel experiment based on hypnosis. When he awakes, it's 1882, or is it? You can also enjoy Time and Again on Book on CD.

Contest of Worlds

August Seebeck's great-aunt is a bit nuts, or is she? Every Saturday night for the last few weeks she finds a corpse in her bath. The body is gone by the next day. August didn't believe her until one night he saw people shoving a boy into the second-floor bathroom of her home. This discovery leads August into the Contest of Worlds. A game played by superbeings, of which August is one. Follow August's adventures in Damien Broderick's books, Godplayers and K-Machines. For more multiverse fun, check-out Roger Zelazny's Nine Prices of Amber.

In a pinch for time

Don't have a lot of time to read but want to enjoy a decent science fiction story? Give Masterpieces: The Best Science Fiction of the Century a try. You find luminaries like Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, and Arthur C. Clarke. The collection was compiled by Orson Scott Card, another great science fiction author. Enjoy!

A Woolly Story

Have you ever wanted a pet? How about a really big pet, like a mammoth. John Varley writes just a story in Mammoth. Multibillionaire Howard Christian always gets what he wants. He wants a live mammoth and is willing to pay. Christian sends a team to Canada to hunt for a frozen intact woolly mammoth to use for DNA. The team finds one, along with the body of 12,000 year old mummified man, who is wearing a wristwatch...

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