The Treehouse Blog

Tag: books

Ender in Exile

by on Feb.18, 2010, under SciFi

Last night I finished reading Ender in Exile (ad), the “mid-quel” that is essentially the hub in the wheel of the Enderverse, despite it being the most recently published.  As is apt to happen in any prolific series, it does suffer from some continuity issues the author describes, but since I more recently read the shadow series and least recently Ender’s Game, I really didn’t notice them.

It was good to read more of Ender following the war before his transition to the much older character found in Speaker for the Dead.  The journey to Shakespeare Colony and Ender’s work there was a great story line, and one that I think could have been expounded upon further.  The book also gives a much more complete picture of Colonel Graff that was welcome.  The story line surrounding Ganges Colony and the Bean-offspring-raised-to-be-Achilles seemed more forced and interested me less.

What stories are yet to be told in the Enderverse?  Well, apparently one is in the works.  My hope is that it will continue Bean’s story.  If I remember right, we last see him departing Earth on his own relativistic voyage.

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by on Jul.25, 2009, under Technology

I just finished reading Brian Hayes’ Infrastructure:  The Book of Everything for the Industrial Landscape. (ad)  It’s a long, but picture-filled read that’s intended to serve the same function for the infrastructure enthusiast as a field guide does for the bird watcher.  I wish this book had been around when I was a kid!  Strongly recommended for anyone interested in how the industrial aspects of their world works.

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Failure is not an Option

by on May.30, 2009, under Technology

I just finished reading Gene Kranz’s Failure is not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond. (ad)  It’s an exciting read, structured around missions and other significant events.  More so than my recollection of Lost Moon / Apollo 13 (ad), Kranz delves into some of the organizational structure of NASA, discussing the rapid promotion of people as the organization developed, followed by the slowdown at the conclusion of Apollo.  It really makes one appreciate the experience these folks had and the sacrifices they made in support of this endeavor.  I also was rewatching parts of From the Earth to the Moon (ad) while reading the book.  I highly recommend all of these.  I’d like to read more about the development of the MSFN – the global comms network that supported the Apollo era – so if anyone out there has book/link suggestions, please send share them.

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Ender’s Game

by on Sep.25, 2006, under SciFi

Patrick had often spoke of how Ender’s Game was one of his favorite books, and when Chris mentioned he had recently read it, I jumped at the opportunity to borrow it. It’s a quick read and definitely worth it. It does make one wonder how much gifted young children are capable of in a suitable environment, especially in the context of how our society continues to extend childhood–pretty much through college. There’s also enough moral ambiguity to keep one second-guessing the choices made by the characters. Although I know that a movie interpretation wouldn’t be able to give the book justice (the kids will have to be too old to master the dialog, and the amount of full-action large-area zero-G sequences would be staggering), I still look forward to the possibility.

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