The Martian Child

by David Gerrold

While this is categorized as fiction, most of the content is autobiographical. Gerrold is a single gay man who adopted a son, and while the idea of the boy considering himself Martian is inspired by another adoption, a lot of what happened in the book came from real life. It is a moving story about a boy in need of love and a man who so generously gives it. A boy who has been rejected so often he feels that he is an alien. He wishes for a father but is certain that the father will one day no longer wants him. So heart breaking, and so heart warming.

Definitely one of the best book I read in years. I’d love to buy a bunch and share it with everybody I know. I would love to shove it to those people who insist on laws making gay ineligible for adoption as they can’t be good parents, but then those people will probably would just trash it.

In some way I find it funny that the author thinks so much of the boy’s claim as a Martian. As mentioned in the book, plenty of kids imagine weird birth origins, and I think I had my share as a kid too. But I suppose it means a lot more when you are a sci-fi writer to have a Martian in your house.

BTW I found this blog that has a very nice review about the book, with pictures of Dennis as a boy (the agency picture that stole Gerrold’s heart) and grown man.

The blog mentioned that in the movie version, the father is not gay, but a widower. Hmph. I can see the reasoning for it, from a commercial standpoint, but it’s somewhat disappointing.

(And oh one more thing about this book’s category. The author is a sci-fi writer so this book is actually published under science fiction and had in fact, in its original novella format, won the “triple crown” of science fiction that year: The Nebula, the Hugo, and the Locus Readership Poll.

Published in: on December 20, 2010 at 7:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Why Did The Book Cross The Road?

Heather at BookCrossing has been pondering this, and here are some answers:

“Because the author wrote it to get a point across.”

“Because somebody paged it.”

“Because it was a free-range book.”
– ResQgeek

“Because it wanted to tell the other side of the story.”

“Because it was in an Official BookCrossing Zone of course.”
– Pooker3

“Because it was part of a plot.”

“Because it was stapled to the chicken.”

Published in: on December 13, 2010 at 11:20 am  Leave a Comment  

Orchid Fever

by Eric Hansen

This is such an entertaining book! Well, how could one with a chapter titled Fox Testicle Ice Cream not be?

Orchid is not a particular favorite of mine, but after reading, this book does pique my interest a lot. I went googling for pictures of the flowers mentioned in the book, and started noticing the orchids when I go shopping. I am even considering of attending an orchid show the next time one comes to town. Though thankfully I don’t think I will ever get bitten by the orchid bug.

Being a foodie, my favorite chapter is naturally on the ice cream. Hansen traveled to Turkey to find out about the origin and production of the said ice cream. A little bit more googling brought me to this website:

While some I won’t care for – I most certainly will hate the licorice ice cream – I am pleasantly surprised that I have tried two out of the listed eleven. I did get to try the garlic one at Gilroy’s festival itself, and durian… that’s my favorite. In fact, I do still have a cup in my fridge. It has been there for a while, as for several months now my local grocery store seems to stop carrying it, so I can’t quite bear to eat the very last cup of the six pack.

Er, back to orchids… This book is a fascinating look into a world I’m an outsider of. The absurdity of laws forbidden someone to remove and rescue wild orchids but allow bulldozers to uproot them; the variety of personalities of growers; in some way I am glad my passion is books, not orchids. Well, maybe as an ice cream, but I will have to try that first.

Published in: on December 6, 2010 at 10:54 pm  Leave a Comment