The SF Site and my bookshelf: past and present

Twice monthly, I look forward to the update on this page:

St Blog’s own Ono Ekeh has his new sf book reviewed there this month. I always check the movie and tv reviews, especially before I bother watching them. My wife likes the Stargate series, (which they don’t) and from time to time, I get absorbed in it, too (I find it average fare). Interesting take on writing in the film I, Robot.

I like the critical emphasis on the writing on this site. Nothing turns me off as much as weak writing. Weak science is a close second, and I almost shelved Kevin Anderson’s otherwise well-characterized series Saga of the Seven Suns because of a first chapter howler that distracted me for a good hundred pages. Anderson describes humanity igniting a gas giant into a star by dropping a massive black hole into it. I don’t have a problem with a Future Science stretch like this. What bothered me was doing something like this just to warm up a few ice worlds in orbit. Anderson forgot that an increase in mass of the planet would send the little moons spiraling closer to the parent body. People who can move black holes might be able to circumvent simple celestial mechanics, but if they could do that, why not just move the ice moons into closer orbit around the sun. Too bad, really: the whole premise of an otherwise promising set of novels is wrecked by bad science. Not to worry: bad writing still kills more sf than any other cause.

This week’s bookshelf, done, part-done, and untouched:

Pavane by Keith Roberts: excellent writing and disturbing though believable Catholic villains.
Boris Schapiro’s Bridge Analysis, which has been sitting on my shelf half-read for years.
I also have The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes, an account of Australia’s first several decades of white settling.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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1 Response to The SF Site and my bookshelf: past and present

  1. Pingback: On the Bookshelf: Fiction « Catholic Sensibility

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