Posts Tagged ‘2015 Reading Challenge’

A new challenge for the year has been met: A book set in the future. Ender’s Game was first released as a short story the year I was born, 1977. Author Orson Scott Card then reworked the story into a novel which was published in 1985, winning both the Nebula Award and Hugo Award for best novel. In 2013 it was adapted to the silver screen.

Set in Earth’s future, after a second thwarted invasion by an insectoid species called “buggers”, humanity is desperate to find the next military hero to lead the fleet against the possibility of a third invasion. The Battle School has been established to train children in the art of war, with the belief that children can learn and adapt faster, and have a greater capacity for innovative thought. Andrew “Ender” Wiggin is one of these cadets. At the young age of 6 Ender quickly rises to the top of his class; Colonel Hyrum Graff pushing him harder than any other cadet, isolating him.

At the age of 10, Ender graduates from Battle School to Command School. He learns when to be ruthless and hard, and when to be lenient and to listen – he becomes a good commander, the best commander humanity has ever seen.

While the main players of this novel are children, it is far from a YA story. Ender’s Game is straight up classic military science fiction, and it is enthralling. I didn’t do this novel justice with this brief synapses,  but I didn’t want to give too much of the story away.

If you love strategy games, you will enjoy this read.

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Well I have a fun story about my latest read: Kate Mulgrew’s Memoir Born With Teeth.

A few weeks ago I was walking through a book store and noticed a flyer for an upcoming event, and I stopped in my tracks: Kate Mulgrew was coming here to Seattle on her book tour!! Insert total geek-squeel moment. I was going to this event. Luckily the tickets were readily available.

The event was last week, and it was everything I hoped it would be. Kate came out and talked about her ties to Seattle; she had lived here with her then-husband, Robert Egan, and graced the stage of the Seattle Repertory Theatre through one pregnancy, and most of another. But most touching of all was her story of her daughter. Early in her career Kate became pregnant, and upon receiving advice from her mother — that she could not have both a successful acting career and be a mother — she placed the baby girl up for adoption. For 20 years she tried to locate her daughter. Then one day while on the set of Star Trek: Voyager she received the call she only dreamed she might get, her daughter had been located and would be calling her. At this point in the evening she did a reading from her book reflecting this exciting and terrifying moment in her life.

To the delight of the audience, Kate then brought her daughter, who now lives in the Seattle area, onto the stage with her for a Q&A session. The questions were a mixture of thought provoking and embarrassing.  But what was revealed through the hour of questions was that Kate is amazingly gracious to all her fans.

And then I got my book signed!!

The book? Kate bares her soul in this memoir: the good, the bad, and the ugly. As memoirs go, it was enlightening and tragic all at one. Kate Mulgrew has a strength and determination to succeed in this life that I can’t help but admire.  She shares the stories of her triumphs and mistakes with a light of truth that must have left her raw and vulnerable throughout the writing process.

And as a bonus, I can check off another item on my 2015 reading challenge: a memoir.

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Another 2015 Reading Challenge met: A Popular Author’s First Book. Who determines whether an author is “popular?” This challenge seems a little subjective to me, and I decided that Timothy Zahn is a very popular author in the sci-fi world. From what I found Blackcollar is Zahn’s first novel; published in 1983.

The crux of the story is a group of specially trained military humans are undertaking an underground resistance mission against the ruling alien force, the Ryqril. These men have been trained in hand-to-hand combat, undergone intensive psychological conditioning, and have been treated with a drug that increases their speed and strength. These men are lethal weapons.

First novels can be rough; the author hasn’t really found his/her voice yet. Blackcollar was entertaining, if unpolished. This the first novel in a trilogy, but I don’t think I will be picking up the other 2.

I read this in eBook format from Amazon and it was riddled with errors. I didn’t really get too hung up on these, it just made me wonder if books go through the publishing process when they are migrated into eBook form.

I actually met Timothy Zahn once at a comic-con and he signed my copy of the graphic novel Mara Jade: By The Emperor’s Hand.

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