A Year of Book Portraits – A Fire Upon the Deep

A popular meme I’ve seen around a bit is the “365 of something” one, where a person takes a photo of something, often a self-portrait and puts said picture on the internets once a day every day, for a year. It’s a pretty decent way to generate content I guess, and should make for some pretty interesting pieces.

While I’m not really all that keen on self-portraits, at least not enough to send one out every single day, one thing I definitely have at least 365 of is books.  I have oodles and oodles of them, and I think I might be able to take a nice at least mildly interesting picture of each one. And I'm sure I can find something to say about every one of them. Maybe an in depth review of all of them is beyond the scope of this project, but a short blurb about the book, maybe where I bought it or who gave it to me, or what my favorite part was could be written up.

So I decided to start today on February 1st so I could have a convenient day to know when to stop. I’ll keep posting one a day until January 31, 2010 or the mad hordes come to my door with pitchforks begging me to stop.

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For the first book, I’ve started with something mundane: the book I’m currently reading. This is A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge.  I started reading this probably 8 years ago and stopped for no good reason that I can remember, but actually just bought this copy not too long ago, I think at Dawn Treader in Ann Arbor. This book has a really interesting take on the common sci-fi trope of the hive mind, along with some singularity speculation, posthumanism and other good things that I like in my sci-fi. But the most interesting part to me were the ideas about how a galactic sort of Internet network might be put together. Design-wise I like the use of monospace fonts for the internetwork messages, that seems to mimic the differentiation between “interpack” and “thought” speech between the members of the group mind creatures.  But then, I’m still only half way through the book so maybe I’m reading too much into that.

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