…SF addict …

Friday, April 21, 2017

Pushing Ice-Alastair Reynolds

This is an epic space opera by british SF author Alastair Reynolds, and is the first novel of his that I've finished (I partially read it years ago but stuff happened...and it has to go back to the library before I'd finished)
Anyway the book concerns itself with a crew of comet miners aboard the ship Rockhopper;the economies of the future are fuelled by ice mined from near-Earth comets. Anyway the crew receives a message calling them away from their current assignment. It seems one of the moons of Saturn has moved from its normal orbit, and the crew aboard Rockhopper is diverted  to investigate. As they approach the rogue moon, called Janus,  it becomes apparent that it is leaving Saturn orbit and is in fact heading towards a distant star...

The book has some cool concepts as you would expect from Reynolds and although it's quite a chunk of a book the action moves at a good pace.
The edition I read had a really cool holographic cover which I only noticed when the flash on my camera phone revealed it.



Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Player of (not fun) Games

Some books are fun to read, interesting, engaging,with likeable characters. This isnt one of them, which is odd because I enjoyed Consider Phlebas
That earlier book was fun, exciting and very accesible. This book however is like reading a book in a foreign language when you only know a few words of said language . Didnt finish.



Sunday, February 12, 2017

Titan by Stephen Baxter

This is quite a book written in 1997 but set between 2004 and 2016 (and beyond...) Not only is the book quite big at 580 pages but it presents a big concept. In some ways it's like his earlier book 'Voyage', which describes  a prospective trip to Mars. Titan is similar with all its politics and logistical wrangling.  Two thirds of the book deal with the discovery of possible life on Titan discovered by the Cassini probe (which arrived at Titan in 2004/5, the time period in which the book opens) followed by a manned mission to the Saturnian moon and the struggles to get a mission profile. There is a lot of infighting between NASA and the USAF, but eventually a mission to Titan is begun. Once the mission is on its way Baxter deals with the struggles aboard a cobbled together space ship and how its crew learn to live together on a 6 year mission. Eventually they get to Titan, and when Baxter takes us somewhere we really know about it! Good stuff.


Saturday, December 24, 2016

To Boldly Go...

A couple of months ago, as a celebration of 50 years of Star Trek, I read a book featuring the original crew. Basically the crew of the Enterprise discover a eutopia-like planet (think Risa) that is in endangered by the approach of a large asteroid that is of a sufficient size to be a global threat to life. The only option would seem to be mass evacuation but the crew soon discover that the inhabitants are physically unable to leave-they are biologically bound to their planet. And so another option must be found...

The writing isn't too bad although the author tends to rely heavily on Star  Trek cliché phrases (damn it Jim I'm a physician not an engineer etc)
A pretty good fun romp by this unknown author.
Live long and prosper.
Oh and Merry Christmas everyone.


Monday, December 19, 2016

3 charity shop finds

I spotted these 3 in a charity shop the other day and had to have them.  Plus it raisee money for a good cause.
2 Neal Asher books and a collection of stories by Kafka, who I've never read.


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A bit of Pratchett

I've read quite a lot of Terry Pratchett over the years, but this is the first time I've blogged about him.
For those not in the know he wrote humorous fantasy set on a world that exists on the back of a giant turtle that is carried through space on the back of 4 elephants -Discworld. (A parody of Larry Niven's Ringworld perhaps?)
One of the recurring characters is Death, a quirky skeleton complete with scythe and who talks in CAPITALS.
Reaper Man is about him and how he gets to sort of retire,  and experience life as it were.
Quite bonkers and well worth a read!


Friday, February 19, 2016

I'm back!

After much caffufling with Google+ I managed to merge my accounts with a shiny new email, and after two years I can begin posting again!
And at the moment I'm halfway thru an ebook edition of The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens, which to be honest is a bit of a slog but a great story!
I do love Dickens' world tho!


Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Veils of Azlaroc by Fred Saberhagen (1976)

This is a strange one!
 Basically it is about a strange artificial world that appears desert like, but with a low sky and strange geometric forms on the landscape. But the strangest thing about the place are the veils. Each year a temporal veil falls about the planet, sealing everyone inside it on the planet permanently,  to live forever, unchanged. Every year tourists visit the world to view its odd charms, but they must be certain to leave before Veilfall or they will be trapped there.
One man is determined to escape the planet, through the heart of a neutron star. Another is sent on a mission to retrieve an object from a sealed tomb, while another man comes to Azlaroc to search for a lost love who was trapped there many veils ago. And amidst all this is a man who knows that this year the veil will fall early, and he sets about to warn everyone,  and in order to do that he needs to find a way to send the message through the veils past, to send a message across a barrier of time.

I've had this book a long time; I came across it at a second hand book stall in Wales in the 90's and have read it twice already.
Saberhagen is known for his Berserker series of books but I have yet to come across one and know little about them, and I believe they are more like fantasy.
Veils is most definitely SF and a bit odd, but a good read nonetheless.