Monday, August 24, 2009

Book Review: River of Gods

Another guest post at pustakam - This is a book I had bought some years back and finally got around to reading.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I finally watched the new Star Trek movie last Saturday.

These were my expectations
  • Less comic relief
  • Less Hollywood 'science' and heroics
  • Something along the standards of what Christopher Nolan did in The Dark Knight

I was expecting too much. The less said the better, but these were the things that jarred me (bulletpointing makes things clearer and more concise, so)
  • A Turbo lift where buttons are pressed (whatever happened to the voice commands?)
  • Tricorders that look like extra-slim cellphones. This is accentuated when the crew start speaking into the tricorder instead of doing the comm-badge-slap-and-speak thing.
  • The new look comm badges. They do not look sleek. They look like misshapen blobs when seen from any distance greater than 30 cms.
This is what Carl Sagan had to say about Star Trek (in Broca's Brain) -

'In a future in which interstellar travel is common, the ships officers are embarrassingly Anglo-American.'

This is no longer the case with recent series and this movie, but the latter gets a thumbs down as far as female portrayal is concerned. The sole role of Lt. Uhura in this movie seems to be to fulfill the hot chick routine and kiss Spock from time to time.

Come to think of it, the only Star Trek series starring a female captain is ST:Voyager.

Overall, a distinctly odd Trekexperience.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

My first guest post

My first guest post on another blog -

It's a popular blog about books and bibliophiles - mostly written in Telugu, but sometimes in English also.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

An untitled post.

I just realized that I buy very little science fiction these days, and read even less. Whatever I buy now are books I really want (rather than buy it because 'it's there' and going for a discount!). These are mostly authors like Gibson, Neal Asher, Robert Reed and the rising wave of Indian sf in English represented by works such as Priya Sarukkai Chabria's Generation 14 and Manjula Padmanabhan's Escape. The reason I read less sf is because I read other stuff more now, and there are only 24 hours in a day. I am rereading some of my favourite sf classics, and will probably write about them sometime.

Listened to an audiobook called 'Letting Go of God' by the delightful Julia Sweeney. It's also a TED lecture and available on Google video. She is simple, straightforward, sincere and a joy to listen to as she recounts her early religious upbringing and the events that led her to realize that there is no evidence for a creator, and no need for one.

On the running front, the ITBS is better. As I read that post now, I can't help but laugh at myself. 6 days to fix ITBS? :)). Got diagnosed with a stress fracture last week though, on my left leg, which will take atleast 2 months to heal. Of course - no running till then.

Monday, January 19, 2009


It has been almost a month since my friend Arvind Mishra, an sf writer, tagged me in this post.

The meme is to choose ten sf books of your choice and just scribble down the fifth sentence on page 56 of all of them and then invite your friends in turn to guess the books where these extracts are selected from. And then declare the answers. (You can choose non-sf books also, but I have chosen only sf - these are among my most well-liked sf works of all time).

Warning : Answers are just below the list.

Here goes (some of the sentences are really vague!)

1. With a little skill and care there were few items that could not be tackled safely; the only things banned were hot soups and excessively crumbly pastries.

2. "If this is true, then the Straumers may have a chance."

3. The nervousness that Stormgren had first felt had long since passed away.

4. "I do not quite follow you."

5. "What?", Lvov tried to focus."

6. Their clothes were not particularly revealing, he noted regretfully, and not one had any sign of décolleté, although some dresses seemed to designed to emphasize the buttocks.

7. A quick punch was all it took.

8. "I helped to do it, even."

9. "This way is much better," Leroux said, touching her skin delicately, poking under her cheeks and chin, pulling back her hair to feel her temples.

10. "But that's the point: it's not right, Captain," Renner protested.



1. 2001 A Space Odyssey - Arthur C. Clarke
2. A Fire upon the Deep - Vernor Vinge
3. Childhood's End - Arthur C. Clarke
4. Lord of Light - Roger Zelazny
5. Vacuum Diagrams - Stephen Baxter (Short story - Gossamer)
6. Prelude to Foundation - Isaac Asimov
7. Grass - Sherri S. Tepper
8. Distraction - Bruce Sterling
9. The Collected Stories of Greg Bear - Greg Bear (Short story - Sisters)
10. The Mote in God's Eye - Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle