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Journal of No. 118


October 22nd, 2007

Books @ 08:28 pm

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Fast review. I read Alan Dean Foster's novelization of John Carpenter's Thing. It's only good inasmuch as it reminds one of the film. Though (like Star Wars) it is interesting to see various differences between the novel and film.

Slower review. I read Galileo's Children, an SF anthology edited by Dozois. The basic idea being stories centering on conflict between science and religious authority, a la Galileo's troubles with the Inquisition. On the whole, I'd say the stories were above average in quality, and a fairly high mind food quotient, though all of it necessarily somewhat similar in tone, though I do think the variety of stories is broader than you might expect. Apart from Clarke's "The Star" and Silverberg's "Pope of the Chimps", the stories were all new to me. Since I'm lazy, the only story I'll mention in particular is Greg Egan's "Oracle", which is really a rather audacious thing. Without giving too much away, I'll say that it's sort of an alternate universe story, with the main characters being analogues of Alan Turing and C.S. Lewis. There's also a cameo (of sorts) by Roger Penrose, which I feel oh-so-clever for noticing (oh, and the obligatory reference to 'Tollers'). Anyway, the story really stands out. I think some of it is just from the way it uses (bizarrely) historical personages that I'm rather familiar with. Silverberg's story or Resnick's Kirinyaga story are better I think, but there something almost shocking about the Egan story that lingers.
 
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Journal of No. 118