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Friday, July 23, 2004
Blood Music by Greg Bear
Yet another recommendation I got from SciFi Weekly that did not turn out as promised. The concept grabbed me in the initial review. Scientist working with DNA come across intelligent Cells who invade and rebuild humans from DNA up. In this time of fear of biohazard, AIDS and genetic experimentation it seemed an excellent theme and Bear an award winning writer.
In the end however it did not deliver. I burned through it as the first 3/4 of the book were excellent and you needed to know what would happen next! The end was a big let down. The survivors of the original infection felt they were being saved and preserved by the 'cells' for 'the big finish' but that was never full illustrated. Instead the "Big Finish" was nothing more than a whimper and head scratch.
Sorry, Pass on this one.
Monday, March 15, 2004
The Runelords by David Farland
This has been on my read list for some time now and while waiting for Steve Ericksen's next Malazan installment I finally picked this one up. I am very glad I did. This book sets up a series (4 books to date) that should please the desire for a fantasy epic that is concluded within reason (Hear that Jordan). What this has that other 'fat' fantasy doesn't is a nice grab. The grab is the Runelords powers. Runelords are Kings and Princes, Princesses and Dukes, any royal family member. These Runelords get their powers from "Dedicates". Dedicates are common men and women who 'endow' their King with powers. AN exceptional strong farmer can endow his strength to his king; a wise woman, her wit; or a keen huntsman his sense of smell. The twist comes when they give their 'talent' they are left bereft of it. The farmer is as weak as a babe, the woman is left with the mind of an idiot and the huntsman no longer has his sense of smell. Sight, voice, grace, stamina all is given to their lord to protect them and the kingdom. A Runelord with 4 endowments of brawn has the strength of 5 men. So when the Runelords of the Northern Kingdoms are confronted by a Wolf Lord from the south, all hell breaks loose. For the Wolf Lord (named for taking endowments from animals) wants to become the Sum of All Men by taking endowments from THOUSANDS of people. By doing so to look upon him is to give in to his will, wounds heal before blood even flows and he moves so fast that a wave of his hand can cause hurricane force wind gusts.
The characters are well drawn, the way the world works is very consistent and the plots take interesting turns. Worth the price of admission and I will be back for more.
Saturday, January 10, 2004
The Coming of Conan The Cimmerian by Robert E. Howard
This is a work of art. Inside you find the origins of the greatest sword and sorcery hero of all time, CONAN. Do not confuse this man with the Governor of California, this Conan is big, strong, smart, terrible, fearless, barbaric, young, a thief, a king, a pirate and everything in between. These stories jump out at you, Howard in his pure, un-edited, un-tampered with form. Conan, in order of how they were written. Conan, the original stories from Weird Tales or Amazing Stories or wherever they were published in the 1930's. Whispering Star went thru personal letters, publisher letters, submission letters, records, diaries, hell and high water to bring us Howard's original vision. And it shows. A very enjoyable read. The stories are one and all, classics!!!! None disappoint!! Included here are notes from Howard himself, his history of The Hybornian Age, several unfinished stories and several drafts and outlines. A must read for Conan fans and I feel fantasy fans in general. Pick it up, enjoy and wait for Volume 2 and 3!!!!!!
Saturday, December 27, 2003
A Hymn Before Battle by John Ringo
It's been awhile since I've delved into Military SciFi. Actually looking at my reading list it's been a LONG time!! When I got to the library this time I was looking for something VERY different. Since I still have about 20 Sharpe and Aubrey novels to get through I almost got one of them. Then I looked at the want list and decided on a Futuristic instead of Historical novel, and I am glad I did.
Ringo does fine here setting up this series. The take I like so far is that this happens TODAY, and most of the 'experts' are SciFi geeks. Quick set up: It's 2001 and Earth just received proof of extraterrestrial life, in the form of a warning. "You are not alone, and our enemies will attack you in 5 years." Earth must get it together and with the help of the peaceful Federation, use it's advanced technology to form a Terran Military force to stop the Polseen and protect Earth.
I was very happy with character development and the plot set up. While his battle narrative is not Cornwall or O'Brian, he did quite well. The only thing that deters from '5 Stars' is the fact that the main character (an LT) is basically the ONLY US soldier that knows his ass from his elbow on the know-how and use of the alien technology.
All in all a good time and sets up the next four (currently) novels in this series.
Saturday, December 20, 2003
Those Who Walk In Darkness by John Ridley
I looked forward to this book as it has the same storyline as one of my favorite comics, POWERS. Superheroes are real and outlawed and there is a special unit in all police forces to deal with this "menace". After that there is no comparison. Bendis (Powers) knows how to drive a story and develop characters you care for. Ridley does not. I can not feel for ANY of the characters, main, side, hell even a passer-by. I cared for nothing except the end of the book, as I never leave a book unfinished. I had really high hopes for this one and in the end I was disappointed. I believe even Ridley lost interest, for in the final 'confrontation' between the "Magneto" freak and Soledad, Ridley couldn't figure a way out of this one so we have him tossing his 'meanest' creation at her, then getting confused, then ending up being carried into the next chapter on Soledad's shoulder. Save your time and pass on this.
Friday, September 05, 2003
Talk Like A Pirate Day - Sept. 19
We love this day so much at work we have one every month!!!!! Make sure you join the revolution and make this a National Holiday!!!!!
Thursday, July 03, 2003
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