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...more 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! (less)
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 Though, there are a lot of parts that are outdated it was still easily understandable (and I saw no problem with that since it was written in the '84) and one was easily able to simply update the subject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)
What an amazing EPIC novel. I can't wait until the next book A Clash of Kings If it is even nearly as good as A Game of Thrones it would still be a fi...more What an amazing EPIC novel. I can't wait until the next book A Clash of Kings If it is even nearly as good as A Game of Thrones it would still be a five star book. I am glad I finally got around to it! (less)
What a wonderfully written short story. It tells a lot in just 18 pages short. This short story latter became the prologue of Rocannon's World. Anothe...moreWhat a wonderfully written short story. It tells a lot in just 18 pages short. This short story latter became the prologue of Rocannon's World. Another fantastically great story by Ursula K. Le Guin!(less)
Rocannon's World is a fantastic tale part of the Hainish Cycle and if read in chronological order then this novel comes in third of all the Hainish ta...more Rocannon's World is a fantastic tale part of the Hainish Cycle and if read in chronological order then this novel comes in third of all the Hainish tales, which takes place in c.2684 AD, but if read by publication date then this one is the first one of the lot; first published in 1966 as an Ace Double. It is a great mixture of fantasy and science fiction; I am not sure if there is a genre that has a name for the combination of both, but if there isn't then I really think there should be I have only read of two authors that can really do this well on my list and that is Roger Zelazny and now Ursula K. Le Guin. This story had a lot of high technological devices such as ships that can travel the speed of light and the "ansible", a faster-than-light communicator, that is used in other novels of the Hainish Cycle, a word that was coined from this novel. but then this novel had fantastical creature like fairies and gnomes. And other hominoid creatures and these races all appear to live in the bronze age that wield swords and live in great kingdom with mighty castles or have fortress and villages and that appear to live in a feudal-heroic culture as well. There are those a races but also another, a warrior race that uses high tech machinery and in the most horrific kind of way.
The story starts of with Rocannon a scientist an ethnologist, who known to all on the world as a Starlord. Rocannon is on an surveying mission, part of the League of all Worlds (an alliance of planets, mostly descended from colonization efforts from the planet Hain, uniting the "nine known worlds").
The Prologue of this novel named "The Necklace" is actually my favourite part of the story, which is based of a woman named Semley from a race that is very tall and yellow haired. Her species is called Liuar (singular Liu) and her race is called Angyar. Semley is described by Rocannon as the most beutiful woman he had ever seen. She really isn't mentioned as much as I would have liked but the sections of the story she is in is beautifully written. Before this novel the prologue of Semley was from a short story in the Amazing Stories (September 1964) as "The Dowry of the Angyar".
All in all a truly great tale, the only flaw that it was too short in my opinion, but hey, isn't that a good thing though? Right?
What an interesting short story about a house and not just any house. And "not a house of love" but a house that is "in love." In love with a man. But...more What an interesting short story about a house and not just any house. And "not a house of love" but a house that is "in love." In love with a man. But it doesn't end there. . . .
How did James Patrick Kelly pull this one off? He deserves more credit than he gets. Well, actually; he does get the credit, he just does not get the recognition of the science fiction masses. I hope one day this all changes. The man is a brilliant science fiction writer from the "Free State" of New Hampshire".
Kudos to him too for his generousness in giving a lot of his own stories away for free. Including this one "Bernardo's House." Just read the description and make your own call. I personally didn't think it was all that bad and that's coming from me, :) ha. Go ahead and give it a free listen. http://feeds.feedburner.com/freereads
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!