Thursday, January 15, 2009

What to do when it is cold outside

Today is the coldest day of the winter so far in NYC. It is forecasted to get down to 6 degrees. Naturally, your activities change when it gets that cold outside. Let me just point out that if your airplane were going to crash in the Hudson river, today is a really bad day for it. Why not do it in the dead of August? Of course I can make that joke because everybody survived, thankfully.

I am cooped up in my apartment reading Anathem, Neal Stehpenson's latest novel. Every Neal Stephenson novel gets progressively more complicated and hard to follow. The trilogy is hard to follow because it is based on so much 17th century history that unless you actually have a PhD in World History you probably don't get all the allusions and humor. Even then probably not. But Anathem takes place way way way in the future, so many of the words are completely made up.

But now I'm 300 pages in, I understand the terminology, and a story is finally starting to develop. These monks are so smart and rational that they say things that sound funny even though they're not trying to be funny. My favorite line so far is, "Our opponent is an alien starship packed with atomic bombs. We have a protractor."

If that doesn't make you laugh then I don't know why you even read my blog.


At 2:44 PM, Anonymous Michael Bishop said...

One of the joys of getting older - and more particular in my reading tastes - is discovering some of the great classic science-fiction stories from before my time: For additional good reading - check out the classic sci-fi novels: _When Worlds Collide_ (1933) and _After Worlds Collide_ (1934). These stories were co-written by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer and were originally published serially in Blue Book magazine. The first book was made into a movie (1951) but the book is much better. And even though there are many scientific inaccuracies, given the time of the publication, there is still a lot of detail they got right. More info here:

At 1:04 AM, Blogger rhettg said...

I thought this book was much easier to get through than the trilogy.

Today, I have to catch myself from throwing Anathem vocab into every day conversation.

Of course I also had a issue with saying 'frack' for a while, so maybe I'm just really easily influenced.


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