January 2nd, 2009

Blindsight



It’s long been known that some blind people can avoid obstacles, even walk through an obstacle course. The thought was that they were using echolocation the way bats do – hearing the sounds bouncing back to them from objects.

But look at this video of a blind man who maneuvered down a hallway around a half-dozen objects – some flat to the ground, like a paper tray – without stepping on a single one. You have to see it to believe it. And the article about him says he also reacted to a picture of an angry man. Yet his brain showed no evidence of visual activity.

Read more about it here.

I’m particularly interested in topic because I have a book coming out in 2010 called Shadows Walking Backward. It’s about a 16 year old blind girl who is kidnapped.



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The Knife of Never Letting Go


Yesterday, I finished reading The Knife of Never Letting Go: Chaos Walking: Book One.

See how the title says "Book One"? I think that's important information for anyone thinking about reading this book. It has a lot of what I liked about The Hunger Games: dystopian future, likeable as well as truly frightening characters, action-packed plot. But, and this is kind of a big but, both books are meant to be part of a series. The Hunger Games ends at a plot point that is both satisfying and leaves you wanting more. The Knife of Letting Go ends at a cliffhanger, with the life of a main character hanging in the balance. And since it just came out in November, there will be months to wait to find out what happened. And what if the same thing happens with book two? I'm kind of tempted to wait however many years until the series is finished and I can read everything in one go.

In some ways (although the whole "let's wait to see what happened in the next book" thing isn't nearly as bad), it reminds of Stephen Donaldson's The Mirror of Her Dreams (Mordant's Need, Book 1). I threw that book across the room when I finished, because it resolved NOTHING. It was all a buildup to book two, but when I read book one, book two was a year away.

It's kind of comical, but a London tabloid columnist seems to link The Knife of Never Letting Go to her 13 yo son getting mugged. Here's a link to the article , but I wouldn't read it unless you want to know some spoilers. Here is Ness's response to this nonsense.



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