February 13, 2007

The Mic Is On: We're Talking Fiction Books . . .

published this at 7:01 pm

It’s Like Open Mic Only Different

The Mic Is On

Here’s how it works.

It’s like any rambling conversation. Don’t try to read it all. Jump in whenever you get here. Just go to the end and start talking. EVERYONE is WELCOME.
The rules are simple — be nice.

There are always first timers and new things to talk about. It’s sort of half “Cheers” part “Friends” and part video game. You don’t know how much fun it is until you try it.

We’re Talking About Books . . . What’s Your Favorite Piece of Fiction?


We might also talk about

Basil the code-writing donkey.

–ME “Liz” Strauss

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Filed under Blog Comments, Community, Links, Marketing /Sales / Social Media, Outside the Box, SOB Business, Successful Blog | 185 Comments »

C'mon. Let's talk!

185 Comments to “The Mic Is On: We're Talking Fiction Books . . .”

  1. February 13th, 2007 at 7:06 pm
    Joe said

    Don’t tell me I’m late at 8:06 my time and no one else has commented yet…

  2. February 13th, 2007 at 7:06 pm
    Nneka said

    This is just amazing, as I am stuck this moment trying to create a piece of fiction for my blog.

    Anyway, my favorite would have to be girlie romance novels like In Her Shoes, or Jemima J, or PS, I love you.

    I recently read Babyji by Abha Dawesar about a teenage girl coming of age in India.

  3. February 13th, 2007 at 7:07 pm
    Char said

    Hello everyone – do I get to be first tonight? Liz, are you snowed in? Rain and ice here.

  4. February 13th, 2007 at 7:08 pm
    Nneka said

    My comment isn’t showing :-(

  5. February 13th, 2007 at 7:08 pm
    Nneka said

    Hi Joe and Char :-)

  6. February 13th, 2007 at 7:09 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Joe, Char, and Nenka!
    How are you all!

  7. February 13th, 2007 at 7:10 pm
    Char said

    Hi Nneka! Hi Joe!

  8. February 13th, 2007 at 7:10 pm
    Nneka said

    It’s saying this is a dup comment, but I posted it first and the other 2 are showing.

    BTW Liz, how come your comment screener is so smart? Is this a plugin? Don’t want to derail the discussion, but…

    Here’s what I said originally:
    This is just amazing, as I am stuck this moment trying to create a piece of fiction for my blog.

    Anyway, my favorite would have to be girlie romance novels like In Her Shoes, or Jemima J, or PS, I love you.

    I recently read Babyji by Abha Dawesar about a teenage girl coming of age in India.

  9. February 13th, 2007 at 7:11 pm
    Nneka said

    That one was good :-)

    It’s drizzly here, but perfect for snuggling with a good book…or blog.

  10. February 13th, 2007 at 7:13 pm
    Robert Hruzek said

    Good evening, everyone! No telling how many posts there will be by the time I can type this one, but here goes…

    I am a big sci-fi fan. But NOT the “horror” stuff the Sci-Fi channel usually has. My favorite author is Peter F. Hamilton, especially his “Night’s Dawn Trilogy” and Greg Mandel detective novels.

  11. February 13th, 2007 at 7:16 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Nneka,
    I just deleted my own comment. :)

    I was saying what a great feeling iit is to have a comforter and good a book when it’s raining. . . . Though I don’t know any of the books that you mentioned. Who wrote them? :)

  12. February 13th, 2007 at 7:16 pm
    Char said

    Hi Robert.

    My favorite book of all time is “A Room With View” by EM Forster. I also liked “The Great Gatsby” and “Murder on the Orient Express”

    I do more online blog and magazine reading these days than book reading.

  13. February 13th, 2007 at 7:17 pm
    Joe said

    Hey Robert,
    If you want to talk trilogy…
    Lord of the Rings (before the movie) is one of my all time favorites.

  14. February 13th, 2007 at 7:17 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Robert!
    Science ficttion makes great reading. But I have to admit I’ll probably check out your detective selections first.

  15. February 13th, 2007 at 7:19 pm
    Meikah Delid said

    Hi, Liz! Hi everyone! Yeah, I like to be tucked in bed with a good book and jazz music in the background. 😉

  16. February 13th, 2007 at 7:19 pm
    Jeff Brown said

    Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

    It’s the only book I’ve recommended that more than one person has told me they’ve actually read it twice, cover to cover. In our house, when you entered high school, you were given a copy and instructed to read it while you were a teenager.

    Favorite saying from the book – “Who’s John Galt?”

  17. February 13th, 2007 at 7:21 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Meikah Delid!
    A good book all tucked in YEAH!

  18. February 13th, 2007 at 7:22 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Jeff!
    Altas Shrugged! Defintely one of my favorites. . . . I like “I Quit!”

  19. February 13th, 2007 at 7:26 pm
    Nneka said

    Step away for a while and the posts start flowing in :-)

    In Her Shoes is by Jennifer Weiner. I really fell in love with Good in Bed and followed from there.

    Jemima J is by Jane Green. Same kind of story.

    PS I Love You is by Cecilia Ahern, great love story.

    I like my fiction extra light because I read pretty heavy non-fiction. It’s a guilty pleasure.

  20. February 13th, 2007 at 7:27 pm
    Nneka said

    Hi Meikah! Cool name:-)

  21. February 13th, 2007 at 7:28 pm
    Robert Hruzek said

    Char, I’ve never read “Murder…” but ironically it’s on TV tonight! (The good version, too.)

    Joe, the LOTR is fantasy, not sci-fi, but still ranks up there with the best, most well-written story of all time.

    Which brings up a good follow-up for discussion: which of your favorite books survived being turned into a movie? I think, for the most part, Lord of the rings made the translation fairly well.

    Liz, the detective stories are set in the (relatively) near future, so may be more palatable. I like them because of the “possible” technologies he includes in the stories. And, as detective stories go, they are first-rate. Hamilton is an excellent writer.

  22. February 13th, 2007 at 7:29 pm
    ME Strauss said

    You read chick-lit. Start writing them and you’ll be rich!!!

  23. February 13th, 2007 at 7:29 pm
    Joe said

    Sorry all,
    When I think fiction, it usually has something to do with Sci-Fi or Aliens or Netherworlds of the past.
    Never a “love story” ie the girl dies and the buy climbs in her hospital bed…

  24. February 13th, 2007 at 7:30 pm
    Meikah Delid said

    Hi, Jeff! Yeah I’ve read Atlas Shrugged, too. Have you read Rand’s We the Living? I loved it more! :)

  25. February 13th, 2007 at 7:35 pm
    Meikah Delid said

    Well, Joe, there are good “love stories,” too, not necessarily the mushy ones. 😉 Try Milan Kundera.

  26. February 13th, 2007 at 7:36 pm
    Robert Hruzek said

    When I get away from sci-fi I also enjoy some of Tom Clancy’s novels, particularly Debt of Honor, Executive Orders, and Rainbow Six. He seems to have an amazing grasp of geopolitical issues and is able to fill the pages with plenty of plausible detail.

  27. February 13th, 2007 at 7:40 pm
    ME Strauss said

    If you like, Clancy . . . what about Ludlum?

  28. February 13th, 2007 at 7:48 pm
    ME Strauss said

    I’ve got a library of Elizabeth George — all of her mysteries are spectacular.

    Then there’s Nelsom DeMIlle’s, he’s like the poor man’s Ludlum. You just can’t read two Ludlum books in a row.

    But a great is Lee Child’s hero, Jack Reacher, He makes Jack Bauer look like a wimp.

  29. February 13th, 2007 at 7:51 pm
    Robert Hruzek said

    Liz; I know he writes in a similar vein, but I’ve never picked one up. I have a tendency to stick with authors I already know are great… a shortcoming, no doubt, but it keeps my choices (and consequently my time in the bookstore) down to something manageable! My wife cringes when I go into a bookstore…

  30. February 13th, 2007 at 7:51 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Okay, you guys!
    What was the last book you read and who was the hero?

  31. February 13th, 2007 at 7:51 pm
    Nneka said

    Liz, “chick-lit” I like that. I’ll be sure to send you a link to my next post. It’ll be my debut;-)

  32. February 13th, 2007 at 7:53 pm
    Monique Attinger said

    Hi, Liz… Hi, Robert… Hi, everyone! Woohoo! I made it!

    Been away for a couple of weeks, and was sorry to miss this wonderful opportunity to “chat” with fellow bloggers.

    As for books — I’m with Robert… I’m a sci fi fan (although I’m told that calling it “sci fi” dates me, and that the younger crowd refer to it as “SF”). I also like some non-fiction — biographies and memoires and such. I read an astounding book on elephants in South Africa that was just amazing… I’d have to run to my bookshelf to get the title. It’s escaping me at the moment.

  33. February 13th, 2007 at 7:54 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Monique!
    Sugar pie!!!!!
    So what was the last book you read and who was the hero?

  34. February 13th, 2007 at 7:56 pm
    Monique Attinger said

    Last book I read — hate to admit it but it was Barbara Coloroso, and it’s a book on parenting… (I think the hero must be every parent who manages to stumble their way through the art of parenting, and end up with kids who have their heads screwed on right.)


  35. February 13th, 2007 at 7:56 pm
    Char said

    Liz – the last book I read was If You Give A Mouse a Cookie – had to read it to my 5 year old. I can’t remember the last book I read for myself.

  36. February 13th, 2007 at 7:57 pm
    ME Strauss said

    If You Give a Mouse a Cookie . . . is a wonderful book!

    Then he’ll want some milk . .

  37. February 13th, 2007 at 7:57 pm
    Monique Attinger said

    If you want a great love story — not too mushy and really well written — try “All We Know Of Love”. Can’t remember the author’s name at the moment, but it was vaguely spanish sounding, if I remember correctly. An excellent book… It was really very moving.

  38. February 13th, 2007 at 7:58 pm
    Monique Attinger said

    Char — I am so with you! LOL! The last book I read was called “Baby Animals” and it was for my 12 month old tonight as she went to bed…

    Books for me? What’s that like again?

  39. February 13th, 2007 at 7:59 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Okay, so what was your favorite book as a kid?

  40. February 13th, 2007 at 8:02 pm
    Robert Hruzek said

    Hi Monique! “T–I–M–E/ab_de” (long time, no c)

    I still like, but rarely use, the term “speculative fiction” – it’s actually the more accurate title. But SF is easier if you speak “text”.

    The book I’m finishing now is Moonfall, by Jack McDevitt. Alas, there is no ONE hero in this one.

    Greg Mandel is the main character and hero in those detective books I mentioned: Mindstar Rising, A Quantum Murder, and The Nano Flower.

  41. February 13th, 2007 at 8:02 pm
    Nneka said

    Hi Monique, I’ll have to add that one to my wish list.

  42. February 13th, 2007 at 8:04 pm
    Char said

    Liz, it is kind of like:

    If you give a blogger a comment, she’ll want a link to go with it. And if you give her a link, then she just might get inspired…

    I’m sure you could write a better version.

    Monique – read to you little one daily – it will pay off ten times over as they get older.

  43. February 13th, 2007 at 8:06 pm
    Monique Attinger said

    Favourite book as a teenager — Robert Heinlein’s “Stranger in a Strange Land”.

    Favourite book as a kid — “Black Beauty”.

    Oh, oh… Baby is not settling for the night here… I might have to go early!

  44. February 13th, 2007 at 8:08 pm
    ME Strauss said

    You never cease to intrigue me.
    Nneka you and Monique always add things to my list.

    Char, I’m going to have to continue the story.

    If you inspire a blogger, she might a manifesto . . .

  45. February 13th, 2007 at 8:10 pm
    Robert Hruzek said

    Hey, Monique, are you still looking for more “(fill in the blank) and Insurance” subjects? I still laugh out loud every time I read the “Belly Button Lint and Insurance” post. And “Crop Circles..” was very creative.

    How about
    Dr. Who and Insurance
    Captain Kirk and Insurance
    “Alien” and Insurance

  46. February 13th, 2007 at 8:14 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Robert,you are evil.
    Let’s make a fiction story in which Robert is the evil villain and Joe is the hero!

  47. February 13th, 2007 at 8:15 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Let’s see . . .

    Someone gave Char a cookie
    and Robert took it . . .

  48. February 13th, 2007 at 8:19 pm
    Ivan About Town said

    Hi everyone! Just dropping by :)

  49. February 13th, 2007 at 8:21 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Welcome Ivan,
    You have great name for dropping by. Are you into fiction?

  50. February 13th, 2007 at 8:22 pm
    Robert Hruzek said

    My favorite books as a kid were the Robert Heinlein stories that featured teen-agers as the protagonists. Farmer in the Sky, The Star Beast, Tunnel in the Sky, Starship Troopers…

    Wickepedia has a great writeup on his life and work.

    I wrote “In Praise of Attics Everywhere” about how I got interested in sci-fi here (if you don’t mind the self post).

  51. February 13th, 2007 at 8:23 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Starship Troopers? Robert is that the same as the one that they made the movie about? With the Bugs as the enemies?

  52. February 13th, 2007 at 8:25 pm
    Nneka said

    Robert, my husband is heavy into Science Fiction. Can you recommend a book that would just knock his socks off?

  53. February 13th, 2007 at 8:25 pm
    Rick Cockrum said

    Good evening, everyone. I’m sorry I’m late. Today was snowstorm day and of course the furnace decided it was time to not work.

    I’m partial to SF&F. “Stranger in a Strange Land” is still one of my favorites. There is a Heinlein Society. I loved Kate Wilhelm, especially “Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang”. I thought she was dead until tonight. Nothing can beat Jerry Pournelle’s “Lucifer’s Hammer” for a disaster book. Orson Scott Card is a favorite, too.

    Now I’ll probably be stuck in Askimet.

  54. February 13th, 2007 at 8:26 pm
    Delaney Kirk said

    It’s Admiral Kirk … and insurance now

  55. February 13th, 2007 at 8:27 pm
    Rick Cockrum said

    “Starship Troopers” is recommended reading in the US Marines. I gave it to my son when he enlisted.

  56. February 13th, 2007 at 8:28 pm
    Delaney Kirk said

    I liked The Time Travelers Wife and The
    Poisonwood Bible.

  57. February 13th, 2007 at 8:28 pm
    ME Strauss said

    I had no idea that Starship Troopers was popular and require reading in the marines. Rick you are too cool that you know that. :)

  58. February 13th, 2007 at 8:29 pm
    Robert Hruzek said

    Oh, Liz I’d be honored! In fact, here’s a handy guide called The Top 100 Things I’d Do If I Ever Become An Evil Overlord filled with good practical advice in case anyone else wants to make that particular career choice.

    I particularly like #85: I will not use any plan in which the final step is horribly complicated, e.g. “Align the 12 Stones of Power on the sacred altar then activate the medallion at the moment of total eclipse.” Instead it will be more along the lines of “Push the button.”

  59. February 13th, 2007 at 8:29 pm
    Ivan About Town said

    When I was a small fry, I used to read a lot of the classics. It been quite a while though since I’ve read a fiction book though. I’m a non-fiction book collector now. So I’ll just read on… maybe I’d find some good suggestions as to what’s a great read nowadays.

  60. February 13th, 2007 at 8:29 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Good Evening
    Delaney Kirk, grandmother of James T. :)

  61. February 13th, 2007 at 8:31 pm
    Delaney Kirk said

    Watch the G word…I’m the mother of the mother of the mother of James T.

  62. February 13th, 2007 at 8:32 pm
    Becky McCray said

    Hi, Liz! Hi, all!

    Seem to be many SF fans here! Not too, surprising, if you think about it.

  63. February 13th, 2007 at 8:33 pm
    My Not-So-Secret Love Affair - Spirituality Applied to Life - Balanced Life Center said

    […] P.S. Don’t get any wild ideas, this is my debut into Fiction It’s also my answer to the latest meme, Why I blog. I tag Susanne, Rick, Dan and Jennifer, Lyman, and Steve Olson. […]

  64. February 13th, 2007 at 8:36 pm
    Becky McCray said

    My most recent fiction read was Mary Shelley’s original Frankenstein.

  65. February 13th, 2007 at 8:36 pm
    cat said

    I’m late. AGAIN!
    Apologies Liz!

    “Favourite book as a teenager — Robert Heinlein’s “Stranger in a Strange Land”.”

    Me too, me SO too.

    Right now I’m rereading Ernest Hemingways’ “For Whom the Bell Tolls”

    I don’t remember it being this boring, but it’s riveting late at night. I can’t put it down until I force myself. Around, say, midnight or later.

    I have no answers to ‘why’. Anyone?

  66. February 13th, 2007 at 8:36 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Ms. Kirk, by the way, I removed the second ‘y” there. That was a typo — mother of the mother of J.T.

    How the heck are you?

    Hiya! Becky . . .What kind of fiction are you cookin’ up?

  67. February 13th, 2007 at 8:37 pm
    cat said

    Btw – It’s Valentines day here.

    Happy Day :-)

  68. February 13th, 2007 at 8:37 pm
    Becky McCray said

    Sorry to comment and run, but have much to do tonight, and I’m off to soak in a hot bath! Aaaahhhhh…..
    Perhaps I’ll pick up a good fiction book to take with me….

  69. February 13th, 2007 at 8:38 pm
    Robert Hruzek said

    Liz, it’s the same title, but not too close to the same story (*sigh*). I had no idea it was recommended by the Marines, either, Rick, but I can understand it.

    Jerry Pornelle and Larry Niven have written some of my favorites, too. I also liked Footfall and The Mote in God’s Eye, and an older one called Oath of Fealty. Larry Niven’s Ringworld series is very imaginative.

    Glad you mentioned Card; Ender’s Game is still up there at the top, too, but the follow up books start getting a little… heavy?

    Nneka, maybe I can make a few suggestions (in addition to the ones already mentioned). Can you tell me more of his interests?

  70. February 13th, 2007 at 8:40 pm
    Char said

    Hi Cat, Becky, Delaney and anyone else who just got here.

  71. February 13th, 2007 at 8:41 pm
    Rick Cockrum said

    Good night, Becky.

    Happy Day! cat. ‘Why’ what? Or did I miss something.

  72. February 13th, 2007 at 8:41 pm
    Delaney Kirk said

    Hi Liz,
    I’m good. It’s 66 degrees here right now (sorry had to throw that in!)

  73. February 13th, 2007 at 8:44 pm
    Nneka said

    Robert, he has the whole Star Wars and Star Trek series. I wouldn’t doubt that he’s read Starship Trooper. He watches Friday night sci-fi religiously and got me hooked on Stargate. He’s into Anime, vampires, and fantasy, but he’s very well read. So it’ll have to be something that someone familiar with the genre would consider a treasure.

  74. February 13th, 2007 at 8:44 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Cat!
    Good night Becky! Enjoy that book and the add-ons!

  75. February 13th, 2007 at 8:44 pm
    Nneka said

    Hi Rick :-)

    Happy V-day Cat!

  76. February 13th, 2007 at 8:45 pm
    ME Strauss said

    You are definitely NOT good if you have to throw that in. :)

  77. February 13th, 2007 at 8:45 pm
    Rick Cockrum said

    Ender’s Game is the only one I read in that series. I was more partial to his Alvin Maker books.

    If you like puns, Piers Anthony’s Xanth books are a hoot.

  78. February 13th, 2007 at 8:46 pm
    Robert Hruzek said

    Delaney, I have a client in Clinton (Lyondell Equistar). They tell me it’s been “mama mia” cold there lately. Glad to hear you’re getting a break!

  79. February 13th, 2007 at 8:47 pm
    Meikah Delid said

    Liz, sorry, bad connection today. :( Anyway, let’s continue…hehehe

  80. February 13th, 2007 at 8:47 pm
    cat said

    Hi Char!

    Hi Rick!

    “why” is “why does it seem brain numbingly boring, yet I can’t put it down?”

    And “why don’t I remember it being this slow and tedious?”

    Or … “is it?”

  81. February 13th, 2007 at 8:51 pm
    Delaney Kirk said

    Hi Robert,
    I’m in Florida this year so have missed ALL the snow!

    Has anyone read Ender’s Shadow? I actually liked it better than Ender’s Game.

  82. February 13th, 2007 at 8:54 pm
    Delaney Kirk said

    Hi Char,
    “Blogging makes you smarter.” Love this!

  83. February 13th, 2007 at 8:54 pm
    Rick Cockrum said

    I’ve always felt guilty about it, but I think Hemingway is a great writer and I hate his books. I haven’t picked one up since I got out of high school.

    Nneka, L.E. Modesitt, Jr. is good, especially his Order War books (why do fantasy writers have to have entire series now?). I liked ‘The Fires of Paratime a lot, too.

    In terms of mainstream fiction, I’m partial to Chaim Potok for books and Isaac Bashevis Singer for short stories, though I haven’t read any of the latter in years. I think I’ve got most of Potok’s books.

  84. February 13th, 2007 at 8:54 pm
    ME Strauss said

    You know, Cat, I don’t think I ever read it. I can’t think of any part of what it’s about.

  85. February 13th, 2007 at 8:55 pm
    Nneka said

    Ooh, Ms. Kirk, I’m so jealous!

  86. February 13th, 2007 at 8:57 pm
    Nneka said

    Thanks Rick, I’ll check those 2 out. I’ll do some research and see which one seems more “him”.

  87. February 13th, 2007 at 8:57 pm
    Robert Hruzek said

    Nneka, of all the Star Trek novels (and I haven’t read that many), the one that stands out as the most unusual was How Much For Just the Planet, by John M. Ford. Believe it or not, it’s written in the form of a script for a musical comedy, if you can imagine that!

    I can’t help with any of those three categories, but could heartily recommend any of Peter F. Hamilton’s books mentioned at the beginning of this thread.

    Rick, I’ll have to look at the Xanth novels again. I never picked one up.

  88. February 13th, 2007 at 8:57 pm
    Char said

    Delaney – thanks!!

  89. February 13th, 2007 at 9:00 pm
    Nneka said

    Wow, that sounds cool Robert! It’s musical sci-fi. What a combo!

  90. February 13th, 2007 at 9:02 pm
    Monique Attinger said

    Back for just a moment, and will have to head off.. My husband was unable to get baby to bed, so I’ll have to… (Can’t believe she’s still up!)

    I see Robert is trying to make my head spin in circles with new topics that couldn’t possibly be related to insurance… but, of course, are!

    Hey — I thought I really did a seriously good job on that belly button lint challenge… And crop circles! Inspired!

    Anyhow, I’ll have to see how far I go with this series… and I’ll consider your new challenges, Robert! And if anyone else is interested in challenging me to a topic, just drop by http://www.insuranceguide101.com and read one of my interesting posts, and leave me a comment with a new topic…

    So, nice to see everyone! Hopefully, I’ll be here next week…

    And Nneka — do look up “All we know of love”. A very nice read…

    Ciao! 😉

  91. February 13th, 2007 at 9:03 pm
    Robert Hruzek said

    Delaney, since I finished Children of the Mind (fourth in the Enders Game series), I haven’t had the strength to go back for any more of Card’s books in that series.

    For some reason I thought you were in Iowa… There’s a Drake University in Des Moines.

  92. February 13th, 2007 at 9:04 pm
    Char said

    good night Monique – I hope the little one lets you get a good night’s sleep!

  93. February 13th, 2007 at 9:05 pm
    Nneka said

    Thanks Monique :-)

    I’m signing out myself. It was great chatting with all of you. You were my inspiration for my first fiction post 😉

  94. February 13th, 2007 at 9:06 pm
    Nneka said

    Well kinda anyway.

    Have a great evening!

  95. February 13th, 2007 at 9:09 pm
    Meikah Delid said

    Who’s the author of Ender’s Game, again? I’d like to check him out. :) Anybody here interested in memoirs? I love them!

  96. February 13th, 2007 at 9:09 pm
    Rick Cockrum said

    Good night Monique and Nneka. Fare well.

  97. February 13th, 2007 at 9:10 pm
    Robert Hruzek said

    Goodnight, Nneka, Monique!

  98. February 13th, 2007 at 9:10 pm
    darrenh said

    must think of something to say …

  99. February 13th, 2007 at 9:10 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Good night Monique and Nneka!
    Thanks to both of you for coming! :)

  100. February 13th, 2007 at 9:12 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Darren,
    Start with hello then say something about science fiction! :)

  101. February 13th, 2007 at 9:14 pm
    Robert Hruzek said

    Meikah, the author is Orson Scott Card.

    Darrenh… you just did! :-) Good start!

  102. February 13th, 2007 at 9:14 pm
    darrenh said

    thanks, Liz.

    here goes.


    I know not a thing about science fiction.

  103. February 13th, 2007 at 9:17 pm
    Robert Hruzek said

    Darren, I love your blog concept! What a great way to give to the world of your experiences!

    What’s to know? It’s fiction, with an overlay of technological stuff the background. Simple!

  104. February 13th, 2007 at 9:20 pm
    darrenh said

    … in fact I’m not much of a reader of fiction …but I do cherish my Thomas Wolfe books.

  105. February 13th, 2007 at 9:20 pm
    Delaney Kirk said

    You’re right on both–I teach at Drake and it’s located in Des Moines. But I took off a year and decided to do a visiting professor position at the University of South Florida. This time of year I have to say it was a good decision!

  106. February 13th, 2007 at 9:21 pm
    darrenh said

    robert: I meant more that I haven’t read much, maybe none, so I am not conversant in scifi.

  107. February 13th, 2007 at 9:22 pm
    Joe said

    (read comment 46)
    Sorry for being late my fair maids, but I will rescue you from the dastardly villian KAAHHHAAANNNN.

  108. February 13th, 2007 at 9:22 pm
    Rick Cockrum said

    That’s okay, Darrenh. I talk about things I know nothing about all the time.

    Like Robert said, fiction with technology in the background. I once had fantasies of being a science fiction writer and bought a book by Ben Bova on writing science fiction. His basic advise was to give your character a problem or dilemma and watch them deal with it. Heavily paraphrased, but applicable to all fiction.

  109. February 13th, 2007 at 9:23 pm
    darrenh said

    excellent choice I’d say delaney

  110. February 13th, 2007 at 9:24 pm
    Delaney Kirk said

    I’m teaching a class on Managing Diversity for management students. Next week (Feb 21) I’m doing a module on people with disabilities so am excited to see your blog. Am thinking of showing Murderball in class. Have you seen it? Any other resources/videos/blogs you would recommend?

  111. February 13th, 2007 at 9:25 pm
    darrenh said

    robert: also thanks for the compliment on my blog. I came across blogging right at the time I was looking to do something on this topic. It seemed like a good way to scratch that itch — and cheaper than starting a print publication or self-publishing a book or something like that.

  112. February 13th, 2007 at 9:27 pm
    Delaney Kirk said

    One of my favorite books is “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien.

  113. February 13th, 2007 at 9:32 pm
    darrenh said

    delaney: I have not seen murderball, but I sense it is generally well received in the community of people with disabilities.

    a couple of resources:
    from my blog niche: rollingrains.com, by Scott Rains (a blog). Also see the others on my blog roll

    also http://www.raggededgemagazine.com/, a serious news magazine on people with disabilities

  114. February 13th, 2007 at 9:33 pm
    Robert Hruzek said

    Darren, sorry ’bout the “what’s to know” – I just read it again and it sounded… not good. Rick says it well – at its most basic, good fiction is simply a tale of relationships. The background is what makes the genre.

    Thus Aliens is “Jaws on a spaceship”.

    Delaney, definitely good choice! I once considered a teaching position at a small university in Canada, just north of Minnesota, but couldn’t get past the thought of winter there! I’ll take Houston anytime!

  115. February 13th, 2007 at 9:34 pm
    Meikah Delid said

    Liz, good topic as always. I need to go tho to do some parenting stuff. Thanks everyone! Advance Valentine’s Day! :)

  116. February 13th, 2007 at 9:34 pm
    darrenh said

    And speaking of books delaney, Make Them Go Away is excellent and is a great primer on how people with disabilities — the activists anyway — think about their rights An excellent, eye-opening read I guarantee.

  117. February 13th, 2007 at 9:36 pm
    darrenh said

    david: sounded fine.

    delaney: tell me more about your course.

  118. February 13th, 2007 at 9:36 pm
    Jon Morrow said

    For the diversity class, I would recommend any of the videos of Christopher Reeve talking. You should be able to find lots of clips on YouTube.com.

  119. February 13th, 2007 at 9:37 pm
    Delaney Kirk said

    Thanks for the suggestions. And I would definitely recommend Murderball.

  120. February 13th, 2007 at 9:37 pm
    Robert Hruzek said

    Liz & Co. – this has been great fun, but I’ve got to go. Y’all have a great evening (or morning, as the case may be)!

  121. February 13th, 2007 at 9:38 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Happy Valentine’s Day and Good night!

  122. February 13th, 2007 at 9:38 pm
    darrenh said

    g’nite r.

  123. February 13th, 2007 at 9:38 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Good Night, Robert!

  124. February 13th, 2007 at 9:39 pm
    Becky McCray said

    While I was relaxing, I thought about some other (NON-SF!) fiction I’ve enjoyed. I mean, I like SF, too, but there is a whole world of other categories!

    Some gems that you can find as free e-books at Project Gutenberg include:
    -Sherlock Holmes series – classic mysteries
    -Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman – 1920’s adventures in crime
    -anything by P.G. Wodehouse – great humor
    -horror classics, like Dracula and Frankenstien
    -Edgar Allan Poe’s works
    -Rudyard Kipling will transport you to another land!

    They may not suit your personal taste, but I enjoyed them. :) I put them on my PDA and take them to read when I travel.

  125. February 13th, 2007 at 9:39 pm
    ME Strauss said

    So Darren,
    What kind of fiction do you share with your kids?

  126. February 13th, 2007 at 9:41 pm
    darrenh said

    My teen daughter is jsut discovering reading for pleasure. Thanks AP classes for that.

    My first grade daughter like Junie B. Jones.

  127. February 13th, 2007 at 9:41 pm
    Rick Cockrum said

    Glenda Watson Hyatt, who has CP, is doing a virtual tour for a book she just published, “I’ll Do It Myself”. Wendy Piersoll just had an interview with her.

  128. February 13th, 2007 at 9:43 pm
    Rick Cockrum said

    Good night Meikah, Robert. Take care.

  129. February 13th, 2007 at 9:46 pm
    cat said

    Hi Liz!

    Nneka – Happy V-day – yes!


    “I’ve always felt guilty about it, but I think Hemingway is a great writer and I hate his books.”

    Good, I don’t feel so alone then. There are good spots in it, where I keep reading to see what happens. But the writing? I must be missing something.

    “I can’t think of any part of what it’s about.”

    It’s about the Spanish War. In my books it’s a mostly forgotten war when it comes to wars.

  130. February 13th, 2007 at 9:46 pm
    Delaney Kirk said

    It’s for senior management majors. Tomorrow we are finishing our discussion on race diversity. We watched a video by Jane Elliott and then listened to an interview of her and others on race and class at: http://www.radioopensource.org
    In addition to watching Murderball next week, I’m putting together a number of hands on activities such as sitting in a wheelchair and going down to the restroom and back (should be an eye opener!)

  131. February 13th, 2007 at 9:48 pm
    Joe said

    Sorry, I spent my night a workin
    In commenting tonight I sure was shurkin

    Maybe if I read a good book before bed
    The conversation won’t go over my head

    I’ll be ready next week with something to say
    Even if I have to plan all the day

    So forgive my inattention tonight
    Work comes first, the dollars are tight.

    Berma Shave

    Nite Liz
    Nite All

  132. February 13th, 2007 at 9:48 pm
    darrenh said

    rick, thanks for the links. I’ll be checking them out

  133. February 13th, 2007 at 9:48 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Sorry, Jon,
    I’m going to forward your comment to Delaney make sure she sees it. I didn’t realize you were stuck waiting in moderation.

    Jon, if you’re still here meet Darren and everyone. Darren and everyone meet Jon.

  134. February 13th, 2007 at 9:52 pm
    darrenh said

    hello jon.

    Delnaey: Always nice to see disabilities included in discussion of diversity. those sound like good hands on activities.

  135. February 13th, 2007 at 9:53 pm
    Sheila at Family Travel said

    Hi all! I keep missing these so made sure to cram in here tonight even though I haven’t read much fiction lately, other than Harry Potter which my daughter, husband and I fight over; each trying to sneak into the bathroom and read when the new one comes out. Also liked “Deep End of the Ocean.”

    In high school and college I loved to eat up an entire series: James Bond, anything by Leon Uris, anything by Herman Wouk (“Winds of War” & “War & Remembrance” especially) all the VI Warshawski and Sue Grafton detective novels, all the Patricia Cornwell books.

    Once I like an author, I want to read everything they’ve ever written.

  136. February 13th, 2007 at 9:54 pm
    Rick Cockrum said

    Hello Jon!

  137. February 13th, 2007 at 9:55 pm
    GP said

    I was just talking about this subject (which subject by this time?) :) with a horse riding bud.

    My favorite is the mystery series by Sue Grafton each title a letter for the alphabet A is for Alibi, B is for Burglar, etc. The fictional detective Kinsey Millhone is someone I relate to in so many ways… I always eagerly anticipate the next in the series.

    GP in Montana where a blue sky sunshine day made for a great ride in 8 inches of snow…. Ah, delicious.

  138. February 13th, 2007 at 9:55 pm
    Rick Cockrum said

    And, like Joe, I must be on the way. Thank you for a very good evening Liz, and everyone else. Take care.

  139. February 13th, 2007 at 9:56 pm
    Delaney Kirk said

    Hi Liz and Jon,
    Thanks for the recommendation of Christopher Reeve videos. I hadn’t thought of that but it’s an excellent idea. Will check YouTube.

  140. February 13th, 2007 at 9:56 pm
    Delaney Kirk said

    Hi Liz and Jon,
    Thanks for the recommendation of Christopher Reeve videos. I hadn’t thought of that but it’s an excellent idea. Will check YouTube.

  141. February 13th, 2007 at 9:56 pm
    Char said

    Good night all.

  142. February 13th, 2007 at 9:57 pm
    darrenh said

    g’nite rick

  143. February 13th, 2007 at 9:57 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Sheila!
    Hi GP!

  144. February 13th, 2007 at 9:58 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Good Night, Joe
    sleepy swell

  145. February 13th, 2007 at 9:59 pm
    Delaney Kirk said

    Darren and Jon: would love to have you write something directly for my students to read. We have a class blog. Is this something that you would be interested in? Your chance to talk to 40 college students who will be managers this time next year and who need to hear about how to be good managers to ALL employees and applicants.

  146. February 13th, 2007 at 9:59 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Good night, Rick,
    No reading with a flashlight under the covers. :)

  147. February 13th, 2007 at 9:59 pm
    darrenh said

    g’nite char

  148. February 13th, 2007 at 10:01 pm
    darrenh said

    delaney: I could do that. let me know how. email is at my blog, if you need that.

  149. February 13th, 2007 at 10:03 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Good Night,Char!
    Thanks for being here and reminding me of . . . If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. :)

  150. February 13th, 2007 at 10:05 pm
    Delaney Kirk said

    I’ll email you and give you the password to the blog so you can see what we are doing. I post a question for them to respond to each week (all 40 students are to comment). Perhaps you could develop the question this time? I’ll contact you in the next day or so.

  151. February 13th, 2007 at 10:08 pm
    darrenh said

    Look forward to it, Delaney.

  152. February 13th, 2007 at 10:10 pm
    darrenh said

    I have to check out for a while. Time to play Taxi. But I’ll check back to see if things are still going when I return. Bye, for now.

  153. February 13th, 2007 at 10:13 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Bye Darren.
    Drive safe and safe home again. :)

  154. February 13th, 2007 at 10:19 pm
    Delaney Kirk said

    I have to teach two classes that are three hours each tomorrow so I’m off too. Bye Liz. You always know how to throw a party!
    Maybe next time we can have those Klondike bars again?

  155. February 13th, 2007 at 10:23 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Sure Delaney!
    You can have anything you like. You know that the sidebar has every snack. :)

    Good luck with your classes. Sleep well :)

  156. February 13th, 2007 at 10:33 pm
    Vincent said

    Did I miss Mic Night? I’m on Australian time and it’s Wednesday afternoon. Just wanted to chip in with Iain Banks and books such as Player of Games and Consider Plebas for mature thought provoking science fiction. He’s the one author whose new books I have to read. I am also partial to Charles Dickens for the eccentric characters and period settings (though he probably thought some of his books were quite modern).

    We recently gave a gift to a friend of the Douglas Adams book Last Chance to See. Her response was “how did you know I would love that book!” That’s because everyone who reads it loves that book.

  157. February 13th, 2007 at 10:37 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Vincent,
    It’s a little quiet, but nah, I’m still here. C’mon and tell me what’s up.

  158. February 13th, 2007 at 10:38 pm
    HART (1-800-HART) said

    Hi Liz. How’s it going, eh? Am I too late?

    I think I stopped reading when I hit university level courses .. and definately since 1999 after I stopped reading tech manuals and the like. I actually tell people I’m illiterate so they won’t try to recommend books for me to read. It’s just that there’s enough fiction going on in my life lately, and what I don’t get I can see on TV or in my thoughts.

    So, although I probably can’t contribute towards any fiction writing .. i would be interested in hearing about the adventures of Basil .. the code writing Donkey. Where’s he at lately?

  159. February 13th, 2007 at 10:39 pm
    ME Strauss said

    I didn’t hear about “Last Chance to See.” I’m going to have to pay attention to books more. I’ve been so lucky these last few years. So many people I know buy best sellers and give them to me. I don’t have to shop for books anymore. It’s like I’m a magnet — they just come to me. :)

  160. February 13th, 2007 at 10:42 pm
    darrenh said

    back from taxi duty. It’s snowy out there in southern Wisconsin.

  161. February 13th, 2007 at 10:43 pm
    HART (1-800-HART) said

    Speaking of Douglas Adams .. I seem to have 28 BBC episodes of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Don’t Panic) // Good listening .. about 350MB I guess.

  162. February 13th, 2007 at 10:48 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hi HART!!
    Ben’s working on the secret. He said to tell everyone Hi!

    Meanwhile Basil is being held captive . . . by some guy in a country that starts with a B, who apparently hasn’t forwarded him on.

  163. February 13th, 2007 at 10:49 pm
    HART (1-800-HART) said

    Snowy.. does that mean taxi business is good? :)

    Here in Winnipeg, Manitoba we’re in an arctic cold front. For the past 12 days it’s been below -32c at night with windchills about -40c or colder. Right now, it’s only -25c and two days left before we get back to normal temps… (-15c etc)

  164. February 13th, 2007 at 10:51 pm
    ME Strauss said

    I knew there was a reason that I didn’t live in Winnipeg. I think you just described it. :)

  165. February 13th, 2007 at 10:51 pm
    HART (1-800-HART) said

    utoh … that doesn’t sound too good. I hope Basil doesn’t lose .. his head or anything.. Had any kidnapping demands been received? (poor Basil)

  166. February 13th, 2007 at 10:56 pm
    ME Strauss said

    No ransom notes, yet. No proof of life. No calls from Russell Crowe to go after him.

  167. February 13th, 2007 at 10:58 pm
    darrenh said

    HART — you make us look like wimps. That’s real winter you’re having up there.

  168. February 13th, 2007 at 11:01 pm
    HART (1-800-HART) said

    Well .. I wish that little guy godspeed and all the best safety precautions in getting to his next destination in one piece!

    I was out with a client tonight and had 18 Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings and a few beers. There goes my diet. :) I thought in repetence that (1) first I would make up some words like “repetence” and (2) come visit Successful-blog and see how’s it going, eh?.. So, how’s LIZ tonight?

  169. February 13th, 2007 at 11:05 pm
    HART (1-800-HART) said

    darrenh .. we don’t try to make a point to the world, but .. heck – that’s why they call us “Winterpeg” … we have to live up to is sometimes .. :) We do get a lot of sun though. Sunny Manitoba!

    (and it’s cheap to live here! .. I’d say more, but first I have to procure some salary from the Tourist department here in Manitoba)

  170. February 13th, 2007 at 11:06 pm
    darrenh said

    really, mr. chamber of commerce.

  171. February 13th, 2007 at 11:10 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Liz is well tonight! And now she’s smiling . . . Sunny Manitoba-eh?

  172. February 13th, 2007 at 11:11 pm
    Sheila at Family Travel said

    Sorry to be a “one comment wonder” but must bug out and get some sleep. Bye!

  173. February 13th, 2007 at 11:14 pm
    darrenh said

    g’nite shelia.

  174. February 13th, 2007 at 11:15 pm
    Vincent said

    Last Chance to See by the late Douglas Adams is at Amazon and rates 4 1/2 stars from 169 customer reviews.
    “The BBC asked this team to film some of the most endangered animal species throughout the world. Adams has recorded their adventures seeking the komodo dragon, northern white rhinoceros, mountain gorilla, kakapo, baiji dolphin, and the rodrigues fruit bat. … He moves rapidly from informal, laugh-out-loud descriptions of his travels to serious pleas for awareness and conservation of all animals.”

  175. February 13th, 2007 at 11:21 pm
    HART (1-800-HART) said

    It’s true .. Manitoba is known for its sunnyness and it’s Winterpeggyness. It’s a curse and a blessing. Even Wikipedia acknowledges that …

    Manitoba is one of the sunniest places in Canada and North America.

  176. February 13th, 2007 at 11:23 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Good Night, Sheila,
    No worries. Always great to see you!

  177. February 13th, 2007 at 11:24 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Thanks for bringing along that review. I’m going to have to break down and find that book. It sounds like an absolute keeper. :)

  178. February 13th, 2007 at 11:35 pm
    ME Strauss said

    looking like it’s time for me to go to bed too. Sweet, sweet dreams everybody!

  179. February 13th, 2007 at 11:36 pm
    darrenh said

    g’nite. I should turn in too before my forehead hits the keyboard.

  180. February 13th, 2007 at 11:37 pm
    HART (1-800-HART) said

    Yes // a good time for that // G’nite Liz .. and me too! Zzzzz…. ~wave

  181. February 13th, 2007 at 11:41 pm
    cat said

    Sweet dreams to you too Liz!

    And to all of you, good night :-)

  182. February 14th, 2007 at 5:52 am
    Sasha said

    Hi Liz! I know I’m a bit late but I wanted to chime in! Heehee.

    My favourite book of all time is Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen! I must have read it more than 5 times! LOL.

    I’m quite frustrated lately since I haven’t had the time to really focus on reading but I’ve started on several books (bad habit, I know. hahaha)Utopia, Thomas More; Sophie’s World, Jostein Gaarder; Competitive Strategy, Michael E. Porter; The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell

    When it comes to books, er, I’m someone who’d join in the conversation. Hehe. I have a goal now — to read a minimum of 500 books (really worthwhile books) before I die. I’m keeping tabs here — http://www.the-parody.com/500-books/ :)

  183. February 14th, 2007 at 5:54 am
    Dave Starr said

    Better late than never. Can’t let a mention of fiction go by without casting a vote for my all time favorite author, Nevil Shute. He died some years ago so many have never heard of him, and worse yet many who have only knew him from a book frequently assigned in school .. On The beach .. perhaps his most depressing and scary. But he wrote at least 24 other novels and Valentines Day is especially appropriate to think of him since many of his stories are excellent, off-beat love stories with mostly an airplane or nautical theme … try The Rainbow and The Rose … and love to all on this special day.

  184. February 14th, 2007 at 12:24 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Sasha!
    There’s not such as late to Open Comment Night! I’m delighted that you stopped by. :)

    I take two hours every day to read a book. I think it’s more important than reading feeds.

    You sure named some great books. I like Pride and Prejuidice a lot myself. :)

  185. February 14th, 2007 at 12:53 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Dave!
    I don’t know Nevil . . . now you’ve got me curious. I love great fiction!

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