Odd that the first three books I’ve completed in 2007 have been speculative fiction of the distopian persuasion. I hope it isn’t an omen of things to come.
When we were in Texas, I read Dies the Fire and The Protector’s War by S. M. Stirling, the first two books in his Changeverse series. The premise is that electircity, gunpowder, and internal combustion engines all stop working, civilization thus falls apart. The books track the fortunes of several groups of survivors. It’s a fascinating series and I’m rather enjoying it, especially all the speculation it’s generated and the discussions with Dom. I’m very much looking forward to the next book. My one reservation is that several of the main characters are wiccans and there is just too much stuff about their rituals and beliefs. However, Catholic blogger Dale Price has assured Dom that the books get more Catholic as they go on. Dom tells me that Dale actually gets a credit in the third book for his help in consulting on the Catholic stuff, so I’ll wait and see how that goes.
The next book, Empire by Orson Scott Card, was one my mom gave me for Christmas. I’d put it on my wishlist shortly before after reading the first few chapters online. The book is set in the present day US. The premise is a Civil war between red state and blue states. It was originally commissioned as a tie-in with a computer game of the same name and developed along with the game. Not surprising as I understand Card is very involved in the gaming world. The book reads as a fast-paced action adventure with lots of intrigue. Again, the ideas were intriguing and I look forward to Dom’s reading it so we can discuss. (Also to my sister’s finishing it. She tried to steal it away and I think even managed to read about half of it by snatching it after I’d gone to bed and reading into the wee hours.)
The third book, The Children of Men, I picked up after being intrigued by the movie trailers. Reviews convinced me I probably wouldn’t want to see the movie; but the book’s premise grabbed me and I decided to give it a spin. The idea is that for some reason everyone on the planet becomes infertile. It’s been 25 years since the last child was born. I’m still sorting through what I think. The ending puzzles me a bit and I’d very much like to talk it over with someone who’s read the book. I might go seek out some online reviews. I suspect there will be some good discussion out there, generated by the recent release of the movie.
Update: Children of Men has also sparked an interesting discussion with my sister. She’s read most of the book and seen the movie. While not a huge fan of the film, she did say there was one scene that was great and made a profound statement, almost in spite of the filmmakers. I almost want to see the film just so I can comment on it. Almost. But I see so few movies any more I’d hate to waste one of my few chances on one that wasn’t great.
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