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What are you reading?

jeffersjack

Well-Known Member
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer if you’re looking for a different style of fiction. I won’t go into much detail since it’s just about the way that Foer decided to write this novel. Highly recommended.

Carrying the Fire by Michael Collins. I’m sure it’s been posted before in this thread, but I’m making sure any readers see this one. Collins is an amazing man and a beautiful writer. This book is a wonderful reflection of his path from Air Force pilot to the first class of NASA astronauts to becoming the loneliest man in the universe, orbiting around the moon in Apollo 11’s command module. (The foreword is even written by Charles Lindbergh, who may also surprise you with his skills as a writer.)
 

Notanaviator

Well-Known Member
Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. Author was a founding engineer for Blue Origin back when that was focused on launching a network of satellites, this is science fiction that hypothesizes what happens if the human race has two years to prepare for an apocalyptic event that will require humanity to ride out the next 5,000 years in orbit while the Earth recovers. Lots plausible, some not, I found it more interesting as an exploration of human psychology.
 

nittany03

FUBIJAR
pilot
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
Anyone read the new TOPGUN history book?
Zombie post resurrection . . . just finished it. Interesting to hear about someone zorching up to 40,000+ on a max performance climb out of NASNI, what with the ridiculous course rules they have nowadays. Also a bit of a sobering intro to the Vietnam experience that led to TOPGUN's founding. I have to admit I'm glad that I was never in fear of having to use my leg restraints as tourniquets after taking an AK or RPK round through my thighs! :eek:

It's cool that he wrote after the declassification of CONSTANT PEG, and was able to talk about the issues flying out of Dreamland and integrating those MiGs into the TOPGUN syllabus. I didn't realize they were pulling one over on the AF. Apparently, the AF had never signed up to have those MiGs used as BFM training aids, and thought they were only being used as operational test assets.

I also didn't realize that the first TOPGUN OIC got his career torpedoed as a CV CO after a media circus about his Chief's Mess hazing a drug-addicted Sailor. But his writing seems genuinely contrite, and it was an interesting picture of the . . . umm . . . difficulties being an officer in the post-Vietnam Navy. Thank God we're beyond that as an institution.

Unfortunately, I wish he'd just dropped the whole chapter commenting on the F-35 program. I mean, he flat-out writes words to the effect of "look, I know I'm just a ranting old dude, but here's what I think." That should have been his cue to hit "Select All" and then "Delete." It was basically a whole chapter of "old man yelling at cloud." He has a whole paragraph about how it'd be better if LT Snuffy could just walk up to Maintenance Control and check out a jet no questions asked, which . . . no. That's just not happening anymore.
 

nittany03

FUBIJAR
pilot
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. Author was a founding engineer for Blue Origin back when that was focused on launching a network of satellites, this is science fiction that hypothesizes what happens if the human race has two years to prepare for an apocalyptic event that will require humanity to ride out the next 5,000 years in orbit while the Earth recovers. Lots plausible, some not, I found it more interesting as an exploration of human psychology.
Stephenson is a freaking polymath. If you want a very dense and hard-to-follow-but-still-good read, try Anathem. The only difficult part is that it's a first-person narrative in the dialect of the narrator, and Stephenson more or less expects you to puzzle out what he (the narrator) is talking about through context. Crack that code, and it's a great story.

Also, "In the Beginning Was the Command Line" is a now-dated but interesting look at turn-of-the-century computer geekhood.
 

ChuckMK23

Instructor, Flight.
pilot
CONSTANT PEG was pure genius. The details are still being documented from every angle - not just the AF side but from the irreverent Navy side. I think its a wonderful story worthy of a movie.

"Dude, is that a MIG 23?"
 

AllYourBass

Unusual Vibration Salesperson
pilot
23991

Moved on to America's War for the Greater Middle East after realizing I have a pretty big knowledge gap about everything that got us to where we are today (didn't touch this stuff at all in high school or college). I'm enjoying it for the most part and finding it pretty approachable for such a wide span of history. As a side benefit, Andrew Bacevich is setting me up for success on the GRE verbal portion thanks to his occasionally turgid writing style.
 
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