Sady Doyle writes a fascinating satirical take on an alternative series to Harry Potter that instead focused on Hermione as the main character. What I find most interesting is just how successfully it provides a strong feminist critique of the whole Harry Potter series. I have read much praise and criticism for J. K. Rowling’s acclaimed series, and yet somehow I think that what Ms. Doyle does here is one of the most effect. What is more, is that that satire does not just prod at the series and the author, but also goes after the audience and its demands and desires. Entirely worth the read and consideration. Our stories are of incredible value and importance to our culture and history, but how have our stories kept us trapped in ways of thinking? I think this piece challenges us to consider that.
So yeah, this October is the 40th anniversary of the publicaton of Larry Niven’s great science fiction nove3l “Ringworld.” I learned this by reading this Tor.com blog post. I won’t repeat everything that was said there because I figure that if you are visiting a book blog like mine here, then there is a pretty good bet that you can read yourself.
I first read “Ringworld” about a year ago and absolutely adored it. “Ringworld” was the first, and to date only, novel I had read by Larry Niven, though I was familiar with several of his works and contributions to science fiction. Besides being just an enjoyable read, I think the thing that really got me more than anything about “Ringworld” was the sheer vastness of the titular structure. It contains the surfce area of three million Earths. It is almost unfathomable, and yet Mr. Niven handles the vastness well and believably (another science fiction novel that does a lot with vasness of size, though on a significanly smaller magnitude than “Ringworld” is Arthur C. Clarke’s “Rendezvous With Rama“).
I highly recommend “Ringworld” to anybody who enjoys some good science fiction. Personally I would rank it up there with Frank Herberts “Dune,” Arthur C. Clarke’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” and Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” as one of the best science fiction novels I have ever read (and I have read a ton). Check it out and enjoy!