In case you haven’t noticed – I’m slowing down the pace of the book club, limiting the selections to a single title a month in order to – hopefully – give you all enough time to read and participate in the discussion. In a couple of weeks, we’ll be discussing James Enge’s fantasy debut Blood of Ambrose that Dr. Who‘s Paul Cornell describes as: “rich, witty, aware of its genre’s traditions but not bound by them, with a new surprise of plot or turn of phrase every moment.”. Looking ahead to August, I wanted to pick an SF title, preferably something character-driven, something clever and engaging and, well, altogether wonderful. And as I was considering the possibilities, my gaze fell on THE perfect book sitting on my book shelf. Character-driven, clever, engaging, and wonderful, it won the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 2003. August’s book of the month club pick…
The Speed of Dark, by Elizabeth Moon
From Amazon.com: “Corporate life in early 21st-century America is even more ruthless than it was at the turn of the millennium. Lou Arrendale, well compensated for his remarkable pattern-recognition skills, enjoys his job and expects never to lose it. But he has a new boss, a man who thinks Lou and the others in his building are a liability. Lou and his coworkers are autistic. And the new boss is going to fire Lou and all his coworkers–unless they agree to undergo an experimental new procedure to “cure” them.”
As a rule, I tend to steer clear of books I’ve already read but this is one of my absolute favorites, a beautifully written, enormously touching, altogether tremendous story that you don‘t have to be a fan of science fiction to enjoy. Allow me to reiterate and underscore: Even if you generally don’t read science fiction, do yourself a favor and pick up this book. Like I said, I don’t usually choose novels I’ve already read but, in this case, tradition is trumped by a desire to introduce as many new readers as possible to this exceptional work.
Discussion on The Speed of Dark will begin Monday, August 3rd and we’ll be joined by author Elizabeth Moon.
Hey, you know who’s great? My buddy Carl. Not only is he a terrific sounding board for story ideas and run-throughs of prospective jewel heists, but he’s incisive, humorous and guaranteed to go off on at least one hugely entertaining rant a day. Oh, and he’s also very informative, a wealth of reality show trivia and topical web links. And so today, I present a couple of items from the Need to Know file, compliments of Mr. Binder….
The first is The Greatest Movie Review Ever! Roger Ebert’s take on the latest Michael Bay two and half hour oeuvre, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. His review begins: “ “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” is a horrible experience of unbearable length, briefly punctuated by three or four amusing moments.” – and then he really lets loose. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090623/REVIEWS/906239997 Brilliant!
The second is list of The 13 Most Unintentionally Disturbing Children’s Toys, put together by the fine folks at Cracked.com: http://www.cracked.com/article_17493_13-most-unintentionally-disturbing-childrens-toys.html. I got to get me one of them remote controlled yodeling lederhosen.