okay, i’m highly skeptical…

…but wouldn’t this be cool, if it were true?

Such cute little dotties!

*************************
One of the books I’m currently reading is Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle (the other is The Android’s Dream by John Scalzi – good book, as usual – go buy it). I recently finished – after about a billion days – Space by James A. Michener.

(A little background about my relationship with these authors first: the first “hard science” SF book I’d ever read was The Mote in God’s Eye by Niven and Pournelle and I fell in love with it, thereby cementing forever the certainty that I would read anything by Niven or Pournelle, but especially their collaborative efforts.

As for Michener, I’d never been interested in reading his stuff, as I forever associated his name with epic TV miniseries, the like of which tended to not appeal to me. But I picked up Space from the free book box in front of the bookstore by my old apartment and was drawn into it by its obvious historical accuracy – I learned more about the space program from that book than anything I’d ever read. I still may not read Michener on a regular basis [sometimes I found his characters not well-delineated], but at least now I know if he’s written about a subject that interests me, I won’t be disappointed.)

Both Space and Lucifer’s Hammer feature scenes that take place at JPL. I have to admit that it’s fun to envision the buildings in which the scenes take place. I’ve never worked anywhere that was written about in this fashion. My dorky, fame-challenged mind is inordinately jazzed by this.

But it’s also a bit disconcerting. Because Lucifer’s Hammer is about a comet that passes extremely close to Earth, with huge bits of it hitting our pretty blue marble (that’s not a spoiler – it’s on the back cover). In one of the scenes the earthquakes that are generated by the impact affects JPL. And the building in which I work is mentioned as being destroyed. It definitely hit way too close to home.

At least I don’t live on the Eastern Seaboard, which is completely obliterated…


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