Category Archives: Reading Right Now

Reading Now: Humans

It’s not often that I find a book that is “award winning” to be a good read. I tend to go for the off-the-track strange.

I read the first in this series, Hominids, just last week and HAD to get the second from the library right away.  That’s impressive.

How did I come to pick this up?  Well, actually I was browsing the ebook library (Overdrive) from the Salt Lake City Library website.  I was looking for something to read while a book I had requested a hold on came in.

Those of you that know me, know I like to read historical fiction or dystopian novels.   This is neither, but close to both.

Modern era. Yes, humans have really messed up our environment.  Even in Canada, the Northern Lights can not be seen unless you leave town.  We have cut down swaths of trees for cities.  We have billions of people, and the pollution that comes with our industrialization.

Add in some science, some alternative reality.  Without giving too much out, a Neanderthal comes from another “Earth,” one where agriculture was NOT the method of choice of feeding the people, to our Earth.

There are many themes a reading club could spend hours talking about.  The one I want to focus on is relationships.  I’ll state for the record her I am in a monogamous relationship with a man, and I’m a woman.  Very traditional, and very suited for us.  But women, haven’t you ever wondered what it would be like to have a wife? To have a person, not someone “in tune” with their feminine side, but actually a woman that really understands you?  Men, haven’t you ever wondered what it would be like to have a husband? A person who goes through the same ups and downs as you?  Shares your hobby as only someone of the same gender really can?  Disregard sexuality for a moment here.

In this alternate “Earth” you have a man-mate and a woman-mate.  Men live in their own area most of the month, coming to the women’s area only for a few days.  They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and it seems to for these people.  Oh, and also, fertility is checked by abstaining from sex during the fertile time, until a new generation is set to be born.  So no pills to fake pregnancy, no condoms, that entire part of our economics geared to preventing unwanted pregnancy is out of the picture for them (and the harmful chemicals associated with it).

While I like the idea of living apart sometimes, I find, especially in the book Humans, that it makes the lives of the Neanderthal seem less real.  There is a moment when Mare sees the interaction between the two husbands, Ponter and Adikor, and has a moment of jealousy.  However, when the neanderthal’s are talking to each other, they do not have this emotion because the relationships are “normal” to them.  Ponter and Mare go on to have a conversation about the different types of love, which is a conversation I’ve had several times in my life with different people, and I totally accept it.

But how hard would it be to accept a change like that?

 

Hominids is the winner of the 2003 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

Reading right now: A Question of Will

It’s been a while since I’ve done a post of what I’m reading or recently read.  I recently downloaded from Amazon a few free novels.

Take a man named Will Stark. Hmm… I wonder if Stark is important here?

He’s really rich. That’s because he belongs to a secret society and has lived for hundreds of years.  It’s more complicated than that.

Aliomenti versus Illuminati – not too far a stretch

I Hope You find Me

Note:  I tried to dictate this blog post to my tablet.  It was a terrible experience.  The voice recognition couldn’t understand “It’s not often,” and “dystopia,” just to name a few words.  So if you have a recommend on a free Android app that works with a Bluetooth system, please let me know.

Now, on to the book review.

It is not often that a book makes you think about it for weeks after you read it.  “I Hope You Find Me,” is about a woman who, after an international tragedy, is only one of about a dozen humans left living in San Diego.  That is pretty incredible death rate in just a few weeks, since in 2013 there were 1.4 million people in the metro area.

I liked the story as a whole, and on Amazon I gave it three stars of five, only because the two things that really mattered to me about the story were left unanswered (this is book one of a series, so maybe these details get revealed later).

The author leaves a lot of unanswered questions about how the woman survived the plague. What events led up to such a dangerous disease spreading as to kill almost all of the world’s citizens?  In “Night of the Purple Moon,” by Scott Cramer, it’s obvious that an event beyond human control has happened (moon knocked out of orbit).  In “Partials” we find out that human experiments have caused the huge death rate.   I am left wondering, one – what caused the plague, two – what helped her to survive when everyone else in her life died, and three – how will the survivors settle in their situation?

I don’t know if ghost (there is another word the voice dictation didn’t like) is the right word, or perhaps zombies should be used to describe the strange things Riley sees.  There are about a dozen encounters with these apparitions, and I’m left wondering why even include them?  Other than causing me to almost delete the book from my Kindle reader, they don’t seem to really move the story, other than an excuse to move out of San Diego.  I don’t like thriller books, but by the time they encounter the brother and sister in downtown, I was curious enough to push through the weird stuff to find out how Riley and Conner manage to survive.

I’d still read it, if for nothing else than to set my mind going with the “what ifs.”  Also, the romance scenes were clean enough I was not embarrassed by them at work, they were clean enough I’d let my teenager read.

But as LaVar Burton says on Reading Rainbow… Don’t take my word for it.  Amazon still has this as free for Kindle as of the writing of this post.

Reading Right Now: Foundation


An Asimov classic, Foundation.

This was the original, written by Isaac Asimov in the 1940s as short stories.  They were published in a trilogy in 1951, 1952, and 1953.

The first book talks about how the Foundation starts, and it’s first crisis with it’s neighboring kingdoms as the Empire fades away from power.

Reading this story in 2013, it’s easy to grasp some of the concepts.  The thoughts of mass media (television) across multiple planets is easy to grasp.  Seeing the political plotting as the leaders of the Foundation fight amongst themselves is accepted (take the American Congress).  The one thing that bugs me however, is the thought that no matter how much people change, their future is predestined.

That is where Asimov separates the mass future versus one person’s future.  A single person can change events that affect them, but regardless, that will not affect the future from what Sheldon has predicted.  And of course, this is all done mathematically.  I can see why this would interest my Dad (I remember lots of Asimov magazines as I was growing up in the 1980’s-1990’s).  I think these novels should be require reading for many different degrees in the social sciences.  There is a few parts that talk about “mob mentality” that is the same now as it was hypothesized then.