Bouncing Off The Moon
So I finished the sequel to Jumping Off The Planet. And I liked it. If anything, the Heinlein influence is even stronger in this installment, particularly the concept of a computer "waking up" and becoming "sentient", which Heinlein examined at some length in The Cat Who Walks Through Walls. But much as I would love to castigate Gerrold for "stealing the main ideas" or for being derivative, I honestly can’t. To some degree all literature builds on the body of work that has come before it and in this instance Gerrold quite appropriately uses some ideas that Heinlein played with as a jumping off point for a strikingly original tale.
The pace of this novel is much faster and I found myself really turning the pages to see what would happen next. Unfortunately, there were very few of the "inside" jokes this go round. He did manage to slip in the lovely phrase "that Sykes woman", but she is only briefly alluded to and makes no actual appearance in this book. Likewise the Georgia and Olivia characters are mentioned a few times but only in passing.
I did find myself thinking several times that much of the reflection and dialog attributed to the thirteen year old narrator was far beyond what could reasonably be believed of even the most precocious young teenager. At times even the older brother seemed to be speaking the words and thoughts of the sixty year old author, rather than what would seem reasonable for the seventeen year old character. In fairness, these flaws detract little from the story. Upon finishing the book, I promptly logged into the library catalog to request the final volume of the trilogy (which is not available at my branch). This is perhaps the strongest indication that I really liked it, much as I didn’t want to.
On a personal note, all fingers crossed today, please. I have an interview at 1pm for a position at the Dupont library branch and am hoping that this may be when I finally land the fully benefited regular position I have been aiming for.