Friday, March 29, 2019

First Lines of Kim Stanley Robinson's "Green Mars"

"The point is not to make another Earth. Not another Alaska or Tibet, not a Vermont nor a Venice, not even an Antarctica. The point is to make something new and strange, something Martian."

- Kim Stanley Robinson, Green Mars

I'm re-reading Green Mars, and while it doesn't have the same dynamic excitement of the political and cultural revolution in Red Mars, it takes deep detours into some really fascinating subjects while continuing to ask the deep questions relevant to the transformation of any environment. Like a lot of KSR's work, I don't love all of it - there are a few too many LONG rover trips around Mars for my taste - but I love how he examines how people would react and what they would become when living in a truly alien place.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

First Lines of Madeline Miller's "Circe"

"When I was born, the name for what I was did not exist. They called me nymph, assuming I would be like my mother and aunts and thousands of cousins. Least of the lesser goddesses, our powers were so modest they could scarcely ensure our eternities."

 - Madeline Miller, Circe 

Enjoying this tale told from the POV of the goddess best known for turning Odysseus's crew into pigs in the Odyssey. I've always been a sucker for humanizing famous figures in this way, and from what i've read so far Miller has a knack for imagining what life must be like in the world of the Greek gods and goddesses. Hint: a lot of politics, gossip, and backstabbing. Looking forward to seeing where this goes.

Monday, February 4, 2019

First Lines of "How to Talk so Kids Will Listen & Listen so Kids will Talk"

"I was a wonderful parent before I had children. I was an expert on why everyone else was having problems with theirs. Then I had three of my own."

- Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish, How to Talk to Kids will Listen & Listen so Kids will Talk.

This book changed how I approached being a father. A practical approach for healthy communication with your kids. I strive for the ideal detailed in this book and fall short as much as I succeed, but having tactics for success helps me along the journey.

Friday, February 1, 2019

First Lines of Edward Abbey's "Desert Solitaire"

"This is the most beautiful place on earth.

There are many such places. Every man, every woman, carries in heart and mind the image of the ideal place, the right place, the one true home, known or unknown, actual or visionary."

- Edward Abbey from Desert Solitaire. A stark, powerful book. I'm reading in slowly, in digestible chunks, mainly because I like it how it strips away the bullshit in favor of a clean view of how the world works.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

First Lines of Joanna Russ' "The Zanzibar Cat"

Katy drives like a maniac; we must have been doing over 120 km/hr on those turns. She's good, though, extremely good, and I've seen her take the whole car apart and put it together again in a day."

- Joanna Russ, from "When it Changed", the first story in the collection The Zanzibar Cat.

I fell in love with Russ when I encountered her amazing story "The Dirty Little Girl" in The Hidden Side of the Moon. It's a mesmerizing story, compelling and deeply weird at the same time, and I can't stop going back to it. A few stories in, The Zanzibar Cat is not of that quality (yet?) but is still entertaining.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

First Lines of Kim Stanley Robinson's "Red Moon"

"Someone had told him not to look while landing on the moon, but he was strapped in his seat right next to a window and could not help himself; he looked. Quickly he saw why he had been told not to -- the moon was doubling in size with every beat of his heart, they were headed for it at cosmic speed and would certainly vaporize on impact."

- Kim Stanley Robinson, "Red Moon". Entertaining read that starts and ends well but with a bit of a lull in the middle. Love his outlook on life.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

First Lines of Ursula LeGuin's "The Name for the World is Forest"

"Two pieces of yesterday were in Captain Davidson's mind when he woke, and he lay looking at them in the darkness for a while."

Ursula LeGuin, "The Name for the World is Forest"