Sunday, June 06, 2004

Recommended Reading

I first bought Furious Gulf by Gregory Benford not long after it came out in '94. I was in 8th grade at the time and never waded too far into it then. I was intrigued by the idea of hard science fiction, and Furious Gulf certainly had a lot of other goodies to its credit, but the descriptions of astronomy and physics killed my interest at the time. It's not that I couldn't have waded through them, but I didn't have the urge for my pleasure reading to take on the tone of a science lecture. So I had a short attention span in 8th grade. Sue me.

I picked it up again yestertoday since I had to proctor an LSAT practice test, and I realize now the science is broken down very nicely, easily enough for the curious layman to grasp. The story comes alive as well, and Benford has an unusually imaginative mind for interesting sci-fi details apart from his exigeses on astrophysics.

If you have any interest in the genre, you could do a lot worse than reading this book.

Note: Furious GUlf is actually the fifth book in a series of six. I just happened to buy FG first. You don't have to read the other books to understand what's going on in this one; Benford does a good job of orienting you and giving whatever backstory is needed.