2 Following

Scotto, He likes the books.

About me: Male, Near Washington DC


Birthday: February 02, 1969


Website: http://blog.scottobear.com


Fave types of Books - Weird stuff, Westerns, Sci-fi, Fantasy, Thrillers, Muilti-genre, mysteries


Interests -agnosticism, american history, ancient civilizations, ancient history, animal rights, animals, applied science, art, bare feet, bioluminescence, blackhellkat, blogging, blowing bubbles, bob ross, bones, books, butterflies, camping, cartoons, cats, clouds, comedy, comic books, comics, compassion, computers, conversation, critical thinking, cryptozoology, curiosity, dark humor, dragonflies, dreams, dwarves, egyptology, etymology, exotic cuisine, film noir, finding a solution, fireflies, foggy mornings, folklore, forests, forteana, freaks, freedom, friendship, games, gaming, giant rubber monsters, green, groundhog day, halloween, happiness, health, helping others, herbs, hiking, history, hong kong cinema, hope, horror, hugs, human rights, humor, illumination, innocence, inspiration, irony, journaling, karma, kindness, libraries, love, magic, memoirs, monkeys, movies, museums of art, music, my wife, mythology, naps, nature, newton, numbers, occidental culture, oriental culture, palendromes, parks, peace, people-watching, petroglyphs, philosophy, photography, playing, primates, problem solving, programming, pyewacket, questions, rain, reading, reason, roadside attractions, robots, roleplaying, rpgs, salmagundi, science, science fiction, scottobear, shiny objects, sound effects, staying up late, super heroes, synchronicity, the boston molasses flood, the moon, the ocean, the prisoner, the unknown, thinking, thunderstorms, tiki, trees, trivia, truth, urban legends, used bookstores, vegetarianism, veves, vikings, vintage art/ads, voodoo, walking, webcams, weird tales, westerns, wind, wisdom, wit, writing, zombies

Currently reading

The Dawn of Malevolence / Urinal Cakes All the Way Down - Two Pack (The Annals of Absurdity)
Joshua Price
Beekeeping: A Practical Guide
Richard E. Bonney
Storey's Guide to Keeping Honey Bees: Honey Production, Pollination, Bee Health (Storey's Guide to Raising)
Richard E. Bonney
Back RX: A 15-Minute-a-Day Yoga- and Pilates-Based Program to End Low Back Pain
Vijay Vad
Fortune's Daughter: A Novel
Alice Hoffman
Shotguns v. Cthulhu
Chris Lackey, Chad Fifer, Steve Dempsey, Natania Barron, Jason Morningstar, Ekaterina Sedia, Kyla Ward, Adam Scott Glancy, Dennis Detwiller, Rob Heinsoo, Nick Mamatas, Kenneth Hite, Dave Gross, Daniel Harms, Robin D. Laws, Larry DiTillio
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
Robin Sloan
The Fuller Memorandum (The Laundry Files)
Charles Stross
Edith Wharton
Expiration Date
Tim Powers


334 - Thomas M. Disch Well, first off, it’s colored as science fiction, along the lines of Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World, or 1984, in the style of “bleak land of the future”… centering less on the bigger political issues, and more on day-to-day life.

334 is a collection of short stories, focusing on characters that to some degree or another connect back to a single three-generation family living in Building #334; tenement housing subsidized by the government.

The most interesting non-story element of the book is the end is the closing piece. It’s a string of little literary sketches, each centering around one of three women in the main family. On the first page of this collection of sketches, there’s a three-dimensional flow chart. The z-axis covers the family’s three women, youngest to eldest being Shrimp, Lottie, and Mrs. Hanson. The y-axis covers three locations in time: the years 2021, 2024, and 2025, and the x-axis covers the four ways that a sketch is written: monologue, reality, fantasy, and another POV. So the chart contains 36 distinct points, each of which sums up one character, one place in time, and one point of view. There’s a line drawn through this guide, tracing a path over, around and through, crossing all the points. At each point’s intersection, there’s a number, being a title of one of the sketches. So, each sketch is shown in respect to its place on the chart.

The line always moves by 90 degrees, so that it never changes more than one axis at a time. If you’re reading a sketch about Mrs. Hanson’s monologue in 2021, you know that the next sketch will either be about someone else’s monologue in 2021, or a different point of view on Mrs. Hanson in 2021, or a Mrs. Hanson monologue in a different year. Sometimes the line crosses itself, generating two different sketches at the same point, which is why there’s 43 sketches with only 36 points. The chart's path really didn't leap out and require me to take notice of it, or really shift my reading style at all… if the chart wasn't there, you might not notice at all that it was set up in such a way, but it’s an interesting thing to include, and the paths stick out in an nifty pattern.

The book really isn't much about the the future world the characters live in, but more closely on the characters themselves, their hearts and minds, rather than the environment that they live in…. with a few twists and tweaks, it could be placed in almost any location and time-line. I could see it being equally at home in a Victorian or current urban setting.

Final analysis… I liked it, and it was a quick read. I can see returning to it again in perhaps another 10 years or so, even if only to refer back to certain character designs and motives.