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January 17, 2013 by Tiffany A. Robbins

No, I have not dropped off the world. If you follow me, I’m sure you’re used to me posting sporadically  I’ve been very busy writing and trying to get myself out there. I’ll be having a little 50 word story published on http://fiftywordstories.com/ here very soon. You should go check them out. It’s a great concept. Mine is titled “The Reunion” and I won’t tell you the story here because you should go read it there. Plus, if I start talking about it too much, I’ll tell too much and that will ruin the nuances of telling a story in 50 words.

Anyway, I wanted to drop my latest book reviews on you here. As usual, I never can remember what I’ve reviewed on here or not, so I may hit one or two again. My memory is atrocious.

First off, my husband had been begging me to read some of Asimov’s short stories. As an always reluctant reader of Asimov, I kept putting him off. Finally, he stuck Winds of Change in the bathroom and it just kind of read itself.

The Winds of Change by Isaac Asimov

The Winds of Change by Isaac Asimov

There were parts of it I really enjoyed reading and also a lot of resulting groans. If you know me, you know I don’t like fiction that makes me groan. I groan at writing that seems very dated (relying on puns for drama and climax) and pedantic, which I often find in Asimov’s writing.

Ironically, my favorite story, “Good Taste,” was exactly that. I did find it a difficult read with all the odd “Minor Mine” and “Mother Mine” naming conventions (though I thought they lent it a very poetic air), but once I got into it, I kind of fell in love with the concept and the universe. I felt it was a very lovely piece of artistry though the whole lead up was to a bad pun as the ending. All in all, a lousy end to a good read, which I thought was kind of the theme of the whole collection.

By the way, if you read it, don’t put any anticipation into reading the last short story that the book is named for. I don’t think it is worth anyone’s time or investment, and it is clearly the worst portion of the book.

Next up on my list is a true winner and a Heinlein. So, we all know that this is going to take a positive spin from here. (I love Heinlein in case the previous sentences were too vague). My husband bought me Starman Jones.

Starman Jones by Robert A. Heinlein

Starman Jones by Robert A. Heinlein

This was a great book of star exploration as seen from a mid twentieth century writer. He’s very specific about the ships cockpit along with long hand math calculations and analog print outs. I appreciated it purely for its vintage sci-fi feel, though the story was grand as well.

I found Jones to be a very typical Heinlein hero – abused boy running off to make a better life for himself. Of course, he finds a girl in his explorations and for some odd reason she’s into him. He’s into her too, but only incidentally. His true love is to be an astrogator though it is impossible for him to become one until the whole universe is turned upside down.

I loved the alien life found on the unknown planet. His explanation of them and the planet I felt was some of Heinlein’s best work as a writer that I’ve read so far.

I must say, “Well done, Mr. Heinlein. Well done.”

Currently, I’m reading The Time Patrol by Poul Anderson. This in another one I’m reading at my husband’s urging. I imagine that if we ever had kids, they’d grow up hearing these stories at bedtime.

The Time Patrol by Poul Anderson

The Time Patrol by Poul Anderson

I was a little disappointed with this book at first because I was under the impression that it was a novel and it turned out to be short stories. I’ve never been a fan of reading short stories in this kind of bulk. I like short stories for what they are: individual snippets of guilty pleasure.

My husband would warn you that all of my disappointments in life come from my own previous misconceptions. I really am trying to fight it with this one as I am really enjoying the concept and the universe, but I wonder if I shouldn’t relegate it to the bathroom. I’m about halfway through, but I’m really itching to get into an actual novel.

We’ll see if I get it finished.

Well, what’s next? There’s a new Bean book by Orson Scott Card I need to read. I also picked up a random bit of fiction at Barnes and Noble this month while I was spending some of my Christmas Bonus buying my husband a few books. They’re all random enough that I can’t remember what they are right now, but the good news is that I’ll have something to post other than Heinlein and Card for you this year.

I hope all is going well with you all and that you’re reading and writing enough to keep your soul satisfied!

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