The Ship Who Sang

This book is good science fiction, in the sense that it explores something which we are not ready to address as a society — in this case, would profoundly disabled people prefer that we could replace their disabled bodies? What if the replacement wasn’t humanoid? The book is pretty old though, and that shows in some of the elements of the story. I don’t feel it detracts though. The book is also composed of a series of independantish by related short stories, which was a common publishing technique for science fiction in the 1960s.

One story — “Dramatic Mission” — did throw me a little. Its just too out there conceptually, and actually kind of dull until about the last three pages, where the controller poses some interesting questions of Helva. I feel that perhaps the lead up could have been better though.

[isbn: 0345297687]
[award: nominee nebula 1969]

Dragondrums

This is the third book in the Harper Hall trilogy (after Dragonsong and Dragonsinger). I didn’t enjoy it as much as the other two. This book focuses on Piemur instead of Mellony, and the first half is about his pubescent turmoil, which is probably why I didn’t enjoy this book as much. I had similar objections to The White Dragon, which is a very similar book to this one. However, the second half of the book is pretty good, and overall I thought it was a useful contribution to the overall story line of the series.

[isbn: 0553258559]

Dragonsinger

This book is interesting because its 200 or so pages only cover a seven day period. Its a coming of age story that continues directly on from Dragonsong, and overlaps somewhat with The White Dragon (if only peripherally). This book has parallels with Pawn of Prophecy in my mind, mostly because they’re both about young children being taken under someone’s wing and given the time they need to develop their talents.

I liked this book, which gives me hope for the rest of the series.

[isbn: 0553258540]

Dragonsong

Dragonsong sits between Dragonquest and The White Dragon, although there is some overlap with The White Dragon and it doesn’t matter what order you read those two in.

Some friends and I were joking the other day that all McCaffrey books seem to involve a pained teenager coming to age. That’s true with this book, although the story isn’t as drawn out as The White Dragon, and I didn’t find it quite as annoying to read. I think that’s because McCaffrey didn’t dwell on how terrible it was to be a teenager as much in this one.

I really enjoyed this one, and thought it was better than The White Dragon, and on par with Dragonflight, although I do feel that The White Dragon opens up more interesting possibilities for the universe than this book did.

[isbn: 0553258524]

On home sound systems

My temporary apartment in Santa Clara came with a $500 US Bose alarm clock, which is of interest firstly because it’s an amazing amount of money to spend on something as trivial as an alarm clock, and secondly because it sounds fantastic. It has an impossibly large amount of bass for something so small.

I initially thought I would buy one, but at $500 US, there is little chance of that happening. I also need some way of spreading the musical joy around the entire house before I go crazy, so I suspect that I might just end up with a bunch of Squeezeboxes or equivalent around the house.

More details when I’ve finished surfing and deciding what I want to implement.

Arrived yesterday

So, Andrew and I arrive in Santa Clara from Canberra yesterday. It took about 24 hours of travelling, and a lot of queueing to make that happen, but we’re here finally. I must admit I’m really liking things so far, I was a bit worried about the expense of rent until we went and saw am apartment complex this morning, and I’m not worried about that now.

The mall is nice (the local one that is), the temporary apartment is nice (photos soon), and the rental car is crap, but that’s ok.

On a musical note I only just recently discovered the Black Eyes Peas, so I picked up Elephunk this morning. Damn that’s a good album — it’s rare for me to find a disc that I like every track on, but this is one of them.

Anyways, here. Alive. In Santa Clara for now. Must wander off now…