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Revelation Space

Revelation Space is first full length novel by Welsh author Alastair Reynolds. I'd put this firmly in the Space Opera bracket with some Hard SF leanings. I rather enjoyed this book on the whole, the main characters were interesting but not that likeable (maybe that's what made them interesting?) The set pieces and locations where well defined & moved the narrative on well, especially the final journey into they mysterious “moon”.

The Bull From The Sea

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This is the sequel to 'The King Must Die' and is an excellent account of the later life of the Greek Hero Theseus. My only criticism is that there was no indication on the book that this was part 2 of a series, so I read it before 'the King Must Die'. It stood up well on it's own but needed the first story to give a better understanding of Theseus's motives.

The book begins after his triumphant return from Crete where he killed the 'Minotaur'. Coming home, he finds himself and his bull dancers have become foreign to their own people and the return is difficult for all of them.

Night Watch

I actually listened to this on audio book (cassette tapes!), read by Stephen Briggs. I've got to say for a humorous fantasy, there is very little humour or fantasy in there. That said it's a decent book, with good characters, a good story & it's pretty grim in places too, especially when they come across the torture chambers.

The basic premise is that Sam Vimes of the Night Watch is accidentally sent back in time along with the criminal Carcer. The History Monks will help him return but not before he gets involved in a major Revolution.

Worlds End (Sandman Vol. 8)

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Like volumes 3 & 6 this is really a collection of short stories. Framed around people trapped at an Inn (poor buggers) whilst a storm rages outside, telling stories to help pass the time in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales style. Volumes with one continuous story arc work better for me than these shorter stories though. The artwork is stunning as ever, with each section illustrated by a different artist(s) highlighting a different style for each story.

The stand-out story for me was Cerements. Where we visit the Necropolis, a city of the dead.

British Summertime

Paul Cornell is well known for writing some of the best episodes of the new series of Doctor Who, along with some excellent comics. As a result I was keen to try out some of his novels, and I wasn't disappointed with British Summertime.

The King Must Die

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This is an excellent account of the early life of the Greek Hero Theseus.
It tells the story of Theseus from his birth, his adventures while returning to King Aegis, his father and his choice to go to Crete with the sacrifice of young men and women to the Minotaur at Knossos.

Mary Renault has taken the stories and stripped out the myth, and reworked them into a plausible history which is just as, if not more fascinating for having had the magic and myth removed.

Mobius Dick

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This is an intelligent and well written book which explains the dangers of quantum mechanics. The main Character, John Ringer, a theoretical physics professor meets an old flame, though she claims to be someone else. At the same time, Ringer is receiving odd texts on his phone and a man called Harry is in hospital suffering from a new illness called AMD, the symptoms of which are false memories and hallucinations. The story also randomly jumps back and forth in time to give us fascinating views into the life of Erwin Schrödinger and Schumann.

The Liar

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I'd never read any Stephen Fry before & knew nothing about him as an author, so had very little idea what to expect from this 367 page novel from 1991. If you had to guess you'd probably go for “funny & clever”? Well, you wouldn't be to far off the mark with that, but it still wasn't quite what the book I had envisioned.

This is the story of Adrian Healey. An overly clever young man, with a chronic tendency to lie & exaggerate in virtually every situation he finds himself in.

The eyes of the Dragon

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I stopped reading Stephen King’s books a while ago as I was finding them formulaic. However, this one was recommended to me as something different. And it was. This is a fairy tale written in the old fashioned style and is the standard tale of a usurped throne and a wrongly imprisoned, handsome prince, but I’d say it’s definitely for the adult market.

The style of the writing is very entertaining, especially the way the sing song ‘Once upon a time’ voice deals with things like the king’s erectile problems and his reluctance to perform his husbandly duties.

Five - July 2009

I'm a few days early with this newsletter but I wanted to make sure you all up to date as there is a lot going on through July and I wanted to give you as much notice as possible....

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