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This was a hellishly busy month. Hardly got anything read.

10/02/2012    The Moral Landscape (audiobook) by Sam Harris
10/09/2012    Titan (audiobook) by John Varley
10/10/2012    Space: 1999: Omega by William Latham
10/14/2012    Space: 1999: Alpha by William Latham
10/17/2012    Who I Am by Pete Townshend
10/18/2012    Wizard (audiobook) by John Varley
10/20/2012    A Feast Unknown by Philip José Farmer
10/22/2012    Giant Step (nv) by “Morgan Ives” (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
10/27/2012    Demon (audiobook) by John Varley
10/27/2012    Time’s Last Gift by Philip José Farmer

Listened to John Varley's Gaean Trilogy, from the early '80's. I remember really liking this trilogy when I read it in my early 20's. I was less excited by it three decades later.

Harris's The Moral Landscape was interesting, but seemed overly familiar because it covered so much of the territory already gone over by Dawkins and Shermer -- although in Shermer's case, I think Harris got there first.

The Space: 1999 duology, Omega & Alpha, published a couple years ago, left me pretty flat. It moved through a predefined series of tasks, concluding most of the "mythology" laid down in the first year of the series (mythology largely ignored in the second season) and setting all the pieces up for the forthcoming "Year Three" novels. So, it served it's defined purposes, but did so with little style or panache.

Pete Townshend's memoir was a great read, but I got the feeling Pete was massaging the storyline in places to Protect The Innocent (including himself -- his justification for how he ended up subscribing to a questionable website had the ring of a lawyer-vetted wording.) Picking another nit, Pete admits he cut the manuscript by about 50%, and there are a few artifacts of that cutting -- he makes reference back to incidents that didn't survive the cutting, leaving a few WTF moments. But all in all it was an enjoyable read, but for a fan like myself, much of the story was familiar.

I obtained a copy of the 1975 reprint of the complete run of The Mattachine Review. One issue from 1961 was almost completely taken up by an extract from Marion Zimmer Bradley's novel-in-progress, The Catch Trap (which didn't see publication for 18 more years.) It was interesting to read an early draft, and compare it to the finished version ("Giant Step" is essentially Chapter 12 of The Catch Trap.) Although it was extensively rewritten, the characters and the storylines are all the same. It made me want to re-read The Catch Trap, even though I only read it last year.

Read a couple of Philip José Farmer's short novels about a character who bears a striking resemblance to Tarzan. A Feast Unknown is a devious deconstruction of Tarzan and Doc Savage, in which the two characters, the immortal half-brothers (both sons of Jack the Ripper) battle each other -- and battle an affliction that prevents them from experiencing sexual arousal except during violent acts. The "climax" of the novel takes place when they fight each other on a narrow stone bridge, both naked and with enormous rampant erections, all meticulously described by Farmer. The 1975 small press edition has a number of homoreotic full-color illustrations by Richard Corben, making it a costly collectible today. So yeah, I had to buy one...

Currently listening to unabridged readings of the Star Trek: Vulcan's Soul trilogy by (the late) Josepha Sherman and Susan Shwarz. I've read the first volume, Exodus, before -- but remember almost nothing from that reading. The second and third volumes will be new to me. Reading several Phil Farmer books in round-robin, and trying to get started back into reading some Star Trek novels. I'm way behind on the current 24th-century chronology, and I have more than a dozen titles to get through before reading the current Cold Equations trilogy by David Mack. Here's a list of the Trek novels I want to read over the next few months (the last three titles haven't been published yet):
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Never-Ending Sacrifice by Una McCormick
Star Trek: Voyager: Unworthy by Kirsten Beyer
Star Trek: Titan: Synthesis by James Swallow
Star Trek: Voyager: Children of the Storm by Kirsten Beyer
Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts of Empire by David R. George III
Star Trek: Voyager: The Eternal Tide by Kirsten Beyer
Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game by David Mack
Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Seize the Fire by Michael A. Martin
Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Paths of Disharmony by Dayton Ward
Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Plagues of Night by David R. George III
Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Raise the Dawn by David R. George III
Star Trek: Titan: Fallen Gods by Michael A. Martin
Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Brinksmanship by Una McCormick
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Cold Equations I: The Persistence of Memory by David Mack
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Cold Equations II: Silent Weapons by David Mack
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Cold Equations III: The Body Electric by David Mack
Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Stuff of Dreams (na) by James Swallow

Date: 2012-11-03 02:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I read those John Varley books back in the day. They came to mind while watching a recent documentary on Saturn. I thought about looking them up but then remembered I had too many things I haven't read yet that are more urgent to me.

Date: 2012-11-03 03:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Do you do audiobooks? I could bring them to Tucson and "loan" them to you.

Date: 2012-11-03 04:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes I do audio. LOL We drive a lot and listen to audio books while we do it. We'll probably be doing book 2 of the Hunger Games on our way to Tucson. How ever could I repay for your kindness of the loan. Hell I'll even repay you if you don't bring them. *grin*


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