BOOKS: Anastasia, by Vladimir Megré

anastasia's flying saucer

Outlining alternate ways to raise children, keep bees, grow crops, and build a spaceship.


In search of a method of how to extract a valuable nut oil found in the Russian taiga, the author comes upon a young beautiful forest recluse named Anastasia. She has been living there alone (excepting visits from her grandfather and great-grandfather) since she was a child, because her parents’ brains exploded when they got too close to a tree.(pg 125) The story is presented as a true account, and the series (The Ringing Cedars of Russia) has apparently sold millions of copies and given rise to a religious movement.

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BOOKS: Red Mars, by Kim Stanley Robinson

I’d been looking forward to reading this book for years — for decades. All I knew was that there were three books: Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars, and that it was about the long term colonization and terraforming of the red planet.

It wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, but it did not disappoint.

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Gentle Ways to be Encouraged to Pay your Library Fine


I was back in Vancouver, and making my rounds through the libraries to snatch up books I’d put on hold while I was away. It was going pretty well — #1 on the list was The Vital Question in preparation for a book club meeting I had in a few days — but it was the hard cover (heavy and bulky). I managed to find the soft cover at another branch, and realized that each of these copies had one of my bookmarks. I’d taken out both of these books before.

I returned the hard cover, and held onto the soft cover — I hadn’t actually realized I’d lost that bookmark, but was glad to have it again. Later, I would meet the author and have the library copy signed, and later still I would fall asleep on the bus and again lose this bookmark that I was so very fond of.

But that’s not what this story is about.

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Robot Design Considerations in 1957, Japan

[Astro Boy - "Here you go with some more energy!"]

This gem of a panel is from the story Ghost Manufacturing Machine in Astro Boy Omnibus 2 by Osamu Tezuka; pg 91, panel 2 (first published in a 1957 supplement edition of Shonen magazine).  This was one of only two English books in my hostel’s library.  The other was War and Peace.  It did not prove to be a very difficult decision (and I’m sure, for this, I will be judged).

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Fuck the Olympics. Enter: The Futility Games

Upon brooding on the subject of nuclear proliferation, I soon found myself musing on the lameness of the Winter Olympics. . .  and a superior alternative. 

(A solution to the threat of impending armageddon, however, did not present itself)

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