Support Books Under the Bridge

Friday, August 8, 2008

Latest Readings, Life, and Other News

Since my move to California, life has started to settle down. I'm co-renting a house with some friends, which is working out spectacularly. Baby Gruff loves having a yard to explore and an outside filled with new and exciting things. He walks to the door and says, "Woof woof" (I want to go see Cuchiq, the little dog next door), or makes the baby sign for "tree" or "outside" to indicate to me his intentions. Outside, he points at Cuchiq and again says, "Woof woof," and as we walk by the car he say, "vvvrrrrrrrrooo." Obliging, I let him sit on my lap in the front seat and he pretends to drive, complete with baby driving noises ("vvvrrrrrooo"), interrupted by "push push" when he sees all the buttons he wants to push. When he gets bored of the unresponsive car, we stroll into the back yard and pick up a bunch of little rocks, and I learn just how many times someone can say, "ball" in the span of ten minutes. A peach - ball. A ball - ball (duh). A round light fixture - ball, etc. Until you've walked around a grocery store with a baby who's favorite word is "ball," you don't know just how many balls surround you in this life (and there are many).

The weather here is great, almost always sunny, with temperatures ranging in the high 70's or low 80's on most days. I haven't seen a rain shower in the two months I've been here, which is a little sad because I enjoy the occasional rainy day. However, mornings are often pleasantly foggy and lightly overcast, which almost makes up for it. The evenings are cool, which is awesome for running. Baby Gruff enjoys the runs in his jogging stroller, and one neighbor enjoyed joking with me about how the baby will soon be holding a stopwatch and telling me to, "Pick up the pace, Dad!"

A Deepness in the Sky

I take the train to work, and so I have a nice block of reading time every day. This is something I would recommend to anyone who likes to read and has a day job. Lately, I've been reading A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge. So far, it's a good read filled with lots of fun ideas. This shouldn't be too surprising, considering it's a Hugo award winner for best novel. It's a space opera involving two advanced human civilizations competing to exploit a world just entering the technological age. The twist is that the world is populated by intelligent spiders, and has a sun that stays lit only 30 years at a time, then "turns off" for 200 years. The ramifications of this strange setup are detailed nicely, and the spiders are one of the most lovable and well-described characters in the book. Yes, this caught me by surprise, too: spiders are lovable.

My First Review Copy - The Court of the Air

I received my first free review copy of a book a couple of days ago. Stephen Hunt sent me his novel, The Court of the Air. It's steampunk, which has me excited already. Strangely, I have read almost no steampunk works, even though I really like any kind of fusion between Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Historical Fiction. My experience of the genre basically boils down to Final Fantasy VII, Thief II, the Eberron D&D setting, and a few brief glances at Girl Genius.

Actually, I'm so excited about getting this book, that The Court of the Air has moved to the top of my To-Be-Read pile. I'll be sure to post a review after I read it.

Other News

In other news, a computer finally beat a master-level Go player, albeit with a huge handicap. It was an 800-core supercomputer. Wow. As an avid Go player (although I haven't played much recently), I thought this was pretty cool.

No comments: