September  12, 2023

Subject: Science Fiction

The Steps or The Sun by Walter Tevis

The US is still a sovereign country, but everything is owned by the Chinese.  The world is running out of Uranium, electricity is rationed, and it is cold.  The world’s richest man buys a Chinese spaceship and using his own supply of uranium heads to other worlds to find a supply.  An arrest warrant is put out for wasting uranium. The book fluctuates between the trip and his life prior to this. The book is not as polished as his other work, and it took about a week to put it into perspective.

Farewell Summer by Ray Bradbury

The sequel to Dandelion Wine written 35 years after the original. The war between teenagers and elders continues. The teens decide the town clock is the problem because it determines what they do each day. They plot to blow it up with firecrackers and the clock stops. The grandfather of two of the ringleaders figures it out and tells the boys they must repair the clock themselves or pay the cost of repairs. Their parents will not pay for it.  It is hot, dirty, labor-intensive work. The boys learn a lesson, grow up a bit and life goes on.

This book is in the Grover Beach Community Library

Quicker Than the Eye by Ray Bradbury

Classic Bradbury short stories, imaginative and thought provoking. The last story, “Make Haste to Live the Afterward,” is in a sense an explanation of what inspires him to write as he does. Other stories are ones you will never forget. Any of the legion of Bradbury lovers will enjoy it immensely.

This book is in the Grover Beach Community Library

The Ugly Little Boy by Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg

Stasis Technology succeeds in going back in time and bringing a 4-year-old Neanderthal to the present. The catch is he must remain in the artificially induced environment they produced. They hire a nurse who specializes in mute, autistic or brain damaged children to take care of him. Instead of a specimen she sees a real child. Scientists who come to study him are disappointed he cannot explain the questions he is asked.  He cannot speak English, of course, and she develops a way to communicate with him.  He turns out to be very intelligent and catches on quickly. Our reader would not tell the ending, which was great.  Recommends to any who want to read a heartwarming book.

This book was donated to the GBCL and hopefully will be on the shelf soon.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Described as a portal into other dimensions of reality, the story explains how it is possible for a particle to be in two places at one time. Example, a person is kidnapped, hidden in a building and, when he gets out, finds himself in another universe. Are there alternative universes? One hears of many examples, but not easy to be proven.  Is it time travel, or are episodes repeated. What is the real outcome.

Foundation Edge by Isaac Asimov

One of a series of seven books, it seems that the advance of civilization is nothing but an exercise of the limits of privacy. It leads to separation of the two sides to opposite sides of the galaxy. One side wants to preserve knowledge, and the other wants to save mankind. In usual Asimov style, it goes into detail on each side, one more mechanical and one more to brain power. Is one side right and one wrong, or can they ever forge a compromise?

Irontown Blues by John Varley

Earth is taken over by aliens, so to achieve their freedom, the people leave earth for outer space. A colony is founded on the moon under the surface. Animals and vegetation are transplanted there, and life goes on, but, with a fear of biohackers. A detective sets out to hunt for the biohackers along with his trusty bloodhound, Chip who has artificial intelligence.  Chip contributes half of the dialog. Will they succeed and humanity continues?

The Space Between Things by Kevin Sullivan

Mr. Sullivan is a local author (and librarian at GBCL) who manages to fill in a few spaces in several of the above books with his poetic insight. Several of his books are available at the Grover Beach Community Library in the Local Author section.