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Books 74-76 (goal met!) - Chronicles of a Hereditary Geek [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Darth Paradox

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Books 74-76 (goal met!) [Dec. 30th, 2010|10:32 pm]
Darth Paradox
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74. A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller
75. Variable Star by Robert Heinlein and Spider Robinson
76. Turing: A Novel of Computation by Christos Papadimitriou

75 was my goal. Hooray!

A Canticle for Leibowitz was technically a reread, as I first read it in my science-fiction literature class in college. But it was definitely worth coming back to, six years later. The ending was a little weird, but after reading some analytical essays afterwards I've at least made a little more sense of it, trying to fit it into Catholic theology...

Variable Star is now among my favorite Heinlein books, but I think that has a lot to do with Robinson's modernization of Heinlein's storytelling. The plot is all Heinlein, even if it ends up just a little more deus-ex-machinistic than I'm used to from him - but Robinson's wordcraft is impressive. The world is rich with well-developed characters and well-considered concepts, and several plot points turn on characters outthinking each other without resorting to idiot-plot weaknesses. I'm definitely going to have to pick up some more of Spider Robinson's work. (I'm sure shardavarius can recommend a place to start...

Turing was kind of odd. It's a history of the theory of computation wrapped up in a near-future story about an AI claiming to be Alan Turing and a vague sort of love-quadrangle. It was fun to read, but I was left vaguely unsatisfied even if the plot itself did resolve.

Year-retrospective post coming soon. Or perhaps not. We'll see.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: mcmartin
2011-01-02 10:40 pm (UTC)
If that's the same Christos Papadimitriou - and I suspect it is, since I know the one I'm thinking of also wrote a graphic novel about the life of Bertrand Russell - he was the chairman of the UC Berkeley CS department while I was an undergrad there.

Weirds me out every time his name comes up in a fiction context.
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[User Picture]From: darthparadox
2011-01-04 04:18 am (UTC)
Indeed; buying Logicomix was what caused Amazon to recommend Turing to me. I liked Logicomix better, though - it felt more comprehensible to me (even as covering some of the same ground).

I imagine he was a pretty good teaching professor, though? He seems to write lectures well.
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