Monthly Archives: April 2014

Can I predict the future?

Erm…well, no…not exactly

But I did smile to myself when a friend sent me this link yesterday – everything seemed a little familiar…

Space arks to be our future in space…?

1952 Space Station Concept

1952 Space Station Concept

In my mind, Space Station Hope was of the ‘spinning wheel’ variety (look it up on Wikipedia, they have some great images). On Hope the inner part of the circle forms the ‘ground’ drawing you down, just as gravity does on Earth; with the mirrored ceiling/sky being on the outside edge of the circle (if you believe what you’re told – not everyone does, you know?)

The idea with this type of space station is, that at a given size, the rotating wheel generates a gravitational field, similar to Earth allowing you to walk, instead of float around. The design is only mentioned a couple of times in the first two books: when Cassie gets out of the Family Quarter and genuinely sees the outside view of the stars for the first time through the crystal ceiling of the ‘wheel’ structure; Balik also mentions it in a ‘blink and you’ll miss it moment’ in RMT, when he talks about his calculations on the size of the station having to be so much larger than they are told it is, for the formulas generating a gravitational field to work. The conflict between the calculation showing the station having to be much larger than they are told, with the information that the Family Quarter is the biggest of the three inhabited zones, is one of Balik’s big clues that all is not well in the state of Hope ūüôā

What do you think about this – we will end up living in space in the next 100 years?

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The End of the Challenge

You may have noticed that my 30-day challenge ended abruptly towards the end of March. I’d been doing pretty well and managed to post most days once I got into the swing of things, but then one day passed, and then another – now here we are, nearly thirty days later and I’ve not finished the full challenge – there are a grand total of ten topics I’ve not posted on. They are all topics that I struggled to come up with an answer for and so after surprising myself with some answers on the earlier days, I’ve really found myself stumped with these (and odd couple are ones that are¬†quite similar to other days in the challenge as well, so all I could come up with were duplicates of those).

Overall, I really enjoyed doing the parts of the challenge I managed. When you spend your free time (which is limited to begin with) balancing your personal writing with reading for enjoyment, it doesn’t leave much space for blogging on the reading you’ve enjoyed…for once it was nice to think about books completely as a reader, putting the writer in a corner with a cup of tea. I’ve also read three books in the last few weeks, which tells me that going through the challenge gave me back a bit of my reading mojo.

If you’re at all interested in the topics I didn’t cover, you can check them out below, with my shorthand answers…

DAY 2. –¬†Favorite¬†side character – This is probably Hermione, there weren’t many characters that jumped right out at me when I tried to come up with something for this post.

DAY 9. –¬†Most overrated book – I wasn’t sure I could answer this, as I haven’t actually read the whole book when I’ve not enjoyed them (e.g. Catch 22, Fifty Shades – although the first could probably do with a second try). Other ‘overrated’ books I’ve covered elsewhere, such as Catcher in the Rye and Ulysses. I suppose Lady Chatterly’s Lover might fit into this category – I was expecting something really fantastic and maybe even romantic when I read it. By the end of it, my overwhelming feeling was…meh (Although – I still find it difficult when I meet anyone called John Thomas).

DAY 10. –¬†A book you thought you wouldn‚Äôt like but ended up loving – This was a tough one for me. I suppose maybe The Kite Runner was one I was unsure of when I started it, but only very loosely. In general if I think I won’t like something, I don’t bother reading it.

DAY 15. –¬†A character who you can relate to the most – I find relating to characters hard. I might pick out odd bits and pieces, but a whole character that feels like me in lots of ways…I’m not so sure. If anything, it would be the characters I’ve written myself, because they must have some parts of me in them.

DAY 19. –¬†A favourite author – we’d covered lots of authors I love in different posts in the challenge already: Khaled Hosseini, J K Rowling, Roald Dahl, Michael Crichton…don’t you always find it really hard to pick one author whenever you’re asked these questions?

DAY 20. –¬†Favorite childhood book – This would be the¬†Matilda answer for me probably, which I’d already covered on another post. I had a dog-eared copy of Beatrix Potter’s Two Bad Mice, which I read over and over again – it was one of the only Potter books I had, whereas now, you can get them all cheaply and easily, that you wouldn’t necessarily go over and over the same book. There was a Joan Aitken book which sticks out in my memory, that I remember reading and then scouring the library for over and over again, but never finding it after that first time – but that would be a ‘favourite’ more for my¬†memory of me wanting to read it again, rather than remembering what the story was about. In the end, my answer would be: “anything by Roald Dahl,” especially Charlie, George and the revolting rhymes.

DAY 22. –¬†Least favourite plot device¬†employed by way too many books you actually‚Ä® enjoyed otherwise – Maybe I don’t read enough to come across the same thing over and over again. Love triangles have been ‘popular’ of late, but as I’ve only read a few of the series containing them, it’s not been too bad. Negative b/g relationships have also run through quite a few YA series I’ve come across – not particularly worried about those either, not enough to ruin the book at any rate. My pet hate tends to be illogical decisions and unrealistic behaviour (usually from bland heroines) –¬†The Goddess Test¬†was one that I didn’t enjoy for these reasons. (Review here).

DAY 25. –¬†The most surprising plot twist or ending – maybe¬†The Good German, I remember that making me go ‘ooh’ at the end, when everything came out. Or the one in¬†Mocking Jay¬†which made me cry, I definitely was not expecting¬†that (it must be the closet romantic in me that hoped for a happy ever after, following Peeta’s resuce).

DAY 29. –¬†A book you hated – I’d already covered the ones I really don’t like in other posts, but to be able to talk about ‘hating’ a book…I’m not sure I feel¬†that¬†strongly about anything I’ve read. I don’t like reviews where people go on about being ‘tortured’ by a book – we’re not forced to read anything, if it’s not for you, close it up and move on, it’s not like there’s nothing else to read.

DAY 30. –¬†Book you couldn‚Äôt put down¬†–¬†The Hunger Games would fit this: I remember staying up until a ridiculous hour to get through to the end. There was also Easy, by Tamara Webber, which I read in a single sitting, a rare thing for me these days – it was a straight-forward, engaging book with great characters and a fast-paced plot. The last HP book – Deathly Hallows – was another I read non-stop for a couple of days – cooking whilst trying to read a big, heavy hardback is not to be recommended (if you’re a muggle).

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