…SF addict …

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Exiled on a cold planet

Just finished reading Planet of Exile, a book by Ursula K Le Guin, and part of her 'Hainish Cycle' from the 1960s

This was my first encounter with Le Guin and although its a short book (126 pages) it was a struggle to finish to be honest!

Basically its set on a planet that has a strange cycle in which each year is sixty earth years and days are counted in Moonphases-the moon and the planet are locked in a strange cosmic dance and the whole system travels around the sun once in 60 years. The start of the year is a long springtime and at the end a harsh winter comes, the snow falling so heavily as to render the landscape a total white out.
There are snowghouls out there (which we never get to meet) and the mysterious Graal which, at the end of each year travel up from the south and invade the natives who form the focal point of the story. The people are divided into two groups; the natives (the hilfs) and the colonists from Earth (Farborn) who arrived at the planet aeons ago and are black skinned-not sure if that is meant to be significant but maybe it was some political statement from the 60s. When the Earth colonists first discovered the natives they named them HILF, an acronym of High Intelligent Life Form-it sounds very SF but the book is more like fantasy with magic and mindspeech rather than tech and telepathy.

It all sounds promising but her writing style in this book is somewhat clunky and odd in parts and the characters just not that interesting or engaging. Just not a lot happened really! This one will be going back on Bookmooch.

I have City of Illusions and Left Hand of Darkness on my shelf too-just hope things improve with those two.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Techno astronomy!

I took a photo of the Moon and Venus last night from the back garden, hand held, and then thought, hmm, a bit late for Venus surely.

So then having uploaded the image I remember I had Google Sky Maps on my G1 phone so booted it up, and sure enough....

Friday, April 9, 2010

Iain Banks's study

Just found this cool video on the tube of you-great stuff!

Monday, April 5, 2010

I got fooled!

I received a link to a cool and fun piece of 2001 memorabilia and I thought, hmmm I want that!
Today my other half checked it on the PC, looking to maybe getting it for me to discover it was an April Fools!


I love this from the site:

"Deep in the heart of Aisle 7 (the action figure aisle), all throughout the 70's, 80's, and 90's, something waited. No one knew it was there, until toy stores began their turn of the century renovations. Then the Monolith Action Figure was discovered (the first given the name "TRU-1"). What was it for? Where did it come from? Why wouldn't its barcode scan? No one knew. And no one knows to this day."