Contact Sport should come with a warning. A casual observer of amateur radio could be inspired to become an active operator; and an active operator could easily be compelled to go all in to compete for a spot in the World Radiosport Team Championship. The characters, comradery, competition and thrill of contact come through loud and clear.
The technical detail is neither excruciating or superfluous - it is just right. It is sure to satisfy radio insiders and not overwhelm the uninitiated. From the origins of call signs to how signals travel through the atmosphere, Contact Sport captures the science and romance of making radio contact across cultures and continents.Stewart Vanderwilt, Director & General Manager KUT and KUTX Public Radio, and Assistant Dean, Moody College of Communication at the University of Texas
Let me preface this by saying I know zero, or is it zed, about ham radios, Morse code,or anything to do with the ionospheric effect on electro-magnetic watchamacallit's. Yet I loved Contact Sport. First of all, I loved it for the youthful exuberance of the author. Once again,as in his first book Reunion, J. K George has a managed to harness his inner adolescent to pen this book. It is such a joyful account of something. I have never been so exited about something I did not completely understand. It takes real talent to make that happen. And, secondly, underneath all the joy is this current (yes pun intended) of something so profoundly spiritual that I did not grasp it until I was three quarters of the way through the book. Pay attention to those tiny (actually invisible) arrows used throughout the text! They point to something important. I kept hearing in my head Longfellow's poem...
I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.
I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?
Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.
Making contact with another human being is primal. We can all relate to wanting to be connected if only by a radio signal. To quote the author "Morse seems to bridge an emotional connection of some sort. The sounds of the characters invoke a deep-seated resonance, an auditory-sensory connection to the human spirit."
I recommend Contact Sport to everyone. You don't need to be a "radio ham" to connect with its message.Shanny Lott, Artist in Painting and Sculpture
The whole book was thoroughly enjoyable. J.K. George did an excellent job of explaining what was taking place to a non-ham, while keeping it fresh for people who have been there and have been active in contesting for many years. Learning more about many of the contestants, especially those from other countries, was especially interesting. It's truly amazing how diverse the ham population really is: You don't know if you're talking to the president of a country; a US Senator; a ham pilot flying at 30,000 feet on his way to China; or your neighbor down the street. That's why I still get excited every time I turn the radio on.
I was glad that J.K. George brought out how competitive these contestants really were: Not getting up to go to the bathroom for 24 hours straight; eating very little; and being able to sit in the chair for the whole contest without thinking of losing a contact! Ham radio, especially contesting, has been a terrific activity for me to channel my competitive side after retiring from baseball. The same type of preparation and concentration to detail makes all the difference.Joe Rudi, Former All-Star Professional Major League Baseball Player
I enjoyed reading the details of the 2014 WRTC and I commend J.K. George for such a great job for documenting the event.Bob Heil, Founder of Heil Sound, an American supplier of professional audio equipment.