Mt. Holz Science Fiction Society
11/27/15 -- Vol. 34, No. 22, Whole Number 1886

Co-Editor: Mark Leeper,
Co-Editor: Evelyn Leeper,
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        Science Fiction (and Other) Discussion Groups, Films,
                Lectures, etc. (NJ)
        Time Goes Backward On Planet of the Apes (comments by
                Mark R. Leeper)
        My Picks for Turner Classic Movies for December (comments
                by Mark R. Leeper)
        The Law of Unintended Consequences (comments
                by Evelyn C. Leeper)
        CIBOLA BURN by James S.A. Corey (book review by Joe Karpierz)
        FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON by Daniel Keyes (audiobook review
                by Joe Karpierz)
        Wine Clubs (letter of comment by Kevin R)
        MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE Television Show (letter of comment
                by Gary McGath)
        Subtitles (letters of comment by Peter Trei, Kevin R,
                and Paul Dormer)
        The Marching Morons (letter of comment by Kerr Mudd-John)
        Candidates (letter of comment by Jim Susky)
        This Week's Reading (book buying, Cranbury Bookworm pricing
                THE HISTORY OF THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION by Leon Trotsky,
                translated by Max Eastman; SHE NAILED A STAKE THROUGH
                HIS HEAD: TALES OF BIBLICAL TERROR; and others)
                (book comments by Evelyn C. Leeper)


TOPIC: Science Fiction (and Other) Discussion Groups, Films,
Lectures, etc. (NJ)

December 10: DISTRICT 9 (film), EMBASSYTOWN by China Mieville
        (novel), Middletown (NJ) Public Library, 5:30PM
December 17: THE MAN WHO COUNTED by Malba Tahan, Old Bridge (NJ)
        Public Library, 7PM
January 28: "The Machine Stops" by E. M. Forster and "The Martian
        Way" by Isaac Asimov (both in SCIENCE FICTION HALL OF FAME
        2B), Old Bridge (NJ) Public Library, 7PM
February 25: OUR MAN IN HAVANA by Graham Greene, Old Bridge (NJ)
        Public Library, 7PM
March 24: HARD LANDING by Algis Budrys, Old Bridge (NJ) Public
        Library, 7PM
April 28: LOST HORIZON by James Hilton, Old Bridge (NJ) Public
        Library, 7PM
May 26: "E for Effort" by T. L. Sherred and "Earthman, Come Home"
        by James Blish (both in SCIENCE FICTION HALL OF FAME 2B),
        Old Bridge (NJ) Public Library, 7PM

Speculative Fiction Lectures (at the Old Bridge (NJ) Public
Library, sponsored by the Garden State Speculative Fiction Writers)
(subject to change):

December: no lecture

Northern New Jersey events are listed at:


TOPIC: Time Goes Backward On Planet of the Apes (comments by Mark
R. Leeper)

One thing I have to say for the "Planet of the Apes" reboot.  It is
respectful of the traditions of the original series.  In that
THE PLANET OF THE APES.  Now we all knew that in the natural order
of things that if there was no conquest there would no longer be a
need for a battle.  In the new series THE RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE
should come before the rise.  [-mrl]


TOPIC: My Picks for Turner Classic Movies for December (comments
by Mark R. Leeper)

[Note: all times given are Eastern Standard Time.]

I once posed a trivia question for my friends.  Can you name a
sports film other than ROCKY that won the Best Picture Academy
Award?  Not many people could name it, but the answer is BEN-HUR
(1959).  Some of my friends insisted that BEN-HUR does not count as
a sports film.  I was told it is only a small part of the film.  I
put on the movie with a stopwatch and more than sixty minutes of
the film is chariot race, preparation for the chariot race,
aftermath of the chariot race, people talking about the chariot
race, etc. etc. etc.  There are noted sports films that do not have
that much about sports.  If you look at the poster of the film it
depicts the titanic racetrack, a team of horses running on the
track, and a confused charioteer driving even more confused horses
clockwise--the wrong direction--around the track.  One horse is
looking wistfully in the direction he was meant to go.

But what I wanted to point out is that TCM is not just running BEN-
HUR (1959).  They are also showing the original 1925 film.  One
would think that with the huge budget that the 1959 film had that
it would have the more spectacular chariot race.  There is no good
measure for the degree of spectacle, but a lot of people are
convinced they did better in 1925.  But at what a price!  I learn
from Kevin Hagopian at Pennsylvania State University that in the
shooting over one hundred horses were killed. One stunt man was
killed and Ramon Navarro who was playing Ben-Hur was himself nearly
killed.  Those were the days really took filmmaking seriously.  One
of the extras working on the film was William Wyler who went on to
direct the 1959 version.


Hopefully the ASPCA would not let this kind of atrocity happen
these days.  The 1925 film will be shown Monday, December 21, at
12:00 AM (midnight between Sunday and Monday).  The remake will be
shown Wednesday, December 23, at 6:30 AM.

If you are looking for something a little unusual, TCM will show
Louis Malle's BLACK MOON (1975).  I have no recollection of ever
having seen it, but writer/director Louis Malle has done some
really excellent films like ATLANTIC CITY.  BLACK MOON is a sci-fi
fantasy about a future war between men and women.  A girl hides in
a farmhouse and finds she has gone from one strange world to
another.  [Sunday, December 20, 4:15 AM]

Oh, and on Tuesday, December 29, from 6:30 AM to 8 PM TCM will be
doing another tribute to the great Ray Harryhausen.

  8:00 AM 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH (1957)
  9:45 AM VALLEY OF GWANGI, THE (1969)
11:30 AM ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. (1966)
  4:30 PM 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD, THE (1958)

Now I usually pick what I think is the best film of the month.
That would probably be a repeat of something I have recommended in
the past.  Instead, let's say that near the top is the film that
introduced a lot of film fans to Martin Scorsese.  It is MEAN
STREETS (1973).  Scorsese co-wrote the script and directed this
film strongly inspired by the people he grew up with.  [Tuesday,
December 22, 3:30 AM]



TOPIC: The Law of Unintended Consequences (comments by Evelyn C.

Mark related a story he heard on a podcast recently.  Sellers on in general want to be sure they stay competitive with
other people selling the same items, yet do not want to under-price
their items.  So they use an "automatic repricer"--a program that
automatically checks what the other vendors are selling your items
for and adjusts your price accordingly.  When two vendors each have
a repricer, and each says to make his price the lowest, unless one
sets a floor to his price, they will both end up at $0.01.

But how do you explain the opposite phenomenon?  That is, someone
noticed that they was a biology book with two vendors listed by
both at something like $23,000,000.  I don't care *how* good the
book is, that seems a tad high.

One seller (call him Adam) wants to have the lowest price, so he
tells his repricer to set his price at 0.99830 of the lowest price.
The other seller (call him Bob) thinks his rating and reputation
will attract buyers, so he tells his repricer to set his price at
1.27059 of the lowest price.

So let's assume Adam and Bob have started by each pricing the book
at $10.  Adam's repricer comes along and resets his price to $9.98.
Then Bob's repricer resets his price to $12.68.  In the next cycle,
Adam's price goes to $12.66, and Bob's goes to $16.09.  Cycle #3
has Adam at $16.06 and Bob at $20.41.  You can see where this is
going; after 62 iterations both are somewhere about $24,000,000.

Which goes to prove that no matter how good individual plans are,
combining them can have unexpected consequences.




TOPIC: CIBOLA BURN by James S.A. Corey (copyright 2014, Orbit,
$17.00, 611pp, ISBN 978-0-316-33468-6) (excerpt from the Duel Fish
Codices: a book review by Joe Karpierz)

The Expanse franchise--and make no mistake, it is a franchise--
keeps rolling right along.  Originally based on a video game, the
Expanse now encompasses five novels (as I write this) with another
four coming, several shorter pieces of fiction, and as most people
know, an upcoming television series on the SyFy channel.

The train just keeps right on rolling, and I think deservedly so.
There's a quote from George R.R. Martin on the front cover that
says "Interplanetary adventure the way it ought to be written."
While that's true, I think the statement could be modified to read
"...the way it used to be written".  I think a lot of us who have
been reading science fiction for a very long time have lost the
sense of wonder--probably due to age and becoming jaded more than
anything else--and are glomming on to the Expanse as a return to
their youth and what turned them on to the field in the first
place.  And while science fiction writing today is far superior and
much more literary than what it was back in its infancy, it's good
to go back to the kind of story that we grew up with.  But the
difference between the Expanse and stuff from the good old days is,
in my opinion, the quality of writing.  The Expanse is proof that
you can have space opera adventure that is well written and that
can stand up to the rest of the field.

CIBOLA BURN is the fourth novel in the series, and the first to
take place outside the Solar System.  The events of ABADDON'S GATE
have, well, opened the gates to distant space and the thousands of
new worlds that promise a new life for folks trying to start over.
The novel takes place on one of these planets.  Independent
settlers have reached New Terra, and are starting new lives there.
Royal Charter Energy, however, is the U.N. sanctioned settler of
that planet, and a shuttle is getting ready to land.  The settlers
blow up the landing pad, taking the shuttle and the lives of
several people on it, including that of the assigned planetary
governor, with it.  And thus, the conflict central to the novel, is
set up.  The settlers think the planet is rightfully theirs--they
got there first and have been setting up their colony. RCE is
sanctioned by the government back home, and so it legally claims
the planet as theirs.

RCE and its security people view the settlers as terrorists, since
many of RCE folks were killed in the shuttle explosion, and use a
heavy hand in trying to take control of the planet.  The settlers
just want to live their lives in peace, but can't since RCE's
security goon, Murtry does not hesitate to kill any settler who
gets out of line. Things have gotten so out of control that the
U.N. sends in a mediator.

What, you were wondering how James Holden and the crew of the
Rocinante fit in to this?  You mean you can't picture Holden as a
mediator?  That's all right, no one else can either.

Things don't start well when Holden meets the assembled group for
the first time, and it really goes downhill from there.  Tensions
and violence escalate as neither side will give ground.  And then
things get worse.  While all this action has been occurring, what
has been relegated to the background--and maybe even forgotten--is
the fact that the race that created the protomolecule (you remember
the protomolecule, don't you?), the very race that closed the gates
in an attempt to stop the race that was killing them from spreading
throughout the galaxy, has a role in this story.

CIBOLA BURN is certainly a planetary colonization adventure story.
It's also a study of human perseverance and struggle, and,
eventually, of cooperation and compromise in the face of planetary
disaster.  It's also a story of romance, of family, and of caring
people.  We've never seen Jim Holden in this light before, trying
to be a peacemaker rather than a rabble rouser--and he handles it
really well.  The rest of the crew of the Rocinante, while not
banished to the background, do not play as big a role in this story
as they have in the previous three books.  But they are there, and
they make important contributions.  And let's not forget Miller.
I'll leave the reader to figure out what's going on with Miller.

CIBOLA BURN is another worthy entry in the Expanse universe, and
I'm told that the next novel, NEMESIS GAMES, is even better.  I'm
looking forward to seeing what Corey has in store for us there.


TOPIC: FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON by Daniel Keyes (copyright 1966 Daniel
Keyes, 1998 Recorded Books LLC, 8 hours 58 minutes, narrated by
Jeff Woodman) (excerpt from the Duel Fish Codices: an audiobook
review by Joe Karpierz)

FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON, by Daniel Keyes, is one of the acknowledged
classics of the science fiction field.  First published as a short
story in 1959, Keyes expanded it to a novel which was published in
1966.  The short story won the 1960 Hugo Award in the Short Fiction
category, while the novel won the Nebula Award for Best Novel,
along with Samuel R. Delany's BABEL-17.  The 1968 movie CHARLY,
based on the novel won Cliff Robertson the Best Actor Oscar for his
portrayal of Charlie Gordon.  It is taught in schools all over the
country; indeed, my son and I were talking about it the other day
and he informed me that he had to read it in school.

My first encounter with the story was the movie CHARLY.  I have
almost no recollection of the movie, other than a vague memory of
feeling very sad at the end.  I know there is a paperback copy of
FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON somewhere in the room of our house that holds
our paperback collection, but I have no memory of reading it.  When
I was rummaging through my audiobook downloads on my iPod and
spotted the audiobook of it, I decided it was time to give it a

Charlie Gordon is a mentally disabled adult.  He has an IQ of 68,
and works at a job in a bakery which his uncle got for him so he
wouldn't have to live in a mental institution.  Several days a week
he goes to night classes in order to learn to read and write.
Charlie is eager to learn to read and write.  He has a deep thirst
for knowledge, but of course his condition prevents him from
attaining the knowledge he seeks.  Two researchers, Doctors Nemur
and Strauss, have developed an experimental surgery that appears to
dramatically increase the intelligence of lab animals.  One such
animal, the titular mouse Algernon, has given the researchers great
confidence that the surgery could work on human beings.  Based on
Charlie's teacher Alice Kinnian's recommendation, they select
Charlie as their human subject.  His drive for knowledge has won
him the spot over other more intelligent but disabled students.

The gist of the rest of the story, as almost everyone knows, is
that Charlie's IQ skyrockets in a short period of time.  He loses
his job at the bakery because his coworkers are afraid of him.  He
learns multiple languages, composes music, becomes an expert in
multiple sciences, and becomes more intelligent than Nemur and
Strauss. Gordon has a relationship with Alice, but soon he becomes
too intelligent for her; more accurately, she is beneath him.  The
relationship ends.  Eventually, Gordon embarks upon research which
results in him discovering a flaw in the experiment.  Soon after
that discovery Algernon's behavior becomes erratic and violent, and
he eventually dies.

It is emphatically not a spoiler to say that Gordon himself begins
deteriorating, losing his high IQ, vast intelligence, and the
ability to read and write.  He reverts to the way he was before the
surgery and eventually goes to an institution where a place had
been prepared for him.  He leaves a note asking that whoever is
reading it please place flowers on Algernon's grave.

FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON is a truly powerful, emotional, and gut
wrenching story of one man's rise and fall.  It is told in the form
of progress reports, which Charlie makes at the request of Nemur
and Strauss as a way of documenting everything that occurs to him.
It is masterfully done.  Narrator Jeff Woodman does an excellent
job of taking us from the "retarded" Charlie through the genius
Charlie and all the way back down again.  The rhythm of speech, the
vocabulary, the tone of voice, all document what is going on with
Charlie from start to finish.  When I finally got to the end,
thoroughly knowing exactly what was coming, I certainly was sad and
was very nearly teary-eyed as I was driving in to work.

Still, I had a few problems with the book. In the previous paragraph
I put quotes around the word retarded.  I do realize this book is
the product of its time, so it must be given some leeway, but terms
like retarded and moron, used to medically describe Charlie's
condition, grated on me a bit.  They weren't considered insulting
back in the day, and of course they are now, and it shows how much
a product of my time that I am that even though, given the context
of the time of the novel the terms should be acceptable, they
weren't to me.

The maturation and growth of Charlie Gordon is shown in a series of
recovered memories, which first start with him realizing his
"friends" at the bakery were really making fun of him all along.
We see his strained relationship with his parents--and their
strained relationship with each other as they try to come to terms
with raising a mentally handicapped individual--how he was treated
on the playground, how his early interactions with women were, in a
term, messed up, because of the way his mother treated him.

These are all terrific storytelling elements, but it felt like they
went on and on and on to the point where when it was evident that
another memory flashback was coming, I cringed and hoped it would
be over quickly.  In fact, if this book has a flaw, it's that it
seems padded.  I never read the original short story, but I'm
guessing that it benefitted from being expanded, but maybe not into
a full length novel.

Having said all that, FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON is a wonderful story of
a man growing up too slow, then too fast, and then losing it all
when he finally had it.  It's a roller coaster worth riding.


TOPIC: Wine Clubs (letter of comment by Kevin R)

In response to Mark's comments on the TCM Wine Club in the
11/20/15 issue of the MT VOID, Kevin R writes:

call for such vintages as the always dependable Night Train,
the delightful "Mad Dog", Mogen David 20/20, and the insouciant

The obvious spin-off is a Theater Candy Club.  They can send out
overpriced versions of Jordan Almonds, Jujubes and Raisinettes.
I fear they might try to sell the ersatz "butter" concession
stands spray on the popcorn. *>shudder<*

The Dollar Tree stores in my area have nice selections of boxed
candy such as Goobers, Raisinettes and Sno-Cap Nonpariels that
stand in for movie theater boxed candy nicely.  [-kr]


TOPIC: MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE Television Show (letter of comment by
Gary McGath)

In response to Evelyn's comments on MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE in the
11/20/15 issue of the MT VOID, Gary McGath writes:

[Evelyn writes,] "And of course the whole premise that this force
can choose to refuse jobs makes one wonder what exactly their
status is."  [-ecl]

There could be a spinoff, "Mission: Undesirable," about the jobs
that they have to find someone else to do.   [-gmg]


TOPIC: Subtitles (letters of comment by Peter Trei, Kevin R, and
Paul Dormer)

In response to Mark's comments on subtitles in the 11/20/15 issue
of the MT VOID, Peter Trei writes:

I spent part of the 1960s and 1970s growing up in Europe.
Depending on country size and budget, American TV and movies were
either dubbed, or subtitled.  So I had it the other way around--I
could understand the language, and check the subtitles for
accuracy.   But visibility was rarely a problem--in most cases, it
was white letters on a solid black bar, as wide as the text.  The
extreme case was Belgium, with two major official languages,
Flemish and French.  Movies would have up to four lines of
subtitles, two in each language, occupying the bottom quarter of
the screen, with gaps between the lines.  Dubbing sometimes got a
little weird too--I remember a French dub of a John Wayne movie,
with the voice actor doing his very best to imitate the Duke's
drawl.  It didn't work.  [-pt]

Kevin R responds:

I was watching NBC-TV's BLINDSPOT* in real time the other night.
The FBI agents had captured an undercover Russian agent, and were
interrogating her, in a room painted in that institutional
white/beige that allows the characters to stand out in sharp relief
from the background.  At one point, the main character decided to
try to engage the prisoner by questioning her in Russian.
Subtitles were used, colored yellow and superimposed, in the same
shot, on the white walls, a black sweater and a light colored
shirt.  Before I could get my eyes to focus on the text, it had
disappeared from the screen. I don't have a DVR or any "instant
replay" tech with my rudimentary cable hookup, so I missed it, and
had to depend on the context.

I watch on a 32" set, which is several years old, and I sit about
15' away from the screen.  My distance vision is good enough to not
have to use glasses when I drive, but I need them for reading and
close work.  So, I usually don't wear them while watching TV.  I
expect I need to get my eyes checked to see if I could use some bi-
or tri-focals.  If I knew I was going to read sub-titles, I might
have been prepared with glasses at the ready.

Shows that spring subtitles on you when you aren't expecting to see
them seem to do a lousy job.  I'm sure what strikes me as tiny type
size wouldn't have bothered me 40 years ago, though.  I also have
trouble with some graphics on sports programming, specifically the
score bugs shoved in the corner of the screen.  They make me reach
for glasses. Crawls and newstickers on the bottom of a screen I can
usually make out unaided, as they will have a uniform background


Subs are in the 3rd segment.  Watching on my laptop, with my
reading glasses, I can follow them, but the yellow text on
alternating bright and dark backgrounds is still annoying.  [-kr]

Paul Dormer replies:

I'm not sure I'd want to sit that far away from a 32-inch screen,
and my optician tells my distance vision does not require

Then again, I have an HD set and for that they recommend sitting
about 2-3 times the screen size away.  I have a 40-inch (1m) screen
and sit about 2.5m away from it.  [-pd]


TOPIC: The Marching Morons (letter of comment by Kerr Mudd-John)

In response to Evelyn's comments on "The Marching Morons" in the
11/13/15 issue of the MT VOID, Kerr Mudd-John writes:

This might be where DNA got his idea for the 'B' ark from.  [-kmj]


TOPIC: Candidates (letter of comment by Jim Susky)

In response to Evelyn's comments on Presidential candidates in the
11/06/15 issue of the MT VOID, Jim Susky writes:

I read with interest Evelyn's (probably ironic) 2015NOV06 plea for
Presidential candidates who are rational--that is, scientifically
informed (if only marginally so), and understand the impracticality
of certain extreme immigration policy prescriptions.  So far, not a
high bar. She also wants "candidates who recognize what the
Constitution says"--perhaps a slightly higher bar.

Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders would seem to qualify, and
perhaps Governor Bush.  Senator Rand Paul, as an ophthalmologist
(and therefore at least a technician if not a scientist) may well
be scientifically informed.  My impression is that he has the most
respect for the Constitution of all the known candidates (see GOP
Debate #1 where he bludgeoned Christie about 4th Amendment and
prohibited searches and seizures).  He also seems to have addressed
specifically and in writing the Federal Deficit--my own single-
biggest-issue--proposing to balance it within five years.

I'll digress for a moment and blow the dust off Gregory Benford's
2004 proposal to implement a $20-billion Fresnel lens at the L1
Earth-Sun LaGrange point, which would diffract about 1/2% to 1% of
Sol's radiation from the Earth.  This speaks to the idea that what
to do about Climate Change is by far more important that what one
believes about it.

Such a project has several advantages:

1) It is reversible, possibly even adjustable.
2) It is cheap--at least two orders of magnitude cheaper than CO2
conservation/prohibition, seawall construction, and numerous other
responses to the global warming trend.
3) It may even be the most politically feasible project addressing
climate change--requiring one Nation's effort (ours, of course).

Kudos to Benford--if only he had a big enough checkbook to do it in

I'll confess to a fantasy: In 2017, President Paul is presented
with (to him) unacceptable budgets and tax bills.  He vetoes both--
tells the houses to try again.  Lather.  Rinse.  Repeat.

(See his pounding of Rubio in GOP Debate #4 saying there is nothing
conservative about spending a trillion dollars on the military
without finding a way to pay for it.)

To my mind, federal fiscal sanity is the 800-pound gorilla in
America.  I listen too much to BBC radio.  They made it quite clear
this summer that Greece was on the edge of a nation-wide banking
failure, which for poor and middle-class Greeks would make the
current refugee crisis seem at least a little trivial.  [-js]


TOPIC: This Week's Reading (book comments by Evelyn C. Leeper)

I have two big book-buying/acquisition periods a year.  The first
is the week in the spring when Bryn Mawr and the East Brunswick
Friends of the Library have their book sales.  The other is Philcon
weekend in November, when if the stars (and weekends) align, as
they did this year, the Cherry Hill Friends of the Library have
their book sale the same weekend.

But before either Philcon or Cherry Hill, we go to the Cranbury
Bookworm.  It is almost right on the way, so it is really a no-
brainer.  The plan is simply: take all the science fiction we are
getting rid of, sell what we can to the Bookworm, then take the
rest to Philcon and put it out on the freebie table.  We always
take our payment at the Bookworm in store credit, so we do acquire
books (and DVDs) there, but the goal is to take out a smaller
*volume* of books than we leave there.

By the way, here's a tip I just discovered: the plastic bucket that
Kirkland (Costco) laundry detergent comes in is almost perfect for
carrying books.  The size is such that it is a reasonable weight
when filled, it has a good handle, and (of course) it is free.
(Plus using it like this means not sending it to a landfill.).  The
only problems are rounded (rather than squared-off) edges and two
"bumps" in the bottom (to strengthen it?).

This time was the first since the Bookworm changed/simplified its
pricing policy.  With rare exceptions, all hardbacks are $5, all
trade paperbacks are $2, and all mass-market paperbacks are $1.
DVDs are $2; television series are $5 a season.  The days of the
50- and 60-cent science fiction paperbacks are gone, I guess.
(Sob!)  We ended up with a season of "West Wing", a season of
"Seinfeld", the JEWISH STUDY BIBLE, a bilingual anthology CUENTAS:
STORIES BY LATINOS (which includes several fantasy stories), and

Then it was on to the Cherry Hill Public Library for their semi-
annual Friends of the Library sale.  Their pricing is even better
(for buyers, anyway) than the Bookworm: $2 for hardbacks and
audiobooks, and $1 for paperbacks (any size).  We got several math
books, four Dean Koontz audiobooks, and a few "curiosities".  For
example, there was one math book titled "Calculus Refresher for
Technical Men"!  Well, okay, it was written in 1944, but in
addition to being incredibly sexist, it sounds now like an
incredibly awkward title.  ("Calculus Refresher for Engineers", for
example, sounds less awkward.)  There was a big oversize Dover
$29.95--for only $1.  But even bigger, and just as interesting
(though in a very different way) is THE HISTORY OF THE RUSSIAN
REVOLUTION by Leon Trotsky, translated by Max Eastman.

We finally got to the Philcon hotel.  By this time, our car was
full of pails of books, boxes of books, bags of books, and loose
books.  Luckily it was reasonably warm and not raining, because it
took a while to sort out what needed to come in and what needed to
stay in the car.

We put about a hundred books and magazines out on the freebie
table, but we also took some books.  Again, we met our goal of
taking fewer books than we left.

The best books I found there were *two* that were actually on my
Stieg Larsson.  (We had the first two in the Larsson trilogy.)
Paolo Bacigalupi's THE WATER KNIFE was a close third.

The first book I found was INVENTING LEONARDO by A. Richard Turner.
The last was Jorge Amado's TEREZA BATISTA, one of the Avon series
that people often say defined magical realism.  In between were a
few others, including the "Martian" issue of POPULAR MECHANICS.

I even got books from the dealers room, because Mark gave me a
birthday present of Ellen Datlow's anthology of horror stories
related to the film business, THE CUTTING ROOM, and David Stuart

Of course when we got home and unpacked the suitcases, pails,
boxes, and bags, it looked like our luggage had exploded all over
the room, but that another story.  (And I still had to sort the
non-science fiction Bookworm rejects into Freecycle material,
library donations, and various other categories.  (The big
advantage of Freecycle is that you don't have to cart the books to
the library.)

Now that this is done, I get a respite until next March.  [-ecl]


                                           Mark Leeper

           Taking mathematics from the beginning of the world
           to the time of Newton, what he has done is much
           the better half.
                                  --Gottfried Leibniz, 1688