Showing posts from January, 2010

Hyperion, Dan Simmons

mongo loaned me this book, claiming that this series is a personal favorite. he described the series as “a combination of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and the single best description of Artificial Intelligence” he had ever read. i was glad to push it to the top of the unread pile. i do not know yet that i have gotten to the AI references he described yet, as i still feel fredrik pohl’s gateway series nailed it, but the other claims are pretty accurate :) i suppose i will see when i get to #2. Hyperion, a planet on the ass end of the universe, has not yet been incorporated into the Hegemony. Old Earth was abandoned after the “big mistake of 38″. The Hegemony being the new ruling factor of our species, spread out across the universe, seeding planets with colonies. Hyperion wanders through the stories of seven pilgrims, pulled by the Shrike Cult to the planets surface, on a final trip to the mysterious time tombs. the tombs were discovered centuries back and have a bizarre ebb and flow of backw…

Confessions of a Tean Sleuth, Chelsea Cain

Confessions of a Teen Sleuth, Chelsea Cain Hardcover: 208 pagesPublisher: Bloomsbury USA;ISBN-10:1582345112ISBN-13:978-1582345116Confessions was a short but pleasant read. it is the memoirs of nancy drew, as an old woman, bitter.. feel free to judge this book by it’s cover. posed and partly clothed, nancy is innocent yet hot. she pauses after a seemingly auto-erotic moment. this fairly sums up the book, though nancy would never admit to having feelings like this. in fact, there are times that she appears to be lacking the words to even describe such a situation. she is naive beyond belief, and a bit of a skank. anyone who was a fan of the nancy drew or hardy boys books should read this. nancy lives in a world where everything she does is tied into a mystery. her belief in conspiracy is so strong that she makes stuff up as she goes and finds issues where none exist. oh yeah, and there are nazis..

Dies the Fire (S.M. Stirling)

Stirling – Dies the Fire * Mass Market Paperback: 592 pages
* Publisher: Roc (September 6, 2005)
* ISBN-10: 0451460413
* ISBN-13: 978-0451460417 i recently finished reading S.M. Stirling’s Dies the Fire. i don’t want to come right out and state that it was a bad book because it was not. i actually enjoyed it to a large degree. to be honest though, i am glad someone loaned it to me instead of being an out right buy. in Dies the Fire, a flash of light crosses the globe, killing all electronics. its similar to an electromagnetic pulse, but unlike an EMP, more is affected than just electronics. in a standard EMP (assume non-nuclear), the fluctuations in a magnetic field cause a wave reaction. interactions with that wave actually induce/generate electricity which shorts things out, often permanently. in the “books of the change”, this pulse seems to have actually changed the laws of physical properties. as an example, gunpowder is useless, it still burns, but at a far lower temperature and speed…

Swans and Pistols, Leon Bing

Swans and Pistols: Modeling, Motherhood, and making it in the Me Generation……… this was NOT my kind of book. i have read a number of Autobiographies and i can typically find something enjoyable in each of them. Bing’s book was difficult at best, like slogging through a swimming pool of oatmeal at worst. she led an interesting life for sure. the book takes you through key moments in her life from being a kid to having a kid, doing drugs to dating a coke dealer, modeling to writing. ultimately, i dont want to disrespect someones life story, so i will minimize the nitpicking. instead, i will state that i do not feel she is a good story teller. she approached her life story with a lack of zeal. her stories seemed cold. i didnt feel like i was reading a book about her as much as a textbook that tried to tell jokes. the sections that were interesting, such as her acquaintance with gangster Mickey Cohen. sadly, these interesting sections were kept short shallow. Bing spends more time writing abou…

Mathematicians in Love, Rudy Rucker

A decade ago, i knew a man who went by the moniker “The Professor” (Fess). we all called him that because he was our leather clad, pc geek, rivet head savant. Dustin, as his parents called him, was a real gem of a human. fond memories of fess prior to his demise include drunken ramblings regarding “abstract mathematics”. the professor did not hold the same view on abstraction as core mathematicians. core math removes the ties to physical objects thus breaking out into pure theory and crossing standard mathematical boundaries. Fess firmly believed that standard abstraction was wrong and the ties to physicality are ultimately more important. in the professors perspective: couch + toilet paper (wristwatch/french fries) = lower half of a broken gi joe. likewise (pressed flower/4th of july fireworks) * (glow worms/butter knife) / baton rouge area code = mink coat Mathematicians in Love was like having the professor back. he would have truly enjoyed this book Characters Paul and Bela are mathemati…
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