It's an okay story; I would say maybe 3 stars but the drawings are amazing! And when you combine the pictures and the story together, you get a more t It's an okay story; I would say maybe 3 stars but the drawings are amazing! And when you combine the pictures and the story together, you get a more than fantastic book. 5 stars easily. I checked it out from the library and everyone I came across while I was reading it, I just had to hand it over for a moment and show them the true genius that went into this book!! Get the book, I am thinking I am going to purchase the book so I can just go through it anytime I like. It's that good! ...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 i 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 Though, there are a lot of parts that are outdated it was still easily understandable (and I saw no problem with that since it was written in the '84) and one was easily able to simply update the subject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 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! ...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 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. ...more
What an amazing tale! I am really glad I read it, (thanks for the recommendation review Stephen) though the imagery and the social and philosophical wr What an amazing tale! I am really glad I read it, (thanks for the recommendation review Stephen) though the imagery and the social and philosophical writing was very heart-wrenching, and/but eye opening indeed, as well.
There are a couple of sites that are offering the eBook version for free in the PDf format and it is short enough that if you have 10-20 minutes to spare, you should definitely give it a shot and let us know what you think, This is one I would not pass up if I were you. I am glad I did not and in fact I had to read it twice! Not because it was difficult but because it was fantastic. It is one of those stories that you want to take your time with and ponder to really grasp what Ursula K. Le Guin was trying to exemplify and elucidate.
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!
This has to be one of my "top shelf" favorite's of PKD short's. The entire concept of this story is bona fide Dick and the ending is[spoilers removed]
This has to be one of my "top shelf" favorite's of PKD short's. The entire concept of this story is bona fide Dick and the ending is superb! This story has great insight into Phil Dick's mind and what he thought of institutionalized government (public) schooling. There are so many ways to interpret this story, and I know I haven't read a ton of PKD short's; in which I so do intend to change to get around to 'em sooner than later.
This is one that will stick with me for good long while. Perhaps, maybe it is because good ol' Bob Bibleman and I think a lot alike? Which at this point I don't know if it is a good thing or bad thing?? Hmmm..
"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 the
"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."