…SF addict …

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A new way to read books!

I finally got myself a book reader, purchased used from C-EX for £95. Normal price is £140 or £99 from Waterstones, if you can find any in stock!
(Well actually this will be my Christmas present, come early) ;)

Its a Sony PRS-300, their base model so theres no Wi-Fi or 3G, not that I need any of that! Its a book reader, it reads books, what other features do you need??
I've never tried one before and having read e-books previously on my phone or the Nintendo DS I had no idea what to expect. Unlike phones and such the screen is matt,a bit like a LCD TV screen, and rather than being backlit its rather like an old digital watch readout only MUCH much better! I tested it by opening the curtain when the sun came out and, well, it was just like a paperback-rather than blotting out the image as it would do on a phone, forcing you to cover the screen to see what was there, it just kind of made it easier to read! The technology in those E-ink displays is fantastic!
Also the device is very lightweight-just like holding a small paperback really! Also unlike a certain other reader it supports Epub format, so there's lots of free books for me to read from Project Gutenberg!
It can hold 350 books (based on a 1MB ebook-many are much smaller files!) with 6800 page turns-thats 2 weeks of reading on one charge, or 10-15 books!!
Currently reading  The Purple Cloud by M.P.Shiel on it.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

2010 a Clarke Odyssey continued

A while ago I planned to  read 2001 A Space Odyssey up to the point where something happens to one of the crew. (Spoiler evasion for those who havent read it),then I would  jump to 3001 the Final Odyssey to continue his story. When done I'd jump back to the rest of 2001 and then end the journey with 2010,Odyssey II-the year we make contact-marking this year's SF coincidence nicely! Well I'm part way through that journey now and its been fun, and even though I've read 2001 countless times I never tire of it!
Open the pod-bay doors HAL!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tau Zero by Poul Anderson

I just read this novel and I can honsetly say  this is my kind of SF! Sure there are one or two head-scratching moments (SQR) I-v2/c2 where v=the ship's velocity and c=speed of light)  but you can let them ride over your head and enjoy what is essentially a human story; it sounds like a corny back-of-the-book blurb but it is a story of a voyage, a journey across time and space, a story of teamwork and the rewards it brings. But also it is, as a fellow Goodreads contributor, mindblowing!
Basically 50 men and women are chosen for a mission to find a new home around a star in Virgo, and to do so they must travel at as close to c as possible-they gradually get faster and faster but then the ship Leonora Christine, develops a fault meaning they will be  unable to decelerate should they reach their destination. They build up a huge velocity and see the universe around them evolving at a staggering rate-months pass on the ship while millenia pass by outside. When the fault is discovered they face a decision, keep speeding ahead in the hope they find a new home eventually or give up and commit mass suicide-it is essentuially a story of survival against the odds.

It is huge conceptually and yet it makes for compelling reading. Definitely a keeper and the kind of book to get you back into SF if you've been away from it!