This time, before heading out, the book I grabbed was 'Friday', by Robert Heinlein. Duh.
'Friday' is not one of my favorite Heinlein novels. It was nominated for the Nebula and the Hugo, so obviously people(and critics) liked it...I just didn't like it as much as 8 or 9 of his other books. You can't even blame it on being one of his later books, because I'm one of those folks who actually enjoy the 'World-as-Myth' stories he was writing at the end.
I think my problem is the plotting...there isn't much of it. The characters are good, the dialogue is fine...it just doesn't feel like the story is going anywhere.
That doesn't matter though...because it is still Heinlein, and there are still things that stick out at you. One is his prediction(and yes it's writing...but it's also a prediction of sorts) of a Balkanized United States in our future. It wouldn't surprise me to see this come to pass...and have it be worse than even Heinlein thought it would be. In his future, it seems that the U.S. has broken down into 3 or 4 'countries', with a few 'free states' thrown in.
One he missed on though, was his use of house hold 'terminals'. Essentially, he predicted the internet, and home computers that could access them...but he totally undershot the potential. For 1982(30 years ago!) I'm sure he felt he was already risking looking crazy enough...but with his 'terminals' you were still tied to a cord...what would he have thought about this wireless world we live in now with a 'terminal' in every pocket?
It's tough to remember sometimes, but, we are LIVING in the future.