Though this wasn't Alice's diary... it showed people in a simplistic way that this sort of thing can happen; usually doesn't however, but neverthelessThough this wasn't Alice's diary... it showed people in a simplistic way that this sort of thing can happen; usually doesn't however, but nevertheless these situations can happen and having heard first hand accounts of these sort of situations really can happening when people are spiraling down to rock bottom from drug addiction. It had opened my eyes as a young teenager to the possibilities of what can happen when someone is using hard drugs. I have also heard of people using hard drugs for a short period of their life and haven't had anything close happen to them then what had happened to the character Alice. I have not read this as an adult... so, my opinion of this book might change some, but as it holds now I believe this is a great book for young readers....more
A very interesting story. And I think that is one of the main reasons why I liked it so much. And when I say interesting, I mean weird, strange just vA very interesting story. And I think that is one of the main reasons why I liked it so much. And when I say interesting, I mean weird, strange just very odd. It is about a commune where the people are deaf and blind and how they all get along with one another. John Varley does a great job at describing the community and how they all live. A fantastic tale, but like I said very odd indeed....more
What an amazing tale! I am really glad I read it, (thanks for the recommendation review Stephen) though the imagery and the social and philosophical wr What an amazing tale! I am really glad I read it, (thanks for the recommendation review Stephen) though the imagery and the social and philosophical writing was very heart-wrenching, and/but eye opening indeed, as well.
There are a couple of sites that are offering the eBook version for free in the PDf format and it is short enough that if you have 10-20 minutes to spare, you should definitely give it a shot and let us know what you think, This is one I would not pass up if I were you. I am glad I did not and in fact I had to read it twice! Not because it was difficult but because it was fantastic. It is one of those stories that you want to take your time with and ponder to really grasp what Ursula K. Le Guin was trying to exemplify and elucidate.
I liked this book, in fact I got hooked at so many parts. As I am a slow reader and me having finished this book in a couple of days should tell ya so I liked this book, in fact I got hooked at so many parts. As I am a slow reader and me having finished this book in a couple of days should tell ya something. The book is mainly an exploration novel of another land during the earth year of 2850. The exploration of the Ringwold is magnificent and is detailed crisply into my imagination. It is also about the characters too; a great character building story I must say. In a way I found that the characters in the book and their interactions between each other had to be the most interesting part of the story. It had 4 main characters that were all very different to each other in many, many ways; and somehow made the perfect team. The 4 characters are Louis Gridley Wu, Nessus, Speaker to Animals, and Teela Brown. Wu is a 200 year old human man that is in perfect physical condition, due to life extending drugs. Nessus is a Pierson's Puppeteer which has two forelegs and a single hindleg ending in hooved feet and two snake-like heads instead of a humanoid upper body. The heads are very small, containing a forked tongue, extensive rubbery lips, rimmed with finger-like knobs, and a single eye per head. The Puppeteer brain is housed not in the heads, but in the "thoracic" cavity well protected beneath the mane-covered hump from which the heads emerge. They use the "mouths" to manipulate objects, as a humanoid uses hands. He is in charge of the operation to the ring world and the being that finds the team and puts it together. Then there is Speaker to Animals or just Speaker and is a Kzin. A Kzin is a very warlike and bloodthirsty race of cat-like aliens. The Kzinti are larger than humans, standing around 8 feet and weighing around 500 pounds. These tiger-sized bipeds have large membranous ears, a barrel-chested torso with a flexible spine, and large fangs and claws. He was responsible for the expedition's safety on Ringworld and because if that he was in charge most of the time. And last we have Teela Brown, a twenty year old human girl. Her sole qualification was that she was descended from "lucky" ancestors, six generations of whom were born as a result of winning Earth's Birthright Lottery. The Puppeteer saw this as a kind of artificial selection, tending to breed for a psionic power of good luck. He hoped Teela would bring luck and success to the entire expedition. The team was a great mixture of characters and the main reason for the 5 stars. What an imagination Larry Niven had! ...more
What a terrific read of science and magic. Roger Zelazny is the supreme master at mixing the two together. Roger Zelazny truly is fantastic at making What a terrific read of science and magic. Roger Zelazny is the supreme master at mixing the two together. Roger Zelazny truly is fantastic at making someone despicable actually likeable. The Hero, more likely the anti-hero (it is up to you to choose) of the story, Jack is a character most would think to dislike, but simply for Zelazny work of masterful science/fantasy fiction, and in the first few chapters and especially at the end he makes you end up rooting for Jack, the Jack of Shadows! This is a book I plan on reading again. It is short and simple but also long and complex; in a good way that I don't understand how Zelazny does it, but he can condense a masterpiece in under 200 pages. ...more
"She shook her head, her eyes fixed, staring at the nightmare scene before them. Who had done this? Why? It was as if the people had converged here to
"She shook her head, her eyes fixed, staring at the nightmare scene before them. Who had done this? Why? It was as if the people had converged here to destroy this place that had failed them in the end so completely."
The scene that is described here was indeed nightmarish, as was a large portion of this story. Although there were a lot of dark scenes throughout, it did have some bright and uplifting scenes to redeem its eerie disposition. I was on a roller coaster of emotions while reading this - which is rare for me, not many stories can evoke such an array of feelings, as this did. The many different scenarios depicted page-after-page, were filled with fantastical ideas that held a deep-down plausible truth.
I have read many books about robotics being used in extending the lives of individuals or prolonging the existence of mankind. However, in this 1977 Hugo and Locus Award winning novel by Kate Wilhelm, she shows humans living beyond their original due date, by way of cloning. Even though much has progressed in the science of cloning in the past 30 years, the ethical questions are still the same and the controversies may never change. I assumed the heated controversies on this topic started in the 90's, with the birth of Dolly, the cloned sheep, but actually it appears to have been a heavy subject way before that. These ethical issues were concerns in the 70's, made apparent by Kate's writings, and perhaps even began far sooner than we know.
Whether or not you have a solid opinion on the cloning of humans, reading this book, will broaden your ideas on man's finite existence on earth, for it has mine.
UPDATE: I recently learned where Kate Wilhelm got the title of her novel. It was from a quotation of William Shakespeare's Sonnet 73.
That time of year thou mayst in me behold, When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang. In me thou seest the twilight of such day, As after sunset fadeth in the west, Which by and by black night doth take away, Death's second self, that seals up all in rest. In me thou seest the glowing of such fire, That on the ashes of his youth doth lie, As the death-bed whereon it must expire, Consumed with that which it was nourished by. This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong, To love that well, which thou must leave ere long. –William Shakespeare