This story was amazing, from the initial catalyst of the Moon breaking up, to the re-population of the human race by Seven Eves. Neal Stephenson coverThis story was amazing, from the initial catalyst of the Moon breaking up, to the re-population of the human race by Seven Eves. Neal Stephenson covers a lot of ground in this tome. There was a lot of engineering and pure science, plus how humans react to stressful and deadly situations.
The book is divided into 3 sections. The first 2 focus on present day when a catastrophic event threatens the existence of life on Earth. Humanity decides to built a Cloud Ark as part of the existing International Space Station to preserve the best and brightest. How this is done is interesting and many times political; we are all equal, but some are more equal than others.
I found it fascinating that no matter what the situation, certain people always behave the same way. The politicians, while seeming to take the high road and doing what is best for humanity, are still slimy weasels when all is said and done. They want power and will create their own realities to get it. Damn science or the reality of things, if it interferes with their narrative. Scientists and engineers want to get the job done and will sometimes sacrifice themselves for the greater good. Not to say that all people act the same way, but there are reasons why stereotypes came about.
The end of section 2 has only 8 survivors of the human race, who have to figure out how to procreate. How they got to that number and who they are is the fun of reading it.
Section 3 is 5000 years later with a large population of humans living in space. The Earth has been terra formed so that there is air, water, floral and fauna. Surveys teams and others go down to begin populating the place. What and who they find is quite interesting. The science and human relations in this section are great, although I was getting a bit glassy eyed at some of the details of the physics involved. The Seven Eves, who are the progenitors of those in space, have created numerous races of humans. No matter what happens to us, we always band together with those that are like us and have some animosity toward those that are not.
I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in great sci-fi and a take on what may happen in the future to the human race.
This was the best Stephanie Plum book I have read in awhile. I thought she had been losing her touch recently, but this one hit the mark. I read a lotThis was the best Stephanie Plum book I have read in awhile. I thought she had been losing her touch recently, but this one hit the mark. I read a lot of disappointing reviews on Amazon, but I like it.
Stephanie is after a few FTAs, as usual, when she gets involved with a big one. This one turns into a terrorist plot with a lot of intrigue and crazies to make it fun. While the usual Trenton, Grandma, Lula and local fauna is here, it seemed to be more interesting and fun. I know these books are formulaic, which is part of the fun, but I felt like it was a bit different.
Stephanie's interaction with Morelli and Ranger were different and we got to see a little more character emerge. I felt like I was reading about people rather than caricatures. You make the choice, but this one was fun to read....more
Another excellent read by Robin Cook. I am not sure if he is condemning the biologics market or just using it as the main theme for a great story, butAnother excellent read by Robin Cook. I am not sure if he is condemning the biologics market or just using it as the main theme for a great story, but I was both fascinated and appalled at what is most likely happening in the pharmaceutical industry.
I won't spoil anything, but the two main characters appear to be biting the hand that feeds them to try to resolve unexplained deaths at the medical school and hospital they are affiliated with. They are true to their oaths and want to understand what is happening when seemingly healthy people are dying in similar ways.
What they uncover is both fascinating and alarming. Who is involved is both alarming and also unfortunately par for the course. Drugs are big business and those involved have found an elegant and horrific way to make them and drive profits through the room....more
I saw the movie and then read the book. I enjoyed both, but the book had a lot more to it. I am glad they added more to the ending of the movie, sinceI saw the movie and then read the book. I enjoyed both, but the book had a lot more to it. I am glad they added more to the ending of the movie, since I felt it completed the story more than the book.
I really had to put on my thinking cap when I was reading through the science in this book. Not that I was checking Mark Watney's math, but it did bring me back to my college days. I think it also gave me a real appreciation of just how much an astronaut needs to know to survive.
Everyone of the astronauts in this story had a primary and secondary role in the mission. They each needed to understand numerous scientific disciplines, as well as basic medicine, engineering, navigation, history, and a host of other things. While the story was fictional, much of what Mark and his crew mates did is possible with today's technology. I love the adaptability of the characters and how they had to think their way out of very difficult situations. When Mark realized the only way to live was to grow food, he figured out a way to grow it and water it. When he tried to communicate with NASA, he determined a way to do it using ASCII characters as a signalling system.
It was really great to see people reason their way through seemingly impossible situations, because they were not bound by any preconceived notions of what couldn't be done. They had a problem and they devised a solution. It helps to have some constraints and timelines that couldn't change, like how soon Mark Watney would run out of food, but it is amazing what people can do when they really have to.
This was a great read and I can't wait for Andy's next book. For anyone that loves science and a great adventure, this is the book for you.
I thought it was apropos that I was reading this book around Halloween. Salem, witches, strange beings, funny pirates, cupcakes and a great bunch of tI thought it was apropos that I was reading this book around Halloween. Salem, witches, strange beings, funny pirates, cupcakes and a great bunch of tunnels under the town, how can you go wrong.
This book returns Lizzie and Diesel in a fun adventure to continue finding the stones that will either bring about the end of the world as we know it, or give us a few more giggles. This story gets into a bit of local history as a coin with a map shows up inside the peg leg of someone on display in the Pirate museum. Everyone thought it was a dummy, but it turned out to be an old corpse. Go figure.
Turns out that an old coot discovered and hid the Stone of Avarice and a local rich guy wants it. He believes he is the reincarnation of Ammon, who is a greedy old SOB from the past. Think about the second Mummy movie and the attempts to resurrect Imhotep and you get the idea. Except this was is greedy for $$$ and not blood.
Enter Diesel, Wulf, Glo, Clara and of course Carl the monkey. Between the normal goings on at the bakery (I want cupcakes), the history of Clara's family in this story, and the constant battle between Diesel and Wulf, the insanity and fun just keep on moving. I love when Glo has spells backfire and she turns Ammon, our rich guy, into a dog. Not in appearance, but definitely in behavior.
This was just another fun read from the mind of Janet Evanovich. ...more
I have read the other Long Earth books, and this was one of my favorites. It took me awhile to get into it, but once I did, things really picked up. II have read the other Long Earth books, and this was one of my favorites. It took me awhile to get into it, but once I did, things really picked up. I was also a little melancholy knowing that the great Terry Pratchett could not be involved in another one. The story also felt like it came to a logical conclusion, since some of the main characters joined the choir invisible. Of course, realizing this is science fiction, anything could happen.
This story begins with the death of Lobsang, the omnipotent being that has ventured far into the Long Earth and seen the wonders of life. But of course, he is not dead, he just decided to move into a different body and live more like a human being. He and his "wife" Agnes move to a pioneer community somewhere beyond Long Earth 1,000,000. They adopt a son and try to exist as regular folk.
Meanwhile Joshua Valiente has hit 50 and wants to have a trip to visit old friends and datum Earth. During the journey he asks a friend to research his family history, since he never knew his father. We also have another thread as a young man named Stan discovers he is one of the Next and the Next try to recruit him to their hidden Earth. Of course a crisis affecting the entire Long Earth brings the three groups together to literally save humanity.
I love the whole idea of the Long Earth and the ability to step from place to place. Some use it as a way to find a new life. Others an escape from life and still others to prey on the weak and make a profit. The concept of moving through space into worlds where slight changes affected the planet is fascinating. It gives credence to the idea that all possible outcomes of any event did happen and that we can visit a place and see them. I know it's scifi, but it's a great idea.
I am always amazed at what comes out of Christoper Moore's brain. This sequel to Dirty Jobs was one of the craziest books I ever read. Sometimes I wasI am always amazed at what comes out of Christoper Moore's brain. This sequel to Dirty Jobs was one of the craziest books I ever read. Sometimes I wasn't sure where it was going, but I knew it eventually would make sense.
The book returns Charlie Asher, as a reincarnated, sort of, creature. His soul is in a 14 inch being that was hastily crafted from a few animal and other spare parts. We meet Minty and Lemon Fresh. Charlie's daughter Sophie is Death and she controls the Hell Hounds. The Morigan are back to wreak havoc as they consume souls. We also get a visit from Anubis who has made Minty his avatar on Earth.
The basic premise is that Death Merchants collect soul vessels so they can help the dearly departed move on to the next world or help them into new bodies so they can stay in this one. A nice man named Mike Sullivan, who feels he doesn't belong in this one, paints the Golden Gate Bridge for a living. One day he meets a 200 year old ghost and she convinces him he and she are meant to be together in the next world. Mike agrees and works with a crisis counselor to die and have his body as the new resting place for Charlie Asher's soul. Once accomplished, Charlie and Mike can get on with their lives.
Charlie and his friends wind up fighting the Devil, Death, the Morigan and a few other baddies as they try to make sense of their lives and all the souls they are trying to help. Of course it sounds insane, but this is Christopher Moore.
I enjoyed the ending and think this is one of his better novels lately. I liked the previous few, but this one had that satisfying craziness that I always expect. This one will take you for a ride. ...more
A wonderful swan song to the great and irreplaceable Terry Pratchett. I did shed a tear when I was reading the final notes in the book saying this wasA wonderful swan song to the great and irreplaceable Terry Pratchett. I did shed a tear when I was reading the final notes in the book saying this was his last novel. It was also a passing of the torch in the Discworld from Granny Weatherwax to Tiffany Aching.
The book starts with Granny shuffling off this mortal coil and leaving the Disc in a bit of a lurch. Granny, while not technical the head of the witches, was the de facto head. She was the only thing stopping the elves from returning and causing an awful ruckus; they kill people. The elves are having a bit of a political showdown and one decides to take over by killing people on the Disc.
Tiffany has been anointed by Granny as her successor, which Tiffany thinks is a big mistake. She doesn't think she is ready, but everyone thinks otherwise. The Nac Mac Feegles are always watching and protecting her and are of course always ready for a fight. Tiffany needs to recruit some new witches and enlists the help of the Feegles and some of her old comrades.
The normal Discworld insanity is everywhere, but as with most of his Tiffany Aching books, Sir Terry has a lot of heart in this one. Tiffany rallies the troops and does a lot of growing in the process as she finally comes into her own. She is no longer a young woman who happens to be a witch. She has become a confident person who knows how to get the job done when it counts. She is not out for glory, just a good day's work and a feeling of satisfaction that she helped people.
Many of the main characters from numerous Discworld books appeared in this book, making it feel exactly like a final chapter. I now feel compelled to read any books I may have missed over the years, so I can smile at these wonderfully, crazy stories. I hope Terry is in his fantasy world still conjuring his magic prose. ...more
This was a less insane version of Serge and Coleman than I've read in the past, but I really enjoyed it. There were a few intersecting story lines th This was a less insane version of Serge and Coleman than I've read in the past, but I really enjoyed it. There were a few intersecting story lines that culminated in the good guys winning and the bad guys losing. For those of you familiar with Tim Dorsey, it's always a question about who are the good and bad guys.
The main theme of the story is lawyers and people who take advantage of others; some might say I said the same thing twice. Brook Campanella, one of Serge's old girlfriends, and a rookie lawyer, happens to be good at foreclosure law. Since Florida (and the US) are still in the middle of the old housing bubble and people are being kicked out of their homes, the vultures are still swarming to make a buck.
Brook gets hired by one of the top law firms in Miami to work on a class action law suit against a major bank. The lawyer who started the suit, Ziggy, has engaged Serge through his old cop pal Mahoney, to do some investigative work. Ziggy by the way is Coleman's older brother. Between Mahoney, Serge and a recently out-of-work journalist, they find the smoking gun that helps Brook take down the bad guys. I did feel great that the bloodsuckers actually got their due; too bad this doesn't happen in real life.
During the story you get to see too much of the decay of American business, the corruption of the same and how in far too many ways, the inmates are running the asylum. It will all be okay if you keep reminding yourself that this is only fiction. ...more
This was an interesting book, but as many have said a bit odd. Janna Levin is a scientist who decided to write a fictional work about two real people;This was an interesting book, but as many have said a bit odd. Janna Levin is a scientist who decided to write a fictional work about two real people; much of the book is true and Levin highlights those areas where she used artistic license. There clearly was an intersection of the lives of Alan Turing and Kurt Godel, but the intersection in the book is more of the isolation and genius that was each man.
Levin chooses to pick select sections of each man's life and shows how each was first shunned for being different, then lionized for brilliance, then later treated horribly to the point of suicide. In the case of Godel, it's unclear if the delusions he suffered were the result of mental illness or of some sickness he suffered in life. In Turing's case, it was clearly a horribly backward thinking British society that treated him as a criminal that drove him to suicide. If anyone has seen the recent file "The Imitation Game", you get incite into this near the end of the film.
Many geniuses throughout history may have or definitely had brains that were wired a little differently than most of us. In Turing's case, most people believe he suffered from some form of autism. He was prone to social awkwardness, shunned people while working and had a fanatical focus on the problem at hand. At school he was viewed as different, which as any kid knows, will cause some to bully you. Other geniuses from Beethoven to Einstein indeed thought differently, although it's unclear if they had any diagnosed disorder.
Godel was raised in an enlightened Vienna where intellectuals met at coffeehouses or other places to pontificate and discuss everything from mathematics to philosophy. Godel was a mathematician who delved into philosophy and ruffled a few feathers when he disproved statements by so-called great thinkers, such as Ludwig Wittgenstein. Much like Turing, Godel challenged established thinking and turned it on its head. Eventually he was given the credit he deserved, but not after causing him some mental hardship.
As I said, I enjoyed the book and learned a bit more about the two main characters, but thought the interweaving story line a bit disjointed. I would have preferred more dialogue than the author describing the action too. At times I wasn't clear on where Levin was taking things. One thing is for certain, the tragic ending of each man's life could have been prevented if society was more progressive in its thinking, than we tend to think it is. ...more
I haven't read a lot of Dr Who books, but I couldn't help putting Peter Capaldi into this one. Even though it's obviously Patrick Troughton that StephI haven't read a lot of Dr Who books, but I couldn't help putting Peter Capaldi into this one. Even though it's obviously Patrick Troughton that Stephen Baxter had in mind when he wrote the book, my brain went to the latest Dr.
The story begins with the Dr and his companions being sent to a spatial anomaly next to Saturn. The TARDIS sends them there. Some major event occurred which is causing a disturbance in the space/time continuum. The Dr and friends get captured by the local human colony and find out the disturbance was caused by a being living in one of the moons.
In typical Dr Who fashion, the Dr takes over and uncovers a sentient being that is just trying to get back home. The being's protective covering is made of a rare metal that a mining company wants. The Dr runs into a ruthless, crazy woman, whose only goal is to get the metal; human lives be damned.
The timeline story is very interesting. The being sent a artifact back through time and through sheer luck wound up in the hands of a family that carried it to the moon in question. This happened over a million years, but here she is. The goal was to draw people to that location so the being could free itself and get home.
Things wind up good for some and not so good for others as the Dr and his companions right a few wrongs. An enjoyable book from one of the masters of Sci-Fi, Mr. Stephen Baxter. ...more