Free books and media – day 7

A full week gone, and things are going well. I am still reading SF, and found more films/video worth watching.

The only book for the day was Ventus by Karl Schroeder, which I read at Richard Beddard’s suggestion. It is a very difficult to describe this book, or pin down exactly why I liked it. It contrasts two very different human societies (a clash of civilisations writ large), and deals with super-intelligent artificial intelligences, but keeps the story and key characters on a human scale.

Rather to my surprise I found two really enjoyable funny videos: one a short documentary, and the other a reasonably long film.

The documentary was Crazy Golf, following the British Team in the 2005 World Mini Golf Championship, as the struggle to avoid coming last. It is only 25 minutes long.

There is a faint air of ludicrousness about the idea of international competition in crazy golf/mini golf, especially as some players obviously take it very seriously. Of course this is not fair. What other than custom makes this sport any more ludicrous than any other?

The film (only 51 minutes long) is Ginger and Snow, a Russian film showing a day in the life of a student. It is in Russian with English sub-titles.

It is hard to understand the plot, or character’s motivations, or, in general, understand what is going on. Despite it feeling somewhat bizarre, the comedy works and the film as a whole is absorbing.

It is beautifully shot in black and white, and this does add to the enjoyment.

At the end of the first week of this experiment, I no longer fear that there will be any problem in finding enough to read and watch to keep me going: there is enough out there for years, if not a lifetime. The problem is now whether I can cover a sufficient sample in just a month.

2 thoughts on “Free books and media – day 7

  1. Glad you liked Ventus, I haven’t read it but will probably! Currently I’m reading Alien Influences by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, which is a very good read – but it’ll cost you (not much :-)).

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