28
Jul
14

A short review of Alastair Reynolds’ Terminal World

Terminal World

Terminal World by Alastair Reynolds
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Like most Reynolds novels, Terminal World is not what you think it is, nor does it go where you think it will. These two facts make Terminal World one of Reynolds most enjoyable stand alone novels. Its one fatal flaw is the end, which more or less simply stops rather than ends. While it is possible that Reynolds was setting up for a sequel (which I would gladly read, Terminal World raises many interesting questions about the world it portrays that I would like answered), but the ending as it is leaves the reader wishing for more.

Following the story of an exiled “Angel”, in a city built on a structure so tall that pierces the atmosphere, the action quickly moves to the world outside the remarkable tower. Along the way Quillon meets with horrors, heroes and strange people only Reynolds could create. Large amounts of the novel are given over to info dumps, but these are welcomed and fit nicely within the narrative. The action is thrilling, the characters interesting and the world magnificent.

Reynolds melds far future science fiction with literature of the weird with aplomb and skill. While this novel didn’t strike me with as much force and sense of wonder as his other standalone novel Pushing Ice, Terminal World is a wonderful diversion and well worth the time needed to read. All I can say is that I want a sequel or at least some thing that answers the questions about the history of the world he created.

View all my reviews

22
Jul
14

A Short Spoiler Free review of The Rhesus Chart

The Rhesus Chart (Laundry Files, #5)

The Rhesus Chart by Charles Stross
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While not the most exciting of the Laundry novels, The Rhesus Chart is certainly the most expansive. Continuing the story of Bob Howard, computational demonologist, is taken to the next level. More information about his position within the Laundry is revealed, more about his relationship with his wife Mo is presented and a greater understanding of the Laundry provided. Stross has also invented a great new vampire that fits almost seamlessly into his Laundry universe. Some wonderful characters are introduced, others re-visited and Bob gets a cat.

I would love to say more about this book, but any serious discussion of it will be full of spoilers and I do not want to ruin any part of the experience for fans of Stross’s Laundry stories. Suffice it to say, this is one of the best of the novels; a nice slow burn leading to an explosive finish. I hope—pray—that Mr. Stross continues to write in the Laundry universe. It is one of the finest Lovecraftian fantasies available.

Fans will be sure to enjoy this. If you are new to the Laundry, you can read it without the previous novels, but a certain amount of the action and characterization relies on the earlier books. Do yourself a favour if you haven’t already read and pick up The Atrocity Archive and start the saga of Bob Howard.

View all my reviews

20
Jun
14

How Amazon is holding Hachette hostage

Cory Doctorow writes on how Amazon is holding Hachette hostage at theguardian.com

I don’t much care for Doctorow’s fiction, but his non-fiction is spot-on. If we want books, especially e-books, to remain DRM free, Amazon, and Hachette as well, must be the first casualties in the DRM wars.

12
Jun
14

The Next Star Trek Movie

Inspired by a comment in a thread at Tor.com.

Star Trek The Apology  smaller

Embiggen for reading of the billing block.

10
Jun
14

School bans Cory Doctorow’s novel for lauding “hacker culture”

School bans Cory Doctorow’s novel for lauding “hacker culture” | Ars Technica: “this is a totally inappropriate way to address ‘controversial’ material in schools”.

Damn straight, Cory.

10
Jun
14

I Just Went Pro

Well, it’s official. I just went pro. My self published collection of short stories (including two novellas), Shoggoths Are My Business has gone up for sale at most major digital book retailers. Not only that, someone has actually bought a copy. I am pretty stoked and while I do not expect that I will make millions (or even tens) of dollars from it, I hold a certain pride in my accomplishment. I did every thing myself, cover design (yeah, it shows), typesetting, CSS and layout for the epub itself.

It’s been a crazy experience. I had to teach myself how epubs work, and learned enough CSS to make them look nice. Outside of the cover (which is better than some I’ve seen) I think that the typesetting is rather professional and I turned out a fairly good looking e-book.

I through it up on Smashwords for shits and giggles, and was immediately surprised that a copy sold the very same day. I’ve qualified for Smashwords “Premium Catalogue” which means the epub will be (and has already) distributed to all the major retailers including Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and the Apple iBookstore.

I am excited to be participating in the newest form of publishing, one that I feel will begin to, if not supplant, augment the traditional publishing industry. Epubs are the future, and I have been saying that from long before they started their meteoric rise. I am happy I’ve put my time (if not money) where my mouth is.

Here are a couple of links for anyone looking to help out an amateur author just turned pro. I don’t expect anyone to buy, but it would be nice to sell more than one copy.

Smashwords

iTunes

Post Script: As anyone who has read this blog knows, I oppose DRM. Even if Smashwords wasn’t DRM free, I would, and I did. Shoggoths Are My Business is DRM free.

03
Jun
14

BBC News – Wisconsin girls charged with ‘Slenderman’ stabbing

BBC News – Wisconsin girls charged with ‘Slenderman’ stabbing

Okay, that’s just plain weird.




mouldy squid proudly reads: BROODHOLLOW

What part of ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn, didn't you understand?

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