September 1st, 2005


What does this portend?

The walk to work from the commuter rail can be a sweaty one, so I wear a T-shirt and bring a work-appropriate shirt to change into. I was putting on my nicer shirt this morning at work, and the shirt tore at the shoulder. Not too much, but enough so that I'll have to wear my T-shirt at work today (at least I wore a decent shirt. It's white with a sepia picture of some bears). I think I'll have to get rid of the shirt, too, since the tear is not at a seam. Anyone want some purple cotton fabric?

Absolute Values by Andrew Menard

My sales rep with one of the printers we use at work formed her own publishing company to publish her husband's books. His debut novel is Absolute Values. The basic idea is that this very smart 15-year-old girl transports herself to a place with an interesting alien race. What's particularly interesting about this race is that the take things very slowly. They spend hundreds or thousands of years perfecting every aspect of a theory, and only then do they decide if practical applications are worth implementing. They will use inventions that people come up with, since it would be a waste not to, but the inventor is looked down upon. Technologists are the lowest class in society and philosophers are one of the highest. Because this human girl gets plunked down into this alien society, there are some direct comparisons made between the species.

I found it to be entertaining and good food for thought, and I see room for this author to grow with the help of a good editor. Even without a good editor, he was able to get Piers Anthony and David Brin to read his novel and provide some glowing quotes for the cover.

As I was reading it, I thought that hrafn, in particular, would be interested in reading it. I'm happy to lend it around if anyone else wants to read it, too (besides the slow/fast culture comparison, the book also deals with quantum physics and a theory of everything. It seemed fun to me, but it definitely didn't get technical, and I don't know how plausible any of it is, so someone with a physics background may or may not find it appealing).