Thursday, June 14, 2012

Losers in Space...and My Irrational Fear of It

Losers in Space...and My Irrational Fear of It

Yeah, confession time. I have an irrational fear of space. I don't really know why it started, as I wasn't always afraid of it. But I think I kind of know where it one of those shows in a children's museum, where you sit back, stare up at the stars, and they bring you around space and talk to you and whatnot. Freaky stuff.

So basically, I read a bit of Losers in Space by John Barnes because the summary sounded really interesting, and to be honest, I'm sure I would like it for the most part. And I'm a sure a lot of you would like it too. But the fact is, that whole irrational fear of space thing hasn't gone away and I'm kind of worried that reading this book might be a bit too much in parts. Plus, it's a bit long, and I have a million things to I figured I'd let you all know about the book in case you wish to check it out and maybe I can read the book for myself sometime in the future. I hadn't even gotten to the "in space" part anyway, so I can't say if it would freak me out or not, but I just feel like there would be too much description of it and I couldn't just "forget" that's where the book took place.

But hey, here is the summary for you to check out:

It is the year 2129 . . . and fame is all that matters

Susan and her friends are celebutantes. Their lives are powered by media awareness, fed by engineered meals, and underscored by cynicism. Everyone has a rating; the more viewers who ID you, the better. So Susan and her almost-boyfriend Derlock cook up a surefire plan: the nine of them will visit a Mars-bound spaceship and stow away. Their survival will be a media sensation, boosting their ratings across the globe. There's only one problem: Derlock is a sociopath.

If this book wasn't set in space, then I think I'd be all over it! Then again, what I have read does include a lot of future slang, etc. It wasn't too bad, but I'm sure that might have confused me/drove me a bit nuts as well. LOL

Again, I haven't read hardly anything to judge. I just thought it was a fun-sounding book that I'd like to let others know about, but since my fear might freak me out a bit too much, I'll stick to some other books I can read faster and review for you in full!

If you know someone that would love this book, grab them a copy, plus....

MAKE IT A GIFT and add:

Fisher Space Pen (photo from Think Geek)

You can get this pen at Think Geek for only $19.99 and you can pick the chrome (above) or a pen in black. Some awesome details about this pen-

  • Bullet-style Fisher space pen

  • Pressurized ink cartridge writes upside-down, under water, in harsh conditions (hot or cold), and even in zero g!

  • Used by the astronauts in both the Russian and US space-programs

    Liviania said...

    I felt like the slang was intrusive at first, but I picked it up pretty fast and didn't notice. I absolutely loved this book, but if you're terrified about space then there is at least one scene that would freak you out.

    Anna said...

    This sounds like a pretty interesting premise even though it's kind of outside my usual.

    Melissa (Books and Things) said...

    Hm... a space book and something shiny! I know quite a few people that would love this as a pressie! :)

    Mimi Valentine said...

    Lauren, you're absolutely NOT alone -- I'm terrified of space too! There's just something about being trapped in a shuttle, unable to breathe without machines helping you, being sent away from the safety of Earth that's protecting us... And watching Apollo 13 didn't help at all LOL :') I hope a hug and wishes that you'll like this book will help! I can't wait to read your thoughts on it :)

    And that space pen? SO AWESOME LOL x) Thanks for sharing, Lauren! <3

    Candace said...

    I hadn't heard of this book, but it actually sounds kind of good.
    I totally know what you mean about that irrational fear! I kind of have it, like I get dizzy watching stuff on TV, but I've read a few books that take place in space and I've been okay.
    That pen looks awesome!

    L-Diggitty said...

    I've gotten the space pen as a gift before, it's pretty cool!

    So space still scares you, even under the steadying influence of gravity? That's interesting! You should definitely not read "Solaris" or "2001: A Space Odyssey." Oh, and don't watch "Prometheus" either... but that's just because it was kinda of a crappy movie. ;)

    Rachel @ Unforgettable Books said...

    This is a really fun blog post! I can see why you would be afraid of space. no oxygen, just a vacuum of inertia. Loser in space sounds like a good book. Thanks for the creative introduction to Losers in Space! :)

    Jasprit said...

    This sounds like an interesting read! However it think it would make my irrational fear of space a lot worse too! :)

    Giselle said...

    This sounds actually fascinating! I have the same fear but it still like an accident - can't look away >.<

    ....Petty Witter said...

    Hmm, alas not a read for me but my husband would enjoy it.

    Medeia Sharif said...

    I don't read a lot of sci-fi, but this sounds like an interesting book.

    Sometimes I'm afraid of the vastness and mystery of space.

    John Barnes said...

    Speaking here as the author, because I am ... what's really fascinating to me is that the book fits into the sub-genre of Hard Science Fiction, i.e. the get-the-science-right stuff where you plot orbits and figure out radio signal strengths.

    I think that in part, hardSF is absolutely about what's terrifying about space. As Heinlein pointed out ages ago, it's all the terrors at once -- you're in a small enclosed space, in the dark, in a vast emptiness. (Statistic I use in the book: when Columbus was sailing the Atlantic, Columbus's ships were ten billion times a higher percentage of the Atlantic than Virgo, the gigantic ship in the book, is of the space between Earth and Mars -- and it's going a lot farther than Mars. The idea of how small we actually are, and of being out there naked to all that vastness, is a perfectly reasonable thing to be afraid of, and hardSF, which is supposed to be realistic, has to deal with exactly that vastness and emptiness and with how tiny the safe, livable spaces really are (just as good war novels have to deal with, as Orwell said, the facts that bullets hurt, battlefields stink, and everyone is terrified in combat, or Jane Austen novels have to face up to the small-minded pettiness and narrow purposes of the people who so often control other people's happiness).

    So you're not wrong at all. Definitely, I would say that Liviana is absolutely right, if you're afraid of space, there's a scene in there that will give you nightmares. If you ever read the Robert Heinlein short story "Ordeal in Space," in which a nice man rescues a kitten (and deals with a space phobia) it probably wigged you out too, and that scene is a distant cousin to it, as well as to the beginning of Bester's The Stars My Destination. No reason to make yourself uncomfortable; I've got 31 other books you can read instead!