Aurora Rising: Book Review

It is time for another review of a book that I’ve read for the Sword & Laser Book Club Podcast – in this case, Aurora Rising, by Alastair Reynolds (previously released as The Prefect) – currently my first step into his Chasm City/Revelation Space setting.

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NOS4A2: Book Review

I’ve read few Stephen King books – Bag of Bones, the Dark Tower, Skeleton Crew, It – before, but never anything from Joe Hill, King’s son. I was aware of Locke & Key as it was coming out, but I had never really gotten around to reading any of it. So, when the Sword & Laser Podcast chose NOS4A2 as its October pick, I figured this was as good a time as any to get started with Hill’s work.

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The Epic Crush of Genie Lo: Book Review

There are some YA novels that I have read that feel like I’m reading an anime. This is, in part, because some of the light novels that have been adapted to anime were aimed for YA audiences. The Epic Crush of Genie Lo is an YA novel that definitely fits that concept, though one with some very different and unique narrative hooks because of the point of view character and setting that make it really worth your while (and makes me wish it would get turned into an animated series).

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The Elder Scrolls: The Official Cookbook: Book Review

I like cookbooks. They are the fusion of my love for cooking and food, and my background in technical writing. I also love fantasy fiction & roleplaying games, with The Elder Scrolls series in particular. So, when I first played Skyrim and found there was cooking in the game, one of my first thoughts was “Man, an Elder Scrolls cookbook would be neat!” So, when one finally came out, I knew that I needed to check it out. Much as with the second Von Bek novel, I should have been looking at the Monkey’s Paw.

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The Warhound and the World’s Pain: Book Review

Michael Moorcock’s Eternal Champion series is interesting to discuss. Some stories have direct analogies to and inversions of Robert E. Howard’s work, like Elric. Others, like Hawkmoon, go in radically different directions. The first Von Bek novel probably falls more into the former camp – feeling like something of an inversion of Solomon Kaine, in multiple respects.

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Matter: Book Review

Matter is my first step into the world of The Culture. I’ve heard bits and pieces about it through a variety of other sources, from the absurd ship names, to the concept of Outside Context Problems, to the absurdly high tech level – but I’ve never actually read a novel in the universe. While Matter is not the first book in the series, it is a pretty good jumping on point to the series.

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Doctor Who: Cat’s Cradle – Time’s Crucible Book Review

Virgin Books’ Doctor Who: New Adventures series was, back in the day, meant to provide fans of Doctor Who the thing they wanted after the show was put on indefinite hiatus after the serial Survival. Time’s Crucible is the 6th book in the series, part of a pair of thematically linked stories under the heading of “Cat’s Cradle”.

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The Friendly Orange Glow: Book Review

Histories of the computer industry tend to have a focus on the West Coast in general and California and Silicon Valley in particular. It’s where Apple and Microsoft came from, along with Atari. Occasionally, histories will head to Texas (because Texas Instruments) or New Mexico (because Microsoft was based there in a while, and that’s where MITS operated). However, the Midwest tends to get brushed over. So, when a book about the PLATO system, which came out of the University of Illinois, came up on my radar, touting about how much of modern cyber-culture came about on the system, I decided to check it out.

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False Value: Book Review

Book cover of False Value

When I finished reading Lies Sleeping, the seventh book in the Rivers of London series, I kind of wondered where the series would go from there. I had thought The October Man might point out the direction of the story’s progression, but I wasn’t exactly sure. Well, I was part right – in that the direction of the story’s progression was going to get into more international practitioners, just not those in Germany.

False Value involves Peter Grant getting involved in the tech sector. Earlier books had set up an idea where technology and magic couldn’t get along – this book sets up a situation where the two can coexist, though parasitically if not symbiotically. Spoilers will be below the cut.

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Dragons of Winter Night: Book Review

Dragons of Winter Night, as a novel, runs into the problem of adapting what was we think of it into just a trilogy of books – a bunch of material has to be skipped over. We start off after the retrieval of the Hammer of Karass and the re-unification of Dwarven society (which would later be covered in Dragons of the Dwarven Depths), with that kind of setting the tone somewhat for how the show comes out.

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