Okay, I give up.....this was a "did not finish" for me....I gave up completely around 60% through. This was a time-travel novel in which a modern dayOkay, I give up.....this was a "did not finish" for me....I gave up completely around 60% through. This was a time-travel novel in which a modern day historian travels back in time to England under Henry VII in order to find out what happened to the Princes in the Tower. He gets there through a magic portal in Wales (I think). When he arrives, he finds out that Henry VII's conniving mother, Margaret Beaufort, already knows about and has extensively used the portal. I won't tell you what she uses it for, since that would spoil things for you if you ever give this one a go.
Okay, why I couldn't finish....it just never grabbed my attention or my imagination. I wasn't buying a single part of it and couldn't get invested in either the time-traveling protagonist (who was just an arrogant ass, in my opinion) nor the historical figures involved.
Maybe you'll have better luck. I read this on Kindle...it was a cheap download (less than $2, I think)....more
Joe Haldeman is the undisputed king of the science fiction genre. Or so I've been told. I don't ever read any science fiction, so I'm pretty illiteratJoe Haldeman is the undisputed king of the science fiction genre. Or so I've been told. I don't ever read any science fiction, so I'm pretty illiterate in that regard. But I felt a gaping hole in my reading these days and thought that I should give science fiction a try. The Forever War came highly recommended (major award winner here, folks) as a good entry point for me.
The storyline revolves around a conscripted U.S. soldier who in the not so distant future (or at least it was distant when the book was written....for today's readers, that "futuristic" time period was a few years ago, so for those of us just now reading this novel, it's more like an alternate history....clear as mud?) who is sent out to war with a rival galactic enemy, the Taureans. Our intrepid hero finds himself sent all over the galaxy and, due to the use of what we would call a worm hole, finds himself aged considerably less than those who don't regularly travel through space. The reader goes through several battles with our hero, written with a lot of testosterone and military tactical-speak, and gets to grapple with the moral implications of both war and a future Earth that makes most dystopian fiction look like child's play.
Okay, so what did I think of it all? I went through phases with this novel. During the tactical military missions, my eyes tended to glaze over (as they always do with this kind of stuff....no matter what genre it's in). But the portions that dealt with Haldeman's imagined future for Earth I couldn't put down.
Of course, noting the time period in which this novel was originally written, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the parallels Haldeman was drawing to the Vietnam War. He uses a big old club at the end of the book to make darned sure you GET IT. But overall, I enjoyed the story. While it didn't turn me into a die-hard science fiction fan, it certainly left me open to more suggestions for the genre....more
First book of the year that I was simply unable to finish. If it hadn't been a library book, in fact, I would have literally tossed it in the garbage.First book of the year that I was simply unable to finish. If it hadn't been a library book, in fact, I would have literally tossed it in the garbage. I know this is likely to offend fans of Kim Stanley Robinson who is, by all accounts, one of the better science fiction authors out there. But this novel proved insurmountable for me.
While at first I was intrigued as the author introduces us to life on Mercury in the year 2312, the pages quickly turned into an information-dump where $10 words were substituted for perfectly good and understandable common words. I shouldn't have to run to a dictionary or spend hours on the internet looking up things such as the pseudoiterative.
Somewhere in this info-dump is supposed to be a love story. Our protagonists (a hermaphrodite from Mercury and a frog-type-person from one of the moons of Jupiter), however, are so bland and lost in the confusion that they never generate any kind of sympathy (or even recognition).
While Robinson throws in a clever page or two every once in a while (building your own travelling terrarium out of an astroid as a How-To book), there simply isn't enough of that to keep us going. Vacillating between bored and irritated, I gave up 250 pages in. Sorry....more
This is the third 2013 Hugo Award shortlist novel that I've read leading up to the awards and the best of the three by far ("2312" was so horrid I couThis is the third 2013 Hugo Award shortlist novel that I've read leading up to the awards and the best of the three by far ("2312" was so horrid I couldn't finish it and "Throne of the Crescent Moon" was meh at best). I should also probably mention that SciFi is not my normal genre, so I'm not well-versed. I just know what I like and what I don't.
John Scalzi clearly had FUN writing this novel and it shows...I laughed myself silly throughout. Now I'm going to be very, very careful not to spoil anything here and that requires that I only give you the following:
Redshirts takes us to the year 2456, aboard the spaceship Intrepid where strange things are happening. Far too many people meet with 'accidents' both aboard the ship itself and on their numerous away-missions. It's inexplicable until our protagonist, Andrew Dahl, comes up with an explanation. A bat-poop crazy explanation.
Okay, that's as far as I can go without spoiling it for you, even though that's only the first 1/4 of the novel. Anything else would ruin the fun for you. The rest of the novel will twist your brain in a crazy set of calisthenics, but it's the most fun a person can have reading a sci-fi novel.
Absolutely fantastic dystopian sci-fi! For those of you who are tired of really bad self-published books that aren't even worth the .99 price tag, goAbsolutely fantastic dystopian sci-fi! For those of you who are tired of really bad self-published books that aren't even worth the .99 price tag, go and download this right now. This is the kind of writing that we hope for when we open a new book. Set in a future post-apocalyptic world where the few remaining humans live in vast underground silos, the author drops tantalizing hints of what-the-hell-happened with a fast paced plot and characters you actually care about. Want to read a self-pub book that sets the standard? Start reading this one today....and then come back and tell me how right I was about this novel, lol!...more
Everyone should read this classic Bradbury short story. Why? So you know the origin of the term "The Butterfly Effect," of course. Bradbury is amazingEveryone should read this classic Bradbury short story. Why? So you know the origin of the term "The Butterfly Effect," of course. Bradbury is amazing. Even if sci-fi isn't your normal fare, you can give up 15 minutes of your life to read this classic tale....more
4.5 I'm not sure how he always does it, but I sit down with a Scalzi book and bam, I'm so sucked into his world that I don't come up for air until I f4.5 I'm not sure how he always does it, but I sit down with a Scalzi book and bam, I'm so sucked into his world that I don't come up for air until I finish the book, usually the next day. No matter what the length. Even when I prepare to steel myself against this phenomenon.
Book 2 of the The Old Man's War. It was so easy to fall back into this series, despite the six month gap since reading the first book, because this book focused on a peripheral character from Book One: Jane Sagan, Special Forces and Intelligence Officer extraordinaire and the love of John Perry (protagonist of Book One who doesn't even make an appearance here but this, surprisingly, didn't upset me at all....it's that good).
I loved, loved being taken into the world of the Special Forces, which we only got a tiny glimpse of in the first book. And our protagonist, Jared Dirac, a special forces solider created under some very special and controversial circumstances by the Colonial Forces, is an unforgettable character. Scalzi, as usual, hits on all the moral hotspots: why do we exist? to what extent does our freedom extend to choices? how does our consciousness define this? Sound deep? It probably is, but when you're reading it, it doesn't seem that way...it just makes you question what the characters are going through.
Some kleenex moments at the end...you've been warned.
Yes, it's sci-fi. But here's the thing: this is some of the best sci-fi so if you're not a huge reader of the genre, these are the ones you need to read to consider yourself a well-rounded reader. It's accessible and enjoyable to folks who don't normally read the genre. So just read them...there's a good reason this series is considered a classic. The books are easy to read, the characters have wit (read: sarcasm), good moral questions posed, and a great futuristic prediction. ;) ...more
#1.5 of the Old Man's War. A transcript of a Q&A session with John Perry as he completes a PR tour for the Colonial Defense Forces. He is on the H#1.5 of the Old Man's War. A transcript of a Q&A session with John Perry as he completes a PR tour for the Colonial Defense Forces. He is on the Huckleberry Colony fielding questions from colonists. Scalzi, as always, does a stellar job squeezing in philosophical, ethical, moral questions about war and the human race...."Making peace is often a simple thing, but simple isn't the same thing as easy."
My personal favorite? "The one real advantage that humans have is that on a pound-for-pound basis, we're meaner. (laughter) Now, I said that to get a laugh, so I'm glad I got one. But when it gets right down to it, it's also usually true. I imagine it's kept our species alive more than once."
If you haven't read the series, you should think about it, even if you're not a sci-fi kind of reader. I'm not, but I am loving this. And - heads up - this series is being made into a television series right now....nice to read the books first....more
This short story that falls as 2.5 in Scalzi's Old Man's War series is quite different from the rest of the series in that it is an introspective musiThis short story that falls as 2.5 in Scalzi's Old Man's War series is quite different from the rest of the series in that it is an introspective musing on life and her years as a Special Forces soldier by Jane Sagan just before she retires from the Special Forces (and a bridge before the next novel in the series).
Those used to the "action" elements of the Old Man's War are sure to be jarred by the internal, philosophical musings of Sagan here. No shoot 'em up action. Which isn't to say that it's not worth reading, because it is. There are so many gems in here as Sagan recounts her time with Perry, her coming to terms with the killing she's had to do in the Special Forces, etc.
But the best reason for reading it, in my opinion, is how the story came to be in the first place. In a charity raising event, Scalzi had put a copy of a novel up for auction jesting that if anyone bid more than $5K for it, he'd write them their own short story. A fan of his saw this and taking him at his word, promptly bid the $5K. The fan wanted a short story written for him set in the Old Man's War world. Scalzi, of course, honored his jesting words because he is a man *of* his word. This short story is the result. Pretty awesome....more
I have to preface this review by saying right off the bat that Golden Son is the second book in the Red Rising Trilogy. If you haven't read(4.5 stars)
I have to preface this review by saying right off the bat that Golden Son is the second book in the Red Rising Trilogy. If you haven't read the first book, Red Rising, do not attempt to jump into the series with this one. It may work for some series, but it won't work for this one. I can't emphasize this enough. Don't waste your time and energy...if you think you might be interested in this sci-fi, action-based thriller thing going on, just go read the first one because there is no back-story with this sequel. It's as if you are simply turning the next page of the last book. Are we clear? Okay. I'll assume that everyone who reads further has read the first book. No spoilers.
Golden Son picks up almost directly where Red Rising left off. Darrow under Augustus at the Academy and bam....we're off to the proverbial races. Action from the very start, much like the first book: double crosses, treachery, alliances, betrayals, skirmishes and wars. As you're already familiar with, Brown has a tendency to make his action scenes, well, BIG. And then each following action scene has to get bigger, right? Whew. It starts to become difficult to top each one without becoming a parody (remember the last book when Pax picked up a fellow student by the leg and was using them as a stick? *Maybe* a little over the top?). Still...as you know, if you're invested in Darrow you just can't stop reading. Despite school being over, our favorite characters are all still present and accounted for.
There's no way I'm giving away the plot of this baby. It's enough to say it's incredibly tense and you'd be smart to set aside a couple of days with a do-not-disturb sign on your door. There are, of course, more plot twists than you can shake a stick at (this entire series was written for the big screen, I'm convinced) and a few new characters introduced -- all of which will contribute to the big finale, I'm sure.
And just prepare yourself right now for the cliffhanger of the year. Not sure how well you do with those....I myself am *not* a fan. I felt Red Rising was ended quite well. Just enough closure for a novel, but enough to keep me wanting to read the sequel. This one was deliberately written to manipulate the reader into purchasing the third and I dislike it when authors do that. I've always felt either the books have merit on their own to make you want to keep reading or not, they shouldn't have to rely on cheap tricks. I knocked off a star for that, as well as one plot hole that was rather glaring (not a huge deal, but still it shouldn't have been there...but if you're like me, I'm willing to forgive a lot if I like the rest of a book).
Bottom line, if you liked the first one there's no way you're going to miss this one. Is it over the top? Yeah, but that's part of it's charm. If they do it right, it's going to make one helluva movie. Prepare yourself for the cliffhanger and gather with like-minded reading friends to discuss. Enjoy the ride.
Well-written but uninspired sci-fi dystopia in which a heart-broken young widower unthinkingly fulfills his dead wife's dream and gives up his life onWell-written but uninspired sci-fi dystopia in which a heart-broken young widower unthinkingly fulfills his dead wife's dream and gives up his life on earth to live on a experimental space colony. It is only upon arrival, where of course there is no option of returning (of course), that he finds the predictable draconian dystopian rules implemented on the colony. It's very well-written in terms of readability but so full of plot holes that it makes it difficult to enjoy the author's talent with words. I'll keep reading his work, though, searching for something that is better thought-out in terms of plot. He's clearly talented....more