Thursday, January 26, 2012

Book Report #37 - Golden Gate Bridge

History and Design of an Icon

Sue and I are taking a trip to San Francisco so I thought I'd read up on the place a little bit.

One of the first icons to pop into my mind were; the streetcars, the Transamerica Pyramid, Alcatraz, Lombard Street, the Presidio and The Golden Gate Bridge.

I found this little book in the Edmonton Public Library and found it to be very informative.  What surprised me the most was the complete lack of archival photos; the book was illustrated completely with original sketches.  These drawings proved to be very informative and clear but I would have liked to have the sketch and a photo to make the examples stand out.

In any event the book proved to be up to date and complete; it touched on every subject I was interested in.

I'm glad I read it.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Magazine Review #4 - Asimov's February 2012

Murder Born by Robert Reed:  Ooh, I liked this one.  This takes capital punishment in a very interesting direction.  In the story a new method of capital punishment is invented with the unintended consequence of bringing the dead back to life.  This story brings the moral questions of CP to a new level that I just found incredibly interesting.  A real winner.

Hive Mind Man by Rudy Rucker & Eileen Gunn:  This story was a bit out there.  At first it reads like a simple dating story set in the future but then it takes on a life of its own and takes social media and advertising in dizzying directions.  It left me scratching my head.  Entertaining? Yes. Interesting? Sure

The Voodoo Project by Kristine Kathryn Rusch:  An elite covert, military team meet for the first time in a vacant high-rise apartment.  One of the members is a ESPer (I don't know the term, but you get it - ESP) who's job it is to evaluate the team itself.  The evaluation does not go as usual.  Very good story.  It was Rusch's name that drew me to the issue.  I have never been disappointed by her writing.

Observations On A Clock by D. Thomas Minton:  I first found Minton's work on Lightspeed Magazine's website and found his story “Thief of Futures" very, very compelling.  I was very happy to find his name on the cover of the magazine.  This is a story of faith, of trying to save humanity from itself, but in the end the story kind of went over my head.  I'm sure I missed something; the only thing I'm sure about is that there is a monk on an asteroid with a dying atomic clock on it.  He's supposed to report back to Earth what he's observed. Yea, didn't get it.

The People of Pele by Ken Liu:  A nice story about human colonization, the effects of time dilation on a mission that traveled at near light speeds, politics and the definition of life.  I could read a lot more from this author.

Going Home by Bruce McAllister & Barry Malzberg:  A strange a quirky story told in letters between an author and his editor.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Books I Have Not Read

Or more to the point:  Books I've Given Up On.

I start and give up on as many books as I read completely.  I thought it would be fun to track the books I've given up on in 2012.  I'll keep a list of them on the right side of the blog.

My first entries are for a Star Wars trilogy.  Over Christmas I was looking for something easy to read; I found a Han Solo adventure that I thought would fit the bill at my local used bookstore; Wee Book Inn.

Written by Roger MacBride Allen the Corellian Trilogy was dull, dull, dull.  189 pages into book 1 and NOTHING happened.  I do get it: it's a trilogy you've got to expect a bit of exposition but the thought I kept coming to is:  How much exposition do you need?  It's Star Wars - the world has been built.  The books are even conveniently inserted into a timeline (18 Years After the Battle at Yavin) so you have a general idea of when you are in the "World."

If I'm reading book 1 just to read book 2 then what is the POINT of book 1? 

I've never been a fan of writers padding their works and I get bored very quickly if nothing interesting happens.

So, my first three entries for 2012 are: Ambush at Corellia, Assault at Selonia and Showdown at Centerpoint.