Skip to main content

Throwback Thursday: Earth (1990)

Earth by David Brin is a brilliant sci-fi novel with powerful messages about the environment, humanity, technology, philosophies, cultures, and the evolution of consciousness. The novel's many characters are strongly developed, the main plot is tense and compelling, and the author's world building got a lot of things right about current trends in tech and attitudes toward its uses, such as wearable tech (think Google Glass) and privacy issues. Considering that Brin wrote this in 1990, when the cassette-based Walkman was the pinnacle of portable gadgets, it's pretty mind-blowing.

The story revolves around an artificially created black hole that is accidentally released into the earth's core. As its creator, a young British scientist, frantically tries to recover it with the help of his mentor's connections in New Zealand, an astronaut captain is pulled into the secret project as it becomes clear that her estranged husband was somehow involved. Meanwhile, an indefatigable Nobel winner ponders questions of survival and evolution; a wealthy ultra-environmentalist searches the Web in her ruthless quest to solve human overpopulation; an engineer struggles to explain increasingly frightening gravitational phenomena; three young boys struggle with growing up in a world brimming with eco-refugees and brain mapping in schools; and all the while, the singularity being pursued is overshadowed by an even more ominous threat.

Earth is an epic,  and well worth the read for its accessible prose, intelligent characters, and impressive insight into the future. Every chapter begins with a beautiful description of a cosmic event, before readers are pulled into individuals lives and actions on a small blue planet.

My only beef is the ending, after a reveal that left some readers grumbling about a deus ex machina. I thought it was an interesting concept, but it took away from the very focused buildup of the story. Or maybe it enhanced the thematic impact of the narrative by moving beyond its eponymous setting? Well, YMMV.

TL; DR: A nerd's delight. Highly recommended.

This post brought to you by Mama's cooking! Today it's nilagang baka with tons of veggies!

Popular posts from this blog

An International Women's Day Miracle!

Truly, International Women's Day is a special day. No, not because multitudes are out there rallying for our rights and giving voice to the powerless. It is because I won a gift card from a company raffle!

Let me explain why this counts as a minor miracle. You see, I never win anything. I answer every damned survey sent my way, participate in all the raffles, buy lottery tickets -- to no avail. This particular raffle occurred monthly, and I had been faithfully entering my name every month for two years, with no results. Finally, last month, I declared: "No more!" and unsubscribed from the mailing list -- but not before entering one final time, because why not.


There's also some déjà vu at play here. You see, four years ago, I won a gift card from a company raffle. The one fracking time I won anything! I was elated! Shortly thereafter, also on International Women's Day, I was laid off from my job.

Sooooo...since the day's almost over, I guess I'm not…

Paint Nite!

Last night I joined the "Oops" Paint Nite event hosted by the Club Cafe in Back Bay. About 12+ people came to relax and have two artists guide them through painting this original work:

The point was not to slavishly duplicate "Oops" -- we were instructed to make it our own, to relax, and not to utter the words, "Mine sucks," "Can you do this for me?" or "I thought this was paint-by-numbers!"

Speaking of dashed hopes, I had assumed that wine was included. I had done something like this before, only it was in the morning and we all got mimosas. Not so here! While the artists were setting up, I schlepped over to the bar and was rewarded with a generous pour of Cabernet. Now I was ready.

The setup: Everyone got a 16" x 20" canvas, three paint brushes, and a palette (a paper plate) with red, yellow, blue, and white paint. One artist (Brian) had the microphone and would paint with us, while the other was the assistant (Kory) who wo…

Get Out (2017)

Get Out has a charismatic lead, a terrific soundtrack, and damn good cinematography. While it’s described as horror/comedy, it’s more disturbing/cringe-y than scary, and I mean that in a good way. This is an entertaining movie that’s also pretty effective as social commentary.

The film stars Daniel Kaluuya as Chris, a photographer who’s about to spend the weekend at his girlfriend Rose’s (Allison Williams) parent’s house. Naturally, it’s in a secluded spot in the woods. When they get there, the awkwardness that might be expected from a first-time meeting gives way to a series of bizarre behaviors and interactions. While Chris initially takes it all in stride, it eventually becomes clear that there’s something sinister going on behind the scenes.

The acting and dialogue are highlights of the film, as is the camera work. In particular, Kaluuya’s eyebrows and head tilts are so expressive that the audience knows what’s going on in his head even as he politely brushes off eccentricities. A…