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You Need These Things Figured Out Now, Before It’s Too Late

Posted by Sunday on Feb 23, 2008 at 4:27 pm in Daily Space

Apologies for lack of content, dear readers, but it has been a gruesome night here at the Subspace/Halcyon quarters. I’ve been preoccupied with keeping a bottle of Pedialyte clutched in Halcyon’s rigid grip as the bone-cracking effects of Chinese take-out food poisoning have taken their toll on him. You aren’t sick until you have to say “I need a fresh pair of pajama pants,” as far as I’m concerned, particularly when caused by discovering that your bathroom wastebasket deflects projectile vomit at a perfect 180° angle. Why didn’t I get sick, you might be asking? Unusually, I didn’t eat any of the steamed rice so that I could better glut myself on General Tso’s Tofu. No one ever suspects the steamed rice.

Today, over a cup of weak tea and nibbles of banana, we watched the 1960 version of The Time Machine, directed by George Pal. The Time Machine remains an ideal movie for when one has lost 10 pounds of body weight in the form of bile and intestinal lining, being just innocent enough to distract but not so bland as to allow the mind to wander. As usual, we mused the final question of good ol’ Filby’s: what three books would you take to a bookless culture?

Before I continue along that line, I believe it to be an incorrect speculation that Mr. Wells took books to “rebuild” the future with, as one might take a reference book on medicine, for example. Wells strikes me as a slightly pompous know-it-all (in a good way, if you can believe it) who would require not a reference book on practical science, but rather some tedious philosophy or prose. Just as I can’t blame Wells for wanting to bone the infantile Weena, I cannot blame him for wanting to share the soporific delights of Lord Byron with his new kingdom of simpletons. Or Milton, even better, as I can imagine him reading to their tow-headed confusion:

Hence, loathed Melancholy,

Of Cerberus and blackest Midnight born,

In Stygian cave forlorn,

‘Mongst horrid shapes, and shrieks, and

sights unholy!

No matter; what three books would I take? For sheer bulk entertainment, I’d take Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon. I have read it several times now, and with each reading I’m surprised to enjoy it even more. For fine prose, I would take Geoff Ryman’s The Child Garden. It is a little-known masterpiece of contemporary science fiction. And lastly… lastly… I fear I might take The Joy of Cooking.

All of this is moot, of course, for who among us would only take three books?

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February 23rd, 2008 | Daily Space

4 Responses to “You Need These Things Figured Out Now, Before It’s Too Late”

  1. quagmire Says:

    I don’t think he took any ‘real’ books … his housekeeper and Filby mistakenly assumed the space on his bookshelf verified this, when, in reality it was one of those faux-book booze vault units that secret one’s high-end liquor stash from bourgeois guests. I think he grabbed that with intentions of introducing sweet Weena to some old time rock n’ roll in the verdant Eloi meadowland.
    And … may I humbly add here that if anyone dare say he took the fucking Bible, I will personally crucify you with rusty nails. He was a scientist, not a believer of pseudo-church/state political fantasy. Ohhh … I know christian doodoo is gonna hit the fan on that note. Bring it on ye of delusional faith!

  2. Danco Says:

    I’m bringing Pirate by Fabio.

  3. CmdrSue Says:

    Three books? That’s tough. Perhaps Aristotle’s Metaphysics, a hefty dictionary (I hate to be English-centric, but whadddyagonnado?), and something funny – perhaps the collected works of George Bernard Shaw. But I might change that out for the Hitchhiker’s Guide. You can’t go wrong with Douglas Adams.

  4. aargh Says:

    I’d have to go with:
    Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein
    The Outline of History by H G Wells
    and… something about dinosaurs.

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