May. 8th, 2017

shadowkat: (work/reading)
Finally finished this book. It's probably good to know where and how I read -- I read on my commute. Each day I travel by foot, subway, foot, and train to my workplace. It's about an hour and fifteen-twenty minutes give or take each way. I also read whenever I'm traveling by train elsewhere. Mainly? I read primarily in transit. Travel reading is a very different thing than stationary reading. For one thing it's far harder to read dense fiction or philosophical meanderings while in transit. It tends to give me a headache. Why? Well, distractions.

Read more... )

I also read before bed at night. I tend to read more ...dense stuff at night. I read Blind Assassin before bed at night for three years -- that's why it took so long to read that book. I'd read it in snatches for twenty to thirty minutes before bed. Couldn't read it on the train -- mind refused to focus on it. It's very hard to read literary or dense material when people are chatting on the phone, listening to loud music or coughing around you, not to mention the train announcements and noises. Also I tend to read standing up and I cart the book around with me -- so it's better if it is a Kindle and not a hefty hard back or paperback, preferably with a light in case all the lights go out on the train, which happens.

Anyhow, enuf on that..

Review of Witches of Karres

A co-worker thrust this one on me. One day at work, he came up to me and handed me a ratty old paperback from the 1980s (actually it was from the 60s, but this copy was 1983), and said, you have to read this ! I just read it and I really think you'll love it.

So, with much trepidation I did. Book rec's don't always work out. And co-worker and my tastes don't always coincide. What's that phrase? You say tomato, I say tomatoe....? Anyhow, I read it and liked it a lot better than I thought I would.

mild spoilers for Witches of Karres )
shadowkat: (tv slut)
This just has to be shared...

Seven New Earth Sized Planets with Water Have Been Discovered in the Trappist-1 System and May House Alien Lifeforms.

Trappist by the way stands for The Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope (TRAPPIST) in Chile, which initially detected three of the planets in May 2016.

Now this is the part made me laugh...and got me pondering...and feel the need to share with everyone.

If advanced intelligent life has evolved in the TRAPPIST-1 system, they could already have detected our radio and television transmissions. Our broadcasts of Happy Days, Three’s Company, and Charlie’s Angels are arriving there now. Our own SETI (the Search for Extra- terrestrial Intelligence) has monitored the TRAPPIST-1 system for any artificial radio signals but so far has not detected any alien transmissions. Further surveys however, will be conducted in the future.

While a great many Earth-sized extra-solar planets (exoplanets, for short) have already been catalogued, this discovery brings us another step closer to answering one of the big questions in the universe. Are we alone?

Okay, admittedly they probably did this back in the 1970s, but they couldn't have found anything better to broadcast than Happy Days, Three's Company and Charlie's Angels? I mean come on...there had to have been something...what about Star Trek? Granted I'm not sure Twilight Zone, Doctor Who, or Six Million Dollar Man would have been a good idea.

Anyhow this got me to pondering..."What three television series would I broadcast out into space? Keeping in mind that this may be the only information that an alien race in the universe receives about my species?"

It also inspired me to add a conversation about Charlies Angels to my sci-fi novel. While working on solving a technical issue, an alien and a human engineer discuss Charlie's Angels.

"Who is this Charlie?" asks the alien.

"He's a billionaire who hires three woman to work as his investigative team."

"Yes, I gathered that. But why would beautiful women work for a guy who just calls them on the phone and never appears face to face?"

"He pays them lots of money, you'd be surprised what people used to do for money."

"Actually, no. We sort of counted on that. How do you think we managed to invade and conguer your planet successfully. And while puzzling, the billionaire worship does explain your choice of Donald Trump as President. We had wondered about that. Not that it would have mattered. We would have invaded regardless. But back to Charlies Angels - why are they called Angels?"

I still need to work on that. But it does inspire all sorts of delightful sci-fi fiction dialogue doesn't it? I mean can you imagine what an alien race would make of Happy Days, Charlies Angels and Three's Company? They must think we're terribly sexist.

Also, if you had to choose three television serials to broadcast into space to alien worlds, which would you pick? I mean this is your job and you have to do it. Choose three, and think about the consequences. (Ie, I don't think the Walking Dead, A Handmaid's Tale, American Gods or Game of Thrones would be a good idea. Then again, they might scare off the who knows.)


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