Another fine classic

First published in 1969, Ursula K. Le Guin's Left Hand of Darkness won both the 1969 Nebula and 1970 Hugo awards. The story revolves around Genly Ai, a representative of the Ekumen human federation of worlds and Therem Harth rem ir Estraven, the prime minister of Karhide. Genly is sent to Gethen, to negotiate their entry into the Ekumen federation. Gethen is divided into two kingdoms Karhide and Orgoreyn. Genly must negotiate with both to to accomplish his goals. The story is divided into three sections covering Genly's visit to both kingdoms and a journey over glaciers connecting Orgoreyn and Karhide. Enjoy

Future Warfare

Drones are now a part of the modern day battlefield. In the future, robot warriors make take the field in the place of their human counter-parts. In Bolo and Old Soldiers author David Weber continues the works of Keith Laumer describing future warzones. Bolos are gigantic robot battle tanks. The tanks are programmed with artifical intelligence which is designed to serve and proect humans throughout the galaxy. Check these books out to see what might happen in mankinds future.

Why do bad things happen to good people?

It's aliens! In Interlopers author Alan Dean Foster tells us the story archeologist Cody Westcott uncovers their secret. The trans-dimensional creatures feed on human pain and misery, from headaches to nervous breakdowns and even war. Now that Cody knows their secret, he starts a one-man war against them as he races to save his wife from alien control.

Teleportation - the next generation

Who can fathom the minds and imaginations of young boys? Not me, but I do like to guess. Surveying toys and electronics at home – especially Power Rangers and Transformers - I’m guessing teleportation could be on the horizon, particularly considering the Feb. 14 release of the film Jumper. Some promising signs: When the book came out, it received good reviews. And the film may have scenes shot in Ann Arbor, according to the Ann Arbor News. So repeat after me: “Anywhere is possible . . .”

If TV killed the book, what did the Internet kill?

Have you ever read Fahrenheit 451 and thought it was all about censorship? According to a quote on Wikipedia, author Ray Bradbury really wrote the book about how TV destroyed interest in books. Humm. Very interesting. I had never thought about that. So if TV killed the book, what has the Internet killed? Seems like there are a number of possiblities. How about CDs and DVDs? What about books (again), magazines, and newspapers? Maybe all of those things still have a place in our society just like books in Bradbury's story. Form your own opinions by first reading the book. You can also listen to it on cassette or on CD. It can also be seen on DVD or VHS.

Burn baby burn...

When the South Won

What would North America be like if the South had won the Civil War? Author Harry Turtledove examines the idea in his book How Few Remain. The book is the first in the Timeline-191 series. The story's alternate history begins on September 10, 1862.

History tells us that on September 10, 1862, a Confederate messenger lost General Robert E. Lee's Special Order 191. The order outlined General Lee's plans for the Invasion of the North. Union soldiers found General Lee's orders. The orders were used by George McClellan to defeat the Army of Northern Virginia at the Battle of Antietam.

When He Was Young

So far I've been avoiding this topic. Not out of any fear mind you, but rather because it's so big. It's the Star Wars universe. You can't go down an aisle of science fiction books without being buried by their sheer volume. Since I'm old school, I can remember sitting in the theater for Star Wars A New Hope as a kid, I like the old Star Wars books. Here are some great ones, The Han Solo Adventures, consisting of Han Solo At Stars' End, Han Solo's Revenge, and Han Solo and the Lost Legacy. In these stories we get to read about a younger Han Solo and Chewbacca as they do their best to make a living in the Corporate Sector.

When combined with A. C. Crispin's Han Solo Trilogy and L. Neil Smith's The Adventures of Lando Calrissian you can get a very complete picture of Han's early life as a smuggler and Lando's a rogue too.

The Rise and Fall of a Hero

Everyone know Superman came from Krypton. Few know the story of The Last Days of Krypton. Fortunately Kevin J. Anderson has written us a tale about Kal-El's parents, scientist Jor-El and historian Lara and their struggle against General Zod. Krypton is about to be destroyed and no one believes Jor-El. The android Braniac has captured Kandor, the capital city of Krypton, which gives General Zod his chance to seize control of the world. In the end Jor-El and Lara rescue their son Kal-El, by sending him into space, eventually landing on Earth.

Fast forward a few years.

Kal-El is now Superman, the Earth's greatest superhero. He has saved us multiple times from certain destruction. Can he save himself when he battles Doomsday? Find out in Roger Stern's novelization of The Death of Superman.

Never trust a computer...

"Born" on 12 January 1992, the HAL 9000 plays a critical part in four stories written by Arthur C Clark, beginning with 2001: A Space Odyssey. The book was actual written at the same time that Stanley Kubrick was making the movie. In the story, David Bowman and Frank Poole are astronauts on their way to Saturn, with the HAL 9000 and three hibernating astronauts. The only member of the crew to know the true mission is the HAL 9000, to explore a mysterious black monolith similar to one discovered on the moon. The conflict between supporting the crew and keeping its secret causes the computer to malfunction. The HAL 9000 reappears in the three sequals to the story, 2010: Odyssey Two, 2061: Odyssey Three, and 3001: The Final Odyssey.

Going on a bug hunt.

It was the 1960 Hugo Awards winner for Best Novel. The novel has been criticized for overt its social and political themes, which some call militaristic, racist, and fascist. The novel is Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein. The story follow Juan Rico from his enlistment in the Mobile Infantry through his eventual promotion to lieutenant during the Bug War.

Despite all of the controversy around the book, I must say I really enjoyed it. Accoridng to Wikipedia, the book is on the reading lists for several branches of the military. I was required reading for actors playing marines in the movie Aliens.

We also have the novel on cassette and CD.

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