Thursday, March 31, 2022

March Reflections

In March, I read twenty-four books. Two of them were Bibles. I read several books about shipwrecks. Two on the Titanic, one on the Indianapolis, and one on the Endurance. This was mostly unintentional. 

Books read for Becky's Book Reviews

32. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Philip K. Dick. 1968. 224 pages. [Source: Library]

33. The Naked Sun. (Robot #2) Isaac Asimov. 1958. 271 pages. [Source: Library]
34. Wakers. Orson Scott Card. 2022. 400 pages. [Source: Library]
35. Castles in Their Bones. Laura Sebastian. 2022. 514 pages. [Source: Review copy]
36. The Last Kingdom. (The Last Kingdom #1) Bernard Cornwell. 2004. 351 pages. [Source: Library]
37. Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World: The Extraordinary True Story of Shackleton and the Endurance. Jennifer Armstrong. 1998. Random House. 144 pages. [Source: Library]
38. A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice. Rebecca Connolly. 2022. 320 pages. [Source: Review copy]
39. In Harm's Way (Young Reader's Edition): The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Story of Its Survivors. Michael J. Tougias and Doug Stanton. 2022. 240 pages. [Source: Library]
40. Why the Titanic Was Doomed. Bryan Jackson. 2022. [June] 224 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Books read for Young Readers

35. David Dixon's Day as a Dachshund. (Class Critters #2) Kathryn Holmes. Illustrated by Ariel Landy. 2022. [April] 128 pages. [Source: Review copy]
36. Tiny Cedric. Sally Lloyd-Jones. Illustrated by Rowboat Watkins. 2021. [November] 44 pages. [Source: Library]
37. Planet Omar #1: Accidental Trouble Magnet. Zanib Mian. Illustrated by Nasaya Mafaridik. 2019. 224 pages. [Source: Library]
38. Even Robots Aren't Perfect. Jan Thomas. 2022. 64 pages. [Source: Library]
39. The Story of a Story. Deborah Hopkinson. 2021. [November] 40 pages. [Source: Library]
40. Cornbread and Poppy. Matthew Cordell. 2022. 80 pages. [Source: Library]
41. Once Upon a Tim. Stuart Gibbs. 2022. 160 pages. [Source: Library]
42. The Sheep, the Rooster, and The Duck. Matt Phelan. 2022. 240 pages. [Source: Library]
43. The School for Whatnots. Margaret Peterson Haddix. 2022. 304 pages. [Source: Library]

Books read for Operation Actually Read Bible

12. A Heart Adrift. Laura Frantz. 2022. [January] 400 pages. [Source: Review copy]
13. Suffering Wisely and Well: The Grief of Job and the Grace of God. Eric Ortlund. 2022. 193 pages. [Source: Review copy]
14. The Element of Love. (The Lumber Baron's Daughters #1) Mary Connealy. 2022. 304 pages. [Source: Review copy]
15. Inventions of the Heart. (The Lumber Baron's Daughters #2) Mary Connealy. 2022. [July] 304 pages. [best guess] [Source: Review copy]

Bibles read for Operation Actually Read Bible

3. Berean Study Bible. God. 2020. 1504 pages. [Source: Gift]
4. NIV Young Discoverer's Bible. 1985. Zondervan. 1979 pages. [Source: Childhood copy]

March Totals

March Reads
# of books24
# of pages8656

2022 Yearly Totals

2022 Totals
# of books102
# of pages28104


© 2022 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

40. Why the Titanic Was Doomed

Why the Titanic Was Doomed. Bryan Jackson. 2022. [June] 224 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence from the preface: It is an understatement to say that much has been written about one of the world's most famous ships, Titanic. 

First sentence from the introduction: Ask someone what caused the Titanic to sink and they will tell you, 'It hit an iceberg.'

Premise/plot: Bryan Jackson argues in his book that the Titanic was doomed before it ever left the shipyard. He organizes his book around fourteen main circumstances. But within each "main" circumstance, there seemed to be more additional circumstances that would reasonably lead to trouble or "doom" for the Titanic. For example, the first circumstance is "A Delayed Maiden Voyage," the third circumstance is, "Telegrams That Could Have Changed History," and the twelfth circumstance, "The Coal Strike that Increased the Death Toll."

The first hundred pages (give or take) are sharing all the reasons--or circumstances--why the Titanic was doomed. The last hundred pages (give or take) are sharing about the aftermath of the Titanic. The book goes into great detail--before, during, and after. And it brings in related subjects. Like other ships--the Olympic, the Britannic, the Carpathia, the Californian.

My thoughts: I LOVED this one. It was packed with facts and details. While I had definitely heard some of these facts before, there were plenty new-to-me facts that kept me turning pages. Reading all these facts--the way he compiles these together--it is easy to form a big picture. It is easy to conclude alongside the author that yes, the Titanic was doomed. 

I loved both sections. I found the first half fascinating and engaging. I couldn't stop reading. Yes, I knew what happened and what was coming. But I was learning. And what wasn't "new" information was being put into context in a better way. Instead of being "scattered" or completely random tidbits, I was putting everything together into a whole picture. The second half might be considered side tangents--in some ways--but I found it still to be of interest.


© 2022 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

Monday, March 28, 2022

39. In Harm's Way

In Harm's Way (Young Reader's Edition): The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Story of Its Survivors. Michael J. Tougias and Doug Stanton. 2022. 240 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Navy Captain Charles McVay stood on the bridge of his ship, forty-five feet above the main deck of the USS Indianapolis.

Premise/plot: What you see is exactly what you get. In this case, an adaptation for "young" readers (I'd say middle grade on up) of Doug Stanton's In Harm's Way. This nonfiction book is about the sinking of the USS Indianapolis....and the story of its survivors. The book begins by introducing--via a list--the people on board. I believe grouping them together. The survivors did end up grouped together in different groups--as they drifted in the ocean for days. The book alternates between these groups.

My thoughts: I would recommend for those that a) have an interest in SURVIVOR stories, b) have an interest in maritime disasters (aka shipwrecks) c) have an interest in world war II, d) have an interest in history. I love books that deliver exactly what you expect. This is nothing more and nothing less than what it claims to be--an account of the USS Indianapolis.


© 2022 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

Friday, March 25, 2022

38. A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice

A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice. Rebecca Connolly. 2022. 320 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Arthur Rostron exhaled slowly, enjoying the last quiet moments he would have on the bridge of the RMS Carpathia before they were underway.

Premise/plot: A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice is historical fiction at its best. In alternating chapters, the story of a fateful night in April 1912 unfolds for readers. The narration is divided between Arthur Rostron, the captain of the RMS Carpathia, and Kate Connolly, a third class passenger on board the Titanic.

My thoughts: I loved, loved, loved, LOVED this one. I would say though it's definitely marketed as being adult historical fiction, it truly could be for readers of all ages who happen to have an interest in the Titanic and enjoy history. 

I loved so many things about this one. I LOVED the chapters narrated by Arthur Rostron. I absolutely loved the behind the scenes glimpse of the crew of Carpathia heading into unknown dangers racing against time to save the passengers of the Titanic. I loved how all the chapters began with authentic quotes. I loved the writing. I also loved the faith-focus. For example, I loved this prayer from the captain, "Father God, let us get to them. Guide our hands and our feet, our ship and our hearts. Let it be enough."

I also loved the afterword. I was delighted to know that all the characters were real people. Fictionalized, to be sure, to one degree or another. But this is a well-researched novel.


We must be better sailors, better crew, and better men than we have ever been. 
The clarity of the night sky was breathtaking. It would have been something to marvel had the circumstances been different. Each star lit its portion of the sky with a brilliance he'd rarely seen. "A brilliant night of stars," Arthur murmured to himself as he gazed out at it. He swallowed once. "And ice."

© 2022 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

Sunday, March 20, 2022

37. Shipwreck at the Bottom of the Sea

Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World: The Extraordinary True Story of Shackleton and the Endurance. Jennifer Armstrong. 1998. Random House. 144 pages. [Source: Library]

Just imagine yourself in the most hostile place on earth. It's not the Sahara or the Gobi Desert. It's not the Arctic. The most hostile place on earth is the Antarctic, the location of the South Pole--what's the difference? The Arctic is mostly water--with ice on top, of course--and that ice is never more than a few feet thick. But under the South Pole lies a continent that supports glaciers up to two miles in depth. Almost the entire southern continent is covered by ice. The mammoth icecap presses down so heavily that it actually distorts the shape of the earth. The ice never melts; it clings to the bottom of the world, spawning winds, storms, and weather that affect the whole planet.

I have read Jennifer Armstrong's Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World four or five times now. The narrative is so strong and compelling, and, yes, even inspiring. It is definitely one of my favorite nonfiction books. And nonfiction isn't something I usually take the time to reread. It is rare for me to keep coming back again and again to a nonfiction book.

Originally published in 1998, Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World won the Orbis Pictus Award in 1999. The book follows "the extraordinary true story of Shackleton and the Endurance." If you are unfamiliar with this story, then you really SHOULD read this one. It is a great introduction to the subject. Chapter by chapter, the book follows Shackleton and his men on their journey to Antarctica. Almost from the start, there are indicators that their goal, their quest, will not be an easy one to achieve. After a series of mishaps--thanks to nature--it becomes a long fight to survive. 

 The story is simple and yet dramatic. I think the story would be gripping no matter who told it. But I do think that Jennifer Armstrong did a wonderful job in painting a very human picture of Shackleton and his crew. I think the ending was beautiful--very moving! This one is a book I think everyone should read. 


© 2022 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

Saturday, March 19, 2022

36. The Last Kingdom

The Last Kingdom. (The Last Kingdom #1) Bernard Cornwell. 2004. 351 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: My name is Uhtred. I am the son of Uhtred, who was the son of Uhtred and his father was also called Uhtred. My father's clerk, a priest called Beocca, spelt it Utred. I do not know if that was how my father would have written it, for he could neither read nor write, but I can do both and sometimes I take the old parchments from their wooden chest and I see the name spelled Uhtred or Utred or Ughtred or Ootred.

Premise/plot: The Last Kingdom opens in 866 in England--or what would eventually become England. The Last Kingdom in some ways about one man's vision of a united England. That man isn't the main character, Uhtred, by the way, but (King) Alfred (the Great). In his own words, "This is the tale of a blood feud. It is a tale of how I will take from my enemy what the law says is mine. And it is the tale of a woman and of her father, a king. He was my king and all that I have I owe to him. The food that I eat, the hall where I live, and the swords of my men, all came from Alfred, my king, who hated me."

This first book, however, sets the scene for what is coming, what is inevitable--after all destiny is all, so we're told as readers over and over and over again. 

The story starts with a YOUNG boy, a young boy of Bebbanburg, a second son renamed (and rebaptized) after his older brother's death. It begins with his being ripped away "from his destiny" and having his life turned upside down. He witnesses the death of his father and the defeat of his father's men. He's captured by the Danes (aka Vikings) and enslaved. But his "slavery" comes to feel over time--weeks, months, years--more like adoption. He loves and is loved by his new family...

But this isn't a happily ever after story.

My thoughts: I watched the television series first. It was compelling. I don't know that every viewer feels the need to binge-watch the show, but I certainly did. But the show goes a million times faster than the book. For better or worse. Uhtred's childhood and teenage years are a complete blur in the show. Blink and you miss it. They rush ahead. The book definitely and decidedly are BETTER than the show in that regards. It's good for building and establishing the world; it's great for CHARACTER development. 

So much is abridged on the show. So much is left out completely. For example, Uhtred going to visit his MERCIAN relatives. (His mother's family were from Mercia. He has living relatives in Mercia. He goes first to MERCIA. He doesn't seek out Wessex and Alfred.) It also gives a much fuller view of Alfred and Uhtred and how these two relate to one another. These two met several different times--perhaps even half a dozen times--when both were boys/young teens. The book also does a great job with Father Beocca.

Definitely I recommend the book. 

Quote: This was what life had led to, a shield wall, and if I survived this then I would be a warrior.


© 2022 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

35. Castles in their Bones

Castles in Their Bones. Laura Sebastian. 2022. 514 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: It is said that the stars shine brighter on the princesses' birthday, but the princesses themselves think that is balderdash.

Premise/plot: Sophronia, Daphne, and Beatriz are the three princesses starring in Laura Sebastian's Castles In Their Bones. These triplets have been raised to rule, but not necessarily raised to love those whom they rule. In fact, there is something of a behind the scenes hoax afoot. Each princess is due to be married soon; one princess per kingdom. (The kingdoms are Friv, Cellaria, and Temarin. The princesses birth kingdom is Bessemia. All four kingdoms are on the same continent--Vesteria.) The gentlemen involved are Bairre (the king's bastard), Prince Pasquale, and King Leopold. Though the kingdoms are different there is one master plan to rule them all--literally. Dismantle the kingdoms from within--by whatever means necessary--and make war between all the countries/kingdoms inevitable. All while looking beautiful and plausibly innocent. 

The book alternates between these three narrators. (Except for the concluding chapter which packs a PUNCH).

My thoughts: For those that enjoy YA fantasy with MAGIC and light to moderate touches of romance, I do recommend Castles in Their Bones. It is equal parts politics and romance but magic ties everything together. 

This one has plenty of characters, plenty of stories. It's a juggling act to be sure to keep everything evenly paced. I almost, almost wish these were three novellas that act as companions to one another. 


© 2022 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

Sunday, March 06, 2022

34. Wakers

Wakers. Orson Scott Card. 2022. 400 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Because he was a teenager, and teenagers take pleasure in exploring wacky ideas, Laz Hayerian had wondered since the sixth grade whether we are the same person when we wake up that we were when we went to sleep. Specifically, he wondered if he was the same person, because sometimes his dreams persisted in memory as if they had been real events. Did dream memories change him the way real memories did? 

Premise/plot: Laz, our protagonist, wakes up in a coffin-like box alone in a warehouse of clones or would-be-clones. The other coffins/beds are either empty or with dead clones. He finds his way to an exit only to discover that he is alone. Not just alone, but a long-long-long-long time alone. From what he can deduce, humans haven't been living in this town/city for years--decades. So he has to find clothes, food, water, shelter. And a way to protect himself against wild animals--including pack dogs that have had generations without human ownership, care, or interaction.

Some of this plays out day by day by day by day by day. But some plays out in what would be a montage sequence. After months on his own, he goes back to his beginning...and discovers that out of all the clones (or would-be-clones) there is one--a young teen girl about his own age--that is not dead, whose coffin-bed is still functioning. She is his only chance of a companion...but being the last two people doesn't mean that she's his Eve and he's her Adam. 

Both have different powers that make them "weird." He can side-step into different time-streams (think of them as being alternate realities). She can see other time-streams (sorta; she can see all the options and how they would play out in time-streams). Their weird gifts complement each other. She seems to know all about his gift; he has no clue about hers. 

Long story short--these two carry a heavy burden, if "the world" (aka "the human race") is to be saved, they will have to work together and find a way to use their gifts in a way that they have never ever been used before.

My thoughts: If I had to sum up this book in one word--TEDIOUS. But of course, I am going to let it go at just one word. In all honesty, this four hundred page book felt like it had a thousand pages, each one just as slow and boring as watching grass grow. 

The first third of the book had survival vibes. It was all about Laz using a long-abandoned remnants of modern society to try to survive. He had no answers to his questions. He didn't even know what questions to ask. He spent a LOT of time in his head and we readers were along for the ride. After Laz was joined by Ivy, well, the questions doubled, the answers remained elusive. But the tedium quadrupled. Seriously, you would think the fact that he now has human companionship would make the book more interesting, the plot move faster, but, nope. The dialogue was SO tedious and weighted with science-y science talk. Theoretical. Hypothetical. Speculative. Even when readers discover that the survival of the human race depends on these two, the plot stays as thick and sluggish as can be.

I think if you were looking for a premise-driven novel, you'd be disappointed by the slow pace. The world building is not as substantive as the premise would call for. We learn nothing about how this future world works. The development of the world, the peopling of the world, its strengths and flaws. The premise remains shallow.

I think if you were looking for an action/plot-driven novel, you'd be disappointed. It is very little action, all dialogue. And there is nothing compelling about the pacing. At all. I am not saying that there might not be a few readers who get super excited about the speculative theoretical nature of all this science-y science talk. Maybe there are.

I think you were looking for a character-driven novel, you'd be disappointed. We get to know two characters. And I won't lie and say that these two characters lack development. They are developed. It is just that that development doesn't necessarily make them fascinating, interesting, compelling, relatable, enjoyable. Neither is conventionally likeable. Perhaps that isn't fair. Ivy and Laz relate to each other. Ivy and Laz like each other. Ivy and Laz trust each other.

Quote: "When you invent a story to explain all the known facts, then of course the known facts will fit the story," said Laz, "It's a reciprocal arrangement."


© 2022 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

Thursday, March 03, 2022

33. The Naked Sun

The Naked Sun. (Robot #2) Isaac Asimov. 1958. 271 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Stubbornly Elijah Baley fought panic. For two weeks it had been building up. Longer than that, even. It had been building up ever since they had called him to Washington and there calmly told him he was being reassigned.

Premise/plot: The Naked Sun is the second Robot novel starring detectives Elijah Baley and R. Daneel Olivaw. The Caves of Steel was a mystery detective novel set on a futuristic Earth. The Naked Sun has this pair traveling to the planet Solaria. The pair have been requested to come solve a murder.

My thoughts: I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this one. It is science fiction AND a murder mystery. I appreciated the world-building of the Outer Colony Solaria. Though the original colonists were from Earth--way, way, way, way, way back when--the culture and society is night and day different. And it isn't only because the proportion of humans to robots is so large...

You see, the Solarians have evolved into a culture where you never actually SEE or interact (physically) with another human being. Marriages are arranged, but duty-driven, somewhat distasteful, practically repulsive. A husband and wife may live on the same estate, but never actually see each other face-to-face for weeks or even months at a time. All Solarians find SEEING distasteful and "wrong." Solarians, well, they've evolved into a culture that VIEWS. One uses technology to VIEW one another. All relationships are maintained through viewing. Viewing has COMPLETELY different rules (or protocols) than seeing.

If humans absolutely *have* to be in the same physical room, then it's polite to stand twenty feet (or so) away.


Gruer said, "No, I cannot say the murderer is completely unknown. In fact, there is only one person that can possibly have done the deed." "Are you sure you don't mean only one person who is likely to have done the deed?" Baley distrusted overstatement and had no liking for the armchair deducer who discovered certainty rather than probability in the workings of logic. But Gruer shook his bald head. "No. Only one possible person. Anyone else is impossible. Completely impossible." "Completely?" "I assure you." "Then you have no problem." "On the contrary. We do have a problem. That one person couldn't have done it either." Baley said calmly, "Then no one did it." "Yet the deed was done. Rikaine Delmarre is dead." 

"You said something about interviewing people face to -----" He shook his head, his tongue dabbing quickly at his lips. "I would rather not say it. I think you know what I mean. The phrase conjured up the most striking picture of the two of us breathing--breathing one another's breath." The Solarian shuddered. "Don't you find that repulsive?" "I don't know that I've thought it so." "It seems so filthy a habit. And as you said it and the picture rose in my mind, I realized that after all we were in the same room and even though I was not facing you, puffs of air that had been in your lungs must be reaching me and entering mine. With my sensitive frame of mind---"

Anything could be found in figures if the search were long enough and hard enough and if the proper pieces of information wre ignored or overlooked.

© 2022 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

Tuesday, March 01, 2022

32. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Philip K. Dick. 1968. 224 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: A merry little surge of electricity piped by automatic alarm from the mood organ beside his bed awakened Rick Deckard. Surprised--it always surprised him to find himself awake without prior notice--he rose from the bed, stood up in his multicolored pajamas, and stretched. Now, in her bed, his wife Iran opened her gray, unmerry eyes, blinked, then groaned and shut her eyes again.

Premise/plot: Rick Deckard, our protagonist, is a bounty hunter. He makes his living hunting down artificial humans--androids--and "retiring" them. His favorite thing to spend money on are artificial animals. (Though he, like everyone else still on planet Earth, likes to pretend that the animals are real. That somehow, someway his animal is one of the very, very, very last living of its kind. Perhaps not completely and totally extinct.)

The book spans a day or two. I'd be surprised if it spanned longer than two to three days max. Regardless of how much--or how little--time passes, Deckard is on one case: hunting down some illegal/rogue Nexus 6 models of androids that have recently come to Earth. (I believe they come from another colony.) He'll be tracking them down and eliminating them. Something new about the Nexus 6 model--one reason why there is a zero tolerance level--is that these new models will definitely KILL. Definitely it's an us or them mentality. 

When the point of view is NOT Deckard, we meet John Isadore, a very lonely man living an isolated existence. He discovers a couple of these dangerous androids and is entirely sympathetic/empathetic to their plight. He joins forces, if you will, with them and tries to hide/protect them.

Empathy--or the lack thereof--is a major plot point. Measuring empathetic responses is part of test (if not the whole test) of determining who is human and who is android.

My thoughts: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is a quirky science fiction novel. The plot isn't solely an action/adventure story. This isn't all about the hunt/chase. The world-building has some depth and offers slower moments. 

What do you need to know??? Well, the world is a MESS (and then some). As the result of war (nuclear warfare), earth is almost the last place you'd want to live. Those who can, go offworld to one of the colonies. But not everyone can. Not everyone is allowed. But existence is bleak, bleak, bleakity-bleak. Which leads to some strange sub-plots. 

Collecting artificial animals. Since the real deal are all extinct, collecting artificial animals (that many pretend are real, and you don't call out your friends on the lie) is a huge status symbol. It is a hobby that is expensive, and time-consuming.

Mercerism. Here is where empathy comes into major play in the novel. Mercerism is a religion/world view and it links everyone's emotions/feelings/ together through a box. I'm assuming something along the lines of virtual reality. Wilbur Mercer is the perpetual martyr who is the miserable suffering servant symbol 24/7 forever being hit with stones. 

Our hero mainly works so that he can afford to make payments on his artificial animal(s). It isn't a love of the job; or a personal *need* to kill/destroy. It is a paycheck. He doesn't like the mechanics of the job. Though he goes from slightly disgruntled to VERY disgruntled in the novel. To be fair, to someone who isn't all that thrilled with bounty hunting, killing/destroying/retiring six androids in one day is a lot to ask.

During this one assignment, he spends some time thinking about what it means to be human. He starts realizing that slowly but surely he's becoming too empathetic to these androids--particularly this newest model. How can he keep killing them--hunting them, etc--when he's beginning to think of them as more human than machine?

I read the book. If the book was a five hundred piece puzzle, I'd say I pieced together most of it. Still not sure I grasped the WHOLE big picture. But it made sense. Contrast that with the movie which I finished, which was ALL confusion. I understood nothing; hated everything. I do NOT think the movie Blade Runner resembles the book at all--not even a little bit. It is completely and totally different--minus a few names and the generalized idea of a human bounty hunter (blade runner) killing androids.


"Dial 888," Rick said as the set warmed. "The desire to watch TV, no matter what's on it."
"I don't feel like dialing anything at all now," Iran said. "Then dial 3," he said. "I can't dial a setting that stimulates my cerebral cortex into wanting to dial! If I don't want to dial, I don't want to dial that most of all..."
"Kipple is useless objects, like junk mail or match folders after you use the last match or gum wrappers or yesterday's homeopape. When nobody's around, kipple reproduces itself. For instance, if you go to bed leaving any kipple around your apartment, when you wake up the next morning there's twice as much of it. It always gets more and more."---

"No one can win against kipple," he said, "except temporarily and maybe in one spot, like in my apartment I've sort of created a stasis between the pressure of kipple and nonkipple, for the time being. But eventually I'll die or go away, and then the kipple will again take over. It's a universal principle operating throughout the universe; the entire universe is moving toward a final state of total, absolute kippleization."

"You mean old books?"
"Stories written before space travel but about space travel."
"How could there have been stories about space travel before--"
"The writers," Pris said, "made it up."
"Based on what?"
"On imagination. A lot of times they turned out wrong. For example, they wrote about Venus being a jungle paradise with huge monsters and women in breastplates that glistened." She eyed him. "Does that interest you? Big women with long, braided blond hair and gleaming breastplates the size of melons?" "No," he said.

© 2022 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews