Author Archives: Mark R. Kelly

Asimov, I, ROBOT

(The photo shows a 1969-era Science Fiction Book Club edition of a Doubleday hardcover, with the jacket copy claiming the book is “Long out of print and in great demand”; a 1984 mass market paperback from Del Rey; and the … Continue reading

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Link and Comment: Krugman on Terrorism

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman regularly criticizes President Trump and the entire Republican party for engaging in fantasy economics– the kind of economics, which actually has never worked, that says cutting taxes on the wealthy will spur business and … Continue reading

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Asimov, THE CURRENTS OF SPACE

[draft] The third of Asimov’s “Galactic Empire” novels, first published in 1952, opens with a fish out of water situation a bit like that in PEBBLE IN THE SKY. But first there is a prolog as the book opens with … Continue reading

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Asimov, THE STARS, LIKE DUST

This second of Asimov’s three “Galactic Empire” novels is the least interesting of the three, despite the poetic (and gratuitous) title. It’s entirely about circumstance, with no specific science fictional content at all. Presumably this is an example of Asimov … Continue reading

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Asimov: PEBBLE IN THE SKY

Isaac Asimov began publishing stories in magazines in 1939, but his first book wasn’t released until 1950, and that first book was his first proper novel, PEBBLE IN THE SKY. By 1950 however he had published in the magazines all … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Sapiens; Leaving Religion; Conspiracy Theories; Weather Forecasting

1. From yesterday’s NYT Book Review. Chuck Klosterman likes Harari: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/18/books/review/chuck-klosterman-likes-writers-who-arent-self-absorbed-sociopaths.html What’s the last great book you read? I picked up “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind,” by Yuval Noah Harari. I thought: “This will probably be O.K. I’ll probably … Continue reading

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Apollo 11

Like most others of my generation, I remember watching the Apollo 11 moon landing in grainy footage on a black & white TV in July 1969. I was not quite 14, and was living with my family in Glen Ellyn, … Continue reading

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Asimov, Six Lucky Starr novels

In the 1950s Isaac Asimov wrote six short science fiction novels for the ‘juvenile’ market, what today we would call ‘young adult.’ These were: DAVID STARR, SPACE RANGER (1952) LUCKY STARR AND THE PIRATES OF THE ASTEROIDS (1953) LUCKY STARR … Continue reading

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Film Notes: Mulholland Drive

Over the past couple nights we re-watched one of my favorite movies of all time — Mulholland Drive (stylized, in Wikipedia’s take, Mulholland Dr.). I like it for its depiction of ’70s era Hollywood, and especially for Angelo Badalamenti’s score … Continue reading

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Ron, Ken, Howard

Following up on the end of the previous post… Ron Hardcastle died in 2014. He was only 12 years older than me, but since I was in my mid-20s when I met him, he was half again my age, and … Continue reading

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