📚 Xenocide by Orson Scott Card

17/2023 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This series continues to impress, with ever deeper explorations of compassion and empathy for others who are different than ourselves, and at what point the differences become so great that life- and world-altering decisions may be justified (or may not be, or may be pursued even if not justified). And once again, I’m struck that an author who wrote so compellingly on this subject failed to see how to apply his own ideas in the real world.

NOTE: It should be noted that OSC had long held and promoted viewpoints that I vehemently disagree with. The books of his in my collection were purchased before I knew of his standpoints, from secondhand stores, or both. I knew going into my Hugo reading project (which this is an extension of, though the later books in the series weren’t Hugo winners) that there would authors and works I would find problematic, and that there might be situations (like this one) where I enjoyed a work by a problematic author. I do what I can to mitigate those situations by purchasing used copies of books so as not to directly contribute to those problematic authors who are still with us, and by noting when I run into those situations – like here.

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📚 The High Country by John Jackson Miller

16/2023 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A fun, light romp of an adventure, rather perfect for the first Strange New Worlds book. Several Enterprise crew are stranded on a world where electronics don’t work and technology is tightly controlled. This results in a mishmash of the Wild West, mountainside castles, tall ships, mysterious aurora, and steampunk-ish clockwork creations. All with a welcome dash of humor throughout. I enjoyed this one a lot.

Michael holding The High Country

The Enstickering

A couple months ago, I replaced my old hand-me-down laptop (a 10-year old MacBook Pro) with a shiny new M2 MacBook Air — my first brand-new laptop. And while it is very pretty, and it was tempting to leave it as-is…after a couple months of dithering, I decided to go ahead and personalize it with some of the stickers I’ve had sitting in a drawer for ages.

After all, what’s the point of keeping stickers in a drawer? There’s always the “I’ll put these on something…someday…” thought, and finally, “someday” is here.

A black Apple MacBook Air with seven stickers applied.

  • In pride of place, dead center, covering the embedded shiny Apple logo, is a vintage rainbow Apple sticker. I’m not entirely sure how long I’ve been hanging on to this, but it has got to be close to a couple decades since Apple went all monochrome. I have one of these left, too.

  • Top left: “I was a Mac user when Apple was doomed.” From R. Stevens of Diesel Sweeties. I have the t-shirt, too. And it’s true!

  • Center left: Gothic Pride Seattle, repping the local SeaGoth community.

  • Bottom left: “Computer, end program.” How do you turn this damn holodeck off, anyway? Don’t remember the source.

  • Top center: “Creepy but Careful” by AmberStone, received as a bonus goodie when I got some of their vaccine-supporting enamel pins early in the pandemic.

  • Center right: “Highly illogical.” Yes, Spock, we know. Don’t remember the source.

  • Bottom right: Doom! Didn’t initially remember the source, but it has a URL for Chance of Doom, a webcomic by Robert Tritthardt, also part of the local SeaGoth community, so I probably got it from him at one point or another, possibly along with a Mercury shirt or hoodie or with one of the Writhe and Shine books I have.