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Search tags: 2017-tasks-of-the-season
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review 2017-12-02 14:07
About Time: Einstein's Unfinished Revolution
About Time: Einstein's Unfinished Revolution (Penguin Science) - Paul Davies

by Paul Davies

 

Non-Fiction

 

Paul Davis is one of those names that people who read about time travel theory get to know well. The description says:

 

"This is a book about the meaning of time, what it is, when it has started, how it flows and where to. It examines the consequences of Einstein's theory of relativity and offers startling suggestions about what recent research may reveal."

 

This about sums it up. Davies takes us through a rabbit hole of fascinating theory and current knowledge of related Physics that is easy to follow, if mind-bending in its content.

 

He extrapolates on relativity and explores concepts of worm holes and time warps, sharing some of his own experiences of visiting research sites discussing various theories about time travel.

 

If this is a subject you're interested in, this is one of the books you really need to read. Davies keeps it accessible for the non-Physicist and holds interest on what is a very academic subject.

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text 2017-11-25 15:32
Reading progress update: I've read 66 out of 280 pages.
Dreamtime Dragons - Nils Visser

The quality of the stories in this is really good so far! And the fact that it supports a ferret rescue centre gives me a warm glow. :D

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review 2017-11-23 12:57
Captives of the Flame
Captives of the Flame (The Fall of the Towers, #1) - Samuel R. Delany

by Samuel R. Delany

 

Typical early 1960s science fiction.

 

"The Empire of Toromon had finally declared war. The attacks on its planes had been nothing compared to the final insult—the kidnapping of the Crown Prince. The enemy must be dealt with, and when they were, Toromon would be able to get back on its economic feet."

 

Add to this a radiation barrier that leaves a people isolated and an enemy called the Lord of the Flames and you're set up for epic battles and other fun geeky stuff.

 

This is considered the first of a trilogy, but quite honestly it didn't impress me enough to continue. None of the characters stood out for me and apart from an interesting contrast between the rich and the poor, the plot was fairly generic. There's also a mock-Arthurian Fantasy element in the young prince being kidnapped to be trained among the forest guardians to be a good king so the elements of a good story are there, but I found my mind wandering as I read. Somehow it just didn't grip me.

 

Very much a thing of its time.

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review 2017-11-22 09:51
Dark Carnival
Dark Carnival - Nancy K. Duplechain

by Nancy K. Duplechain

 

Fantasy meets voodoo in New Orleans. Leigh Benoit comes from a family of paladins, people with special abilities who heal the sick and keep dark forces at bay. She is sent to New Orleans for training as a Traiteur, a healer, but she is also caught up in a quest to find a cursed antique mask as time for Mardi Grau draws near.

 

I found this an interesting alternative Fantasy. The paladins have individual 'gifts' in a way that reminded me of X-men, though more subtle. Leigh meets some of her own kind who are friendly and some who are not so friendly, but they have a common quest to stop dark forces. Apart from being followed by a "cute guy" (oh gee, where do you suppose THAT will go?) the story has a lot of original elements that make it a fascinating read.

 

Leigh is likable and no wiser than her nemesis about why she was sent for training when adequate training for what she is meant to do was available at home. There is some other purpose for why she needed to come to New Orleans, which we learn eventually.

 

For the most part, this book really held my attention. There were a couple of places where I thought Leigh and her companions were just a little too lucky in a battle or some really horrific imagery fizzled into nothing, but most of it moved the story along and kept me interested in Leigh's eventual fate.

 

This is one of those gems I sometimes find in the free slush pile, a book I've really enjoyed reading. There is a series, but the book stands alone very well. Some fascinating ideas and alternative ways of using Biblical entities as characters.

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text 2017-11-12 19:41
Square 16: I've read 9%.
Captives of the Flame (The Fall of the Towers, #1) - Samuel R. Delany

"Read a book written by an author of African descent"

 

 

I don't usually note the racial group or ethnicity of an author. So, after checking books I already planned to read and looking at author pages, I actually Googled authors of African descent. Lucky for me, this author had been recommended in a science fiction group and I was able to get a copy from gutenberg. So far the book seems typical of the era. Not bad really.

 

 

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