Ed Loyce has been working in his basement - he decides to take a break from the subterranean work and walks to town and checks in with his repair shopEd Loyce has been working in his basement - he decides to take a break from the subterranean work and walks to town and checks in with his repair shop. On his way there, he sees a horrific scene: a dead body hanging from a light post in the town center. He is confused, scared, and angry - why is this here? How did this happen? Why do people walk by with no care?
Ed soon realizes that this dead body in the plaza is the least of his concerns...
Great short story - like a Twilight Zone episode - originally published in 1953 in Science Fiction Adventures, and reproduced in many of the PKD compendiums.
Witty, humorous and satirical - what Wilde did well.
The title sounded vaguely familiar, and once I started listening to the audiobook, I recalled readWitty, humorous and satirical - what Wilde did well.
The title sounded vaguely familiar, and once I started listening to the audiobook, I recalled reading this one as a child. It was fun to revisit and pick up on all the social commentary that I missed as a child - American stereotypes and materialism, (Mr. Otis giving the ghost a branded oil for his rusty old chains so he'd stop clinking down the hallway in the middle of the night? Pretty funny!) British customs and etiquette, etc.
The audio version I heard was adapted for radio dramatization in the 1940s, with Sir Laurence Olivier as Sir Simon, the eponymous ghost. This version's melodrama and sound effects made it all the more humorous....more
Euler's Formula...it's been a long time since trigonometry...
A sweet and endearing tale of human relationships, the fleeting nature of memory, mathem Euler's Formula...it's been a long time since trigonometry...
A sweet and endearing tale of human relationships, the fleeting nature of memory, mathematics, and baseball. A kindly math professor's memory resets every 80 minutes, the result of an auto accident and traumatic brain injury. He clearly remembers everything pre-accident (pre-1975) but must be reintroduced to every person after 80 minutes of absence. He uses hand-drawn and written notes pinned to his suit jacket to remind him day-to-day. Every person he meets, he asks the same questions about their birthday, their birthweight, etc. and continues to expound on the importance and relationships of the numbers cited.
This has left the kind professor with a string of bad reviews with the housekeeping company, and when the eponymous (and otherwise nameless) Housekeeper is assigned to him, there is little hope that this one will work out too. However, once the housekeeper makes reference to her son, the Professor (also nameless) immediately perks up. The young boy, nicknamed "Root", because his head and haircut look like the square root symbol, becomes quick friends with the Professor. They share a love of baseball, and the Professor tutors the boy in mathematics.
It's a simple and heartrending story - but quite elegant, just like the many equations that the professor talks about with his Housekeeper day after day.
The above equation, Euler's formula, is one that plays a particular role in the book. With his fading memories and health, love of mathematics remains the only constant in the Professor's life.
This companion novella to Scalzi's Lock In was as good as the book itself. I didn't realize it was free at Tor.com until after I finished the main booThis companion novella to Scalzi's Lock In was as good as the book itself. I didn't realize it was free at Tor.com until after I finished the main book, and there was a few minutes of confusion on my part as I started Lock In; this would have been cleared up had I read/listened to Unlockedfirst.
I really liked the oral history format and the cast of multiple characters. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War was told in the same style, so if you liked that, you will also like this. This style is so appealing to me that I wish there were more like it... suggestions? (only few I can think of are Robopocalypse and the aforementioned WWZ).
Scalzi's world-building is so layered and detailed. I loved the history of Haden's, the ethics of treatment, the technology for personal transports/"threeps", and the end section about daily lives of Haden's and their civil rights.
I would suggest reading this one before the main novel, so the first few chapters of Lock In are not confusing (as they were for me, unfortunately). ...more