July 26th, 2007

20111112, Marilee

Night Train to Rigel by Timothy Zahn

This was the bookgroup book that I didn't finish in time. Part of it was that I was just exhausted while the renovations and unpacking were going on, but part of it was that nothing actually happens until page 175.

Zahn has modeled this vaguely on the mystery train novels of Poirot and Marple. Unfortunately, he didn't follow their lead of having people die or weird things happen right away. (And they never get near Rigel.) A fired intelligence agent has just finished taking a job (that we find out about in the last few pages) when he comes across a dead man with a Quadrail pass with his name on it. The Quadrail is how you get around the universe in a lightyear-a-minute. Humans are late to the party and had to colonize a fourth world in order to qualify and then pay a lot for our station. The agent decides to try to work both jobs at the same time. After we find out about the different aliens and some technology, strange things actually start to happen. People do die and there's lots of action. There's an infodump at the end, not by the agent, but by another participant, and then in what should be an epiloque, we find out what the first job is.

This would probably make a good novella.
20111112, Marilee

Time W W W Wrap

I was online last night until 3:30am. Argh. I decided not to read the newspaper or the bookgroup book and go straight to bed, but when I did that, my mind was still thinking, so I stayed up until 5am and finished the book and reset the alarm for 1pm.

Today I took trash and recyclables out and took the bookgroup book back to the library. On the way to the library, I stopped at my friend Mark's almost-empty furniture store. They close on the 31st. When I walked in, I saw an army of little aliens with truncated cone heads. The rest of the store was almost completely empty. The only time I've seen it like that before was when they first moved to this spot and were painting and such. I told Mark about the loveseat and was going to ask about where to get new lampshades, but one of his staff mentioned a place first and had an extra card to give me. I got his wife's new edress so I could connect her to Kip. I have eight cassette tapes that I'd still like to listen to, but can't buy CDs for. Kip will transfer them to MP3 and mail them to Jenna who will move them to CDs and probably Mark will drop them by. While I was there, two people dropped by to shop, but they were out of what the customers wanted.

On the way back from the library, the car started making squeak-a-ta squeak-a-ta squeak-a-ta noises so I stopped at the shop and told the scheduler that he might want to listen to the van before he scheduled it. He came out and looked at it running and said he thinks it's just a pulley that needs replacing, so we scheduled for Tuesday, but he warned me not to take long trips first.

I plan to be offline much earlier tonight.