July 18th, 2009

20111112, Marilee

Garlic Bread With Cheese

Mmmm... those of us who ate after bookgroup went to Tony's, suggested by a member who wasn't coming and doesn't like Tony's. I also had the Greek Salad, and am quite full. We had 14 people at the meeting and were missing two regulars, so the tables will have to be set up differently next time.

We also worked on book suggestions for the next year or so, plus a way to read more books. The bookgroup must read a book that's in the library, but they don't have 10 of that many SF books, so we discussed buying used and spending our own money, having a read-and-report in December where each of us reads a Nebula- or Hugo-winning novel that the group hasn't read and reports back, and taking that one or two copies of a book and passing them around until everybody has read them, and then scheduling a month to discuss. We'll have to take notes that way. We also discussed reading fantasy and regular fiction.

My brother called as I was getting out of the van at home. He and his wife are bringing their kids up to Fair Oaks Mall to meet kids they met at summer camp and will come to take me to lunch during that. I'd been hanging on to a Ruby Tuesday's buy-one-get-one-cheaper-free coupon just in case, so that will come in handy. It expires on Thursday, which is the day I'm going to see the new HP to try to get new uniforms for the cross country team of the son of a bookgroup member.
20111112, Marilee

The Silver Ship and the Sea by Brenda Cooper

I was at the lower end of the like scale for this. We come into the story in the middle: a planet with colonists who moved in order to get away from genemod people have six genemod kids living with them, plus a genemod adult hiding out. This happened when a ship of genemod people landed and there was a Ten Day War and all the genemod left but the seven above. Some of the colonists hate the genemod kids, some like them, but the kids trigger another dangerous situation. The book also rests rather than ends. The person who has read the next two books thought they were better than the first.

For me, there were just too many unlikely plot points shoved in to get to the point where the colonists are threatening to kill the genemod kids (and some probably would).

This is clearly in the same universe as Building Harlequin's Moon which Cooper co-wrote with Niven.
20111112, Marilee

Asimov's September 2009

In this issue, Sheila discusses the Dell Magazine Awards and Silverberg has the first part of his "Building Worlds" essay.

I liked three stories:

"The Day Before the Day Before" by Steve Rasnic Tem - when you're on a time team and stray because you're sorry for the kid, do you get to go home?

"Her Heart's Desire" by Jerry Oltion - a passerby runs into the woman who has her heart's desire and gets it all over him. Can they solve that?

And finally, this is a fabulous novella from Kristine Kathryn Rusch, "Broken Windchimes." A castrato swallows a note and can no longer perform in his lifelong career. But he finds himself interested in Old Earth-form music and finds out about music theory and how little boys become castratos. Rusch has clearly heard a lot of club bands and has a decent knowledge of music.
20111112, Marilee

Sahara

This movie involves a retired admiral, an evil African dictator, WHO doctors, and an industrialist who believes in money first. The dictator is selling the industrialist toxic waste, which then goes into a buried river, causing a plague in Africa. The WHO doctors are trying to find out where it comes from and stop it, and get help from the admiral and his crew. Mostly his crew. There's also a very old car and a Civil War battleship.

While there was a lot of running and fighting, this movie is a really good example of how we will never be able to help the starving Africans as long as their governments are corrupt. I liked it; I had to back up a couple times to see something I missed while beading.