Shoaff Park DGC
Here's where I spout off about various media instantiations. If you're looking for detailed
discussions of how the lighting in the 47th minute foreshadowed the climax or what the symbolism
of the peach sorbet was, I'm sorry to disappoint you. It's pretty much just whether I liked it or
not, and why.
- Pokemon 3. If you understand and can cope with the Pokemon franchise,
let your kids drag you to this one; it's not unwatchable. If the mere sight of Pikachu elicits
a seizure, then bribe a parent of the aforementioned type to take your kids along with their
kids. If you're an adult without children, and you're even contemplating watching
this movie, get help.
- Titan, by Stephen Baxter. [Spoiler alert] Y'ever had a book that's just tooling along, perfectly enjoyable, when
BAM something happens that's so stupid that it wrecks everything and you don't even want
to read any farther? Well, that's what happens here. In the wake of a 2004 Shuttle crash, an
about-to-be-eviscerated NASA manages to cobble together one last grand manned mission--to the Saturine
moon of Titan. This is one SF book that got the science right, but the politics horribly, horribly
wrong. Sure, political infighting is bound to happen--indeed, I'd be pissed for an entirely different
reason if there weren't any at all. But [big spoiler here--last chance] I absolutely cannot
suspend my disbelief to the point necessary to accept a rogue Air Force faction trying to stop the Titan
mission by shooting down a (manned) Shuttle with an ASAT mounted under an X-15! Maybe I'll write something
different when I've finished the book--if I finish it. Update 11 Apr 01: OK, I
cooled off a bit, decided to ignore the corn-fed politics, and finished it. The science, as far as
I can tell, is terrific. The politics were pretty much just a plot device to put the
characters in question where they were when they were there so the ending could happen as it did. I mean,
[absolute last spoiler warning!] the Chinese didn't have to alter that asteroid's
course so it hit Earth and killed everybody on it--it could have happened naturally. OK fine.
The ending was very clever and requires the reader to think really really long term.
- How Hitler Could Have Won World War II, by Bevin Alexander. A very good 'what-if'
that goes into good detail about What Went Wrong. Sure, everybody knows how Adolph screwed the pooch
attacking the Soviets the way he did, but the thing that impressed me most was how important North Africa could have
been. I had always considered the North African campaign an irrelevance--something for the Allies to
do until they could get around to invading Italy (which itself, I'd always thought, was something for
the Allies to do until they could get around to invading France). Had Hitler reinforced Rommel with
even four divisions, he most likely would have been able to lock up the Med, force Turkey and probably
Iran to come to terms, and threaten Russia and India. Oh, yeah--and about triple the length of
the British supply lines to India. I only wish there'd been more 'intermediate' maps--it was sometimes
hard to follow all the details with just one map per major campaign.