Saturday, November 29, 2003

Sometimes the internet really tries my patience. I was on the book discussion site and someone had started a debate on hard sci fi. I had written out this long post on it. Basically this person believed that hard sci fi was to blame for the decline in the readership of the genre. Personally I don't think that this is the case although sometimes it can go over my head. I said that there are many brilliant sci fi books out there which get absolutely no attention simply because they are sci fi. Too many people now see it as trash and won't even open a book of that type. I think that is part of the reason. There are a lot of good books out there which aren't easier so I don't think the growth in hard sci fi has anything to do with it. I also said that there is a person I work with who is a prime example of this closed mindedness. He is well read in fiction, poetry and the classics and won't even consider opening a sci fi book because he sees it as pure trash. I then clicked on post and the page not found came up. There is nothing worse.

Here is the review of His Dark Materials trilogy I promised;

This book is about a little girl who lives in Jordan College in Oxford. Her parents are unknown to her and since several old professors and a housekeeper are responsible for her she runs wild around the streets with her friends. She lives in a different would from ours where part of the human spirit manifests itself in the form of a daemon. Lyra's daemon, pan, is still able to change form since she has not yet reached maturity. Lyra hears of children who are being captured and then separated from their daemons. At first the children and herself make a game of this until her friend is captured and Lyra sets out to rescue him. On the way she makes many friends and also hopes to find some answers to some questions that have been bothering her. What is dust? Why is her role so crucial? What is her mother and fathers part in this?

This eventually leads Lyra to other worlds and Will. Will is from our world who is trying to find his father and protect his mother. He soon discovers that he has a destiny too and becomes the bearer of the subtle knife. will and Lyra team up to search for his father and then to help with a war that is affecting all worlds.

I have to admit that when I heard people say that if you like Harry Potter you will like these that I thought they would be very similar. It has magic, strange creatures, witches and the central character is a child but this is where the similarity ends. These books were more complex and more suited to young adult than young children. I am a Harry Potter fan but I would say that I enjoyed these more and can't help but hoping that the autor will continue to write tales about Lyra.

I am about halfway through reading 1984. I haven't been able to read much because I was out on Thursday and then I was doing Christmas shopping today but I am enjoying it. I can't believe how good it is and I can't believe that non of the teachers at my school never thought of having us study this. This is definitely one of those timeless books and one that sticks in your mind. I actually find myself holding my breath thinking that this characters getting away with his rebellion can't last. I know it doesn't ;last which is the whole point of the book. However, I keep anticipating the moment when he is captured. If you haven't read this I strongly recommend that you do. I've since read that all of his books are warnings against totalitarianism. I think I will have to eventually work my way through them.

The play was hilarious. I have never laughed so hard. In the style of Morecombe and Wise (my spelling is terrible I know) there is supposed to a different famous person every night. The night we went it was Richard Wilson. He was brilliant. He did the whole, I'm a serious actor, routine.

Today as I said I did some Christmas shopping. I got everything I set out to get. On Monday it is staff discount day and I will be getting a few more things. Then I just need to get bits and pieces which I will do next pay day. Since I also did some wrapping I haven't done any stitching or writing today.

Tonight I plan to do a little stitching while watching the muppet Christmas Carol.

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