Good Stuff: Asteroid Made of Dragons

26159959Not kidding. That’s what the book is called. If you’re looking at a title as jam-packed with ridiculousness as that, you know the content is either going to be awful, or awesome. Let me assure you: here there be awesomeness.

You’ve got a story here about a mathematical genius struggling to control phenomenal cosmic powers in her head, a guilt-wracked innocent murderer, a monster, and a penniless archaeologist with a flying motorcycle and her finger on the pulse of a shattering secret. And of course, over it all, is an asteroid.

The asteroid.

The one made of dragons.

What makes it all work is G. Derek Adams’ mastery of storytelling. His writing is engrossing, beautiful, exciting. There are moments of linguistic virtuosity in this story, of written jazz, that lit fireworks in my head. I’m not talking about big words. I’m talking about the right ones. I’m talking about knowing the rules, using them well, and having the relaxed courage to break them and the intuitive wisdom to know when to break them. There are no wasted words here. You’re dropped into a strange world, right in the middle of these peoples’ lives, and it all is made real with such natural storytelling that the pace never drops. No chunky exposition, just drips and drops and “figure the rest out yourself because we’re busy saving the bloody world! Can’t tell you my story, you can get to know me by the way I cope with all the things trying to kill me!”

So there’s the rub; perfect character development, wordsmithing juicy enough to make you get up and dance, and and unabashedly bold story that will shake down your preconceptions of what a fantasy can be.

I’ll be watching this guy.

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Ephemeral Balance

There is good to be found in giving business and entrepreneurs the freedom to move, grow and innovate, creating good things through trial, error, and competition. But we must watch that those who rise cannot succumb to greed, that most human of drives, and pervert the language of the free market to shield themselves while they amass power for its own sake and make kings of themselves.
No kings.
There is good to be found socialism, where we trust our hard-earned wages to be pooled and directed to grander projects for the good of all – projects we alone are too small to accomplish, and which we can never trust the wealthy or the corporations to undertake without strings attached. But we must watch that our governing structure does not bloat, hiding the same greed and corruption as we see in private businesses.
The trick is electing people with the wisdom and intelligence to maintain the balance, and the honor to behave as servants to the people.
Whatever governing structure we have, more free-market, more socialistic, what we must never forget, what should be carved in stone over the entryways to the halls of governance, is that We Are All, Always, Greedy Bastards. Every One of Us. We need to look out for each other, keep ourselves honest, constantly, at all levels, from the newborn orphan to the president and the CEO.