Terry Pratchett's latest novel is Nation and it's like nothing else he's ever written -- except that like many of his books, it is fantastic and brilliant.
Nation is the story of two children: Ermintrude may just be the Queen of England now that a plague has struck down most of the royal family. Mau is the last survivor of the Nation, a tribal people living on a south-seas island that has been destroyed by a tsunami. They are both lost and adrift in the wake of terrible tragedy, flung together on the island of Nation. They both are blessed with doubt about the theologies of their ancestors -- and denied its succour. Together, they discover science, and use it to weld together their people and save them from despair and evil external forces.
Nation is an absolutely sweet book, a story that is part Lord of the Flies and part Treasure Island, with strong and likable characters who are forced to their limits by circumstances. The action is well-paced, the philosophy and science are deftly handled, and there is humor and fear in equal measures.
This isn't a Discworld novel or a Truckers novel -- it's not Good Omens. It's a complete departure for Pratchett and yet is recognizably him, on every page, writing with the same grace and wit we know from his other work. Highly recommended (and would make brilliant bedtime reading, too).
Just for kicks, Paul Rule, 66, participated in a study launched by the Cambridge Natural History Society that enlisted citizen scientists and nature-lovers to help deepen knowledge of the flora and fauna in Cambridge, England. Rule recorded nearly 600 different animal species in his “ordinary” city garden, including an elephant moth like the one seen […]
Astronaut David Scott re-created, in 1971 during the Apollo 15 mission, Galileo’s “falling bodies” experiment by dropping a hammer and feather on the moon at the same time. Simply, both fell at the same rate because there was no air resistance. screengrab via Wonders of Physics/YouTube (Digg)
“Test counts inflated, death tolls deflated, metrics shifted.”
We all know the drill. As the overlords of the smartphone and tablet markets, the braintrust at Apple very seldom hold sales on their signature devices. So rather than spending almost $1,000 on a brand-new iPad Pro, the folks in Cupertino are instead giving you the opportunity to score one for about a third of […]
Entrepreneurs looking for new avenues to reach customers may not have considered one of the fastest-growing content mediums today: podcasting. And we don’t mean just dropping an advertisement for your product or service in the middle of a popular show. Right now, there are about 850,000 active podcasts reaching 165 million Americans. Those listeners are […]
Twitter rants and various online ugliness aside, social media has actually grown up a bit over the past 15 years. In general, users are warier of their interactions on platforms like Facebook or Instagram — and marketers have taken note. In fact, if you felt retailers you saw on social media were only looking to […]