okay, i’m highly skeptical…

…but wouldn’t this be cool, if it were true?

Such cute little dotties!

One of the books I’m currently reading is Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle (the other is The Android’s Dream by John Scalzi – good book, as usual – go buy it). I recently finished – after about a billion days – Space by James A. Michener.

(A little background about my relationship with these authors first: the first “hard science” SF book I’d ever read was The Mote in God’s Eye by Niven and Pournelle and I fell in love with it, thereby cementing forever the certainty that I would read anything by Niven or Pournelle, but especially their collaborative efforts.

As for Michener, I’d never been interested in reading his stuff, as I forever associated his name with epic TV miniseries, the like of which tended to not appeal to me. But I picked up Space from the free book box in front of the bookstore by my old apartment and was drawn into it by its obvious historical accuracy – I learned more about the space program from that book than anything I’d ever read. I still may not read Michener on a regular basis [sometimes I found his characters not well-delineated], but at least now I know if he’s written about a subject that interests me, I won’t be disappointed.)

Both Space and Lucifer’s Hammer feature scenes that take place at JPL. I have to admit that it’s fun to envision the buildings in which the scenes take place. I’ve never worked anywhere that was written about in this fashion. My dorky, fame-challenged mind is inordinately jazzed by this.

But it’s also a bit disconcerting. Because Lucifer’s Hammer is about a comet that passes extremely close to Earth, with huge bits of it hitting our pretty blue marble (that’s not a spoiler – it’s on the back cover). In one of the scenes the earthquakes that are generated by the impact affects JPL. And the building in which I work is mentioned as being destroyed. It definitely hit way too close to home.

At least I don’t live on the Eastern Seaboard, which is completely obliterated…

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