Book Review: Moonglow

Moonglow by Michael Chabon

Moonglow: A Novel by Michael Chabon (New York: Harper, 2016. 448 pp) One of the most celebrated writers of his generation according to The Virginia Quarterly Review, Michael Chabon was born in Washington D.C. He earned his B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh and his M.F.A from the University of California, Irvine. Chabon published his first novel, The Mysteries Of Pittsburgh, from his master’s thesis at the age of 25. His third novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize. The Yiddish Policemen’s Union won Chabon the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award. Hiking Mount Constitution A decade ago and an era far far away, I took my wife—then girlfriend—to the oasis known as the… Read More →

Film Review: Interstellar

Interstellar

Interstellar written by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan and directed by Christopher Nolan (Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., Legendary Pictures, PG-13, 169 min) Starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Casey Affleck, Jessica Chastain, and Matt Damon. What Would You Do for Love? Certain research posits kinship as a powerful actor that compels people outside of self-interest. If I unpack this idea a little bit, these people suggest the standard setting for human beings is selfishness. We act out of interest for the things that provide the most pleasure to us. When it comes to presenting a positive or helpful demeanor to other people, there’s a chance this person will recognize the common humanity in the other, but if it’s a… Read More →

Book Review: The Martian

The Martian: A Novel by Andy Weir (New York: Broadway Books, 2014. 387 pp) Andy Weir was first hired as a programmer for a national laboratory at age 15 and has been working as a software engineer ever since. He is a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of subjects like relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. The Martian is his first novel. Spaceman Spiff The earth is not a cold dead place. It’s pretty amazing to consider how it perfectly situated itself for life. Orbits, size, rotation, gravity. It all plays a part. Our closest neighbor, on the other hand, will kill you if you visit. It is a cold dead place. If and… Read More →

Guest Film Review: Gravity

Gravity written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón (Warner Bros., Esperanto Filmoj, Heyday Films, R, 90 min) Starring Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris Freefalling After the movie, my friend and I walked to the pub across the street to grab a beer and try to figure out what the hell had just happened to us. “It’s about freefall,” my friend said finally, after his beer had calmed him down. “It’s about when you’re hurtling towards a collision, and you can see the crash coming, and you’re scrambling, scrabbling for a handhold – anything, anyone – to keep you from plummeting into the abyss.” He shuddered and raised his hand for another round. Space and Disaster Some context: Gravity is, in part, a space movie. Sandra… Read More →