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The Book Club

September 30, 2011

Since us childfreed folks have time to spare, most of us probably have bookshelves teeming with great treasures. Right now I’m reading “Lucifer’s Hammer), an apocalyptic futuristic book of sorts I just started after wolfing through Les Miserables ($17.50 at Book City, but cheaper at your used bookstore). I enjoy 20th Century Classic pieces and sci-fi when it comes to fiction (Bronte, Dickens and the gang) and anything with a kick-ass female heroine.

The book store is a sanctuary where peace and quiet are meant to prevail and you can lose yourself in one of the world’s most universal hobbies. I wouldn’t say I’ve ever come across a book with a strong childfree theme yet (c’mon modern writers!!!) but every so now and then you come across a novel that depicts that sentiment. As I get from one of the narrators in Lucifer’s Hammer, a wealthy father to a 15 year old boy named Andy:

He’d be fifteen next September, ready for high school; and there was nothing for it but to send him to Harvard School for Boys, certainly the best in Los Angeles; only the school wanted a fortune just to hold a place, and the orthodontist wanted thousands now and more later. And there was the funny noise from the pool pump, and the electronics club Andy was involved in, it wouldn’t be long before the boy wanted a microcomputer for himself and who could blame him?…And…Randall went inside, quietly, glad that Andy hadn’t noticed him.

A teenage boy used to be an asset. He could work in the fields–drive a team, or even a tractor. The pressure could be shared, shifted to younger shoulders. A man could ease off.

There was wrapping paper in the kitchen wastebasket. Loretta had been shopping again. Christmas had been on charge accounts, and those bills would be coming to roost on his desk. He’d already heard the stockmarket report on the radio. The market was down. “

Lucifer’s Hammer written by: Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle



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