melita66: (japanese fruit)
Just finished the fifth collected volume of Piled Higher and Deeper, aka the PHD comic strip. I had the first three volumes for several years and then found out that there were two more. And, that I could get them signed plus a doodle for a bit extra. This volume has a Slackenery doodle. The strip is the trials and tribulations of several grad students scattered across various fields including one in the social sciences. Beyond the specifics faced by the students, there are general ones like a plot of how much you have to do versus how much you're procrastinating. If you've been in grad school, plan to attend, or just had/have to deal with grad students, it's a lot of fun.
melita66: (raven)
I can't remember how I found out but there were two Piled Higher and Deeper (PHD) collections by Jorge Cham that I didn't have. I rushed off to order them and found that I could get autographed copies. Volume 4 was signed with a sketch of Tajel while volume 5 had a sketch of Slackenery. Originally a newspaper and now a web comic, the strips come out 3 times a week. I discovered it in collection form first, so that's how I've continued reading it. It details the lives of several graduate students both in STEM and other fields. Although it's relatively static, there is some movement in the characters' lives. Fun, particularly if you've been in grad school or know people who are/were in grad school.

I also finally read the latest book in the Foreigner series by C.J. Cherryh, Protector, Foreigner #14. She's been turning out these books for a while, but they're really popular. Protector is book 2 in the 5th (!) trilogy. Set on an alien world, humans landed there after being thrown off-course. At first they and the natives, Atevi, got on well, then a war happened over cultural and social misunderstanding. When the smoke cleared, humans were restricted to an island continent (like Madagascar) and a single human, the paidhi, is allowed on the mainland, and a translator and gatekeeper of the transfer of human technology to the Atevi. Things have changed greatly since the first few books--the starship that dropped off the humans returned, they've found more aliens, there was a coup, and more interaction between atevi and humans is happening. The book is starting to switch to the 'next' generation. While one of the narrators, Bren Cameron (paidhi), is still going strong, Cajeiri, the heir to the main atevi leader, is the other narrator. In this book, Cajeiri is about to turn fortunate nine, after a disastrous eighth year. He wants to celebrate by having some human friends to visit. More post-coup shenanigans occur but are mostly wrapped up by the end. No way should someone start with this or the previous book!


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November 2016

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