Category Archives: Books

Books I’m reading, audiobooks I’m listening to.

That Hideous Strength

I mentioned a couple of days ago that I’ve been reading C. S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy.  I’m now about halfway through the third installation, That Hideous Strength.  I guess it’s strange to talk about a book I’m only halfway through, but there are a bunch of reasons why I think it’s okay – 1) it’s already clear to me that this is the best of the three, 2) this isn’t a book report, since I didn’t enter the MS Read-a-thon this year (do they still do that?) 3) I accidentally read a “spoiler,” so I know how it ends (and it sounds WEAK!) and lastly 4) I couldn’t think of anything else to talk about today.

Anyway, a couple of strange thing about this book.  First, while it is the conclusion to the Space Trilogy, it can stand alone.  If you just read this one it will make at least as much sense to you as it’s making to me. In fact, prior to reading about it independently I didn’t even understand the connection to the previous two books.  But the most striking thing to me about this book is it doesn’t feel like science fiction. In fact, it feels a lot like Atlas Shrugged.  Alien Atlas Shrugged, I guess. Alien Christian Atlas Shrugged.

Now that I think about it, you know what’s better than Alien Christian Atlas Shrugged? Atlas Shrugged, that’s what.

Space Trilogy, Hunting Elf

I’ve been forcing myself through C. S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy, AKA Cosmic Trilogy, AKA Ransom Trilogy in audio. I’ve finished 1938’s Out of the Silent Planet and 1943’s Perelandra so far.  I’ve been stalling before starting the final bit, That Hideous Strength (1945).  The story really isn’t bad, but I think this one might be a little easier to read than to listen to.  For some reason it’s awkward to listen to these books. One thing I have to admit, other than some bits of the language here and there you can hardly tell these stories were written in the ’40s, which is pretty amazing for science fiction.

As a break before tackling That Hideous Strength I listened to the Podiobooks version of Hunting Elf.  I guess I didn’t remember the description properly, because I went in expecting a juvenile.  It wasn’t until after a couple of murders and some sex that it occurred to me that this was not at all a juvenile.  The Podiobook version is read by the author, and it’s a great production.  It’s a fantastic story,  and was a well timed diversion from the sci-fi bender I’ve been on.

Anyone who has spent any time around the dog show and / or dog training scene will really appreciate this.  Really anyone who has or has had a dog will probably appreciate it, in fact.

In addition to the free podiobook it’s available in print from Lulu.

Just as the Eastern Standard Tribe Podiobook introduced me to Cory Doctorow, Hunting Elf has introduced me to Dave Donelson. I’m adding Heart Of Diamonds to my Goodreads list.

Audio

One good thing about both pre-event week being sick is I clock a lot of iPod time.  I finished off all the TED Talks in their audio podcast feed (I’m way behind on the video feed) and I just finally finished the rest of the lectures from the Last HOPE conference.

Here are direct links to the audio for two of the HOPE talks I enjoyed:  Postal Hacking and The History of Phone Phreaking, 1960-1980.

I’m now listening to another Podiobook, The Rookie by Scott Sigler.  This one is a little different for Sigler, but so far it’s just as good as his other stuff. Sigler never disappoints.