Posted by ted @ 1:58 am, March 18th, 2014

Number 5


It told her that I knew a secret about her.

She looked at me solemnly and answered quietly with a tone of hope in her voice, ” you don’t…”

“I do, but it is okay”, I assured her.

She stared silently with her little furrowed brow.
I went on.

“I met a boy. He was hiding behind a low stone wall under a gnarled old tree. As I crept up silently he turned and held a finger to his lips.  When I reached his side he pointed over the wall into the meadow beyond.  In the morning mists I could see the number 5.  He whispered carefully in the lowest of possible voices, ‘Its her favorite number'”.

Her eyebrows shot up in surprise.

“You know!”, and then after a short concerned pause, “What will you do with it?”

I smiled just a little, “Why, buy you 5 tulips in the spring, of course.”

She sat stone faced. “Will you tell?”

“No, of course not, then it wouldn’t be a secret anymore.”

“Oh, well, okay then”, and she allowed the barest trace of a smile to play across her lips.



Posted by ted @ 2:31 pm, July 29th, 2010

Photo by @dino

Faster than, sharper than.

Slower than, softer than.

A statue, a blur.

A cat pounces.

a poem by ObserveTheBanana

The Robots of Dawn by Isaac Asimov

Posted by ted @ 9:20 am, June 28th, 2008

I have just finished reading The Robots of Dawn by Isaac Asimov. This is the third book in his robot trilogy and is again a great combination of the science fiction and mystery genres. The main character, Elijah Baley, whom we got to know in the first two books is off into space again to solve another murder mystery, this time to the planet Aurora. Aurora lies somewhere between Earth and Solaris on the sociological spectrum. It combines the lower population density and ample use of robots of Solaris, with the social interactions and personal relationships of earth. The victim is a robot, which makes the crime not technically a murder, but the circumstances are entwined with global and galactic politics. Baley is summoned to duty and given no choice but to accept, and the future of not only his career but of earth itself rests on his success. Baley gets to team up with his old partner R. Daneel Olivaw, and must use every bit of his cleverness to unwrap the mystery. Similar to the last book, The Naked Sun, he is presented with only one suspect who could have committed the crime, and the assertion that that suspect could not have committed the crime. He has been conditioning himself to face the Outside and is not as crippled by his agoraphobia, but faces a new personal challenge when faced with his first experience with being outside during a thunderstorm.
When I started this series I commented on the apparent differences between Asimov and Heinlein’s writing style, but I found this book to actually be much more similar to Heinlein’s style than either of the other two books in the series had been. The Robots of Dawn was actually written 30 some years after The Naked Sun and it is apparent that Asimov’s style changed over that time. The text is full of long intricate conversations between sharp individuals engaging in a kind verbal fencing to outmaneuver each other, which is a style I had previously associated more with Heinlein. While the intriguing mystery held my attention, the long-winded dialog did get a little tiresome at points. Overall, I am very glad I finally got around to reading this classic trilogy and get to know Elijah Baley and the esteemed R. Daneel Olivaw.

Space Casey by Christiana Ellis

Posted by ted @ 3:40 pm, June 21st, 2008

Last summer while looking for something to occupy my mind on long bike rides I discovered the world of science fiction podcasts. I listened to a lot of great stories from Escapepod, and found a promo for Nina Kimerbly the Merciless by Christiana Ellis, which I also enjoyed quite a bit. Unfortunately as the riding season ended I found it really just didn’t work to listen to podcasts around the house, so I got away from them for a while. This summer, as I started riding again, I went back to Escapepod to see what I could find and this time I came a across a promo for another Christiana Ellis project, Space Casey. Like Nina Kimberly, it features an irreverent heroine out against the world (or worlds in this case). This tag line is “Some heroines will steal your heart… This one will steal your wallet.” They lose no opportunity to poke fun at romantic cliches of action stories as we follow Casey on her misadventures. I have only listened to 3 of the 10 episodes so far, but it is off to a great start as Casey discovers her choice of space ships to steal may bring her more trouble than she bargained for. If you like science fiction with humor and strong female characters, check out Space Casey, or for a similar female character set in more medieval times (with excellent dragons), check out Nina Kimerbly the Merciless, or for a great variety of audio science fiction check out Escapepod.

Escape Pod Science Fiction Podcast Magazine

Posted by ted @ 4:18 pm, July 20th, 2007

I am somewhat new to the world of podcast fiction, but was looking for something to occupy my attention on long bike rides and came across the excellent Escape Pod Science Fiction podcast magazine at . Today I enjoyed listening to the rather humorous story “Conversations With and About My Electric Toothbrush” and I look forward to discovering more good treasures on their site. I also really like that each entry includes a rating like movies and video games so I know which ones I can share with B, who really enjoyed todays G rated story of the talking electric toothbrush.