From the Earth to the Moon and ‘Round the Moon Review

Imagine that the year is 1869.  Heavier-than-air powered flight is a distant fantasy for reckless dreamers and adrenaline junkies willing to throw themselves off of cliffs to test their contraptions.  The American Civil War only recently ended, and the transcontinental railroad is not quite complete.  Steam-powered ships are just beginning to replace sailing vessels for oceanic travel.  This is the context in which Jules Verne, one of the grandfathers of science fiction, told the story of the Apollo program.

The Golden Verses of Pythagoras Review

An unusual two star rating might be another example of the importance of managing readers' expectations, because this text was definitely not what I was expecting, and my appreciation of it was consequently diminished. That being said, even if I had known what I was getting into, I'm not certain that I would have found very much to appreciate about Pyhtagoras' and his fellow cultists' "golden" verses, sentences, sentimets, statements, and so forth.

Dialogue Short Stories Reviews

I made an exception this past week for a pair of short stories (they could almost be called flash fiction) that Brandon Sanderson recommends for studying dialogue.  Since the stories were fine examples of both storytelling and writing craft, I decided to share a review for them, along with a review for Sanderson’s contribution to this technical style.

Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Review

Don’t expect a text that exists primarily to inform or tell a coherent story, because that’s not what Franklin was setting out to do with his autobiography.  It was instead intended originally for his son, and eventually for a wider audience of the burgeoning America, as a moral guide, an example and explication of how it might be possible to live a moral, productive, and well-regarded life, such as Franklin himself led.

The Art of Thinking Clearly Review

This example, The Art of Thinking Clearly, is something that I’ve been meaning to post a review for on the site for quite some time now, mostly because of how often I reference logical fallacies.  Whatever else this book might be, and it certainly has its flaws, it is a short, approachable compendium of common logical fallacies.