Sunday, April 22, 2007

Birthdays, Fists & Concrete.

The Birthday of the World: And Other Stories by Ursula K. Le Guin As has been already established, I'm a big fan of Ms. Le Guin. Several of the short stories in this book won the Tiptree award, so I was even more interested in it.

It did not disappoint. There were several stories set in worlds she's dealt with before. And, maybe my favorite, was set on a "generation ship": Paradises Lost. It reminded me somewhat of Joe Haldeman's World's Enough and Time which is also set on a space ship. They both deal with what would happen to people on a ship like that -- how would their religion change? what would it be like to go from living on a ship to living on a world?

Here are some excerpts, if you're interested in reading more.

I also read A Fistful of Sky by Nina Kiriki Hoffman. This was a lot more light-hearted. It's about a family of witches (I guess - they have magical powers, at least). One of the girls hasn't gotten her powers, though -- it seems as though she's normal. So she has to put up with her various siblings tormenting her (affectionately) and so on.

That is until things change. Turns out she does get powers -- but not the sort she wanted. The rest of the book deals with her trying to figure out how to handle these new powers. Often with amusing results. I liked it.

Oh, I also read 4 issues of the graphic novel Concrete by Paul Chadwick. They are great. It's about a man whose body was replaced by an alien one -- made of, essentially, stone. What do you do in that case? He tries to be a travel writer and help people. But he doesn't really have the ability to be a super hero -- and he has to deal with being alone in a way he never has been before. The art is lovely and the writing is amazing. I'd highly recommend it -- even if you haven't read many graphic novels. I think anyone would like this one.

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