the Little Red Reviewer

Posts Tagged ‘punny

Mathochist: Someone who sucks at math, and probably failed calculus a few times, yet voluntarily purchases and reads books about math, the history of math, fractals, etc, because it just feels so good.  i.e.: Me.

It’s a major faux pas to book-blog about a book you haven’t finished yet, isn’t it?  pfft. I’m a mathochist AND a faux pas blogger. And I have this sudden urge to listen to an old Tom Lehrer CD.

Which brings us in a very round about way to Ian Stewart’s Flatterland: like Flatland, but more so. You remember Edwin A. Abbott’s Flatland, don’t you?  Came out like a hundred years ago, involves a 3-dimensional person who visits a 2-dimentional world called Flatland, and fails to explain to the flatlanders that there is a whole  new world out there?  It also involved much in the way of criticism and satire about Victorian England, all of which was lost on me. I was in it for the math.

So back to Stewart’s homage/sequel Flatterland: imagine if Richard Feynman’s seventh easy piece was written a la Alice in Wonderland, and every creature and or place taught you in the easiest language imaginable everything you ever wanted to know about math, the universe, and everything?  But as much as I love Feynman, he was never this witty.  All that, and I haven’t even finished reading the book yet!

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Are you a YA fan who is looking for something a little grittier, a little meatier, a little SF-ier?

Are you an adult SF/F fan looking for something a little lighter, but still with the grit and humor you’ve come to enjoy from your favorite writers?

If you answered “why yes! Yes I am!” to either of those questions, allow me to introduce you to some great SF/F YA reads by authors who are known for writing for adults.  

For the Win, by Cory Doctorow – American kids enjoy online games for fun. Asian and Indian kids play online games for money, more than just what gold farming can give them. When the undertrod, underpaid, undervalued child workers are taught the word union, only good can come of it. right?

Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow – big brother might be watching, but what happens when little brother watches back? Of every book on this list, this was the hardest book for me to read, and I don’t mean hard intellectually. I believe  Little Brother should be required reading in every high school government class, but I’m sure once it got some attention it would be banned.

Un Lun Dun by China Mieville – Part Wizard of Oz, part Alice in Wonderland, and very punny.  You just can’t not like this book!

The WWW series by Robert Sawyer – the first book in the series didn’t do much for me, but as far as YA reads go, this is a contemporary SF winner.  Blind teenager Caitlin can “see” the world wide web, and there is something there that can see her.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman – what can I say about this that hasn’t been said before? if you haven’t read it, you owe it to yourself to enjoy this book!

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card – Ender’s Game as YA? really? hey, it’s what all the cool kids were reading when I was a teenager. It’s a SF classic.

Which of these have you read? Which of these look most promising?


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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.