Three pulp sci-fi novels (set #5)

Updated 26 Oct 2019 (Mandala)

Updated 19 Jan 2020 (Star Light)

Updated 4 Aug 2021 (Starworld)

Visited Mostly Books while in Philadelphia the weekend of Lisa’s b-day. It’s like walking through an old house of a book hoarder. Stacks and stacks! Went looking for the books I spotted randomly at the bar Writers Block Rehab the previous night (The Infinite Man and The Lonely City, they had several shelves on display) and ended up just going with another set of sci-fi.

Updated 4 Aug 2021 (Starworld)

Good, if a bit rushed space opera that maybe would have benefitted if I had read the first two in the series. Colonist/farmer returns to a despotic Earth to free the universe from its exploitative rule; all planets and colonies are in current rebellion. The colonist drops into an information-deprived Earth whose citizens know little about the span of the rebellion, some who hope to rebel themselves. There are deep dives into racist America, hints at Iron Curtain-like oppression, and an Israel that plays a key role as an isolated pocket of freedom. Yes, this book is a product of its time and, let’s say, Has Some Opinions.

My (so far) final act of Johnny Appleseed-ing books at random locations around the world, I left this in the Little Free Library in front of the Midtown Marta station. More mundane than a Vespa seat in Sydney or a hospital in Curacao, but the fact that it was gone the next day was the first instance where I observed appreciation for my Guerilla Distribution Network. A fitting end (so far…).

Continue reading Three pulp sci-fi novels (set #5)

Witness, 24 Sep 2019

Two women take down Trump.

Pic I took at the ATL airport picking up our bag from our Philadelphia trip, just as Pelosi’s speech was happening. So lucky to have witnessed history by accident.

C-SPAN’s archive of the announcement:

Greta Thunberg being more Greta than ever. Previous day.

Video of The Greta in action:

The fear

I sometimes feel guilt about mocking the worldview of conservatives. They are barren and small-minded and their anguish is so outward directed that it paints itself, cruelly, on our world in manner that is nothing but destructive. They’re a different species.

The environment they choose to cultivate themselves has destroyed them, Golum-like, and in turn tries to destroy us.

Alternately, I look selfishly at those I admire–and what I try to be–and see what we could be: wonder, excitement, possibility. The jolt-of-surprise in what everything everything has to offer. Those conservatives (“them”) I’m sure have passions; yet the passions they have that affect their acts toward others are nihilist-adjacent. Their passions are hate.

And their non-imagination.

They lack any infant possibility of abstract imagination and thought. Metaphor is far beyond their ken; all expression is. just. as. it. is. The lack of artistic consumption or ambition is testament. The Ron Swanson quote exists for a reason (“Metaphors? I hate metaphors. That’s why my favorite book is Moby Dick. No frufu symbolism, just a good simple tale about a man who hates an animal.”) and completely envelopes the explanation that there are no conservative humorists. Abstract thought is imprecise. blech

Is my pessimism-and-anger at their pessimism-and-anger some sort of pot and kettle situation? I want Trump’s followers listed and numbered and remembered and punished (carve a “T” in their foreheads a la Inglourious Basterds). Mark their names. Am I a McCarthy-ite? Look at reviled immigrants or minorities. If they were to be angry at those that perpetuate the injustice of their treatment, is it hypocritical? Are the Nuremberg trials reallly the same as a rigged court in fascist Italy?

These are sincere questions. But I know the answers.

The terror

Over the past few months I’ve had several episodes of night terrors. Well, probably not the extreme textbook diagnostic instance but more a sudden shock, waking me up, and taking a minute or so to re-orient. I’m not sure what wakes me, but when I do wake I see someone floating or standing in the darkness. I panic and shake Lisa awake and tell her what I saw. She freaks, turns on the light, and we both have jacked up adrenaline for the next half hour.

I swear the first two instances when it happened a couple of months back happened to her and she woke me up. She doesn’t remember them, just me waking her and telling her she was calling out in a panic, and so the current episodes that are definitely me make those seem pretty suspicious. Am I remembering it completely wrong?

It’s happened enough that I’ve gotten to the point of needing to keep the door opened when we sleep to let some light in. I’m, as they say, a grown-ass man and yet here we are. I don’t feel more likely to see anything, just more ready to have it startle me in the middle of the night. It’s a weird reason to have insomnia.

Anyway, Lisa’s going out of town this weekend.