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Math Girls

Math Girls

By Hiroshi Yuki (Translated by Tony Gonzalez)

10 Sep, 2014

Translation

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So the thing about me and math is I took a lot of math classes in high school despite a near complete lack of aptitude and interest in the subject and except for calculus, which for some reason clicked1, I generally had mediocre marks. Some people find math beautiful for itself, perverts good for them, but I was generally only ever interested in it to the extent I could use math as a tool to examine subjects I did care about, which is why I can rattle off mass ratios (as long as Vdelta/Vexhaust is an exponent of e I’ve memorized) or but am crap at most other applications. Which is a long way of saying I was probably the wrong person to review this book.

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There and Back Again by Max Merriwell

There and Back Again by Max Merriwell

By Pat Murphy 

9 Sep, 2014

Rediscovery Tuesday

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This is a bit unusual for the Rediscovery series in that while I opened my copy knowing I would ultimately recommend the book, I also went into this knowing that aside from used copies there’s pretty much no way for any of you folks to acquire a copy. I had fun rereading it, though, and isn’t that the important thing?

Centuries in the future, the Solar System has been settled by humans and their derivative varieties and thanks to a combination of hibernation and implausibly (but carefully never explained) Nearly as Fast as Light Hoshi drives, so have the nearer stars. Even better, an alien network of wormholes provides access to the greater galaxy.

There is a catch with the wormhole network, or rather a number of catches: 

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Because my tears are delicious to you” earns its title

Satan’s World  (Polesotechnic League)

By Poul Anderson 

7 Sep, 2014

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

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Poul Anderson was a prolific science fiction and fantasy author whose career ran from the 1940s to the opening years of the 21st century. Awards include the Hugo and the Nebula, and he was named a A Grand Master” by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America shortly before his death. Unlike many prolific authors, his work was generally of a consistent quality, although I think it’s safe to say he never produced the masterpiece people might have expected from him. In science fiction, one of his fortes was world-building, about which I say more later. The combination of dependability, verisimilitude and prodigious output made him an almost ideal author for me and between the time I purchased this, my first Anderson, and when his various quirks and tics alienated me, I read the better part of a hundred of his works. I think it is safe to say that between 1977 and 1980, he was my favourite SF author. 

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Panicky Malthusianism meets bad physics in the least of the classic Heinlein juveniles

Farmer in the Sky

By Robert A. Heinlein 

6 Sep, 2014

The Great Heinlein Juveniles (Plus The Other Two) Reread

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I think Heinlein worked on his technique all through the juveniles but to my eye 1950’s Farmer in the Sky, while introducing themes that would persist through the rest of his career, is a half step back, filled with pacing issues and the decision to highlight aspects of his world-building that he probably should have tried very hard to distract people from.

[spoiler warnings]

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The Exile Waiting

The Exile Waiting

By Vonda N. McIntyre 

31 Aug, 2014

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

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When I began rereading this, I had only the vaguest of recollections about it, that it was in some way connected to the author’s more famous Of Mist, and Grass, and Sand” and Dreamsnake , that it was set in the last city on a barren Earth abandoned by the civilized peoples of the Sphere and that was about all. I therefore had a certain level of trepidation because while I had fond memories of having had fond memories of this, the lack of specifics meant there was no assurance the suck fairy would not have visited it. I am happy to say that I can see why I liked this so much almost forty years ago.

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Digital Divide

Digital Divide  (Rachel Peng, volume 1)

By K B Spangler 

30 Aug, 2014

Special Requests

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Embarrassing confession time: from time to time people have sent me books to read in my spare time and I accept them, despite knowing I never get around to reading books in my spare time because I try hard never to have spare time. NEVER. I have had a e‑copy of A Digital Divide long enough to misplace it (I bought a new copy, along with a couple of other Spangler books) and I never got around to reading it because I am a terrible person.

Spangler is probably best known for A Girl and Her Fed, which shares a universe with this novel. As it happens, I’ve never read A Girl and her Fed so any elements that would leap out at a fan of that strip were missed by me.

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