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6/22/16 5:18 P

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The Medusa Chronicles (Hardcover) by Stephen Baxter and Alastair Reynolds

This is a sequel to A Meeting With Medusa by Arthur C. Clarke. I think that perhaps it more of a love letter from the authors to Uncle Arthur. Honestly, the first two thirds of the book I found uninspiring and plodding. I particularly found the various iterations of our hero's machine body to be cumbersome and mostly felt like a 1980's one off? Also, the idea of Machine sentients was not really well thought out.
But I stuck with it, and the final third was well written indeed. That's when I could really sink my teeth into this, so to speak. So I was going to give it a Two Star rating, but the last part pulled it up a notch.

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6/22/16 5:12 P

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The Long Cosmos (The Long Earth, #5) by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

How do you say goodbye? Especially to a beloved author who is now in the next realm. Sir Terry Pratchett, (who had numerous works to his name) left us in 2015. Happily he and Stephen Baxter left us this very satisfying, and yet bittersweet conclusion tho the series.
I would decidedly recommend that you do read the entire series, in order, before this. Otherwise, you simply won't get the full emotional impact of the book.
Our old, dear friends have one last tourney to make, and hopefully answer an invitation to all sentient beings in the Long Earth cascade. How they do what they do, and the interaction of these people are what keeps this book so close to the heart.
So, in the wise words of Dr. Seuss, "Don't cry because it's over, be happy that it happened!"

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6/12/16 7:50 P

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War Factory (Transformation #2) by Neal Asher

Wowzers! What a read! This is the second of three books in the Transformation series. And it picks up about a nanosecond after the first one ends. Or maybe that's a femto second? The pacing is tight, and the plot seems to start at berserk and then go into hyperdrive. We have several subplots, each by a different character, who's have each somehow, been changed by being in contact with Penny Royal. Penny Royal is the galaxy's Most Wanted AI, and for several god reasons. She is a murderess of planetary proportions, and she also has her own unique sense of sadistic humor. Anyone who has some kind of a deal with this black AI quickly discovers that they got what they wanted, but it's always a deal with the devil.
The plot is very consuming, as is everyone's seeming desire to figure out just what Penny Royal is doing now? Especially as it appears that she is intent on redemption. But she still is a mystery wrapped in a conundrum hidden inside a black hole.
The story follows each character, and also delves into the politics of Human, Prador and Polity AI. Penny Royal must "go back to the beginning" to find the end. So, of course she also places each character where she wants, with no regards to their wants or wishes. All of which means that as soon as you finish this book, you immediately want to pick up the next! Which I have been given to understand is at the editors.
Lastly, after reading the poignant dedication, all I can say is"Thank you Neal for remembering. I appreciate it."

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6/11/16 10:11 P

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The Rising (The Alchemy Wars, #2) by Ian Tregillis

I never knew there was an "Urban Fantasy" genre until I started reading it. This is the sequel to The Mechanical, and a very worthy successor it is indeed.
Some old friends and enemies (and sometimes you just aren't really sure?), and some new ones. The plot goes further afield and afoot, and into a revolution. One that is probably "the end of the world."
Oh dear, will Ian please and thank you bring out the conclusion to this story?!

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6/11/16 10:10 P

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Code Breakers Complete Series: Books 1-4 (Kindle Edition) by Colin F. Barnes

Read this entertaining series as a set, on my Kindle. The first three books are really just one long novel. The fourth is a short story that ties up loose ends from the first three.
Very fast paced SciFi that moves along quickly. The cast of characters are quirky and eccentric, but wonderfully so. The plot is a bit strained at times, but you just keep reading.
In all a good read.

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6/11/16 10:09 P

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City of Blades (The Divine Cities, #2) by Robert Jackson Bennett

What? Yet another Urban Fantasy book? Well, yes. And a great read it is at that. This is the sequel, stand alone, of City of Stairs. I think that this novel is more smoothly written and better paced. We have some new friends and some old ones. And oh yeah, a certain Divinity that was supposed too be long dead, that has promised to her followers that they will one day wage war on the living, and utterly kill every human being on the planet. What is a retired general to do? You will just have to pick up the book to find out, it's well worth the read I assure you.

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4/29/16 11:07 A

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The Drafter by Kim Harrison

Picked this up at an airport on a recent trip. Airport bookstores are really not well noted for having any SciFi, much less really good SciFi. Happily, this was a quick and easy read. The characters drove the plot, and there plenty of twists and turns along the way.
I enjoyed the read quite a bit, but noted a few stumbles along the way. Namely, how does the Anchor and the Drafter really manage to get into each other's heads? Don't remember that being explained anywhere. Then again, I was also on two flights, one of which got delayed, and was really tired when I read most of this book, so who knows?
If you pick it up, you won't be disappointed.

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4/16/16 10:33 A

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The Nano Flower (Greg Mandel, #3) by Peter F. Hamilton

Well, Peter F. Hamilton saved the best for the last, didn't he? In the further adventures of Greg Mandel, and company, we forward about 17 years since the previous book. Shame really as I bet there is space in between for at least two more novels? Ah well, once again the action is brisk, the characters are multi layered and well textured, and the evil is not exactly out of this world. The plot is character driven, and there's plenty of twists and misdirection along the way. Spoiler Alert: I did figure out what wasn't, about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way through. And that's all I am going to say about that. Go pick it up and give it a read, time well spent. And a very appropriate ending. Too bad it's the end of this series.

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4/9/16 9:11 P

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A Quantum Murder (Greg Mandel, #2) by Peter F. Hamilton

Another great read from this author! And the second book in this near future is just as exciting, and fast paced as the first. We have the same basic retinue of characters, with a couple of new friends along the way. This book is definitely a Murder Mystery first, and near future SciFi thriller second.
Our group of heroes isn't going to save the world this time, but instead they have to solve a murder that was committed by someone who can't possibly have done it. If you are now scratching your head, good! You will want to pick this book up, but fair warning, you won't put it down until you're done!

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4/6/16 11:41 P

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"Kiss the Girls" by James Patterson

Saw the movie a bunch, read it years and years ago, but re-reading it today. didn't realize how much was different, yet still awesome (one of the few times i like both the book AND theatrical version about the same)

"Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"--Adm. David G. Farragut.

"Ninja's aren't dangerous. They're more afraid of YOU than you are of them." --The Tick, "The Tick #3"

"This is a revolution, dammit. We're going to have to offend SOMEBODY!" --William Daniels as John Adams, "1776"


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4/6/16 4:11 P

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Mindstar Rising (Greg Mandel, #1) by Peter F. Hamilton

Put your stray tables in the locked, upright position, you are in for a very bumpy ride indeed!! This book is SciFi with Murder Mystery with Thriller... and it rocks! Written in 1993 it holds up remarkably well. In fact, if the author would just change the "cybofax" (Relly? you couldn't come up with a better word?) for a cell phone, it would be complete.
I generally don't discuss plus very ucjh as you can get that from any jacket blurb, or other reviews. So I will say that I very much enjoy a character driven plot, and subplots. This book takes no prisoners, and gives no quarter. In other words, the people that inhabit this near future are smart, and cleverly written. the inevitable twists are delicious and sharp. So pick this book up, but be forewarned you won't put it down until you are done!

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3/28/16 4:59 P

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Xeelee: Endurance by Stephen Baxter
I usually don't go in for a compilation of short stories (as I've said before), but am delighted that I read this one! Set in Stephen Baxter's Xeelee universe, these are the stories in between the stories. In other words, the author's mighty works about humanity's struggles against the Xeelee are merely a backdrop here. These stories, in chronological order, tell about the kind of galaxy that evolves around, or because of, that war.
So don't expect much in the way of "Us versus Them" battle and such. As much I loved the Xeelee sequence, these stories actually flesh out that timeline, in a very human way, with very human characters, doing very human things.
Since the stories are presented in a first to last procession, you really get the idea of the background noise from the constant turmoil of the conflict, while concentrating upon the struggle of the more immediate now of the characters of each story. Pick the up, it won't let you down.

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3/19/16 1:39 P

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Across a Billion Years by Robert Silverberg

What a fun read!! From start to finish I thoroughly enjoyed this ride. hard to imagine it was first put out in 1969! Yikes! And it stand up so well even today. The characters were what really made this such a worthwhile read. Each of them were textured, and the aliens included made it more fun to read.

Our hero, a fresh archaeologist, is writing letters to his quadriplegic sister at home. Somehow Tom Rice ends up on a mission to learn more about a race of sentients that had colonized the galaxy a billion years ago. And, of course, just about everything that was previously known about The High Ones gets turned over and inside out.

Well paced, and well done!

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3/16/16 5:52 P

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Scratch Monkey by Charles Stross

What a ride!! Wowzers!! This book was originally written a couple of decades ago, by a much younger Charlie Stross that we are used to reading. But don't let that fool you! What it lacks in subtlety and smoothness, it more than makes up for in pure, raw, angst and energy.
I think it would be fair to say that this short book is really almost a mashup of three different short stories. And there is some much needed, but somewhat awkwardly handled, exposition along the way.
The pace is almost frenetic, the stakes are incredibly high, and the heroes are wonderfully twisted.
The main hero, Oshi Adjani has seen more death and despair than any girl or woman should in a lifetime of lifetimes. Her "Boss" is a rather brilliant, and manipulative cur. But even worse than knowing the "Truth" is dealing with it... to the tune of almost a billion souls. Oh and there is an even much more malevolent evil out there that seems to be simply eating our galactic civilization at will.
Toss in the odd Egyptian God with a dog's head and an appetite for despair, then mix well with some folks who do not trust Oshi, but have to rely upon her, and sprinkle with a love affair that wasn't.
Lastly, for a behind the curtain peek at writing and the business of getting published, DO read the two quick essays at the end!
Now, if only Charlie would write a sequel, set 20 some years in the future of this novel. Please Charlie, bring Oshi back in another book!!!


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3/10/16 10:07 A

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Morning Star (Red Rising, #3) by Pierce Brown

Well... Pierce Brown really did save the best for last in this trilogy! By now you know the story, you know the plot, you know the characters, and you know you keep reading.

But I assure you that you don't the many surprises that come your way! Like the first two books, many of the surprises are particularly nasty, or even gut to heart wrenching. And this book moves across a different landscape, and we get to see the story draw in towards the end game.

The ending is well worth the read, and it finished off this trilogy perfectly.

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3/3/16 7:11 P

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Golden Son (Red Rising, #2) by Pierce Brown

Woot, what a ride! Better than the first book, which was pretty great, by a shot. Our hero and his not so noble band of warriors find themselves in deeper. This time the game involves not just them at school, but instead they must charge a civil war of the entire Solar System.
Throw in some fun and excitement, along with betrayal, and murder. Broken bones and hearts, and cruelty with no remorse or morals. Yup, just about a perfect Greek Tragedy!

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2/26/16 8:44 P

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Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories (Hardcover) by China Miéville

I'm giving this 3 of 5 stars, there were a good variety of appropriately twisted tales, and I keep turning the pages soon enough. I do need admit, however, that I really am not the short story type. Oh, I know... it's the purest form of storytelling... cleanse and most efficient style of telling a tale... and so on. I just hate becoming invested in a story only to have Whammo The End Now! And some of the really short ditties I simply couldn't follow?
But I could, and did follow enough of them to enjoy the read.

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2/25/16 2:28 P

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Ha! I SO understand about finishing a lame book? It's like you don't want to totally give in?

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2/25/16 11:42 A

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The Legend of Broken by Caleb Carr. It's taken me forever to get about half way through, which has been a great disappointment. Carr wrote one great book (The Alienist) about 19th century New York and early psychology. He wrote a decent book (The Angel of Darkness) in the same context. He wrote a bad SF book (Killing Time). I thought I would give him another chance when I spotted this one at the library, but it seems to be a bad historical novel with fantasy elements, and some of the worst naming I have come across in years. Ugh.

And yet, I will probably finish it anyway. Go figure.

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2/23/16 10:10 A

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Worlds Away (The Interstellar Age, #3) by Valmore Daniels
The last book in this trilogy. Val more still needs to work on his continuity. And sometimes his timing of the story, and also some plot lines, seems contrived. In this last book, the aliens have all been done before as well. So I was rather prepared to say that it's a decent enough piece of fluff, but move on.
The characters, however, really do shine, even if they aren't quite a swell developed as you hope for. But the characters are ultimately what does carry the story, and you end up feeling for them.
When the author does get to the end game, he actually ratchets up his game a couple of notches! The suspense built at a good rate, and the ending was very well written indeed.
I actually would give each book a C-, but will be generous and give the series a C.

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2/20/16 4:03 P

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Music of the Spheres (The Interstellar Age, #2) by Valmore Daniels

This is the second installment of his Interstellar Age trilogy. The characters are, once again, very real and well textured. the plot is entertaining enough to keep you turning pages, even when it gets either cumbersome or stilted by turns.
I did enjoy the delving into Mayan history, and that has been well woven thru this story. Unfortunately the author still has problems with continuity in several places. And there also many places where the dialogue felt forced.
Daniels still hasn't got his approach to artificial gravity down (all puns included) and the Canadian space station just doesn't fit right either.
The journey in this book, however, does fit well, and is paced nicely. I only hope that he doesn't fall back onto some tired cliches of aliens invading Earth in the next book. It's been done too many times before to have real meaning now.

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2/11/16 6:17 P

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Forbidden the Stars (The Interstellar Age, #1) by Valmore Daniels

Happily it's a quick read, and you do get interested in the characters. Unhappily I think the author was trying for too much, and not getting it. There are several inconsistencies in this book, like a space ship that lands on the Moon, and is slated to turn around in two weeks to return to Pluto. Yet in the next chapter it launches from Port Canaveral? Also the author's supposition of mimicking gravity thru magnetics is complete bollocks, and becomes tiresome. The worst part, however, is the author's insistence in trying to use some technobabble to create this near future. it fails miserably. And even when he goes into one of paragraph long explanations of th math, he doesn't even get that right! Note to the author: surface area is expressed in square kilometers, not cubed. Duh.
All the aside, it is a fun read, if only to find out how the characters are going to react to this improbable scenario. The monument on Pluto is actually a well done contrivance, and the political machinations seem genuine enough as well.
So this good for a quick read, and I'll read the other two book, hoping that the author hits his side in those stories.

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2/9/16 9:26 P

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Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman

I usually don't want to spend time in a book of short stories because just as soon as I get involved with the story, it's over?! Short stories do have to have a rather efficient scale of economy, and thus are the purest form of writing fiction. Neil Gaiman does so in his (un)usual style of bringing the reader along just enough to wonder what really did happen, and what is next?!
We get to meet a couple of old friends, and make some new ones along the way. is this SciFi or Fantasy... yes. Along with some nifty poetry and prose, and a wonderful complement of oddments and curios. Once you start, you will keep turning the pages, and then wish you weren't done. Such is the magic of Neil Gaiman.

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2/6/16 11:22 A

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Passage At Arms by Glen Cook

An intriguing, first person account of a mission in a war torn galaxy, in the not so near future. Our hero (who's name I never did catch!) is a war correspondent that angles his way into a Climber, to give their unique story. Climbers are small ships, with light crews, that can slip they the Ulant's defenses mostly undetected.
The story is not so much about the technology of the day, but rather about the crew, and their personalities as the mission continues. A brief, and glorious victory, but at what cost to both ship and crew? A mission that devolves thru time as the people aboard the failing ship break down.
What can possibly keep this threadbare unit alive and is there any hope of making it back in one piece?
You'll just have to read this book, but set aside a day because you will be turning pages to get to the next one!

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1/7/16 2:44 P

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Time Salvager by Wesley Chu
I don't usually go for books about time travel. The usually seem to muck about in the past, creating alternate histories, and also get lost in the technical aspects of both traveling in time, and also the technical tour de force that makes it possible. Happily, this tale neatly avoids all that!
The "present" is at the end of the 25th century, and the time travel only goes back to the latter part of the late 21st century. As for the technical Gee Whizz of how they manage to jump back and forth, our hero simply doesn't know, nor care. He just does it. This allows for a cleaner trip, and a bette read!
Speaking of our hero, James Griffin Mars, he's piece of work alright. Pretty much about used up, both physically and emotionally. Some of his pains are from to much alcohol on a consistent basis, too much guilt at what he does, and a consistent fatalism that makes him certain he's not really doing any good.
So... he does something that nobody has done before, he breaks the first, most important Time Law. He brings back to the present a scientist, that may be able to heal the Earth that has become a toxic sewage dump in the 25th century. Oh dear. If that isn't enough, he also discovers along the way that his beloved Chromo Com isn't the Knight On A White Horse it pretends to be, and also finds a plot of incredible greed across the entire Solar System, and through time itself. Rut rho.
His real journey, however, isn't from one time into another, but from who he made himself become, to become someone he's not. A hero.
And the ending was great as well...

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12/28/15 3:34 P

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Worlds by Joe Haldeman
Joe Haldeman has been a staple of SciFi for many years now. This particular novel was highly recommended to me, and I am quite happy to have made it's acquaintance! Originally written in 1955 (yes really!), it easily could have been written last year. That's silly how good it is.
Our heroine hails from New New York, the largest of some 40 cities in orbit around the planet. Set in the 25th century, the technology is amazingly prescient of how it could be.
Marianne has a singular life up there, and decides to go to Earth for a year long graduate studies program. She becomes involved with a poet, Benny, and also a subversive political group on the campus. Her fun, little cabal seems innocent enough, but there comes a time when maybe not so innocent after all.
She decides to get away from it all by taking a whirlwind tour, and gets involved with a classmate that works for the FBI. When she returns from her globe trotting tour is when the book really picks up. As the plot speeds up, she loses control over her world, as the world itself goes out of control.
Cleverly written, wonderful characters, and a juicy plot kept me entertained all the way thru. And as to the ending, oh my yes.


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12/16/15 1:05 P

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Caretaker by Josi Russell
Don't know how I managed (or mismanaged) to pick out two clunkers in a row, but I sure did! If you have someone in late elementary school, and want to introduce them to SciFi, then this may be a decent book. If, however, you are an adult, and have read a lot, then this book is fairly pedestrian.
You can read the blurb for a quick tease not he plot. All I will say is that half way thru the book the read stated to deteriorate. As in you are surprised, not by the plot twists and character development, but by the amazing amount of "Been there, done that" items you encounter. The characters are all pretty much just one layer, the plot is very straightforward to the point of boring, and the aliens have all been done before. (and done better).
So, if this was a very young adult title, it would do better.

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12/12/15 10:26 A

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A Borrowed Man, by Gene Wolfe

Meh. It is a fast read, but nor very involving. the characters are all one dimensional, except for our hero. And he is a mess and full of contradictions. Not in the way that makes cgi more interesting or human, but in the you're not going to suspend disbelief way. The plot is lame, and the concussions is totally off base.
Move along, nothing to see here...

alas, there were some great ideas here, and he is a well noted Fantasy author, but this book pretty well was stiff and stilted. I should have there reviews in Goodreads, instead of amazon before buying the book.

Edited by: JAYMURZ at: 12/15/2015 (11:06)
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12/10/15 1:01 P

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Our Lady Of The Ice, by Cassandra Rose Clarke
I usually go for more of the hard SciFi type reads than this book, but am I ever glad I read it! A very unusual book, cleverly written, and the plot is driven by the characters.
Our setting is in Hope City, which lies in Antartica complete with a town, and a run down amusement park. This particular ark was constructed in the early 1940's, and run mostly by robot and android help. Now, some 20 years later (just go with it) and there are only a few robots left, and the town has it's various factions of politics and crime.
Insert our heroine, Eliana, who is a PI and mostly broke. She gets thrown into a deluge of nasty politics and sordid dealings, nine of which make the rest of the humans there seem honorable in the least.
Then there's Sofia, a robot who dreams of independence, both of her built in programming, and also for all of her robotic brethren. And Lady Luna, who has a secret to keep, and mismanages to do so, in the worst way. And she prays a lot. Which is rather strange considering her real nature.
No spoilers here, but the ending is perfect! You close the book, and wonder what happened next.

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11/14/15 8:55 P

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Get the Job You Want, Even When No One's Hiring. By Ford R. Myers.

This book should be given to every college student with their degree (I would've loved it but it came out the year after i got mine, dang it). Still, most of the things in here (other than "resume" and "networking" I'd never really heard of--its bizarre. It pinpointed a lot of the things I'd done wrong when I went on my last job interview--I hit every trap laid out before me, dang it. There's a lot of good methods and some common sense stuff, too, but the resources to focus on making a career vs. just getting that good job or nailing that interview--that's what I needed to hear. I thought this guy was reading my mind when I went through the first part of the book. had I found this book 2 years ago, I would be on my way to a far better job right now instead of what I've got today. I recommend to any college student about to hit the real world (or any high school student trying to figure out what they want for a career) to read this book. I really wish I'd found this one sooner.

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11/9/15 5:37 P

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The Darwin Elevator by Jason M. Hough (the first in a trilogy)
I didn't read this as I (errantly) thought it was just another stupid zombie apocalypse story with lots of blood and gore and no plot or any real characters. Happily, I was very wrong about that! Yes, there are some "subs" that could be likened to zombies, but they don't run around trying to eat people's brains. The are the result of an alien infection, which was brought along by an alien space elevator that landed on Earth (at Darwin, Australia, hence the name) with no announcement from the aliens.
In fact, the aliens are no where to be found, and thus largely ignored. The real story has to do with how we, as a species, react to this sudden intrusion into our lives. At first it seems a boon, a real space elevator that can teach cut so much! But then, after a dozen years, the alien infection wipes out almost all of Humanity. The few souls it doesn't kill, it turns into subhumans... people with very limited cognizance. And a very, very, very small number of folks who are immune to the disease. Altho, ironically, right around Darwin, the disease doesn't take hold?
So you can imagine the world gone into the crapper, and just what happens in Darwin as the Haves and Have Nots clash. And the folks up in the elevator, with farms, trade for food for air and water.
By all accounts a swift story, and well told.

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10/28/15 12:36 P

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Luna: New Moon by Ian McDonald
Wow! Once again, Ian McDonald delivers a very well crafted journey. In the near future, the Moon had been thoroughly colonized, and is run by five different families, or "Dragons". Each family seeks advantage over each other, and nothing is off limits for them to achieve it. Out main protagonist is the elderly matriarch of the Cota family, which supplies H3 to Earth for fusion reactors to power plants. Each family has their own speciality in this tale.
So we learn of the Corta's history, along with the current developments, all of which tie together very well.
The characters are driven by a history not of their making, but into a future that is uncertain at best. Add in some love/hate marriages, and some good old boy politicking, and then spice with hatred and revenge. All make for a tale not easily forgotten. The ending is really not what you may want, but it is the only ending possible. Think Greek tragedy, not fairy tale. But do give it a read!

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10/26/15 10:49 A

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The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Wow... another amazing tale, told well. Neil Gaiman is such a treasure to read. His artful manipulation of reality into myth just seems to always have the right amount of folding and blending of realities. An improbable beginning for a young boy, an exotic place and time in which to grow up, and (as always) a very evil and sinister group to defeat. But then, when you grow up as an orphan in a graveyard, with a bunch of dead people to look after you, what else can you do?

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10/26/15 10:48 A

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Proxima by Stephen Baxter

Great follow up to Proxima! This book concludes the journey across many different versions of time, and is truly an epic tale! Stephen Baxter brings us back to the groups that survived the complete destruction of our own Solar system, and somehow finds their ways back to each other. Only now we seem to be in a different universe, and one with a much different past history than ours?!
As the book progresses, and we march along with our splintered and factious groups, you really get a feel for the characters, and their interrelationships with each other. So when the author brings in some new and fresh folks to the mix, he does so with the original sensibilities relatively intact. Good thing as apparently Rome, and the Incas still have their fans?
A worthy ending and a very good and satisfying read.

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10/18/15 9:15 P

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"Great Jobs for History Majors"
not a stretch to wonder why--I need a job where I use my brain more, gorram it.

"Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"--Adm. David G. Farragut.

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10/14/15 10:42 P

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"Honeymoon" by James Patterson

I gotta admit, haven't read the great JP in quite some time, but this book sure didn't disappoint. Not a slow read by any means (my copy had very short chapters and larger print than I thought, so it went fast), and you keep on turning the pages, wondering how it all comes together. definitely not one to spoil for people. Its all about a young interior decorator, Nora, who is essentially a bigamist who's trying to figure out which man in her life she should kill first...then comes some characters I won't spoil who ebb and flow in the story and it all wraps up interestingly together. Great mystery and fun to read.

"Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"--Adm. David G. Farragut.

"Ninja's aren't dangerous. They're more afraid of YOU than you are of them." --The Tick, "The Tick #3"

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9/29/15 8:58 P

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The Complete Maus: A Survivor's Tale, by Art Spiegelman

Great story uniquely told--never thought I'd see the Holocaust in graphic novel form. As much a story of a man who was young and trying to survive the holocaust once as it is the son (and artist) who is trying to get the story and not be driven crazy by his father's eccentricities. Interesting animation and story, the characters are raw and real and you see the events, back and forth as the men converse and the story returns to the 40s. Doesn't take long to read and hooks you in so you get the meaning. This copy is books 1 and 2 rolled into one volume (in case you get confused looking for it).

"Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"--Adm. David G. Farragut.

"Ninja's aren't dangerous. They're more afraid of YOU than you are of them." --The Tick, "The Tick #3"

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9/29/15 8:36 P

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The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury

the master of good sci-fi short stories, collected in "chronological order" to show humans attempting to land on mars, what happened, and the subsequent colonization and comings and goings. there're lots of possibilities, so the segments aren't really chapters, but well...chronicles of various people.

Worth a read if you love sci-fi, or wouldn't mind wondering what all the fuss was about with this author (Frankly, Fahrenheit 451 is my version of hell...rapidly coming true. eww.). Enjoy!

"Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"--Adm. David G. Farragut.

"Ninja's aren't dangerous. They're more afraid of YOU than you are of them." --The Tick, "The Tick #3"

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9/29/15 9:26 A

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Solarversia by Toby Downtom

For some unknown to me reason, on Twitter, I get a *lot* of new and indie SciFi authors all asking me to please oh please read their book, then shout out about how it was the bestest book I have ever read. Okay, so Toby didn't come on nearly that strong, and I really have nothing against using Social Media for commercial purposes.
And in fact, I did buy this book, and also loved it! Which is kind of strange as I am not a gamers at all! but the pace was swift enough to hold my attention, and the characters (especially Nova) were witty enough to have some laughs along the way.
Clever plot twists and a truly demented evil bad guy all make for a good read. Now bring the game on..

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9/29/15 9:25 A

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Zero World by Jason M. Hough

Thought I wouldn't like this one, and have no idea why I bought it in the first place? But I am very glad I did buy it! A near future techno spy thriller and so much more.
I really eschew any "Alternate Earth" stories as being basically inept and mundane. Yet the author manages to weave a tale that is credible, and also create some very interesting and compelling characters alone the way.
Pick it up, and you won't put it down until you are done!

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9/5/15 11:49 A

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Dark Orbit by Carolyn Ives Gilman
An interesting read with some very clever places to go to. A journey thru the dark, to discover something within. Our hero is a woman that isn't quite right in the head, even tho she has been "five". Out other hero is another woman that really isn't cut out for this kind of a day job.
let's go discover a new planet, that seems to have a lot of dimensionality to it. Oh, then let's also discover some natives that should not be there at all, and just happen to be blind, and living in a cave. Yet some of these native also seem to be able to go a lot of other places without any technology at all?
The book waves a good story, and the characters are well developed.
It's a nice, quick read.

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9/5/15 11:47 A

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Superposition by David Walton
A fun, well paced, cleverly thought out novel. Set in the 2030's, we find our hero is a college prof that used to be a somebody. But politics got him downcast at his job on the New Jersey Super Collider. Think Hadron, only way bigger, and in Jersey. Anyway, after he left that job to be a mild mannered prof at the local CC, his former coworker pays a visit. And that's where it all goes downhill. Co worker ends up dead, our hero goes down for the rap, and things get really, really, really, "spooky actin at a distance" strange.

Don't worry if you don't have a physics background, the science is explained in a manner that the jury could understand it too. Basically, our twice dead (Yup) coworker has managed to cross the quantum into the macro. So imagine a world where things no longer behave the way you think they should, and could? And oh, seems there is a very twisted Quantum Intelligence that has a sadistic streak to it. Plus a couple of bad love affairs, and a family that seems to occupy more than one state, or position, along the probability wave form field?

This book put Science back into the SciFi, and does it in such a way as to be quite entertaining! David Walton, the author, uses the science to get to the root of the plot, and also ask some profound questions along the way.


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The Flicker Men: A Novel by Ted Kosmatka
Set in the present time (presumably) this is another novel of what happened when the Quantum world bless over into the Macro. The author, Ted Kosmatka, weaves a chilling tale of what happens when a broken, nearly suicidal researcher, Eric Argus, makes a breakthrough by using the Double Slit Experiment. His works proves that it takes consciousness to determine if a photon will act as a wave, or a particle. Or if said probabilities have already taken place, but won't be determined until a conscious person looks at the results. Which means that we could change the past (in some strange way).

The book moves briskly, and the plot is well done. Even as Eric is making these strange and incredible discoveries, other folks have their own uses for his research. And some of these folks are really what you would call Human! But they do seem to want to cause the entire world to collapse!!

Definetly a SciFi thriller, with implications beyond the speculative parts of the fiction. Throw in some good double crosses, and some unusual happenings along the way, and you will be turning each page to get to the next.

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8/25/15 9:47 P

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"Deliver Us: Three decades of murder and redemption in the infamous I-45/Texas Killing Fields" by Kathryn Casey

I admit I'm big on true crime and understanding why things happen and whatnot, but it wasn't til recently I'd heard about this whole "Texas Killing Fields" thing between Houston and Galveston (grew up just southeast of Houston). I couldn't believe I'd missed all this stuff, but so had many other people in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Lots of info--not all encompassing just because of the scope of things and the amount of time that's lapsed, but very informative and gives you a ton of side notes. saw the 48 hrs doc on it that told me about it (but seemed they were too intent on talking about the movie to the cops it was supposedly based on--not a bad flick, but definitely different and a little confusing...guess I need to watch it a bit)

Book was good, though--that's for sure.

"Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"--Adm. David G. Farragut.

"Ninja's aren't dangerous. They're more afraid of YOU than you are of them." --The Tick, "The Tick #3"

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8/25/15 11:12 A

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Just finished The Dark Forest, by Cixin Liu. This is a sequel to The Three Body Problem, and brings us thru 200 years for history up to the time when humanity deals with the incoming probe from the the Trisolarn Fleet.
This story is not so much about harder and ships and battles and such, but is much more about the psychology of what our species might do in the face of a crisis like this. Turns to, that we suck. Who knew?

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8/10/15 10:09 A

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Have heard about "Freakanomics", but never really explored it? I'm exploring some astrobiology by nosing around the sergeant.org website. Lots of neat stuff in there to ponder too?

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8/9/15 9:45 P

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reading "Think Like a Freak: The authors of freakonomics offer to retrain your brain" by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

Love it so far--heard some of this stuff on their podcasts the past few months (playing major catchup on that front, loved the other books, though), and its got some great info and possibilities I could implement for myself. me likey the idea!

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8/5/15 11:17 P

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well, the book didn't make him out to be some sort of pariah like the movie did to up the drama and all (no space nut I know cares for that part, I skip it each time), but there is a great deal of the speculation involved and the mode of thinking that was going on. Gus never wavered from his statements that it "just blew", but there is a lot of spec. As far as they knew from the spacecraft layout an accidental hit on the button could've happened (really cramped and all).

But the book's really good at getting into the pilots, what the right stuff was, all the pilot culture and the wives and their culture and expectations. a lot of pete Conrad at first. you can tell for much of the film dialogue they consulted this book. its definitely worth a read, and even though the subject is by its nature quite technical, Tom Wolfe is really good at making you understand it (or at least try to). Very worth it.

"Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"--Adm. David G. Farragut.

"Ninja's aren't dangerous. They're more afraid of YOU than you are of them." --The Tick, "The Tick #3"

"This is a revolution, dammit. We're going to have to offend SOMEBODY!" --William Daniels as John Adams, "1776"


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8/4/15 9:26 P

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I haven the movie several times, but always wondered how the book is? Did you like it? And does the book make Gus Grissom out to be the buffoon they made him in the movie? (I will never forgive them for that).

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8/4/15 8:07 P

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Tom Wolfe's "The Right Stuff"

"Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"--Adm. David G. Farragut.

"Ninja's aren't dangerous. They're more afraid of YOU than you are of them." --The Tick, "The Tick #3"

"This is a revolution, dammit. We're going to have to offend SOMEBODY!" --William Daniels as John Adams, "1776"


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8/2/15 9:55 A

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The Planet Saturn

www.universetoday.com/15298/saturn/

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8/1/15 4:41 P

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Thats some truly classic SciFi!!

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8/1/15 3:04 P

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Plato's "Timaeus and Critias"--small read I've had on the shelf a while, dialogues about the self (of course) and the Platonic version of the Atlantis myth enclosed. one thing I forgot about the man's dialogues--he can go off on a tangent in conversation worse than me. ugh, will be painful to finish if he doesn't get to the point soon, but then I can toss it on the donate pile.

"Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"--Adm. David G. Farragut.

"Ninja's aren't dangerous. They're more afraid of YOU than you are of them." --The Tick, "The Tick #3"

"This is a revolution, dammit. We're going to have to offend SOMEBODY!" --William Daniels as John Adams, "1776"


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7/31/15 11:13 A

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Just finished Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson. A departure from his normal excellent narrative style. But this book has it's own excellent narrative styles! Plenty of great plot, and characters to try and homestead on a Moon of a distant planet that orbits around Tau Ceti.
The dynamic are very real, and the struggles are many and the solutions not easily gained. But a great read and I recommend it highly!

Oh, and Good Omens is great fun to read!

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7/24/15 1:19 P

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I've had Good Omens sitting on my bookshelf for, well, a couple of years now. I think its time to actually read it.

Also have Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson which my daughter (25) loved. Ive enjoyed his other books.

I am strong and I can climb mountains!


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7/20/15 10:03 A

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Been on a tear with reading lately! I've knocked down two more!! Armada by Ernest Cline which is a fast paced, fun piece of scoff fluff. Our high school geeky hero gets to save the world and all of humanity... join just a few hours! Oh, and he goes to the Moon too. Think about every movie that has been done like this, our hero will reference them all!

Then I burned thru The Fold by Peter Clines. A present day scoff novel that could easily be turned into a movie. A small cadre of mad scientists have created a wormhole. Which is impossible, of course. But they did it. Only problem is that there are some very real problems. Add in a hero with an eidetic memory, and challenge worth of that, and you get a great read!

Why yes, as a matter of fact I do blog:
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7/7/15 10:34 A

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Just finished a pair of good books! Firstly was Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. What a great dens up of the End Times! An angel, and a demon, over the long history of Earth, have become friends, and when Armageddon starts, they really don't want it. The AntiChrist is an 11 year old boy who doesn't know he is the evil one. Oh, and it'a ll, more or less, in some way or other, foretold by Agnus Nutter, Witch. It's set in England, so a lot of Douglas Adams type humor.

Then I read the book Slow Bullets, by Alistair Reynolds. It is just under 200 pages, and I read it in one sitting. Really. Our hero, Scur (who was in the Redemption Space universe) is a soldier who was brutalized, then somehow woke up on a strange ship. Both she, and the ship have some problems. It seems that some of the more hard core dregs of both sides of the war are there, and coming out of hibernation for no apparent reason? Add the tensions of the now over war, and some other problems, and you get the idea.
What you don't get os how they solve their various problems, like survival, and finding out where they are, and how they got there. Another brilliant read to be sure!

Why yes, as a matter of fact I do blog:
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