As I’ve mentioned we have this ‘QEP’ (Quality Enhancement Plan) on campus that’s about “creating a culture of reading.” This is the thing for which I teach the reading circle on science fiction (I’ll be doing it again in the Fall). And there’s a little table in my building with a constantly-refreshed supply of free books to take and circulate.
These things came together earlier as I was walking by and noticed a copy of Frank Herbert’s The Santaroga Barrier sitting on the table. I have this amazing ability to completely forget reading I do for pleasure, so although I know I’ve read this book and assume it’s in Herbert’s usual vein of exploring what happens to humans under extreme pressure, it’s ‘as if’ I’d never read it. So I picked it up. And noticed, this I think for the first time, that the main character’s name is Gilbert Dasein and a key plot-point concerns the Jaspers Cheese Cooperative.
It will be interesting to see how far beyond arch conceit Herbert takes this.