Wednesday, October 22, 2008

This Week at the Library (22/10)

Books this Update:
Click book titles for in-depth comments on each.

I continued this week in the Worldwar series by Harry Turtledove, detailing the third part of the war between humanity at its worst -- previously engaged in the Second World War -- and the Race, lizard-like invaders from the stars. The book moves quickly and events unfold in a believable way.

Next I read The Greatest Benefit to Mankind, a recommendation by a fellow history of science student. It's a lengthy read and quite comprehensive -- as well as interesting. The author doesn't just talk about the growth of knowledge -- he also delves into how society responds to medicine as it develops and what role medicine has in different societies. The different styles in the United States, France, Britain, and Germany are the focus of most of the book.

Nightfall is an adaption of Isaac Asimov's short story "Nightfall". The novelization is done by Asimov and Robert Silverberg, another talented science fiction author. Nightfall takes place on a world lit by five suns -- a world that only sees darkness once every two thousand years. As a result, civilization is utterly unprepared for what will happen when night falls for the first time in two millenia -- with the exceptions of religious fanatics who want to create a new civilization in their image and another group, a small band of scientists who want to restore their late Republic -- the Republic that vanishes in flames when Darkness arrives and humanity goes insane.

I had intended to read Isaac Asimov's Robot Dreams this week, but the book was found to be missing when I requested it from my library -- so I read Nightfall instead.

Pick of the Week: Nightfall, Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg

Next Week:
  • Death Star, Michael Reaves
  • Striking the Balance, Harry Turtledove
  • Life in a Medieval Castle, Francis and Joseph Gies

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