Friday, June 21, 2013

Just Finished

In the last couple days I finished reading Fallout by Todd Strasser, an extremely grim science fiction alternate history look at a middle school age boy in 1962 when nuclear war strikes. His father has had a fallout shelter constructed under an addition to the house so when the sirens sound they are overwhelmed by neighbors trying to get in. This is a horrifying story of what could have happened. I think, this perhaps, may hold more interest for people who remember the bomb drills and fallout shelters of the early 60s. It vividly brought back to me my memories of 1962 when my dad and uncle excavated a 10 ft. deep hole in the crawl space under our house. We kids were charged with surreptitiously smuggling the dug up dirt into the garden so nobody would know we had a bomb shelter. We never did really have a bomb shelter, just a big hole under the house.

Earth Girl, a debut novel by Janet Edwards is a terrific science fiction tale set in the far future (2788) when humanity has spread to several planets. Jarra is Handicapped, one of the few who, due to a medical condition, can only live on Earth. There is a huge stigma attached to being Handicapped. Jarra will have to live her life out on Earth. She wants to major in pre-history, the history of humanity before they migrated off to other planets. During the exodus to other planets, cities fell and were deserted. Students in their first year prehistory studies do field work in the abandoned cities. Jarra registers with an off planet university because the first year of the program is done on Earth and she can see what it feels like to not be Handicapped. It turns out that she has plenty of talents that make her a valuable part and a leader of her class. This is good science fiction adventure. It reminded me of the great sf adventure stories of Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov.

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