Monday, June 23, 2008

Our Heroine Enjoys A Good Insect Alien Whomping As Much As The Next Girl

2008 was supposed to be many things for Our Heroine, but one thing she never expected it to be was the year in which she read ALOT of science-fiction, and maybe, sort of, liked it.

To wit: Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game, which is several hundred pages of military strategy and command training being hammered into the brain of a 6 year boy in the hopes that he alone will save the world from alien destruction, before he turns 12.

This book does not have "girl" written all over it. And yet...

I absolutely loved it! I read it in one day. Today is that day. The novel is very intense. The suspense was killing me. I was a very quiet car companion on the drive back from Vermont, because I had to know if Ender cracked under the training to which he was subjected, or became the greatest military commander in all of human history. I won't tell you. You should all read it.

I'm not sure what this means for the rest of my summer. I do have nice, civilized literature to read, and yet somehow I keep buying novels about scientist-soldiers struggling against insane challenges in the distant future. Very often these insane challenges involve, or in fact, ARE, insect aliens.

I do enjoy a good insect alien whomping. So maybe that explains it.

Actually, I have a theory, which I don't think is particularly original, that sci-fi writers can be especially frank or brave about describing the ills of humanity, because it's not really us they're describing. It's almost us, but it's not really us. It's a different us that we can feel disgusted with, or alarmed at, but not get defensive over, because it's the future, or an alternate universe, or against insane odds (read: insect aliens).

I'm not sure if that's why I am reading more sci-fi these days, but it is one reason to consider it if you never have before.

Even so, I promise my next book will be in the Canon. Even if it's the shortest of short stories, or just a teeny sonnet, Harold Bloom will have approved it!

But first: I need air conditioning.

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