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Two Good Reads: Chuck Ramage

Posted: October 23, 2013 - 11:00pm

This week’s suggested titles come from local reader Chuck Ramage, who recommends two books from two trilogies -- essentially Six Good Reads.

 

Science fiction writer Robert Sawyer is easily one of the best authors I have ever read. His stories are great page-turners and keep you on the edge of your chair with mystery after mystery. Which he usually solves in a satisfying manner.

Sawyer’s subject matter revolves around modern-day ideas composed of edge-of-knowledge thinking, especially about our evolution as a species (socially, ethically, physically and culturally), and covers all academic disciplines (logic, science, math, history, you name it) and what the future may hold for us. And as he writes at the edge of knowledge, he is constantly thought provoking and manifests his ideas through a positive humanitarian outlook.

I would recommend two books, both part of trilogies, to begin with: “Wake,” (wakewatchwonder.com) about consciousness rising out of the internet as seen through the life of a 16-year-old, partially blind girl who is very good at math; and “Hominids,” about a parallel earth (a multiverse theory where the Neanderthal survived and we didn’t) where a Neanderthal quantum computer physicist is transported to Sudbury Ontario by accident.

Sawyer is a modern-day Bertrand Russell in the comprehensive nature and sophistication of his knowledge. And he uses the smartest people on earth to draw his information from, e.g. Roger Penrose, Noam Chomsky, Steven Pinker, Stephen Hawking and Steven Colbert. And, in my opinion, his reasoning is satisfying as he looks to the positive possibilities in life.

I see our cultural and technological evolution as a wave rolling into the future. Sawyer surfs the front of that wave with near perfection. He also seems to know exactly what many people find interesting. His stories are exciting, great mysteries, informational and he even includes a bit of romance.

And one can tell he is a teacher at heart as he squeezes in facts, logic and questions which I almost always agree with if I understand them, or learn from if I don’t. Which is often the case.

I only harp on this guy so people who might find him as interesting as I do, don’t overlook him. I find myself giddy at times with so many new concepts and knowledge to consider.

• To submit your own list of recommended titles, email Amy Fletcher at amy.fletcher@juneauempire.com

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