Oh Yeah! That's Why I Read
Thursday, March 15, 2007

Science Fiction.

I used to be a huge sci-fi fan (and not of the network, of which only Stargate SG-1 is worth watching and that's cancelled this year).

I haven't really read sci-fi books in a while. The last one was when I was pregnant with Baby C, and it was a great book called Kiln People, but I lost it when we moved and don't remember the author. I suppose Amazon.com could help me out with that, but I'm avoiding that site because every time I go there, it tells me I should buy a book called "Get Your Act Together" and damages my self esteem. Darn those cookies, anyway!

Yesterday I found myself with some errands to do, (underwear to buy), and every good shopping trip sans kids starts at the used bookstore around here. Some ladies hide shoes and purses from their husbands - I tuck away old paperbacks.

This particular store, here in town, is small. They rearranged it recently, so the first rack by the door holds the science fiction section. Selection was limited, but I picked up a book I hadn't read just for kicks. It's by Larry Niven and Jeffrey Pournelle, who wrote a series of books I loved so much I moved them 4 times before I threw them away (had to. Missing covers and innards. It was more traumatic than flushing a goldfish down the toilet, let me tell you - I don't part with books lightly!)

It's called Fallen Angels, about a future (2010-ish, not so far away now!) in which ecologists basically hold the world hostage, since an ice age has come and science is to blame. Society and culture is slowly regressing backwards since the new "Green Party" government blames the environmental ills on technology. Sound familiar? Yeah. It was published in 1991, though, long before Al Gore started ranting.

I'm only in 30 pages, but I remember now why I love science fiction novels. They aren't just about space ships and aliens, but actually are satire, commentary, and warnings about us, humanity, our foibles and our weaknesses. They also tend towards the wry side of the humor wagon, perfect for me.

Some excerpts:
Some of us are even crazy enough to rescue [them], before they...disappear into protective custody. Which could be dangerous. The government could declare you mentally ill, and help you.
[It] wasn't exactly outlawed. There was still Freedom of Speech; still a Bill of Rights, even if it wasn't taught much in the schools - even if most kids graduated unable to read well enough to understand it.
See what I mean? Right up my alley! I might have to start reading such things on a regular basis.

BTW, the picture is from a lesson on Satun in a school textbook from the 1850's. Seen anything even approaching that level of detail in your kid's school books? Drives home that last quote, doesn't it!


posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 3/15/2007 09:35:00 AM | Permalink | |