Sunday, October 11, 2009

Favorites: The Star, by Arthur C. Clarke

The Star is one of my favorites of Clarke's concerning religion. His grounding of the Easter story in a physical reality is interesting in that it calls into question the very basis of belief, even as it fully justifies belief with physical evidence. Others have done this since, but less artfully, as is evidenced by the fact that I can't bring them to mind. This is one of my four star stories, definitely one to read if you haven't or reread if you have.

Read of the Day

Every Hole is Outlined
by John Barnes is an interesting story describing a starship culture thousands of years old, where mostly automated ships continue to retain human crews for regulatory and occasional emergency use. The situation is very benign, and focuses mostly on a character study of Xhirina, the apprentice ship's mathematician. The events seem ordinary except that they see ghosts sometimes, and are interested by them. They are also trying to sort out why they are still needed, when technological progress seems to have made trade of physical goods obsolete. The story sort of rolls along in a satisfying way until it is over. But there really isn't that much here, so I can't recommend going out of the way for it. Barnes is one of my favorite authors, but I have no active free favorites for him at present. Hope to get one soon. 2 stars

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