satellite fall

During a 20-minute escape from the conference I found the only bookshop in Vegas, I think. Certainly the only one in the Venetian: Bauman Rare Books. Some lovely really old stuff, seventeenth and eighteenth century, and whole walls of Folio editions, which, eyeroll, and a wall of slightly obvious modern firsts, things like Franzen and Amis.

And a case of children’s classics, which included a clothbound Kipling and The Ship That Sailed To Mars.

The thought of that book usually makes me miss my father, who read it to me when I was small and ill, but this time it made me miss his mother, my grandmother, who died before I was born. She was the bookish one in the family, and for the first time I realized what a loss her death was, not only to me and my Dad, but to her. She was younger when she died than I am now. I bet she would have been as interested in me as I am in her.

The Solar System is a perilous place, is what I’m saying. Case in point: apparently this thing is about to land on our heads. More ruefulness: if I had realized deputy chief of the U.S. Strategic Command’s space situational awareness division was an actual job, I might have tried harder in physics.

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