glitch25: (frederick the literate)
I recently finished a copy of The Flood by Stephen Baxter. It is a chronicle of four characters, and people surrounding them over the course of 42 years as the earth slowly is enveloped in the sea. Not your typical global warming/sea levels rise sort of book. Stephen took a unique approach backed in part by some interesting factual science.

Fictional science aside, you really get into the lives of the characters and the understanding of where things go when what is our current world is rather quickly snuffed, and the remaining survivors struggle to find a way to stay alive and persist. Everything from millionaires building their fortresses to survivalists doing their part to keep themselves and theirs alive. And of course the mass chaos and devastation that ensues for those that get caught in the middle.

Being a lover of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, I did enjoy the story, though there are parts that seem slow. Parts of the book are written as journal entries to denote the passage of time, and there were definitely parts where I remember thinking, "Ok.. sea level rose another foot... what happens next? Can we get to the part where something major happens?" But really, I suppose if this is to have any basis in reality, this is how it could happen. It may not happen exceptionally quickly, and even the book nods to this idea by describing children born during the 42 years who grow up not understanding that there was once a planet with mountains and plains and trees and plants and animals. Not a blue marble where life is struggled out on rafts and boats and where deep beneath the sea lies a tomb where both riches and relics reside.

Unlike some books where the protagonist has "planned ahead" and gets by a little easier because of it, this book slams home the idea that almost no one has nor will plan that far ahead. And even those few that do will not have such an easy time of it.

It is a story of great suffering and loss, and also wonder at what would possibly come next.

Speaking of next, Stephen wrote a sequel called The Ark which I guess I'll have to read to see how this tale of Noah ends.

Overall, not bad. :-)
glitch25: (Default)
One of the things I'd like to continue to do, and this has less to do with the secular new year and more to do with the "finally at a point where I can start", is publicly post reviews and comments about stuffs. Movies, books, products, etc. Some of it is record for me, but some of it is also record for the ether. One of the things I've realized is that I really like taking advantage of other people's reviews of things, but I rarely contribute. Time to fix that.

Along those lines, I finally finished Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash. Liked it quite a bit. I really enjoyed the technological side of it, and I appreciated how a recent viewing of the Bruce Willis flick, Surrogates, tied in well with aspects of it. This book also reminded me that I continue to be sorely ignorant in matters of mythology, and that I would do well to spend some time researching and learning some of the greater historical mythos.

Overall, I liked the story, but the end crescendoed in a big busy flurry. I may have to re-read sections because I think I missed a few things. I really enjoyed the religious aspects and implications and the idea that while I think there are established ancient ways of tapping into deeper parts of ourselves, those ways aren't the only mechanism, or better stated, those ways are a more homogenized and overly foolproof way of triggering the mechanism, and while successful, are lacking the greater understanding of the mechanism itself.

But like anything else, some people just want things to work. They don't need to know how or why. They just want to push button, get treat. Nothing wrong with that. But others want to know how button arrives at treat and if there are other ways that involve different buttons or no button at all. :-)

Not that I've ever had a problem with pushing buttons. ;-)

Good book though. I look forward to reading others of his!

And for the moment, I'm off reading the latest Dexter book that came out in September. I really enjoy that series as well and appreciate that the TV series diverged enough that I can hold the two worlds separately.
glitch25: (snow)
So with the freeze/sleet/snow thing that happened last week, I finally got a chance to break out the new toys.

Back when we had the bigger snow, I finally caved and bought both C and I a set of Kahtoolah Microspikes. They are basically a set of chains and spikes for your shoes that you slip on, and they increase your traction significantly.

They are not the cheapest things in the world, but they are built to last, and I'm happy to say that testing them out on the black ice in the parking lot at home proved successful. My footing was rock solid even when I was deliberately trying to slip.

I've heard mixed reviews about the YakTrax and the biggest complaint is that they don't seem to last very long. These, on the other hand, get great reviews, should last a long time, and have thus far been worth every penny.

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