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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Killing Titan - Greg Bear

Sunlight glints off of Titan's northern seas this near-infrared, color mosaic from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. Credits: NASA/JPL/Univ. Arizona/Univ. Idaho
Killing Titan is book 2 of a Science Fiction adventure trilogy by Greg Bear, but I didn't figure that out until I got to the end and they start telling me about book 3. There oughta be a law that requires bookstores to keep all volumes of a series on the shelf so you can see what you are getting into, or more importantly, so you can start at the beginning. Whatever.
    There were some very good pieces in this book, but the overall tone of gloom, despair and willful ignorance was a bit much. Our 'hero' has some issues and he spends an inordinate amount of time obsessing about them.
    The giant machines in space and on, or in, Titan are good, as is the mysterious quantum-something space drive that takes them from Mars to Titan in a matter of days. (Cassini took years). We also have machines that grow from 'seeds' and/or finish constructing themselves out of whatever material is at hand. There are some mental shenanigans that seem to be an essential part of space adventures these days. I'm pretty sure that's never gonna happen, but then man was never going to fly either, so what do I know?
    The best part is diving into the liquid methane oceans on Titan. That was pretty cool. NASA is thinking about it.


Titan Submarine: Exploring the Depths of Kraken Mare

You can buy a copy from Amazon for $12. I paid $15 for the one I purchased at Branes & Noble  in Twin Falls, Idaho. You can also buy a copy from Amazon for $80. What's up with that? Who would pay $80 for a $12 book? I've run into out-of-line prices before on Amazon and I still don't have any idea what's going on.

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