"Scatter, Adapt and Remember" by Annalee Newitz. Some really long-term thinking. Suppose there is never any way to move faster than the speed of light, but suspended animation is developed, and future technology allows construction of space arks that can reach distant star systems. Colonists take one-way trips to other Earthlike worlds, knowing there will never be any way to come back. Once humanity is living on many planets, no disaster or war on any one of them would lead to the extinction of the race. Then people will adapt, including genetically, to other environments. A visitor arriving in the Milky Way an eon hence would find it hard to believe all the human offshoots were descended from the same hominids in the Olduvai Gorge.
"Life on Mars" by Tracy Smith and "Aimless Love" by Billy Collins. Can't give a logical reason why but lately have been reading poetry rather than fiction. Of recently published poetry, I recommend these. Both are middle of the road in prosody and literary ambition, but what's wrong with that? Both are wise and accessible. Plus Collins goes by "Billy Collins" rather than "W. James Collins," that alone gets bonus points.
At twilight, hearing the engines flare, the horns
not letting up, the frenzy of being. I want to be
one notch below bedlam, like a radio without a dial.
Already I could hear them whispering
behind my stooped and threadbare back,
"Why that dude's older than Cheerios."
The way they used to say why that's as old as the hills.
Only the hills are much older than Cheerios.
You Can Really Like Something and Still Know It Needs Reform: I've done a fair amount of radio in conjunction with the release of "The King of Sports," and now finally pay attention to Twitter. Something I've heard more than once this season is that the column has never been better -- people do actually say that! -- but that my enthusiasm for football seems to be declining.
Here's the deal. Football as a sport engages me as much as it ever did, more perhaps, as with each year my understanding improves of both tactics and the culture of the game. The quality of football on the field is the highest it's ever been -- pro, college or prep. Audiences have enjoyed a decade-long run of close, competitive Super Bowls, including several instances of the best game of the season being the Super Bowl, allowing football to take its bow on a positive note. The sport itself never ceases to interest me.