Jumping Off The Planet
Happy Birthday to me. Forty-three today, egad. Working a longish shift at Eatonville library, blogging on my breaks, and contemplating growing older and growing up as I push my cart through the stacks. Wondering if perhaps maturity means learning to accept that human are confoundingly compex creatures and learning to celebrate what is good about each person even when what is bad is so glaring it knocks you over the head. This is not a strictly rhetorical excercise. I actually have a problem. Last night I finished reading David Gerrold’s Jumping Off The Planet. And I liked it.
Gawd knows I did not set out intending to like it, and early on it looked as though I would be able to piss and moan that the central concept of a "beanstalk" space elevator is blatantly copied from Heinlein’s Friday which was published 18 years before Jumping. But it isn’t, really. Gerrold starts from Heinlein’s old idea and builds upon it, fleshing out the concept and uses it as the centerpiece of a strikingly original novel.
The characters and dialogue are believable and the plot is well placed. And it is often quite funny. The best line in the book:
"Kelly’s got her legs up in the air for anything with a tongue. One year,
for her birthday, we got her a German shepard and a jar of peanut butter."
I also found I quite enjoyed the "inside" jokes. I really didn’t know Georgia enough to judge how well he depicted her, but he nailed Olivia dead on. (amazed she didn’t sue him). And Bev’s cameo as The Other Woman was priceless. He also managed to work in Mike’s one time tag line (That Sykes Woman) and a reference Lmerl’s party. A real trip down memory lane.
So it’s time to get back to work and shelve some more books, including this one. I am still of the opinion that DDGFBFGF is an insufferable ass. But I’m forced to admit in this case he’s an insufferable ass who wrote a damn good book.