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Posts tagged ‘science fiction’

In Honour of Bradbury

Author Ray Bradbury, photographed with a black cat.

Image via The Alien Next Door.

The news has just traveled into my corner of the blogosphere: Ray Bradbury has died. I have to admit, I wasn’t entirely sure before this whether he was still living. But it hardly matters, because his writing is undying.

Ray Bradbury believed that whether we burned books didn’t matter; if we failed to read and share them, we might as well be burning them. In tribute to him, science-fiction fans all over the Internet are making plans to return to his short fiction, essays, novels, and poetry as a fitting farewell tribute. That’s not a bad idea. After all, the man himself would have wanted to see his words outlive him, encouraging people to think.

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Under the Dome

Cover art for "Under the Dome" by Stephen King

Image courtesy of FantasticFiction.co.uk.

Title: Under the Dome

Author: Stephen King

Year of Publication: 2009

Genre Keywords: environment, horror, politics, science fiction, survival, suspense.

Plot Summary: Like many Stephen King novels, this story follows a large cast of characters trapped in an unlikely situation. The central figure in this story is Dale Barbara – “Barbie” to his friends – an ex-military drifter on his way out of Chester’s Mill when a mysterious force field descends upon the small Maine town. Nobody inside the Dome can get out; no one on the outside can get in; and no one can figure out how to make the Dome go away. That’s terrifying enough, but the real problem for Chester’s Mill is the town’s corrupt Second Selectman, Big Jim Rennie, who is trying to manipulate the crisis into an opportunity to increase his own power at any cost.

Who’ll Love It: Anybody fascinated by the politics and interpersonal relationships involved in survival situations and major crises. The one faced by the people in Chester’s Mill is political, social, and environmental. As with most Stephen King novels, this one can involve some pretty gruesome mangling of human flesh, so it’s not recommended for anyone who’s squeamish about that sort of thing.

Fun Trivia: This novel features a Barack Obama cameo: a fictionalized memo from the White House to the Chester’s Mill Board of Selectmen, which the President signs “using all three of his names, including the terrorist one in the middle”.

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