My first entry is not really a book, it's a magazine. I have an acquaintance in rasfc who just sold a story to Analog and I wanted to read it, so I put a hold on the Jan-Feb issue at the library. When I got it, I enjoyed Julian's story and I went ahead and read the rest of the magazine (except for Karl Schroeder's 3rd of 4 part serial) and remembered why I stopped buying Analog. I liked Stan Robinson's Mars series, so clearly I like stories laden with science, but most of the stories in this Analog were just dead. That made me even more surprised to like John Barnes' "The Night is Fine," The Walrus Said. I stopped reading him years ago because of the violence in his books. The violence in this novella is not out of reason, and while the springer technology is a bit iffy, I enjoyed the story. Now I'm wondering if I should try another of his books.
In some ways I'm glad I never watched this series on TV because I really enjoyed watching it over a week all at once. All the characters are recognizable from my high school years (which were a decade before this is set) and most importantly, over the 18 episodes, the characters change and grow. Characters who seem a "type" in the beginning, expand beyond that by the end, just like real people. The series deals with many common high school issues, like marijuana, disco, free speech, relationships, jocks & cheerleaders, leaving home, the Dead, etc. I might put it back at the bottom of my Netflix queue.