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review 2018-04-13 19:14
Earth / David Brin
Earth - David Brin

TIME IS RUNNING OUT Decades from now, an artificial black hole has fallen into the Earth's core. As scientists frantically work to prevent the ultimate disaster, they discover that the entire planet could be destroyed within a year. But while they look for an answer, some claim that the only way to save Earth is to let its human inhabitants become extinct: to reset the evolutionary clock and start over.


My rating for this book probably suffers from my method of reading it—15 to 20 minute bursts while on coffee break at work. It’s a sci-fi thriller and reading only 20-30 pages per day really stretched out the action in a non-thrilling way.

It is also a little heavy on the hard science fiction side of things for my tastes—remember, I am primarily a fantasy reader! There’s an awful lot of mathematical calculations, envisioning the Earth’s core, and talk of gravity and fundamental particles. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just not my primary interest. Brin manages to bring in plenty of social and environmental issues too, and lots of people and politics, which was what kept me reading. Give me people issues!

One thing that I have to really credit this author for, he produces great swear words for his future characters. You realize that they are swearing, you accept it as such, yet the words aren’t any that would offend any contemporary reader.

It’s an interesting look at what the near future could look like and an action packed plot to keep you reading. I liked it, but I like his Uplift series more I confess.

Book number 279 in my Science Fiction and Fantasy reading project.

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text 2018-04-10 17:54
Reading progress update: I've read 596 out of 678 pages.
Earth - David Brin

I've been reading this in 20 minute bursts while on my morning coffee break.  But I've finally come to a place where I may have to take it home and finish it.  This 20 minutes per day is really drawing out the suspense.

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photo 2018-04-03 17:35

If I don't come back don't get surprised...

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review 2018-04-03 08:58
a good book, just not one for me!
The Earth Bleeds Red - Jackson Paul Baer

Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this book.

Scott and Jessie, and their 17 year old daughter Ashley, live a good life, a happy life. Til one day, it all goes terribly wrong and Ashley is kidnapped, possibly dead. Scott and Jessie need to keep it together long enough for Ashley to be found alive, or not.

Sometimes, stepping out of your comfort zone is a really good thing but, while a well told story, this one just didn't quite hit the spot. And I don't really know why!

Told mostly from Scott's point of view, in the first, it deals with how a family copes when tragedy strikes.

We do get some other people, in the third person, but they felt more of a narration of their voice, rather than THEM speaking, if that makes any sense?? I didn't connect to them in any way, not even when the bad guy has his five minutes, and you know how much I LOVE getting into the mind of the bad guy! I just felt, apart from Scott, totally disconnected from everyone else.

It is well written, and I saw no editing or spelling errors. It does get a little graphic in places, when being told what was done to Ashley when she was kidnapped, but it is not in any way romantic. Not even before Ashley was kidnapped, did I feel the romance between Scott and Jessie.

A good book, just not one for me and I'm sorry for that!

3 stars

**same worded review will appear elsewhere**

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review 2018-03-31 00:00
Earth Abides
Earth Abides - George R. Stewart

Earth Abides is not an entertaining book. It is not perfect. It is a tad long-winded at some points, sometimes decidedly dated feeling, and has a serious lack of everything that generally entertains me. It is, at it's base, a look at the post-apocalyptic world through one man's eyes. It was first published in 1949, and according to Goodreads, currently has 55 editions. It is considered a sci-fi book, but there's nothing science fiction about the book. A disease hits, wipes out most of the world's population, and the few that survive are left to pick up the pieces. That's it. But that's not all there is to it. A lot happens, but it's over the life of one man. There's no grand battles, no good versus evil in the ruins of the old world, just the quiet puttering of one of the last embers of humanity as it strives to not die out completely.  And yet it won't let you alone until you finish it.

I think this book had to have made some waves when people first started reading in. Published in 1949 and it features an interracial union and espouses a life better without God in it? Yowzers.

I frequently disliked the main character. Isherwood Williams is the type of man that - while I might admire his mind - I would frequently want to thump. He's full of himself. He's so cynical about the 'simplicity' of the people around him.  And, of course, he's completely human, and there's the rub. We look for a 'hero' in these types of books. Ish is no hero. He's someone who had the 'luck' to survive the end of the world, and now he's got to live in it. But the world changes - doesn't it always? And Ish isn't a King of old. He's just the head of his Tribe.

Earth Abides feels timeless. I have read many post-apocalyptic books, and they've grown tiresome.  I approached this book with some caution, because I was afraid of more of the same drivel that is wonderful the first few times you read it, and then swiftly approaches "Been there done that" with disturbing ease. I didn't want to dislike this book because I was bone-weary of the sub-genre.  Thankfully, that wasn't the case. Because, I honestly don't believe, for all the post-apocalyptic books I've read, that I've ever read a novel like Earth AbidesIt also feels the most real. This is how the world goes on; earth abides while humanity fumbles along.

I won't deny that the main reason I'm making the connection between the two is because I just recently read it, but I could not help but think of McCammon's Boy's Life when I finished Earth Abides. I am not someone who self-describes as liking 'literary fiction'. I'm happy with my genre jollies, thankyouverymuch. I'll admit to even wrinkling my nose at the idea of reading 'literature'. However, I think both Earth Abides and Boy's Life are perfect examples of books that show the appeal of that type of book. They're not 600 pages long and packed with five dollar words, yet they don't fit into any particular genre, and they make you think far more than they entertain you. 

Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

“If there is a God who made us and we did wrong before His eyes—as George says—at least we did wrong only because we were as God made us, and I do not think that He should set traps. Oh, you should know better than George! Let us not bring all that back into the world again—the angry God, the mean God—the one who does not tell us the rules of the game, and then strikes us when we break them. Let us not bring Him back.”

“Man has been growing more stupid for several thousand years; I myself shall waste no tears at his demise.”

“During ten thousand years his numbers have been on the upgrade in spite of wars, pestilences, and famines. This increase in population has become more and more rapid. Biologically, man has for too long a time been rolling an uninterrupted run of sevens.”

Earth Abides really does deserve it's spot on the "Must Read" list folks. Its hard to talk about but easy to read. You'll need some quiet to be able to really appreciate it. Take as long as you need to take with it. I actually walked away from it for a week or so because I have an attention span the length of a gnat, but was drawn back to it, and able to pick up right where I left off.

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