Hello, my name is Odd and I’m a bibliophile

I recently bought the 25th anniversary edition of David Gemmel’s masterpiece Legend (and, being the raging geek that I am, bought one for my gorgeous girlfriend so that she has to read it too ^^), and it got my thinking on my reading habits.

I’m not a huge fan of non-fiction (besides textbooks, i don’t touch it) or even real world fiction, my textual consumption consists entirely of Heroic Fantasy and Science Fiction… and some people have a problem with that. It would never have crossed my mind that some would find my reading habits frivolous and wasteful, but I spend a fair amount of time reading in coffee shops and I’m often randomly accosted (usually by business types) asking why I’m wasting me time reading whichever novel I happen to be engrossed in.

Usually I just send them politely on their way… they’re much to busy and self important to actually listen to any sort of rational (which begs the question, how do they have time to give me greif?), but occationally I do put down the book, set aside the caffinated ambrosia and try educate the unwashed masses.

I think that Heroic Fantasy and even more so Science Fiction are the most important genres that the combined genius of humanity produces. Heroic Fantasy (the good ones at least) open and expand the mind to a degree that non-fiction and real world fiction just can’t match. It introduces us to ideas, worlds and situations that (while not physically possible in this reality) mirror, exemplify and extrapolate everything in the world around us.

Science Fiction is an even greater necessity for the modern world. Every piece of technology, scientific theory and every gadget that has integrated so seamlessly into our lives were (at very least) influenced by the work of a SciFi writer. They are the true visionaries of our age, and we can only benefit from tapping into their genius.

So, next time you’re in a book store… be expansionist in your thinking: visit the Fantasy/Sci-Fi section… and if you happen to see me in a coffee shop, brain deep in a novel bigger and more complicated than a V2 rocket manual, have a thought before wrenching me back to reality to tell me I’m wasting my time.

In the News:

Europe’s LHC To Run At Half-Energy Through 2011 – The LHC is still a long way from full operation.

Dune Remake Could Mean 3D Sandworms – Hope they do a good job on this one, it’s one of the greatest Sci-Fi series ever written.

Patient presumed vegetative communicates via brain scan: study – I can think of nothing scarier than being stuck in my own head with no way to communicate… thankfully, science is making progress.

Stanford’s robotic Audi to brave Pikes Peak without a driver (w/ Video) – Self driving cars are getting closer and closer

Carbon Based Chips May One Day Replace Silicon Transistors – A new technology that could keep Moore’s Law going.

Hello Robotnaut: Nasa, GM introduce latest humanoid robot – NASA joining the race with this cool new robot.

Artificial intelligence: Can AI crack the conundrum of consciousness? – a great article on AI, how it’s evolving and how it can tell us about ourselves.

Virus-Detecting “Lab On a Chip” Developed At BYU – great medical breakthroughs with nano-tech

Google Shooting For Smartphone Universal Translator – totally SciFi technology from my favorite evil corporation.

New Material Transforms Car Bodies Into Batteries – a new meta-material that could change the automotive industry and go a long way to making all our lives the little bit greener.

And there you have it, another week of looking into the excuse I call a mind. ^^ hope you enjoyed it.

-Odd

“Never violate a woman, nor harm a child. Do not lie, cheat or steal. These things are for lesser men. Protect the weak against the evil strong. And never allow thoughts of gain to lead you into the pursuit of evil. Never back away from an enemy. Either fight or surrender. It is not enough to say I will not beevil. Evil must be fought wherever it is found.” – The Iron Code of Druss

 

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