>“All the streetlights on Main Street know my shadow
All the stars up in the sky know all my wishes…”
There are so many books I want to buy/borrow and read! My reading journal has several pages full of wishlists, I have a wishlist up at amazon, and on my desk in my office is a notebook with book reviews torn out of magazines and glued or taped onto the pages. Oh yeah, and I started a wishlist at gurulib. All of this gets added to almost daily.
The dam of my bookworm heart just can’t contain all of this longing, so every Wednesday from here on out, I’m going to choose a book from one of these wishlists and discuss it.
Angry Young Spaceman – Jim Munroe. This is the only science fiction book on my wishlist, so it’s a good place to start: The year is 2959. Sam Breen just graduated from college, and he’s looking for a job. He leaves Earth and ends up teaching EFL at an underwater planet called Octavia, where everyone has 8 tentacles and a fierce, burning desire to learn English.
Sounds pretty hokey, right? Ordinarily, I wouldn’t give this kind of stuff a second glance, but those who have already gobbled up this 2001 novel have learned that the fun is in the details. Octavia is actually a portrait of modern-day Korea, thinly disguised. Really thinly disguised. For example, the national dish on Octavia is a spicy pickled vegetable known as chikim.
Although the inside joke has been spoiled for me (and now I’m spoiling it for others), I’m eager to read this novel and see what other aspects of Korean society Munroe selected to give Octavia that especial otherworldly feel. I’m always up for reading anything with a Korea connection, and from what I’ve heard, Jim Munroe nailed it with creativity and wit.