Tag Archives: Edward M. Lerner

First Monday Book Day: Paranoia Strikes Deep

Mother Nature has a deathgrip on the Far West this week, with a forecast high of 112 deg. F. for my neck of the woods today, after 109 on sunday, 104 saturday, and 101 friday. The high school jazz camp closed out Friday evening with a gig at the local pizzeria, playing in an outdoor courtyard. Amazingly, only one kid got sick. The crowd plowed through about 20 gallons of ice water, along with lots of beer and 'za.

This miserable weather did not stop me from my appointed task, however. I know how much this post means to all of you...

So, yea, I finished a book this month. Actually, I finished two books: Last month's selection as well as this one's. Both just so happened to have been co-written by Larry Niven. I guess I'm on a kick.

This month's pick is one of the prequels to Niven's 1970 classic, Ringworld. Juggler of Worlds was the second of a sequence of prequels. Luckily, it did not matter. This book stands on its own as an entertaining, well-crafted and complete story, particularly if you have not read a number of Niven's prior Known Space works with which this one overlaps/intersects (for a decidedly less positive interpretation, see this capsule Kirkus review). I think we've pretty well established that I am easily entertained.

Anyway, I found the adventures of paranoid-schizophrenic genius superspy Sigmund Ausfaller to be quite entertaining. Earth, for not-well-explained reasons, suffers from what its world government regards as severe overcrowding and some fascistic governmental interference in individual liberties, despite possession of FTL technologies that enable interstellar colonization. Interspecies politics and machinations are the focal point of this volume, but it is not nearly so deadly dull as that might seem.

What are you reading?