I don’t know exactly what happened. I was sitting down in my home office yesterday, taking a break from the short story I was working on, and I glanced at my bookshelves. I seated fairly close to the S’s and there, on a low shelf, my eyes fell on the tattered paperback copy of Carl Sagan’s Contact.
I first read the book back in 1997 and I did so because I’d seen a preview for the movie Contact that would be released in theaters soon. I wanted to read the book before I saw the movie. Indeed, it was on May 25, 1997 (according to my diary). I’d gone to see a rather awful movie, Addicted to Love, and it was during that movie that the preview for contact was shown. After the movie, I headed over to Leon’s Books in San Luis Obispo and ended up buying 8 Isaac Asimov books and Contact. That afternoon, I went back to the house of my friends, with whom I was staying, and while everyone else napped, I zipped through 50 pages of Contact. I read another 250 pages the following day and finished up what was left one day later and I loved it.
So yesterday, when I saw that paperback sitting on the shelf, something compelled me to pick it up and turn to the first page. I read the first page and something prodded me on to reading the second page and before I knew it, I was 30 pages into the book. I’m now about 50 pages in and I’m enjoying it just as much this time as I did 14 years ago. Of course, I’ve seen the movie many times since, and I thought the movie people did a very good job, but there are details in the book, and changes made to the movie that just don’t carry through well. The book really is better and I’m having a blast re-reading it.
Of course, I am supposed to be reading A Mote In God’s Eye. I said that would be the next science fiction book I’d read. Well, I may have to amend that slightly: it will be the next science fiction book I read that I have not yet previously read. I am too engrossed in Contact to stop now.