Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sci-fi Reading . . . It's EVERYWHERE!

Now that we're back from our week-long stay in beautiful, lovely Paris, I'll be posting a series of entries detailing various aspects of our trip. This is because there's simply too much to cover in just one entry. So, if you've arrived via a direct link to this article, please check out my previous entries by either clicking on the blog's main heading banner at the top of this page and scrolling down, or by using one of the label tags at the end of this entry. "Paris Trip 2" is the one I'll be using for all my reports on this most recent trip.

As soon as we arrived at our hotel on Day 1, I did what I usually do: I unpacked. Then I went for a walk, alone. I can cover a lot more ground on my own, you see? And, plus, Lisa usually needs a lot more time to adjust to jet lag and unpack her own clothes and relevant items.

So, since I'd been missing this one area of Paris the most--the Latin Quarter--that was naturally the first place I headed. Leaving Ile Saint-Louis, I crossed the Seine river onto the left bank via the St. Louis and Archeveche bridges. This led me straight past Notre Dame cathedral on the right . . . and what a sight it was!

I continued walking down quai de la Tournelle until I reached Place Saint-Michel and the throngs of tourists that perpetually seem to mob the square every time I'm there. On this particular afternoon, the crowds were especially thick as everyone stopped to watch a motley band of misfits perform before the famous fountain and statue of the Archangel Michel (aka, Michael):

I wasn't too interested, so I kept on moving down the boulevard. Shortly afterward, however, I came across a French-language used bookstore called Silly Melody. Needless to say, but this most certainly did grab my attention.

What piqued my interest the most, however, was a little sign amid the outdoor book displays proclaiming sci-fi goodness to be had:

Now, mind you, these books were all in French; so it's not like I was going to be purchasing any this day. But just take a look at the selection to be had. Not only are the book covers seriously retro and fascinating in an old-school 70s-motif sort of way . . . but some of the titles are downright legendary! I don't think I've seen such a fantastic collection of sci-fi classics all in one cart before, have you? The books are in fact used, but at 2,50 euros a pop (some cheaper), you can't go wrong! Check 'em out:

Click on the images to view larger versions, btw. Look real closely at this pic and, even if you don't read French, you'll probably be able to make out a certain seminal novel by recently appointed SF Grand Master, Joe Haldeman. Just look at that cover!

I pulled a few choice titles from the lot to focus on specific books, all of which I've had the pleasure of reading at some point in the past. See how well you do translating the titles of these well-known classics:

Simply amazing, isn't it? Gotta love Paris.

No, seriously, you do!


  1. You know I would've bought "le trou noir", right?

  2. I almost did. But since it's in French, I just couldn't justify wasting money on something I know I'll never read. Not unless I become fluent in French at some point.

    Then again, now that I think of it . . . this would be a means to becoming fluent, no? Damn! Oh well, it's not like that bookstore is going anywhere. :)


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