Starry, Starry Night


When you look into the night sky, do you see stars against a dark background, or do you see space speckled with stars? And does it matter?

What say you?

Note: This question is inspired by a passage in Isaac Asimov’s novel I, Robot. The chapter titled “Reason” features a robot called QT-1, whom his builders call “Cutie.” It’s Cutie’s perspective on the stars and his view of creation and intelligence that draws attention to the difference alluded to in my question for this post. Asimov, who is generally fun to read, is in rare form in this SF novel. Will Smith starred (no pun intended) in a film based on this novel.

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First Lines: What Does Sunday Sound Like?


Sometimes you read the first line of a novel and you just have to take the next step. If you’re lucky, the next sentence is equally galvanizing, and before you know it, you’re deep into another read.

The experience is rare. But it happened for me again the other day. The sentence that did it comes from John Wyndham’s book The Day of the Triffids: “When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere.”

First Edition Cover of John Wyndham's Novel, The Day of the Triffids (1951)

First Edition Cover of John Wyndham's Novel, The Day of the Triffids (1951)

The Day of the Triffids is favorably reviewed by its numerous readers. For example, it averages four-and-a-half stars at Amazon for sixty-nine customer reviews. But it’s still not known very well outside the sci-fi community. Paul Thompson, of Devon, England, has dedicated a website to this book. It’s called “The Reader’s Guide to John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids.”

Here is an artist’s rendition of a triffid:

Sketch of a Triffid

Sketch of a Triffid

Best discussions of The Day of the Triffids:

If you’re familiar with Wyndham’s novel, please post your thoughts.

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