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Old June 19 2012, 02:12 AM   #192
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Re: What SF/F Book Are you Reading? .. Redux

^^ looks like they were last released 5 years ago, and are in paperback:

Just got back from a vacation in Chicago, and decided Gene Wolfe was too much work [however delightful] to read under the circumstances.

So I decided to be nostalgic and visit the 50s - I re-read Asimov's The Caves of Steel and The Naked Sun, and Clarke's Earthlight. I'd read the Asimov ones more than once and was very pleased to be back with Lije and Daneel again. I'd not remembered that the idea of Earth inevitably having to colonize its own worlds was a fairly important element of them -- it's obvious that when Asimov went back to start writing sf novels again in the 80s, he picked that out of the earlier ones to develop in the books which followed... and even the Zeroth Law! I'm going to read The Robots of Dawn before returning to Wolfe since I've gotten this far.

I'm fairly certain that I'd only read Earthlight once almost four decades ago [eek] and really only remembered one thing from it. It's two hundred years in the future, in a period of growing political tension between Earth and its several offworld colonies elsewhere in the Solar System. Earth has been reducing the amount of heavy metals it supplies to the colonies, and a recent discovery that such metals exist in large quantities deep beneath the lunar surface, and has also figured out how to mine them is on the verge of starting a war. The book centers around a man sent undercover to find a purported spy in the staff of the Lunar Observatory before the war starts. Clarke does his usual solid job of building a story with lots of real science built in, though some of it is a bit dated owing to it being state-of-the-art for 1955... it's a nicely detailed vision of life on the Moon for a short book[155p].

So on to Aurora with Plainclothesman Baley and R. Daneel!
"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it." - Mark Twain
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