18 Nov 2007

some thougtful reading

Land of the Headless by Adam Roberts.

Set in a future where IslamBibliq, is the religious
government that governs all.

Strict laws are applied in this society, the
story is narrated by a man who was sentenced
to headlessness because he protected the
morality of the women he was having an
affair with - big no-no.

The sentence is:
headlessness - the head is lopped off and replaced
with a square bin to which technology can be
added if the headless can afford it.

So the headless are like the lepers of old, walking
around with metalbins for heads, they are
recruited into the army, where they are used
as cannonfodder to clear the ground for troops
with heads.

The narration is somewhat philosophical and intellectual
and brings to the fore the question: which punishment
fits which crime.

22 Oct 2007

The Sprinbokke won the world cup

I listened to the game on streaming audio and kept my eye on the All Blacks text updates, it was good, not a great "rugby rugby" game, but the boks played to win and did so with kicks !

The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross

It took me a long time to read this book, perhaps because I still find the fusion of science fiction with magic, difficult to enjoy, but I'm getting there.

This is a story about a detective and the many levels of shit he finds himself in.

Spin by Robert Charles Wilson

Aaaaaah yes, a brilliant book. I read it in one fell swoop, and will read it again soon.

Strong and beautiful characters, believable settings and excellent science fiction.

Read this book, you'll love it...can't wait for Axis.

13 Aug 2007

A very grim book

I read Icarus by Roger Levy. At first I was shocked at the author's insight into domestic violence and sexual abuse, I almost put the book down as the author manages to provoke strong emotional feelings from me, the reader.

The story is one of the ultimate betrayel - and I mean ultimate !

Follow the actions of a charismatic evangelist/healer and watch how he descends into insanity step by step.

The story starts on earth and ends on another planet.

Lovely strong characters, strange locations and the slow awakening of a people who have been hoodwinked in the most astonishing and cruel way.

I am not going to give the story away, read it yourself and lament !

This is a very good book and readers should take heed of the underlying message.

17 Jun 2007

Mid Winter Blues

precious books

Just finished reading Romanitas by Sophia McDougall,
A futuristic novel of the Roman Empire Today, this was
an easy read, with a love story within the central storyline,
tying together the political struggle for change and
the abolishment of slavery and crucification.

I found my lost book, The Skinner by Neal Asher, I was
tidying my library and noticed that it was missing.
I searched everywhere for weeks, and recently I
opened a cupboard stuffed with partie hats and the
book came tumbling onto my head.

I am reading Perdido Street Station by China Mieville at the
moment and I am pleasantly surprised, it is a very
good read, with lots of innovative ideas and
characters, I highly recommend it to the established
SF reader who has come across every conceivable
idea in their readings before, if you have not read
Perdito Street Station, go and get a copy now !

Today I purchased two new books, The Prefect by
Alastair Reynolds and Un Dun Dun by China Mieville,
I'll be tucking into them soon.

I promised my kids I'll read Stephen King's Cell
when I finish reading Perdido Street Station, so
I'll have to gobble it, before I read The Prefect.

It's been a rather wet and cold winter in Cape Town
this year, just like I remember from my childhood.

28 May 2007

Afrikaners can be so common at times

This past weekend I went to the cinema in Stellenbosch Mall to see Pirates of The Caribbean3, with my family. (you've got to love Keith Richards, he didn't need much make-up either)The movie was good entertainment, but the people with me in the cinema
were noisy.

The couple to my left were extremely irritating, they made loud comments, she chewed her massive box of popcorn with an open mouth, it was so distracting that after 30 minutes I ventured to tell her so, she ignored me and chewed on even louder than before. She also moved about so much that the whole row of seats was constantly moving.

Other people in the cinema, talked loudly and had conversations on their cellphones. These are people from the same cultural group as myself, namely afrikaners. It was then that I realised and not for the first time, that I really don't want to be associated with them. I do not agree with their political views, religious fanatacism, choice of music, rugby madness, brandy & coke drinking loudmouthed brashness - in short, I find them quite common.

In Stellenbosch village I have seen afrikaners wearing t-shirts, loudly declaring:
"If you don't speak afrikaans, shut your mouth" (in afrikaans of course) I think it is a disgusting message in lieu of the fact that we are living in a country with
an appalling history of bigotry and racism where 11 languages are spoken, of
which afrikaans really is a minority language.

5 Apr 2007

Pc gaming history

Listing all the pc games I've enjoyed over the years. I first started pc gaming on
an Amiga many years ago, played Emerald mine and Rocketman.

Then went over to pc and started playing Quake 2 in 1997 and have been gaming since then.

Quake 2,3,4; Imperial Galactica 1,2; Ceasar, Pharoah, Cleopatra, Immortal Cities, Black & White, CivCity Rome, Dungeon Siege, Morrowind,Halflife 1 & 2, Obvlivion, Zeus, Ghost Recon, Emperor - Rise of the Middle Kingdom, Diablo 1,2, Command & Conquer up to Yuri's Revenge, Counterstrike. I have the game Riddick and Doom3 which I'll play this winter.

With me gaming is a longterm hobby and I often play games long after buying them.
That's the other thing, I never pirate games, and I like getting the manual.

Some game are timeless, some games are excellent like Morrowind/Oblivion and Command & Conquer and some city building games.

I play for the sheer joy of playing and enjoy watching others play too, (sometimes want to grab the mouse from others and do it better lol)

Very few people in my peergroup play games, or read science fiction or are atheist, so I end up doing solo activities. Sure it gets lonely sometimes, but only sometimes and I get enough from people very quickly when I do socialise on the odd occasion, as contact with people tire/bore me quickly.

Joined Myspace

I joined Myspace today -out of curiosity.

This morning Jan and I cut and grinded
5kg of beef fat, from which I will make
tallow tomorrow to use in my soapmaking

Jessica my 20yr old goth daughter is reading
Stephen Donaldson's First Chronicles, and
she's hooked on it.(fortunately I have all
six books of the chronicles
and bought the first book of the
last series of the unbeliever yesterday.

Tron (14 yrs old) is reading Stephen King's
Second book in The Dark Tower series, and
loving it. (I've already bought book 3 for him)

23 Mar 2007

Reading Heaven

I've started plunging through my bedside bookstack and was
pleasantly surprised- as always.

Justina Robsons's Keeping it Real Quantum Gravity Book One:
at first I thought " oh no, how is this author going to pull off
combining sf and fantasy in this way?" but I was in for a treat.
Not only are the characters believable, the speculative science
good, but so is the story and I do "indeed- Peter.F.Hamilton"
I too look forward to Book Two.

Then Charles Stross's Accelerando: a Slightly gothic approach,
very fast paced modern look at the "information revolution" and
where it could be heading, fantastic characters, strong females
and I simply loved the lobsters.

Robert Collins's Soul Corporation: I was expecting a rehash of
uhm- that oh yes, that Hollywood movie starring Jim Carrey,
bought and raised by a moviestudio and live online, forgot the
name. I was not far off, although the story of Esh comes at
you from a different angle, this is not really sf, but an expose
on marketing to the masses, how big the market is and how
superstars have ipso facto sold their souls to the subscribers.
-not bad.

Iain M. Banks's Look to Windward: Mr Banks is brilliant, his
characters are people who are real and provoke the reader.
a Perfect vision of a possible future, avatar's, sentient beings
of all shapes, the culture is a place I could only dream of having
been born into, I cannot get enough of Banks - he is godly.

Iain M.Banks's The Player of Games: Hah, a precise and
incredible look into the mind and life of a gamer ( I too am
a gamer of no consequent genius, but I do enjoy it still).
Gurgeh, the leading character not only played for the culture
but for every value I think a sophisticated intelligent human
today would stand for, the conditions on far away Azad are
all to real and a reminder that we are currently still very much
apes.- so very brilliant oh great guru Mr Banks.

Just hot off my head, having finished Geoff Ryman's Air only
hours ago. Like so many good sf books, I had to read Air
in one swift swoop. Such a real story, it could be happening
right now, and is happening right now, putting perspective
on the great gaps between technology in the first world and
tech in the third world. A very humane look at the terrible
consequences high tech can have on the lowtech mind.
The main character Mae is from a peasant village and
her struggles to understand technology and how to
use it for the betterment of her people is profound and her
and the village she comes from's situation is comparable
to conditions in poor countries around the
world right now. Very very well done Mr Ryman !

mmm so what will I be reading next, well I have lying in
my study: Stephen Baxter's Resplendent yumyum and
Best New SF 19 (a bag full of exotic candies) and
Alaistar Reynolds's North Star. I'm still avoiding some
other titles, but I have noticed bookstores stocking a
large range of fantasy books and a few reprints
of old SF classics- where are the new SF books
hiding? (at the printers- I Hope !)

Another autumn has arrived in Cape Town, not
that our summer was without the effects of
global warming with unexpected rains during
our normally dry months. Average people are
so busy strutting and buying that they don't
realise how quickly the future arrives.. is time
subjective to thought and actions? How I
wish I could shake humanity out of this
material gluttony that might just swallow us all,
they are depleting our resources, and by the
time we need it, it's gonna be "bey-bey kansas"
and hello to a garish situation aargh !

sweet regards from the reader - the observant self

10 Jan 2007

Moving In

Wormhole: Moving in
Comfortably moved into our new home, except for the boxes of books stacked like sentinels in the
diningroom. I am sorting the +-2500 titles alphabetically, by author- and this is important since
I've read so much, I have to check my library before I visit the bookstore, I have bought doubles
on occasion and want to avoid this in the future.

At the moment I'm reading Chistopher Priest's "Inverted World", I read it many years ago,
but I'll go through it again.

I'm nervous about the current stack of books by my bed table, I've been putting some of them off
for a while now - China Mieville's Perdido Street Station, Charles Stross's Accelerando, Robert Collins's
Soul Corporation, Justina Robson's Keeping it real, John Brunner's Stand on Zanzibar, Romanitas by Sophia
Mcdougall and Kim Stanley Robinson's Fifty Degrees Below. I've made a deal with myself that I will first
finish these titles before I get my next stack. (when my stack get's below 10 books, I panic)

Laika (sib husky) and Ella (gingercat)have taken to the new home, we have two gentlemen living next door with
poodles (they're quite the little barkers - to hear Laika howling back at them).

Massive rain spiders scare me and I've been scanning for the buggers relentlessly, damn there's always something
sapping my alert levels. The last thing I want is to have to run through a shower door from fright.

I'm playing Oblivion, I'm an archer with restoration and stealth skills, will have to focus on my destruction
spells to get rid of the walking dead though.

I miss Poul Anderson and work by Brian Aldiss, lovingly sorted their titles - my little preciouses.

The pool pump master switch is broken, my car's alarm system is broken, and my man's in Kazakhstan, what a girl
must struggle with when her man is crafting his ass off on another planet.

Terran citizen : science fiction reader since 1972

My photo
Cape Town, Stellenbosch, MyBB Forum, ZA, South Africa
Science fiction reader. I read to relax and because I am curious. I like data. I buy books in book stores and I download to my kindle, as well as read on my pc screen, I also write for fun. You won't believe the things authors have me imagining !