Friday, November 30, 2007

Last night we went and saw the play after the quake at the Berkeley Repertory Theater. It is based on two stories from the short story collection of the same name by Haruki Murakami.

I was very tired before the play due to some insomnia but I ended up really enjoying this play. Even though it is based on two short stories, it unfolds instead as having stories told within stories, as the four main characters interact. It is set after the 1995 Kobe earthquake and has the characters trying to deal with the emotional effects of the earthquake and the changes in the relationship between the four of them.

If you are in the SF Bay area, or this play comes to your town, I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Yesterday, I finished The Last Hot Time, a short novel by John M. Ford.

The genre for this one would be modern fantasy, where the author mixes fantastic and modern elements. In this case, the world changed in the 1950s when magic started working again and elfs re-appeared. For some reason, those elfs seem to have mainly organized themselves along the lines of the mafia so the novel is told from the point of view of a mob doctor that works alongside magical creatures and normal mobsters.

The Last Hot Time is an OK read but nothing special in this genre.

Amazon Link: The Last Hot Time

Monday, November 26, 2007

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I managed to finish re-reading one more book - Ringworld by Larry Niven.

Last week, something I read reminded me of Ringworld,so I decided to re-read it. Larry Niven is my favourite science fiction author, and Ringworld is probably his best novel, so I used to re-read it every so often but lately I have had good luck finding new things to read so my re-reading has dropped off.

Since it has been a while since I had read it last, I appreciated some things about the book that I had taken for granted over the years. I had forgotten just how good of a book it is. Niven does an excellent job of mixing the hard science he is known for, interesting, and well drawn, characters and difficult problems. It is no wonder that this book won both the Hugo (reader voted) and Nebula (writer voted) awards the year it came out. It is one of the best examples of hard science fiction available. Also, unlike a lot of science fiction from the Seventies, it doesn't feel very dated.

Amazon Link: Ringworld