Review: Ansible 15717

Ansible 15717
Ansible 15717 by Stant Litore

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

O.k., it’s official, I am a supporter of Stant over at Patreon. His prose deserves nothing less.

Not only does he explore what life could feel like for a plant-like lifeform, he also writes intriguing prose about a life where Islam is portrayed in a positive way. Given how hard I found it to discover good storytelling which does not portray Muslims as towel-heads at worst, and scientific ignoramuses at best, the Ansible series are a very welcome breath of fresh air.

The rest of the story you have to read for yourself, but I would suggest to RUN AND GET YOUR COPY NOW :-)

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Review: The Running of the Tyrannosaurs

The Running of the Tyrannosaurs
The Running of the Tyrannosaurs by Stant Litore

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Stant did it again… The story is so tightly written that anything about it would be tantamount to spoilers, so I will just stay saying that I was blown away.

Just the right length to fill an extended lunch break, and just the right content to give you things to think about for the next hours. Let me just cite his dedicatation, “for the young women of this generation: no matter what a magazine cover may tell you, you are each more beautiful already than you know”. I can only stand amazed at the time and thoughts that must have went in the story.

Thank you Stant. Thank you so much.

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Review: I, Zombie

I, Zombie
I, Zombie by Hugh Howey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Imagine being in a coma. On a hospital bed, unable to move in any way you would want to. Unable to show the people around you that you are mind still aware of yourself and your surroundings.

Now imagine your body I not on that hospital bed but stumbling on the streets, following that smell of humans alive. Of BRAAAAAAAAAAINS.

Imagine being locked up in a body which pulls intestines from another human, bites pieces of their bodies off, which is at the same time shitting all that human meat out and I crawling with maggots which grow inside your body…

Imagine all that, described from the points of view of a dozen inmates locked up in their former bodies and minds…

And then try to sleep peacefully at night. That’s the powerful prose of Hugh Howey, which for this tale would deserve six stars if I could give them.

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Review: Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction

Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction
Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction by Annalee Newitz

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Read this if you like a bit of apocalyptic SCIENCE to go with your post-apocalyptic fiction :-)

Instead of the run-of-the-mill “Oh my god, we’re gonna die in the next fifty years” essays, Annalee Newitz discusses in a very solid and scientific manner how many times in the history of our planet, life went through near-extinction events and flourished again. She also shows how our entire recorded history is nothing more than a blink of the eye compared to all the time earlier non-sentient species existed on our planet.

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Review: Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction

Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction
Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction by Annalee Newitz

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Read this if you like a bit of apocalyptic SCIENCE to go with your post-apocalyptic fiction :-)

Instead of the run-of-the-mill “Oh my god, we’re gonna die in the next fifty years” essays, Annalee Newitz discusses in a very solid and scientific manner how many times in the history of our planet, life went through near-extinction events and flourished again. She also shows how our entire recorded history is nothing more than a blink of the eye compared to all the time earlier non-sentient species existed on our planet.

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Review: Vengeful Spirit

Vengeful Spirit
Vengeful Spirit by Graham McNeill

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In a very refreshing change from other Black Library books, Vengeful Spirit actually has some traces of science fiction in it. Battles both in space and on the ground are well described, and for the first time, I did not have the feeling that the only use of space ships is to get Marines as fast as possible into hand-to-hand distance.

Also, even Space Marines can die in their dozens when fighting in the general vicinity of Titans, the description of which cuts those transhumans down to a bit more manageable scale.

Overall, well worth the admittedly steep price Black Library is asking for this volume.



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Review: Brotherhood of the Storm

Brotherhood of the Storm
Brotherhood of the Storm by Chris Wraight

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An excellent novella which explains the beginnings and style of the White Scars. While not as long as some other books of the Horus Heresy, the story itself gains much from concentrating more on characters and less on bolter-porn..

Besides, for those slightly tired of faux-latin “Gothic” phrases, the old-turkish and mongol words here and there give a nice flair to the Scars… For this alone, they might become one of my favourite chapters :-)

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Review: The Martian

The Martian
The Martian by Andy Weir

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

SCIENCE! HARD SCI-FI! MOAR SCIENCE! DON’T GO, RUN TO BUY AND READ THIS!

all-caps-words aside, this is easily the best hard-scifi book I have read in the last five years or more. Except of the beginning assumption that humanity somehow convinces itself to send humans to Mars, everything is so very plausible. Watneys speech / log entries have just the amount of black humour I encounter very often when one of our projects goes south.

I could gush more and more about this book, but other reviewers already have done so. Suffice to say that it cost be two consecutive days worth of sleep just so I would know what happens at the end.




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All-New Nook – Reader with eInk display running Android

Using my Desire and S II to read books on lunch breaks can become pretty addictive :-)

The only bad thing is that reading on an eInk display can become pretty addictive as well, but my previous readers had either no wireless capability or an useless operating system.

So, one day while reading through my blogs, suddenly I stumbled on this little wonder device… smallish form factor, useful operating system and an eInk display… I was hooked from the first day on :-)

Actually ordering this thing and getting it to germany was a little adventure in itself, but in the end, I have a reader that is very close to my dream device… Now, if only Aldiko could synchronize its bookmarks between devices :-)

 

Samsung Galaxy S II – I want to read the display in the sun as well

For a very long time, I was satisfied with my HTC Desire

O.k., having to empty my email inbox every few days because the internal memory was way too little sucked. And installing a custom rom just so I could have a slightly more usable app2sd sucket a little bit more. But what really broke the camel’s back was the poor visibility of the display in the sun. Which meant that I could not read any ebooks while relaxing after lunch or go to a quick geocaching hunt just as the fancy hit me.

So, without futher ado, since many many other people already wrote everything necessary about this cool device, here is my second android device: