This is the second time I have read this one and it is one of my favorite novella's and if you were to put it in both categories novels and novellas i...more This is the second time I have read this one and it is one of my favorite novella's and if you were to put it in both categories novels and novellas it would still be one of my favorites. Though, there are a lot of parts that are outdated it was still easily understandable (and I saw no problem with that since it was written in the '84) and one was easily able to simply update the subject matter, which mostly had to do with computers. In your mind, as you are reading it, for an example when Charles Kluge's superb computer was a Texas Instrument, you could simply translate to Mac or PC or even some other modern computer.
In John Varley's introduction he mentioned that he hardly knew anything about computer and that he faked a lot of it and used a hacker's guide book and did some research on hacking on the computer that again he didn't know much about. I read the introduction last and I have to say he did fool me. I thought he knew his stuff pretty well. Just shows how good of writer he is to do something like that. Write a story about something you hardly know anything about on the subject matter. Kudos Mr. Varley!
I liked this book, in fact I got hooked at so many parts. As I am a slow reader and me having finished this book in a couple of days should tell ya so...more I liked this book, in fact I got hooked at so many parts. As I am a slow reader and me having finished this book in a couple of days should tell ya something. The book is mainly an exploration novel of another land during the earth year of 2850. The exploration of the Ringwold is magnificent and is detailed crisply into my imagination. It is also about the characters too; a great character building story I must say. In a way I found that the characters in the book and their interactions between each other had to be the most interesting part of the story. It had 4 main characters that were all very different to each other in many, many ways; and somehow made the perfect team. The 4 characters are Louis Gridley Wu, Nessus, Speaker to Animals, and Teela Brown. Wu is a 200 year old human man that is in perfect physical condition, due to life extending drugs. Nessus is a Pierson's Puppeteer which has two forelegs and a single hindleg ending in hooved feet and two snake-like heads instead of a humanoid upper body. The heads are very small, containing a forked tongue, extensive rubbery lips, rimmed with finger-like knobs, and a single eye per head. The Puppeteer brain is housed not in the heads, but in the "thoracic" cavity well protected beneath the mane-covered hump from which the heads emerge. They use the "mouths" to manipulate objects, as a humanoid uses hands. He is in charge of the operation to the ring world and the being that finds the team and puts it together. Then there is Speaker to Animals or just Speaker and is a Kzin. A Kzin is a very warlike and bloodthirsty race of cat-like aliens. The Kzinti are larger than humans, standing around 8 feet and weighing around 500 pounds. These tiger-sized bipeds have large membranous ears, a barrel-chested torso with a flexible spine, and large fangs and claws. He was responsible for the expedition's safety on Ringworld and because if that he was in charge most of the time. And last we have Teela Brown, a twenty year old human girl. Her sole qualification was that she was descended from "lucky" ancestors, six generations of whom were born as a result of winning Earth's Birthright Lottery. The Puppeteer saw this as a kind of artificial selection, tending to breed for a psionic power of good luck. He hoped Teela would bring luck and success to the entire expedition. The team was a great mixture of characters and the main reason for the 5 stars. What an imagination Larry Niven had! (less)
What a terrific read of science and magic. Roger Zelazny is the supreme master at mixing the two together. Roger Zelazny truly is fantastic at making...more What a terrific read of science and magic. Roger Zelazny is the supreme master at mixing the two together. Roger Zelazny truly is fantastic at making someone despicable actually likeable. The Hero, more likely the anti-hero (it is up to you to choose) of the story, Jack is a character most would think to dislike, but simply for Zelazny work of masterful science/fantasy fiction, and in the first few chapters and especially at the end he makes you end up rooting for Jack, the Jack of Shadows! This is a book I plan on reading again. It is short and simple but also long and complex; in a good way that I don't understand how Zelazny does it, but he can condense a masterpiece in under 200 pages. (less)
First off; I am ashamed of myself that I waited this long to read this novel. It truly is one of the greats! Right when I finished this book, I went r...more First off; I am ashamed of myself that I waited this long to read this novel. It truly is one of the greats! Right when I finished this book, I went right away to a local book store and got Dune Messiah (Dune Chronicles #2) & Children of Dune (Dune Chronicles #3) and I am hoping to get around to them soon. The characters are some of my favorite, Jessica and Paul are fantastic and even the Harkonnen characters are great. This book is one of my all-time favorite and definitely deserved the all of the awards it received and am excited to and glad that there are more and even more books to come.what a world! (less)
I really enjoyed this one. I find books about the brain and why we do what we do fascinating. This book also mentioned addiction which is another subj...more I really enjoyed this one. I find books about the brain and why we do what we do fascinating. This book also mentioned addiction which is another subject that is fascinating to me. This book does a really good job in explain both. (less)
This is one of the few books that has kava tea for anxiety. I have to tell you that it works great for it. I am not talking about the pills but the ac...moreThis is one of the few books that has kava tea for anxiety. I have to tell you that it works great for it. I am not talking about the pills but the actual tea itself that you make from the powder. That is one of the main reason I rated this 4 stars. It has some great old school herbal info too. And herbs rarely change for their medicinal purposes over the years. So, if you own it keep it.(less)
This is story about a drug dealing rat. A drug dealing "Stuart Little" as James Kelly likes to put it. The Rat is my favourite anti-hero as of yet. Th...more This is story about a drug dealing rat. A drug dealing "Stuart Little" as James Kelly likes to put it. The Rat is my favourite anti-hero as of yet. The drug he sells however is one nasty substance! This drug is in a dust form called "Algerian Yellow." It is the most horrible drug, but with the most euphoric feeling there could possibly be, along with an hallucinatory joy ride. And all it takes is one single dose! And then there you go; heading down that dirty dusty road. JPK put's it best when he writes:
"The dead were his customers. People who had chosen the dust road. Twelve to eighteen months of glorious addiction: synthetic orgasms, recursive hallucinations leading to a total sensory overload and an ecstatic death experience. One dose was all it took to start down the dust road. The feds were trying to cut off the supply—with dire consequences for the dead. They could live a few months longer without dust, but their joyride down the dusty road was transformed into a grueling marathon of withdrawal pangs and madness. Either way, they were dead."
Jim Kelly said he had sleep deprivation and hardly even remembers writing it on his Then thought it was a dream, except that in the next morning there was a manuscript coming out of his
A pretty sweet setup I must say :) Didn't the 80's just ROCK!
James Patrick Kelly always does a special prologue and epilogue for the Audible versions only of his stories; and I really enjoyed the prologue for it. Especially the first part of it. And it goes a little something like this:
"You may have heard that futurist like Vernor Vinge and Ray Kurzwell have predicted that there will be techno cultural singularity in our lifetime, according to them: asking what will people in the future be like is the wrong question, the right question is what will come after people? We are busy creating artificial intelligences, but how do we know they won't become smarter or at least more interconnected than we are?"
— Great stuff!
UPDATE 1.0: "In the name of the Holy Coffee and the Blessed Shot of Cuervo, amen." Barry Westphall waves the sign of the cross over the steaming cup, then sips. It is his third refill." — What a great first liner, haha!
UPDATE 1.1: If you feel like reading it instead: Here is the site that has the original text for it. It is on the Infinite Matrix site. http://www.infinitematrix.net/stories... Or if you are like me and love reading along while listening to the audiobook. The voices in the audiobooks are usually better than the ones I create in my mind. Especially with J.P. Kelly narrating it,he does a superb job, and I am so glad I did both. It help me understand the story much better as well. Even though it was such a short story!
"I put the shotgun in an Adidas bag and padded it out with four pairs of tennis socks, not my style at all, but that was what I was aiming for: If they think you're crude, go technical; if they think you're technical, go crude. I'm a very technical boy. So I decided to get as crude as possible. These days, though, you have to be pretty technical before you can even aspire to crudeness. I'd had to turn both those twelve-gauge shells from brass stock, on the lathe, and then load then myself; I'd had to dig up an old microfiche with instructions for hand-loading cartridges; I'd had to build a lever-action press to seat the primers―all very tricky. But I knew they'd work."
This is 1981 William Gibson cyberpunk! This short story even predates his Sprawl trilogy of novels and it has so much of what is to come of his writing's just packed into a single short story, called "Johnny Mnemonic". It has tech—action and Johnny; who just so happen to be junkies (in the technical scene) and just as crazy or crazier as he his. Johnny eventually has to go to his friend Jones who is a very intelligent retired "navy dolphin" (yeah, an-actual dolphin), that is called a "SQUID". Jones is hooked on some hardcore drugs; which he developed more than just a habit for during a war that he was used in while he was in the navy. This story also introduces the character Molly, who plays a prominent role in Gibson's Sprawl trilogy of novels. Johnny Mnemonic the protagonist is a data trafficker. He has had cybernetic surgery to have a data storage system implanted in his head and allows him to store digital data too sensitive to risk transmission on computer networks. This is an amazing idea especially knowing that it was written in 1981, before they even had these micro memory chips!
"With Jones to help me figure things out, I'm getting to be the most technical boy in town."
This is definitely one of the better books I have read so far this year! It is a sequel; the preexisting work 'The Name of the Wind' is almost just as...moreThis is definitely one of the better books I have read so far this year! It is a sequel; the preexisting work 'The Name of the Wind' is almost just as good or shall I say just as great, as this novel, 'The Wise Man's Fear. Both are pretty hefty books however and with 'The Wise Man's Fear' being over one thousand pages long. So, if you decide to give them a go, which I strongly recommend, just make sure you set some time aside out for them. Time does fly by however because of the way the story captivates you in a narcotic like mesmerize state of wonderment and joy, in which sleep is simply not an option. Though the time will appear to fly by, time is time; so, set some aside, you will be happy you did. I have both of the books... and if you don't want to spend $25 on each one, I would be more than happy to lend 'em to you, that is if you live in my area. I am always happy to pass on amazing stories!! Oh and another thing... the genre of the two books are fantasy and if by chance you are someone that doesn't particularly enjoy the genre as much as others which I have known many people the same way, but had given the books a chance and are terrifically ecstatic that they did, because of the incredible story and stories that gave themselves so much thrill! So, don't let that deter you, it would be detrimental I tell ya.... To say the least! :)(less)