Bruce Farrar's blog

JUMP RIGHT INTO A GOOD BOOK

Inkheart and its sequels     Did you ever read a book that was so good you wanted to step right into the story and become one of the characters? Did you ever wish that the hero or the heroine could leap out of the book and join you for a chat? Of course one of the nice things about reading a book is that you can always set it down and come back to it later. You can set it down and go get a snack or visit a friend, and come back to it later. Or if you’re reading late at night and the story gets too scary you can set it down and turn on some more lights or decide to do something else and go back to reading in the daytime when the villain doesn’t seem so threatening.

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THE SCIENCE FICTION LOVE STORY

Does it exist? The Search for a Rare Sub-Genre

Science Ficiton Love Stories

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Fate

The Fates

Do you have one, and can it be changed?

There is no way to change the past, but is a person’s future bound by the same inflexible law? Philosophers and theologians have pondered this for ages and have come to different conclusions. In the realm of the literary imagination, writers have often speculated on the same question resulting in more lively to read if not necessarily more optimistic conclusions. Consider these three novels. Hanging over the characters in each is a brooding sense of destiny.

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This Is The Way The World Ends Not With A Bang But A Chuckle

BBQ at the End of the World

Will it be Fire or Ice?
The End of the World is a serious subject. Poets, notably Misters Eliot and Frost, both misquoted above, have commented on it. However, I would like to call your attention to two science fiction novels, one recent and one a golden oldie, that have a somewhat humorous—well, darkly humorous—take on the subject.

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A Universe Without Up Or Down

A Universe Without Up Or Down
What does a nine-year-old military genius have in common with an oversized modern dancer?

Neither one of them cares about up or down. They don’t become disoriented in a free fall or microgravity environments, and it gives them both the edge over the rest of humanity when it comes to defeating hostile aliens. Two books that have become classics of science fiction start by questioning whether creatures that spend their lives at the bottom of a gravity well will adapt to life and be able to orient themselves when gravity becomes a force that’s as gentle as a mild breeze. It might be a skill that could save all of us from extinction at the mandibles of hostile aliens.

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Proper Preparation for Time Travel

How far would you go to save your friends and family?

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Mystery, Magic and Adventure with the Scent of Medieval Japan

Station of the Tokaido by Hiroshige
Sword Fighting Skills, Samurai, Spirits and Ninja

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Other Realities and Ancient Wisdom

Zhuangzi and George Orr Dreaming

Dreams and Alternative Histories

The Chinese Taoist philosopher Zhuangzi (also transliterated into English as Chuang Tzŭ) recorded in the book bearing his name a very striking dream. He dreamed that he was a butterfly. Then he awoke to discover that he was still Zhuangzi. Then he wondered if perhaps he was a butterfly dreaming that he was Zhuangzi.

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The Literary Diaspora of Jane Eyre

To the Caribbean and Beyond!
Literary Diaspora of Jane Eyre 

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