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Finally excavating the contents of a box from my last move, three decades+ ago. It contains over a hundred sf (and a few adult fantasy) paperbacks, mostly bought used at the Bookrack on Church St. in Harvard Square. The church (mine), First Parish UU, is still going strong after three and a half centuries; the Bookrack, not so much. A lot have covers by Richard Powers or an imitator, but none are credited.

I'm planning to donate Nova and Dune to the library. I read these highly-praised works in my 20s, probably years too late or too early to appreciate them, and they are more than anything else what stopped me reading SF. Nova stuck me as a conventionally stupid plot (you have starships but can't make your own fusion??? Or use a TV camera, or a robot, to navigate?) shoehorned into the grail legend.

Dune had a better plot, but the pseudo-Arabic (I still want to write a parody about Paul Atrium, the Rub-a-Dub), the lame excuse for swordplay (force fields that stop a bullet or a laser but not a sword), and the terrible science (the planet wouldn't produce enough oxygen for a breathable atmosphere, or enough food to sustain a sandworm) led me to dismiss it as just an updated sword & sorcery epic.

But I know people love these. Your thoughts?

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