Today's band you should know is Corroded. Corroded is a Swedish metal band with a sound similar to that of the southern metal band SOiL. Oh, you don't know SOiL? Well Here's both bands you should know!
Well not reviews just a bunch of books i've read so far this year, if you wanna hear more, put it in the comments, I can elaborate. But I fell behind and now I'm just gonna blast a 1-5 rating for a bunch of books I've read.
Foundation - Isaac Asimov : 4/5
Do androids Dream of Electric sheep - Philip k. Dick : 4/5
Rendevous with Rama - Aurthur C. Clarke : 4/5
Hyperion - Dan Simmons : 2/5
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley : 3/5
The Time Machine - HG Wells : 3/5
Childhoods End - Aurthur C Clarke : 5/5
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress - Robert Heinlein : 3/5
War of the Worlds - HG Wells : 2/5
The Forever War - Joe Halderman : 2/5
The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury : 4/5
SlaughterHouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut : 2/5
Snow Crash - Neal Stephensen : 5/5
Mote in God's Eye - Niven and Pournelle : 4/5
Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula K. LeGuinn : 4/5
Speaker for the Dead - Orson Scott Card : 4/5
Jurassic Park : Michael Chrighton : 3/5
The Man in the High Castle - Philip K. dick : 4/5
The Caves of Steel - Isaac Asimov : 3/5
The Stars my Destination - Alfred bester : 1/5
Gateway - Frederik Pohl : 3/5
Lord of Light - Roger Zelazny : 3/5
Solaris - Lem Stanislaw : 4/5
20,000 Leagues Under The Sea - Jules Verne : 3/5
A Wrinkle in Time - Madeline L'engle : 3/5
Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut : 1/5
Contact - Carl Sagan : 5/5 "Hail SAGAN!"
The Andromeda Strain - Michael Chrighton : 4/5
The Gods Themselves - Isaac Asimov : 4/5
Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes : 5/5
A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M Miller : 4/5
So, I reviewed Quarter Share by Nathan Lowell a little bit ago, but now I've gone and listened to the rest of the books in the series in order. I'm a bit of a fanatic about this series, it really gets to me, the first three are full of potential, nothing really bad happens and everything is great, even through the challenges there is always a feeling of "everything is gonna be alright" and it just makes me happy all day long listening to those books and when he finally gets out of the academy things change a lot.
The second trilogy has an entirely different tone, it's all about how Ishmael handles difficult situations, and Jeff Maloney, the CEO of the shipping company Ishmael works for, is always there causing some part of the trouble. He has to deal with a terrible captain in the fourth book, Double Share. He has to learn to command a ship and not let his ego run the show in Captains Share. And in Owner's Share, well I won't ruin it for you, but it's compelling, terrific, awesome, happy and sad. 4/5 You should read this book series if you like this sort of thing, and by that I mean awesome stuff.
Today's band is a chiptunes rock band from Chicago Illinois called I Fight Dragons. Their music is poppy, with some 8 bit (and maybe 16 bit) music with it. Ever since I first heard their stuff over a year ago, I've loved it. Their album KABOOM! is available from their website here.
This is their song "cRaZie$" off the album KABOOM! It's great stuff, check it out. get their free stuff, and support them by buying swag from their store on their website. DO IT!
This book starts off sad, and the rest is all happiness. It's about a slightly above average Joe named Ishmael Wang. After he loses his mom in an air-car crash he finds himself in a real bind. His only real option is to join up with the merchant trader fleet, and the rest of the story is all about him learning about being a spacer, feeding people omelets and drinking coffee while perfecting interstellar flea market trading. All the while he's achieving new "ratings" which will let him be able to be hired for a higher paying job on pretty much any merchant vessel. This is a feel good book about space travel/trading and reminds me a bit of Midshipman Hornblower (which is referenced, briefly, in the early book) and for anyone who wants a book that will be an easy read, a quick read and an uplifting experience, this book is for you. 4/5
And no, I still don't know why I like it, it's nothing like any other book I've ever liked, something about the writing of +Nathan Lowell I makes this book so enjoyable. I don't think I'll ever find another book like this. a book that I can enjoy reading over and over again even though I know the whole story by heart. I'll be reading the next one soon, it's a bit down the list but I'll be sure to run through the entire six book series on here, and since I've read them all at least once, that should tell you something. This whole series is available on Podiobooks.com and is free, though if you enjoy it, consider passing on what it would have cost you through audible it's worth it.
New Spring, Is a book in the series that you do not have to read, it contains some information that true fans may want to know but it is unnecessary to the already overlong series. I didn't mind it, it's not as long as some of the other books in the series and the story is ok. Though I do not like his magic system, reminds me too much of knitting. 3/5 read if you like the series and can't get enough.
Eye of the World is a great book one for the series, it establishes the main characters well and the world is introduced in it's building complexity as the book goes on. The story is great and the ending superb, and the character arcs have already made good progress even though there's still like a dozen books to go. 4/5 Not for everyone, but fantasy lovers will dig this book.
I, Robot. This novel is in standard format for Asimov, his books tend to not center around any one character, time period, or event, but around an idea. The idea in this book is better than many characters in modern fiction (See; Bella from Twilight) and it carries the story quite well, the three laws of robotics are central and a lot of troubleshooting is done, as well as the overarching theme that robots programmed with the three laws are better than most people, even though people are mostly against them, for no good reason. Not that the writing is poor or that the people are not properly inclined to dislike the robots, on the contrary the people in this novel hate the things they can't understand that also have more power than they do, just like you would imagine real people doing, because you see it all the time in real life. Stupid people. But, as usual, great Asimov. 5/5 Anyone should like this book, and everyone should have read it.
Fahrenheit 451 was an overlong nightmare of the bibliophile. This book is basically pretty words that ramble on and on and may have some sort of poetic tinge to the descriptions but I just couldn't like it as much as I wanted to. I like the ideas behind it but the over-flowery language pulled me out and I just couldn't do it. Sorry Bradbury. 2/5 for those people who like writers who take every poetic license.
Starship Troopers is a well designed book that reads like a journal of a futuristic military man who goes from high school to the military, and through officer training. It is almost like experiencing what it would be like to be in the military of this sci fi universe, the characters are all well written and the constant death of friends throughout the book is how I would imagine being a soldier during war time would be. The tech is great and I want one of those M.I. suits. The way the military is run is believable probably because Heinlein was in the military and drew strongly from his experience. 4/5 For a sci fi / military sci fi buff and pretty much anyone who wants an engaging read full of mixed emotions in all the best ways.
Dune really deserves an entire post to itself but I'm a busy guy and don't really have time, so, sorry Frank Herbert your awesome novel will have to suffer from the double obscurity of being written up on *my* blog and at the bottom of a multi review post. So, double bad luck. Anyway, this book is amazing, everything you could want in a space opera is in this and then some. The science is sound, the fantasy parts are near enough to reality so as to be indistinguishable from science or magic. The characters, motivations, plots within plots, various vistas, twists, and deaths all help to create this masterpiece called Dune. 5/5 for everyone, you heard me, everyone. No one who is worth listening to will say otherwise, also, they'd be wrong.
Well, this puts me up to 12 books so far this year and by the end of this week to be on time I would need 14. I'll probably have to settle for being at 13 by the end of this week and try to get to 16 next week to catch up. Dune really took a while to get through, not because it was hard to keep going but because I didn't want to miss a thing.
Well I've read a lot more books than I've reviewed, so in an effort to catch up I'm going to do a bunch of quickies in one post
Though Orwell's novel, 1984, deserves more than a quicky, i don't really have time and really you don't need a long review. This distopic novel is an anthropological experiment in a fictional future. I got about half way through the novel hoping that the "big brother" government got overthrown, after that I just wanted the main character to live through to the end of the novel. At the end was a sad revelation. Sorry, George, I betrayed YOU! 5/5 must read
Stranger In a Strange land :
Well, Heinlein I'll give you more props for the next book I read of yours; "Starship Troopers" which was far superior to this novel. Stranger in a strange land was too convoluted and impossible for me to not be pulled out by the unbelievable characters, government, laws, people, etc... It was not a waste though, it was a decent enough novel, read if you don't have anything else waiting in your bookshelf. 2/5
2001; a Space Odyssey,
Mr. Clarke blew me away with this novel. Ranging from the distant past to a potential future (year 2001?) this is an awesome read and a must for any sci fi fan 5/5!
I enjoyed the book, it was very well put together and I felt immersed in the story. The world is believable and consistent, the characters are well put together and the way the tech works in this world is intriguing. It did not go in the direction I was thinking it was going to go in, which is always a welcome surprise.
I'm keeping it quick because I'm not really into ruining this book for you, so, saddle up cowboy and read this book! I give it 4/5 stims.
Here's a new feature I plan on regularly updating, I am a fan of weird foreign music and as such listen to a lot of bands you probably haven't heard of. Today's band is Korpiklaani, which is a Finnish band established in 1993. They use all kinds of instruments that you wouldn't think to use in a metal band, they use violins, tin flutes, accordions, all kinds of crazy stuff. But their music is pretty darn sweet. The track I chose for today is one of my favorites from them called "Vodka" if you like them, you should probably follow my spotify playlist.
This is the third book in the Mistborn Trilogy, and it is following up two very good books. I won't go into those here, I'll just focus on the third (riiiiiight). Anyway, the book is great. 5/5 in my estimation. It had it all, action, suspense, an intelligent magic system (I'm a stickler for a good magic system) and characters that each had character arcs that spanned all three books that were compelling.
The writing style is vivid, descriptive and keeps you in the story. In fact the very start of this book begins with a description of one of the "steel inquisitors" which is a person who has been impaled by many spikes through their body, including one in each eye socket. kinda makes me tingle in my scaredy parts.
The story starts shortly after the last one ended, and concludes in a nearly shakespearian tragedy style. I mean that pretty much all of the major characters die. SPOILER ALERT! too late? ah well, I warned ya last time. anyway, you'll never guess who ends up being the hero of ages, go ahead. Nope, nope, not him, not her, nope, wrong again. Well I told you you wouldn't guess who it was. Moving on...
I love love loved the action scenes in this book, especially the one where she's... alright I won't spoil that for you, but it's pretty great. Well I've pretty much covered everything in this book, so in conclusion, if you like intelligent magic systems, convincing characters, a great world with an original feel, a long long read, and captivating action scenes with twists that are hard to see coming (if you're not paying attention to the little things), get this series, read it, love it, and remember to thank me when you do.
Here's a list of the 100 sci fi books I plan on reading this year, minus the spaces taken up by fantasy novels that I may add later. For flavor, you see.
Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card - 1985 Dune - Frank Herbert - 1965 Foundation - Isaac Asimov - 1951 Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams - 1979 1984 - George Orwell - 1949 Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert A Heinlein - 1961 The Time Machine - H G Wells - 1895 Childhood's End - Arthur C Clarke - 1954 The Moon is a Harsh Mistress - Robert A Heinlein - 1966 The War of the Worlds - H G Wells - 1898 The Gods Themselves - Isaac Asimov - 1972 A Fire Upon the Deep - Vernor Vinge - 1991 Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson - 1999 The Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham - 1951 UBIK - Philip K Dick - 1969 Time Enough For Love - Robert A Heinlein - 1973 A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess - 1962 Red Mars - Kim Stanley Robinson - 1992 Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M Miller - 1959 The End of Eternity - Isaac Asimov - 1955 Battlefield Earth - L Ron Hubbard - 1982 Frankenstein - Mary Shelley - 1818 Journey to the Center of the Earth - Jules Verne - 1864 The Dispossessed - Ursula K Le Guin - 1974 The Diamond Age - Neal Stephenson - 1995 The Player of Games - Iain M Banks - 1988 The Reality Dysfunction - Peter F Hamilton - 1996 Startide Rising - David Brin - 1983 The Sirens of Titan - Kurt Vonnegut - 1959 Eon - Greg Bear - 1985 Ender's Shadow - Orson Scott Card - 1999 To Your Scattered Bodies Go - Philip Jose Farmer - 1971 A Scanner Darkly - Philip K Dick - 1977 Lucifer's Hammer - Niven & Pournell - 1977 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood - 1985 The City and the Stars - Arthur C Clark - 1956 The Stainless Steel Rat - Harry Harrison - 1961 The Demolished Man - Alfred Bester - 1953 The Shadow of the Torturer - Gene Wolfe - 1980 Sphere - Michael Crichton - 1987 The Forever War - Joe Haldeman - 1974 The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury - 1950 The Lathe of Heaven - Ursula K Le Guin - 1971 Use of Weapons - Iain M Banks - 1990 The Chrysalids - John Wyndham - 1955 Way Station - Clifford Simak - 1963 Flatland - Edwin A Abbott - 1884 Altered Carbon - Richard Morgan - 2002 Old Man's War - John Scalzi - 2005 The Road - Cormac McCarthy - 2006 The Postman - David Brin - 1985 VALIS - Philip K Dick - 1981 The Lost World - Arthur Conan Doyle - 1912 The Many-Colored Land - Julian May - 1981 Gray Lensman - E E 'Doc' Smith - 1940 The Uplift War - David Brin - 1987 Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut - 1969 Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson - 1992 The Mote in God's Eye - Niven & Pournelle - 1975 The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula K Le Guin - 1969 Speaker for the Dead - Orson Scott Card - 1986 Jurassic Park - Michael Crichton - 1990 The Man in the High Castle - Philip K Dick - 1962 The Caves of Steel - Isaac Asimov - 1954 The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester - 1956 Gateway - Frederik Pohl - 1977 Lord of Light - Roger Zelazny - 1967 Solaris - Lem Stanislaw - 1961 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - Jules Verne - 1870 A Wrinkle in Time - Madelein L'Engle - 1962 Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury - 1954 2001: A Space Odyssey - Arthur C Clarke - 1968 tarship Troopers - Robert A Heinlein - 1959 I, Robot - Isaac Asimov - 1950 Neuromancer - William Gibson - 1984 Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep - Philip K Dick - 1968 Ringworld - Larry Niven - 1970 Rendezvous With Rama - Arthur C Clarke - 1973 Hyperion - Dan Simmons - 1989 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley - 1932 Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut - 1963 Contact - Carl Sagan - 1985 The Andromeda Strain - Michael Crichton - 1969 The Door Into Summer - Robert A Heinlein - 1957 The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch - Philip K Dick - 1964 Revelation Space - Alastair Reynolds - 2000 Citizen of the Galaxy - Robert A Heinlein - 1957 Doomsday Book - Connie Willis - 1992 Ilium - Dan Simmons - 2003 The Invisible Man - H G Wells - 1897 Have Space-Suit Will Travel - Robert A Heinlein - 1958 The Puppet Masters - Robert A Heinlein - 1951 Out of the Silent Planet - C S Lewis - 1938 A Princess of Mars - Edgar Rice Burroughs - 1912
As you can tell there's no order to these books, I don't rate them in order of best to worst, I only do that with my children. Because I love them.
In my quest to read/listen to 100 books this year I have already finished the first one, "City of Glass" by Cassandra Clare. It is the third book in the series called "The Mortal Instruments". Over all I give it a 4/5, it really is a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. To read on is to be spoilered.
Seriously, if you don't like spoilers, then stop reading. What the hell is wrong with you? I said stop. fine... you only have yourself to blame.
Clary is a convincing character to me, though I have to admit I have never been a teenage girl. Or a girl at all, though I've seen one once, and they seem nice. She has some real issues to work out with her long estranged brother Jace, who she really seems to want to lay. Bit of an ick factor there. It's played well though and the make-out sessions with brother are short, and then they realize that he's not her brother and it's not creepy! Right? Oh yeah, they made out a few times knowing that they were related... anyway...
Clary is really learning to use her power in this third book (good thing too, it's the last one) and she does things no one thinks is possible. She has a shallow character arc that doesn't leave her too much different than the way she started I thought and would have liked to see her grow a bit more through this series.
The other characters are interesting and varied, the world, being an urban fantasy, is realistic. Ok, as realistic as a fantasy novel should be. The magic system is not my favorite, though I can see the reasons why the author would have chosen to do it this way. A limited magic system does make for a better story in most cases, just read a Brandon Sanderson novel to know what I mean. Though it wasn't my favorite the magic system didn't break the novel for me, or take me out of it. Really, nothing did, it was a fun light read. I recommend it for anyone who wants to read something fun, quick, and full of teenage angst. ;)