Thursday, July 11, 2013

Good Story 063: The Case of the Missing Servant

Episode 63 finds Julie and Scott in India searching for good nicknames. Bookmark goes undercover as a maid, while Popcorn is outside drinking tea from a crumpled paper cup. They both enjoyed The Case of the Missing Servant by Tarquin Hall.

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  1. It's funny that you should mention positive sci-fi because I'm reading WayStation right now (thank you!) and there's a clear ray of hope flowing through all of it. It's a shame it seems to be so hard to find up here in Canada because it really should be more readily available.

    I can only guess as to why negativity is so prevalent in storytelling now (sci-fi as well) is because it's really easy to write. Optimism is incredibly hard to portray without going cheesy or simplifying a problem unnecessarily, and, let's face it, negativity is rewarded on a grander scale. That you can find 50 Shades Of grey on a Walmart shelf is pretty telling.

    I'm looking at the huge stack of books sitting next to me and trying to think of which ones have a bleak and hopeless ending where nothing matters. Sure some are less hopeful than others, but they all have at least some grain of positivity towards the future.

    Even Salem's Lot has the fire.

    1. Your point about optimism being difficult to write authentically is a good one. We must be wired to understand it because phony optimism is so obvious. I'd never thought about that before. :-)

  2. Have to add this one to my wish list. (Reflecting on my wish list helps me understand eternity better)

    As for the Zelazny novel "Light of the World", I did enjoy that one although it could be rather complex and taking some effort at the start. Still quite good. Some time back John C. Wright listed a bunch of novels that he recommended and I pretty much added them to my wish list and went through them. This was one of them. Although the Amber novels will always be my favorite works of his.

    Considering what a complex and ancient culture India is, it is surprising how it doesn't serve as a background in many novels. Sure there are some classics usually involving the British colonial years. I read "A Passage to India" by E.M. Forster a couple of years ago and there was much I liked where it involved India, what spoiled it for me was mostly the authors secularism.

    Still India has such a different worldview and really a clash of different competing world views. Strangely a book that gave me some insight on this was a book on the history of science.

    The late Fr. Jaki wrote "Science & Creation, from eternal cycles to an oscillating universe". I really loved this book and learned so much from it. Fr. Jaki was a physicist and science historian and this book takes you through a bunch of cultures over time exploring why these cultures all had false starts in developing the scientific method. They contributed to knowledge while not developing a cohesive methodology. The chapter on India was fascinating. Fr. Jaki's thesis was that in all of that science was still-born in all these cultures and that it was only the Christian worldview involving creation that could provide the base for the development of the scientific method. It is amazing how the idea of eternal cycles was so prevalent to every cultures and even in modern times among some scientists who did not want to accept the "primordial atom" theory - better known as the big bang theory. Fred Hoyle had mockingly called it the big bang theory so it is rather funny that it stuck and later Hoyle did give up on an oscillating universe.

    Fr. Jaki is always a good read and the above book I could not recommend more.

    1. "Reflecting on my wish list helps me understand eternity better"
      That's going straight to the pool room (a.k.a. quote journal)

      I have meant to read Fr. Jaki's writing for some time. Thank you for bringing it back to my attention. My own wish list is groaning now...

  3. Here's a random question I'm wondering if either of you could answer. I found 'The Lost World' for a dollar while browsing my used book store last week and was wondering if you have read it?

    I already have 'Jurassic Park' in my pile, but I was wondering if the follow-up was a worthy sequel. (And yes, I know all about the awful movie version :p)

  4. Hiya! Jurassic Park is terrific. I'm sorry, though - I haven't read The Lost World, so can't really say. My son told me that it has very little to do with the movie, so that's probably good!

  5. Thanks! I'm definitely glad I picked it up then. :)