Monthly Archives: March 2016

JUST FINISHED: Seven Eves

Author: Neal Stephenson

Genre: Science Fiction

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

The moon blew up upon impact with an unknown force, that is come to be known as the Agent. The night sky takes on a different look as the human race prepares themselves for an inevitable Hard Rain, up to 5000 years of meteors and bolides striking plant earth and dismantling it to an age of fire. Every living thing upon its surface will be destroyed. Desperate for survival, the world “comes together” and forms a program named the Cloud Ark, intent upon sending the best, brightest, and varied lot of humans to attach to the International Space Station and survive the next millennias. And so the ISS must also prepare for them.

Stephenson introduces to us a wide range of emotional characters, each very independent and strong, that have to digest this unfathomable news and settle in with their new roles to keep humanity alive. His writing is incredibly thorough and detailed to work out every working piece of this disaster scenario. You are guaranteed to not come away lacking in any aspect of space survival, mechanics, and comprehensive long-term planning.

**SPOILER ALERT**

While I really enjoyed part one and two of Seven Eves, at part three my interest began to wane terribly. After we are left with the seven women that begin to recreate the human race, we fast forward into time to where there are now seven races, each being genetically and personally like their initial Eve. The Hard Rain has ended and they are now in the process of re-growing(Terraform) the Earth below.

Here was where Stephenson’s writing took a turn for the over-meticulated details of machinery and places to the point where I was bored. It became extremely dry with no plot movement and just descriptions of everything. I found myself skipping pages and moving to sections where there was dialogue or some form of action.

I had another issue with the unrealistic plot at this point as well. You’re telling me that somehow out the seven last women to survive in space miraculously two of their close personal relatives survived as well on Earth? One through a mining set up and the other by moving to the depths of the Ocean? It seems impossible that those chances would work out. I’m alright with perfected endings sometimes, but this one was just too much. There is no way when the earth was a boiling pot of fire and brimstone that there was still water cool enough to survive in. Even in the trenches. Same goes with digging to go down below. Even if they did accomplish the cave-like survival, then who is to say that no other set of people from the entire world could not have also had some success? Why is that only the two Eve’s family were the ones to make it on the planet?

And then there was the whole issue of the cheesy look back to the Epic (when ISS landed on the section of the moon where they would rebuild the human race) and references to their Eves and their qualities. Five thousand years later and they still talk about those women as if it occurred yesterday? In my opinion, that may be covered in a history course of the future, but other than that the origin side of it would be forgotten on a daily basis.

Maybe Stephenson will have a sequel that will answer some of those questions. But until then, I will probably just be annoyed with the happy, “oh, goody!” ending.

If you are in the mood for an interesting piece of science fiction that deals with the planning and turmoil of the inevitable end of the world, this one is for you.

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HOME

In all the places I go,
I still find myself
wishing for home.

No distance have I traveled,
no wonder I have marveled,
keeps me from dreaming
back on the comfortable,
warm,
and wanted.

There is a dull ache
in the space
deep within me
when I am afar.
And while sometimes
I can shake it,
the pain still finds me,
a ghost from my past beyond.

Whether a scent,
a laugh, or simple sound,
it returns with a soothing roar
to call me
and pull my heart
back to where it belongs.

POLITICS

The speed at which
the world can change
is with remarkable fury.
We seek the new
and the luring.

Our selfish ways
are fantastically blinding.
Letting us believe in
false imitation, liars, and
egotistical findings.

We are on some kind of fast track
to the downward spiral
that will leave us
wanting and wasted.
Emptied and faceless.

We will be left stranded
and astray.
Powerless,
inside a bloated county.
Held only by a leader
that strangles us
while looking the other way.

MIND BLOWING

FADE IN:

INT. LIVING ROOM – MIDDAY

Two young men lounge on an old, flowered couch. The room is musty and dirty. Bottles, greasy paper food bags, wrappers, and other miscellaneous trash litter the coffee table and floor around them. In the center of the table is a glass bong, warm from recent use. Rock music can be heard softly in the background.

STEPHEN, wearing a yellow, flat bill baseball cap with the black letters SWAG written across them, leans forward to take a hit. He inhales deeply and releases the smoke lazily into the air.

STEPHEN: Yeah, man. That is some good stuff.

JAKE, with a long, scraggly beard and a dark blue sleeveless t-shirt, big-rimmed lime green glasses atop his head, nods his head and smiles in appreciation.

JAKE: The purple haze will always get you good, my man.

STEPHEN chuckles: Oh, yeah…. Hey, man, did you see Tristan’s sister other day? Woo (whistling out low) She’s grown up into something.

JAKE, nodding slowly: Something is one way to put it….You know, there is something about that word. You know? It’s like some but thing at the same time.

STEPHEN: Yeah, it is a strange one. Because how can something be some and thing be one thing at the same time?

JAKE sits up excitedly.

JAKE: Yeah, man! That’s exactly what I was thinking!

Jake leans back. The two sit shaking their heads, staring into blank space in front of them.

STEPHEN: Hey, man.

JAKE: Yeah? (crosses arms)

STEPHEN: Sometimes…when I’m alone…

JAKE, interjecting: Hey, man. I don’t know want to know what you do when your alone. That’s like…that’s way too personal. You know what I’m saying? You and your little man or whatever, yall can keep it to yourself.

STPEPHEN, rolls eyes: No, no. Nothing like that.

JAKE, furrows brow: No?

STEPHEN: No, man. This is something totally different. Not like last time with…with…well you know last time.

JAKE, raises his eyes: Unfortunately, yes. But go on (motions with hand).

STEPHEN: Ok (swallows). Sometimes, when I’m alone…I try to move stuff with my mind. And, like (lifts eyes up to ponder momentarily, looks back down), nothing moves but I keep trying, man.

JAKE, drops jaw: Like Carrie and shit?

STEPHEN: No, man. That chick is bat-shit crazy. I’m more like the nice kind, you know?

JAKE: I gotcha man. You’re like a good mind-mover, not a ‘I should kill everyone with buckets of blood’ kind of man.

STEPHEN: Right. If I ever do get the powers, I’ll use it for good. I’d become like one of those X-men.

JAKE: That’d be some cool stuff. Moving shit with your mind. You would definitely be an X-man. They could call you Mind Man.

The two sit in silence for a moment, thinking about the X-man concept. STEPHEN imitates fast movements with his head.

JAKE, turning head slowly to STEPHEN: Are you sure it hasn’t worked before?

STEPHEN, stops moving erratically: I don’t think so. I thought I got a paper to move once, but it turned out to just be the AC coming on.

JAKE: Your AC does have some great power though, huh?

STEPHEN: Truth in that (they bump fists)

JAKE: But really though, it’s never worked for you?

STEPHEN, shaking head: No. But I’ll keep trying.

JAKE, sighing: That’s too bad. It has worked for me. In fact, I’ll even show you right now.

STEPHEN, moves to the edge of his seat: What, man?! It works for you. How have you not told me this before?!

JAKE smirks: It’s one of my best kept secrets.

STEPHEN waits eagerly for JAKE to show him.

JAKE: It’s simple, man. You just got to think about what you want. Concentrate – real hard – on exactly what you want. In fact, I’ll show you. Right here…Right now…But – before I begin – do you mind grabbing me a beer (coughs), I’m about as parched as they come.

STEPHEN: Sure, no problem.

STEPHEN gets up and walks off camera to the kitchen. Sound of refrigerator opening and closing. JAKE remains motionless on the cough, smiling. Stephen returns with the beer, un-capped and hands it to JAKE.

JAKE takes a long drink and sighs.

STEPHEN: You were going to show me your powers?

JAKE: Oh, right. I just did it.

STEPHEN frowns: Oh, man! I missed it. What did you move? (glances expectantly around the room)

JAKE, grinning widely: This beer bottle.