Happy damp and chilly last day of September! One of my #FridayReads is Clifford D. Simak's 1951 science-fiction novel Time and Again, the awesome Ace Books cover of which is pictured above. (The artwork is by Jack Gaughan.) I read Simak's Special Deliverance (1982), one of his last novels, earlier this year and really enjoyed his writing, so I picked up a bunch of his old paperbacks. I want to read through them chronologically, so Time and Again is where I'm starting. I'm about a quarter of the way through and really enjoying how thought-provoking it is.
Simak doesn't excel at writing hard science-fiction, full of precise and correct details about the physics of space travel and such. But he does excel at exploring both sides of debates over philosophy, civilization and humanity. There's one thing he appears to have gotten very wrong, though: The book is set about 6,000 years from now, and people are still getting morning newspapers delivered to their door. (Also, everyone still smokes.)
My other current and recent #FridayReads:
- The Shepherd's Life: Modern Dispatches from an Ancient Landscape, by James Rebanks (almost finished; highly recommended)
- Rare Books Uncovered: True Stories of Fantastic Finds in Unlikely Places, by Rebecca Rego Barry (my Goodreads review)
- Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, by Ivor H. Evans (my Goodreads review)
- Ms. Marvel #11, by G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa and Adrian Alphona
- Paper Girls #8 and #9, by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang and Matt Wilson
And now for the latest collection of links to great things to read online...
- Esquire: "The Falling Man" by Tom Junod [9/11 history]
- The Ringer: "Banned in the USA: The musicians who were silenced after the attacks on 9/11 reflect on Clear Channel’s decision 15 years after the censorship of their songs and what it meant for their careers" by Rob Harvilla
- Smithsonian.com: "The Definitive Story of How the National Museum of African American History and Culture Came to Be" by Lonnie Bunch
- The Baltimore Sun: "Living small is big for business" by Perry Stein of Bloomberg News
- Atlas Obscura: "Inside the 'Quietest Town in America': Green Bank, West Virginia is a place without internet—or even microwaves"
- Collectors Weekly: "The Death of Flair: As Friday's Goes Minimalist, What Happens to the Antiques?" by Lisa Hix
- The New York Times: "More Wealth, More Jobs, but Not for Everyone: What Fuels the Backlash on Trade" by Peter S. Goodman
- The New York Times: "Torn Over Donald Trump and Cut Off by Culture Wars, Evangelicals Despair" by Laurie Goodstein
- Atlas Obscura: "The Hidden World of Tenement Fortune Tellers in 19th Century Manhattan" by Natalie Zarrelli
- NPR: "The Stewards Of A Disappearing Faith — And 10,000 Songs"
- The New York Times: "On Being a Black Female Math Whiz During the Space Race" by Cara Buckley
- BBC Radio: "Museum of Lost Object: Armenian Martyr's Memorial, Der Zor" by Kanishk Tharoor and Maryam Maruf [Audio Story]
Books, reading & writing
- Electric Lit: "Putting Borges’ Infinite Library On the Internet" by Jonathan Basile
- The New Yorker: "The Encyclopedia Reader" by Daniel A. Gross. An excerpt:
"Within a few minutes, Woods, who is fifty-four, and Stevens, who is sixty-six, were sitting in the living room, talking about books. The conversation seemed both apt and improbable: when Woods first wrote to Stevens, in 2004, he was serving a sixteen-year prison sentence, in Jessup, Maryland, for breaking and entering. It was a book that had brought them together."
- Book Riot: "Children's Books About 9/11" by Karina Glaser
- The New Yorker: "A Party in a Lunatic Asylum: On the mundane mysticism of Alan Moore" by Nat Segnit
- The Atlantic: "Marvel, Jack Kirby, and the Comic-Book Artist’s Plight" by Asher Elbein
- CBR.com: "Back-roads bookscouting for old comics & rare books" Part 1 and Part 2, by Greg Hatcher
- Black Nerd Girls: "An Open Letter To Marvel"
- Speculative Chic: "Meet Squirrel Girl: Your New Favorite Superhero, Role Model, and Best Friend" by Nancy O'Toole Meservier io9: "Some of Comics’ Most Amazing History Lurks in a New Jersey Warehouse" by Alex Cranz
- "14 Justifiably Forgotten Milton Bradley Board Games" by Jake Rossen
- GQ: "This Is How Star Trek Invented Fandom" by Molly McArdle
- A.V. Club: "I quit all meats and fast food — except for the Filet-O-Fish" by Alex McCown-Levy [I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that this person is my food doppelgänger.]
- Bloomberg: "Selling a $5 Million, Seven-Story Basket Is No Picnic" by Polly Mosendz
- Chicago Tribune: "KFC recipe revealed? Tribune shown family scrapbook with 11 herbs and spices" by Jay Jones
- Electric Lit: "The Trolls in Our Midst: What Fairytales Can Tell Us about Online Behavior" by Andrew Ervin
- A Flickering Life: "Why the Time Magazine insult matters" by Austin Shinn ("A High Functioning Autistic facing the world honestly")
And I'll leave you today with this laugh, from the mind of Francesco Francavilla...