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review 2017-07-26 01:51
The Amish Face the Technological Apocalypse with Grace
When the English Fall: A Novel - David Williams

I'll admit I was trepidatious about being assigned this novel to review at first. Much as the setup is catnip to me -- a fresh take on technological shutdown and societal collapse? Sign me up! -- I have a real thing about how the Amish are sometimes portrayed. They're sort of infantized and fetishized in a lot of contexts, like they're just these adorable weirdos who don't have electricity. Not to get too far into it, but any religious group who practices shunning is on my shit list, and that goes for Scientology as well. But! The Amish are no monolith, like any group, and embrace a number of societal ideals I find admirable, non violence being the main one. Anyway.


David Williams managed to sidestep all of my fears, and spin a compelling tale. His main character, Jacob, is not without faults, but his very active engagement with the rough realities of the technological failure of the English (that's us, to them) is deep and thoughtful. A very good book. 



My latest at B&N Sci-fi & Fantasy

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review 2017-07-14 17:12
When the English Fall: A Novel - David Williams

This was a very entertaining book which told of the apocalypse from an Amish view. The "English" are people who do not follow the Amish order. It dealt a lot with the Amish order and only mentioned what was going on with the "English". 

Written from Jacob's diaries, the story tells of Jacob's daughter having "spells" and repeating the phrase "The English are Falling". Suddenly, his daughter gets better, but doesn't stop talking about when "The English are Falling". When one night Jacob and his daughter are watching the skies and a plane drops out of the air, crashing miles away, his daughter says "And now it has begun". Cars stop on the road, the lights of Lancaster are not burning anymore and everywhere is eerie and pitch black.

The story tells of how the Amish are sending food and supplies to the local city and others things that the Amish do to help their fellow mankind. All is well until everyone finds out that this phenomenon is not going to be solved in a few days, it's here to stay.

The was a very entertaining debut by David Williams and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The ending led me to believe that there is more coming in this series, however, I could be wrong.

Thanks to Algonquin Books and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

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text 2014-10-16 12:41
Animals animals animals...
Programming Perl - Larry Wall,Jon Orwant,Tom Christiansen
Learning Python - Mark Lutz,David Ascher
HTML5: Up and Running - Mark Pilgrim
Web Database Applications with PHP & MySQL, 2nd Edition - Hugh E. Williams,Andy Oram,David Lane

Anyone who has even had the slightest exposure to programmers knows about the O'Reilly programming books, all of which have woodcut animals on the front. Some of these are so well known, you can just say "the camel book" and everyone involved knows you mean Perl.


Personally I've always loved these books. And their covers. They're reliably good content covering an enormous range of subjects, usually written by acknowledged domain experts.


But why a camel? Why a rat on the python book? Is the playtpus on the webapps book a commentary on the bunged together out of disparate bits nature of most web applications, or is it just that someone thought he was cute. I know I do.


Amanda Pickering @ The Millions apparently asked these same questions, and investigated.




By the way: I love The Millions. It's like booklover crack. And I am your dealer muhahahaha.


(So I just realised, that post isn't actually ON the millions, but it was them that tipped me to it.


So go read this too, for instance: http://www.themillions.com/2013/02/judging-books-by-their-covers-2013-u-s-vs-u-k.html

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text 2014-02-01 19:42
January Reading count/highlights/letdowns
Robot Pony (A short science fiction story) - Madeline Claire Franklin
World After - Susan Ee
ROBOCOP TP VOL 01 (MR) - Frank Miller,Steven Grant,Juan José Ryp
Backup - Jim Butcher
The Day the Robots Woke Up - Ed Hartwell
Dating After Dark (Demon Whisperer) - Tawny Stokes
Bot is Lost! Combo Pack: Books 1 and 2 - Tod Ryan
Transformers: Retribution - David J. Williams,Mark Williams
A Serial Killers Guide: Dexter's Final Cut, Dexter, Darkly Dreaming Dexter, Dearly Devoted Dexter, Dexter in the Dark, Dexter By Design, Dexter Is Delicious, Double Dexter Tribute - Episode 1 - C.A. Jarest
RoboCop - Ed Naha,Michael Miner,Edward Neumeier

39 books in January.   I'm a little bit behind on my 500 book reading goal, though.   


Favorite books?  Robot Pony, World After, Miller's Robocop, Backup, Dating After Dark, The Day the Robots Woke Up, and Bot! Combo Pack.   


Disappointments?   Transformers Retribution, Serial Killer's Guide, and, yeah, the Robocop novelization.   


Overall, though, pretty good month.   I'm only like ten books behind, and I had a lot of fun reading a majority of the books.   


By the way, is this something you guys are interested in?   I don't wanna bug y'all, but if you like the monthly wrap up, let me know.  I'll continue!   (I saw one or two other people do this, and figured I'd put my own spin on my wrap up, just doing the count/highlights/letdowns.)




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review 2014-01-31 02:54
Review - chock full of ranty rage...
Transformers: Retribution - David J. Williams,Mark Williams

This is going to be full of ranty rage.   I was looking forward to this book for so, so long - and it sucked so, so much.   


Hate.   HAAAATE!


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