Thursday, August 17, 2006

thank god the Adderall kicked in...

because the program we use at work to review docs is half-frozen & therefore we have very little to do. I think I'll take advantage of the enforced break to rave about a book I'm reading: Cyteen, by C.J. Cherryh. When I started it I found it difficult & kind of slow but it's such a sci-fi classic I gave it 50 pages to get good, & boy did it. These are my impressions after reading about 1/3 of the book.

It's about humanity a few hundred years from now, when we've colonized a couple other planets. We understand so much about humans that we can play with their genes, keep them alive an extra 50-100 years, & fix psychological issues by directly instructing the mind, among other advances. Now the woman, Ariane, who pioneered many of the psychological developments & pretty much rules the planet Cyteen where she lives, starts a project to clone herself, which will essentially give her a daughter since she's 132 years old. Before it gets going, she's murdered. Her successors change the plan & decide to make the clone exactly like her, so they have to replicate her childhood exactly. It's fascinating to watch this poor girl grow up completely in the dark while everyone else knows why such bewildering things happen (e.g., several people died in Ariane's childhood so people keep disappearing from the new Ari's life). Also, Ariane was so feared & powerful & brilliant that I can already see the maneuverings & emotions swirling around little Ari. The best part is that she is so smart & perceptive, she can see it as well. When she manipulates a roomful of adults into having fun at her 7th birthday party instead of concentrating on their political intrigues I was blown away.

The other book I'm reading is House of Morgan, by Ron Chernow. The subject is interesting but he needs a good editor. The book is over 700 pages long! There is too much extraneous information, considering how much on-point material there is to cover. Also, I've never seen anyone use the word spike so many times. He uses it to mean nix, which is a new definition to me, & every time he means that he says spike & it's distracting. FDR spiked this project. Jack Morgan spiked that loan. I keep thinking these guys are having some stiff drinks & then I remember no, Chernow's just weird about that word. Fortunately I'm almost done with it.

This has been your bookaholic broadcast of the day. Please tune in tomorrow for more exciting developments in Cyteen!

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