Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Isaac
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-02-28 03:19
Foundation and Empire (Foundation #2)
Foundation And Empire - Isaac Asimov

The Foundation created by Hari Seldon has come through three crises and several social changes, but now it must face off against forces of Empire.  Foundation and Empire, the second book of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, follows how the Foundation and its citizen responded to threats from Empire—one it’s decaying predecessor and one from a budding conqueror.


Unlike like Foundation with its several short stories, Asimov’s second book featured two novellas entitled “The General” and “The Mule”.  The first followed the Imperial war against the Foundation led by the titular general Bel Riose who looked to restore the rule of the Empire, but was stopped short by the Emperor who believed him to be using the war to build up himself as a usurper.  The fallout of the war leads the Foundation citizenry to believe during its war with the warlord “The Mule” that eventually something will happen for the Foundation to win.  But the Foundation falls to the Mule’s forces as its leadership learns that its next crisis was to be civil war.  A small ship filled with Foundation survivors makes its way towards the old Imperial capital to find a way to stop the Mule and find that the Second Foundation might be the key.


Although some might believe the two novellas a better format than the several short stories of the first book, I am of a different opinion.  The longer length of the stories unfortunately exposed Asimov’s characters as very flat and his writing somewhat formulaic, especially when it came to the identity of “The Mule”.  Yet I have to admit that of the two stories, “The General” was the best because it only took up a third of the book thus protecting the characters from being over exposed.  “The Mule” became tedious as the reveal of titular character took its sweet time, even as Asimov attempted to show the decay of the Galactic civilization.


While Foundation and Empire was not as good as the first book of the trilogy, there are still some nice passages and ideas that Asimov has written.  Though I was intrigued to find out more about the Second Foundation after finishing the book, it was a long slog to get to that point.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-02-12 13:11
Nightfall by Isaac Asimov & Robert Silverberg
Nightfall - Isaac Asimov,Robert Silverberg

From the blurb:

"Imagine living on a planet with six suns that never experiences Darkness. Imagine never having seen the Stars. Then, one by one your suns start to set, gradually leading you into Darkness for the first time ever. Image the terror of such a Nightfall.

Scientists on the planet Kalgash discover that an eclipse - an event that occurs only every 2049 years - is imminent, and that a society unfamiliar with Darkness will be plunged into madness and chaos. They realize that their civilization will end, for the people of Kalgash have a proven fear of Darkness, but they are unable to predict the insanity and destruction that will accompany the awesome splendor of Nightfall."

Originally published in 1970, this book has a pulp feel to it.  This story explores the events before, during and after a total eclipse and resulting complete darkness on a planet with six suns and perpetual light.  The doomsday/apocalypse concept is interesting but the execution falls a bit flat - the characters are a bit two dimensional and some events and their timing are just too convenient.  However, the book is still enjoyable and would make a nice addition to the shelf of an apocalypse fan.


Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-01-30 00:03
Foundation (Foundation #1)
Foundation (Book 1) - Isaac Asimov

An Empire has begun to decline and one man had produced a plan to shorten the resulting Dark Age and found a Second Empire.  Isaac Asimov based his “Hugo Best All-Time Series” on this premise, one man setting up a Foundation for the future of mankind but not telling his successors about how to bring the plan to fruition.


Foundation is not one story, but several connected together because of the grand plan by Hari Seldon who mathematically deduced the decline of the Galactic Empire and its future fall then came up with a plan to reduce the resulting Dark Age to only a 1000 years.  Three of the five stories featured the two standout characters of the volume:  Salvor Hardin, the point-of-view character in “The Encyclopedists” and “The Mayors”, and Hober Mallow, the point-of-view character of “The Merchant Princes”.  It is through these two characters the reader gets an understanding of the political and social situations going on as the Empire declines and the Seldon’s Foundation politically evolve to meet the conditions known as Seldon Crisis.


Although Foundation is an interconnected collection of short stories, combined they create a history of a far off future of a declining Empire and an outpost meant to build up a future Second Empire for the betterment of all men.  While some might think space science fiction is all lasers and space battles, Isaac Asimov showed that it could be political, religious, and economic forces on a large scale used by individuals to pave the way for a better future.  It is because of this that many consider this a classic and frankly I can’t disagree.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-01-26 23:44
The Last Cowboy by John Isaac Jones
The Last Cowboy - John Isaac Jones

This tale starts off in Florida in 2017 but the bulk of the tale is set in 2007 as the main character, J. L., reminisces meeting his current wife. J.L. of 2007 has just been laid off from a Montana ranch but he has a fall back plan which is to go to Argentina and work as a vaquero there. Along the drive to catch the boat to his new life, he meets Karina, who is also making a journey cross country heading to Florida.

While the set up was there for this to be the romantic comedy it claims to be, it fell flat in many ways. The story felt very dated, Karina’s main purpose in the tale was to be the romantic interest, some of the situations just didn’t ring true, and there just wasn’t much humor at all. I’ve listened to several stories by this author and some of them have been top notch. Alas, this is not one of them.

To be up front, contemporary romance isn’t my cup of tea. With that said, I found the little bit of romance we have in this book to be rather stiff and not titillating at all. In fact, when we get near the end of the story (and we know from the beginning that marriage happens), the whole marriage thing felt more like a business arrangement between two people who have a bit of fondness for one another instead of a great sweeping romance. Now, if that was the plot point, I’d be fine with it. But since this is labeled a romance, I want there to be real romance & heat between these characters.

The book is set in 2007 but it really felt more like 1967. I believe J.L. is in his late 20s in 2007 so I expected some modern ways of thinking. He insists on opening doors for the ladies (which isn’t all bad but when added with all the other dated things, it leaves this impression of a cowboy out of time). There’s some arguments about Custer’s last stand and an old Indian show that J. L. catches. Then that restaurant scene where J. L. was the only one to know the Heimlich maneuver. Then that scene where he splashes a little gas on the vehicle carburetor to get it started and the whole car catches on fire and no one has a fire extinguisher or a fire retardant tarp or even thinks to slam the hood down to smoother the flames. I could go on, but I won’t. All together, this didn’t feel like it was set in 2007.

Karina was a problem for me. For much of the story, she could be any woman. She does get a little background here and there but her lines are pretty standard and she makes few (any?) of the plot-relevant decisions in the story. The first night she and J. L. are traveling together, he offers to sleep in the truck and get her a hotel room. But she counters by insisting they just put up a sheet between the beds. The next day, she confesses that she’s always been afraid of men and that she doesn’t know why (so why were you OK sharing a room with a strange man?). Yet she then launches into her upbringing with a father who beat her mother regularly. J. L. then mansplains the psychology of how she’s afraid of men because her father was an abusive spouse. She then has an epiphany in which all that becomes clear to her. Sigh… Really? Later in the story, she faints and has to be carried. Further on, she says nothing would make her happier than to have his babies. Then even later, she wants a daughter so she can teach her how to be a lady, because gender roles…. in 2017…. sigh. Karina was not a worthy character.

During the 2007 trip, these two get into several situations that could have been funny but they are told so seriously that I didn’t find any comedy in them. Indeed, the main characters rarely laugh at their predicament either. There’s not even any slap stick humor. All told, this wasn’t the story I was expecting. 3/5 stars.

The Narration: Richard L. Walton has a very good cowboy voice. I liked his deep voice for J. L. While he gets a B for effort on attempting distinct character voices, he didn’t usually achieve clear, distinct character voices. Sometimes he used a lighter voice for the ladies, but not always and he pretty much only had the 1 female character voice. For the male characters, he relied on attitude and emotions rather than actual different voices, with the exception of doing a deeper voice for a very minor character mentioned by Karina as she went over a memory. His pacing was good. I did notice some background noise (rustling paper?) once or twice. I liked how he handled J. L.’s rudimentary Spanish while being pretty smooth with Karina’s native Spanish. 3/5 stars.

I received a free copy of this book.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-12-16 00:51
Flawed, but worth a read
Life And Death Behind The Brick And Razo... Life And Death Behind The Brick And Razor-Code Red Diamond - Isaac Alexis MD

<blockquote>I wanted to use science to heal people and simultaneously teach them about how their bodies functioned and how to properly take care of their bodies. I also wanted to make a difference in the lives of people who traditionally did not have access to care to begin with. So I chose correctional medicine. It had its challenges but also opportunities to save many lives. In my opinion, it also had areas that seriously needed to be addressed.</blockquote>

Years after this decision, Dr. Alexis has turned to writing, using his experiences and point of view, to discuss some health tips and suggestions to help teens through some hot-button and pressing issues.


After a quick autobiographical chapter, the chapters revolve around the treatment of one particular patient, and then using that patient's particular diagnosis (or lack thereof) and struggle as a launching point for health tips and/or discussion of some of the struggles that young people (or everyone) go through related to STDs, Drug Abuse, Gang Membership, etc.


There is so much energy, so much care, conviction, expertise behind this book that it's a shame I can't heartily endorse it. There's a lot of heart here, and I admire that. But it's just not that well written. Maybe it'd be more correct to say that it wasn't that well-edited and re-written.


First of all, it needs a thorough editorial pass on basic grammar. But it needs some work on structure, too. Within the various chapters, things can seem to be randomly organized with a lack of transitions, or foundation for some of what he's talking about. That page count of 100 pages should be 150 at a minimum -- he really needs to flesh out everything just a bit. He's got the material, he just needs to work with it a bit more so his readers can better understand both his experiences and perspective. The nature of the facility he works at -- and its relation to other prisons and hospitals, is a good example -- I think I have a decent idea how all that works out, but it takes using information from all parts of the book to come up with my guess; that shouldn't be, I should've been given a one or two (or more) sentence description of that so I can appreciate his struggles to provide adequate care.


Now, what he doesn't need to give us more of us medical jargon -- often he'll unleash a couple of paragraphs of almost non-stop medical terminology. This is not a bad thing, but I think he could help the non-informed reader a little bit more than he does with some of those streams of terminology. What I eventually decided is, the book reads like a transcript of someone telling stories about his life to a new friend, people just sitting around a table swapping stories. The hopping around, the unclear writing, and so on come across just the way people talk. If you think of it that way, the book is a lot easier to take.


If you can find some way (my suggestion or something else that works for you) to overlook/make your peace with Alexis' style, you'll probably enjoy this book. You can even appreciate the book without that -- it's just harder. Alexis writes from conviction and passion -- with a healthy dose of morality. There's a lot to be gained from this book. I liked <b>Life and Death Behind the Brick and Razor</b>, but it woulnd't take much to make me like it sooo much more. He has important things to say, I just wish the book did a better job of providing the platform.


<i><b>Disclaimer:</b> I received this book in exchange for this post and my participation in this tour -- I appreciate the opportunity, but my opinion remains my own.</i>

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2017/12/15/life-and-death-behind-the-brick-and-razor-code-red-diamond-by-isaac-alexis-md
More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?