Thursday, September 30, 2010

Favorite Stories This Month

Geoffrey A. Landis, "The Sultan of the Clouds," Asimov's, September 2010.

Imagine, if a handful of families own the solar system, and the ruling sultan of Venus invites you to his floating city in the clouds? Reading this novella made me feel as if I journeyed to Venus and explored its culture.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch, "Red Letter Day," Analog, September 2010.

Students receive red letters (or not) shortly before their graduation, and these letters are shatteringly important because they're from... No, I won't spoil it!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fourmile Fire

We were gardening Labor Day morning when we first smelled smoke. The fire started about 4 miles due west of our house. Because of high winds, we were soon engulfed in smoke.

The air took on an orange cast, and we watched ash rain down on our deck.

By late afternoon the smoke cleared a bit. About 3500 acres burned that first day.

Tuesday morning the smoke came back, so thick that it grounded the fleet of slurry bombers and helicopters until noon. 7100 acres and at least 63 buildings had burned.

The area of evacuation spread to a rough quadrangle shape that's about 6 miles north-south and 12 miles east-west. The boundaries are Boulder Canyon to the south, Lefthand Canyon to the north, the foothills to the east, and the Peak to Peak Highway to the west.

Tuesday afternoon a fleet of 9 water tankers was in the air again. Helicopters buzzed our house every 7 minutes, scooping water from our neighborhood lake to carry across the ridge to the fire.

This morning the fire is still 0% contained. It has crept north and east, coming about 2 miles from our house. 92 burned buildings have been counted so far.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Best Reading

In August, the book that stood out for me was the book my mystery reading club read:

Thunder Bay, by William Kent Krueger. Private Detective Cork O'Connor searches for the son of his friend Henry, an Ojibwe medicine man. His search leads him into the beautiful back country around the Minnesota-Canadian border and back into the 1920's when Henry was a young guide.

I loved this book on many levels. The sense of place is spectacularly drawn, the history is fascinating, and the love story is so tender! Maybe even more interesting were the parallel stories about being a dad.