I let myself be lured into a bookstore (the Indigo at Yonge & Highway7) to meet a friend and pick up my share of materials to be judged for the STC Toronto’s Technical Publications and Online Documentation contests. Of course, once in the store I had to look around. This is what I ended up with.
- The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow, about probability and improbability (for LotStreetWiz)
- Dry Store Room No. 1: The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum by Richard Fortey
- Born to Believe: God, Science, and the Origin of Ordinary and Extraordinary Beliefs by Andrew Newberg
I reluctantly passed up Stroke of Insight, a first-person account of recovery from a stroke even though it had good insights into the nature of brain function and body awareness—too expensive, little re-read value. It was interesting that damage to the left or verbal side of the brain immediately produced an oceanic feeling of exaltation and oneness with the universe.
Science fiction & fantasy:
- The Collected Short Fiction of C. J. Cherryh by C. J. Cherryh
- The Heart of Valor by Tanya Huff – third in a series about interstellar warfare
- Blood Bank, by Tanya Huff – short stories & a screenplay about Victoria Nelson, police detective, and Henry Fitzroy, vampire: I like the novels
- Old Man’s War by John Scalzi: he’s amusing in the blogosphere, so I have to try his writing
- Heroes in Training, stories selected by Martin H. Greenberg: about young people and how they take that first step on the Glory Road; or, how do people rise to the challenge in an emergency?
- The Del Rey Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy, stories selected by Ellen Datlow. Looks good.
I am now truly set for the next two months, especially since I have a few half-read books around, such as Of Moths and Men and The God of Small Things (a novel set in India) and If Life is a Game, These are the Rules.
The competition is stiff, but I think Cherryh is my favourite science fiction author. Hard science fiction. With physics. With anthropology. With realistically partial views of what’s going on. And even with economics. And I noted the dismal persistence of pretty good male authors while female authors of better caliber vanish from the shelves.