The Barnes and Noble by us has completely removed genres from the new book section so it’s impossible to tell where the new sci-fi books are. Hint: there were none! Why has this store gotten so bad?!

Today I learned of the passing of Vernon Vinge. I read A Fire Upon the Deep in high school and it was a major turning point in my love of science fiction. I’m going to re-read True Names in his honor.

Dune, Part 1 (2021) - ★★★★☆

I read the first two books decades ago, so the details are fuzzy. But I really enjoyed this and am looking forward to the next one. It was beautifully shot and the scope is immense.

Watched: Season 2 of Star Trek: Lower Decks ★★★★1/2 

This show continues to entertain and surprise me. I really love all of the characters and the writers know how to strike the fine balance between serving the fans and pushing us to enjoy something new.

Watched: Season 2 of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds: ★★★★★

I loved every minute of this show! I wasn’t expecting to love the musical, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and it had some great laughs as well.

Snow Crash by Neil Stephenson: ★★★1/2 

I really wanted to love Neil Stephenson’s Snow Crash. It has all the makings of a great tale: archaeolgy, vintage but also not-vintage tech, cyberspace, katanas, and the mafia. 

Minor Spoilers below 👇

What I liked:

- Stephenson’s prose is easy to follow and carries the story well
- theoretical and (highly) outlandish relationship established between ancient religions and information warfare
- visionary scope of what a metaverse could be (he coined the phrase, I believe)
- satirical perspective of unmitigated capitalism

What I disliked:

- Absurdity of the plot, it was just too much and his long expositions with the non-sentient Librarian and his chief allies were identical. If you have to spend literally ten pages of the main character talking through the plot, I think you’ve gone too far.
- Paper-thin characters. They had promise but other than one character calling her mom and another finally getting to be with a girl, no character had a single step of movement.
- Sexual exploitation of a minor (yes)

Overall, I’m glad I read it, as it has been on my list for a while, but in the end, I didn’t find it very memorable. 

Cuties on Netflix

🎦 After reading a few articles about “Cuties”, especially this one from USA Today where the author states “…confronts the horrid reality of how accessible imagery and videos can negatively impact children.” I think I just need to watch it and see what it’s all about. The imagery is vile, but perhaps that’s the point? I’ll report back later.

📚Haven’t read Dune in decades. Looks like I need to brush up on it and give it another read.