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text 2017-11-07 14:09
Festive Task 9
Reamde - Neal Stephenson

 

Tasks for Winter Solstice and Yaldā Night

Grab one of your thickest books off the shelf.  Ask a question and then turn to page 40 and read the 9th line of text on that page.  Post your results. 

 

This book is thick. 1044 pages. 

 

Page 40, line 9

 

"A character who had some vassals but no lord was called a Liege Lord and, obviously enough, sat at the top of a hierarchy; most Liege Lords were small-timers running one or two-layered networks of miners or farmers, but some ran deeper trees comprising thousands of vassals distributed among many layers of the hierarchy, and here was where the intragame politicking really became a significant part of the game, for people who cared and could afford to spend their time that way." 

 

Don't know how to make of it. It is like a game rule, not reality. And there is game rules. Life is a bit more complicated. 

 

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text 2017-10-22 16:36
Seeing Further by Bill Bryson $1.99 Love!
Seeing Further - Neal Stephenson,Margaret Atwood,Gregory Benford,Georgina Ferrey,Oliver Morton,Maggie Gee,Margaret Wertheim,Richard Fortey,John D. Barrow,Martin J. Rees,Philip Ball,Richard Holmes,Stephen H. Schneider,James Gleick,Simon Schaffer,Henry Petroski,Paul Davies,


In Seeing Further, New York Times bestseller Bill Bryson takes readers on a guided tour through the great discoveries, feuds, and personalities of modern science. Already a major bestseller in the UK, Seeing Further tells the fascinating story of science and the Royal Society with Bill Bryson’s trademark wit and intelligence, and contributions from a host of well known scientists and science fiction writers, including Richard Dawkins, Neal Stephenson, James Gleick, and Margret Atwood. It is a delightful literary treat from the acclaimed author who previous explored the current state of scientific knowledge in his phenomenally popular book, A Short History of Nearly Everything.

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review 2017-10-13 07:20
A Container Full of Naked Vikings, What's Not to Love?
The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.: A Novel - Neal Stephenson,Nicole Galland

After discovering why magic died out in 1951, governments all over the world are trying to bring it back to their own advantage. Not to be left behind, the American government gets together a rag tag bunch of people to work on the problem. They succeed but find out that manipulating time isn't as easy as they thought...

 

This book was just fun. Yes, it has obvious flaws (in detail as much as in pc) but looking past those it is just a fun romp through history with lots of interesting characters. Not to be taken seriously.

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review 2017-08-29 18:17
Review: The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. (Neal Stephenson, Nicolle Galland)
The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.: A Novel - Neal Stephenson,Nicole Galland

SeriesN/A

Publisher: William Morrow (2017)

Genre(s): Science Fiction, Fantasy

 

Could have been great, but it lacked focus in a big way. We were explained all the science but not the magic. Also, I felt like I was reading the notes of the entire backstory. There are things that don't need to be there.

Mainly, I got the feeling that the plot was really thin, so the authors just shoved lots of info about how DODO developed over 5 years, memos, staff convos, parties, amongst other stuff.

There was some action sprinkled throughout, but mostly it was this and then the climax, which was... disapointing. And open.

So, overall, while all the info-dumpy backstory was cool to an extent, it didn't advance the plot and this book is huge. There was just too much detail, too much minutiae about everyday stuff in a government funded organization, sometimes... it was boring. I'm guessing that without the info-dump it would be roughly 300 pages or something.

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review 2017-08-18 17:35
Seveneves by Neal Stephenson
Seveneves - Neal Stephenson

"The moon blew up without warning and for no apparent reason."

Seveneves is an entertaining, complex and thought provoking hard-science fiction book that takes a look at humanity, the good and the bad, during an apocalyptic event.

 

The book is split into three sections.  The first sections deals with humanities' preparation for the cataclysm that will result from the split moon.  The second section focuses on the people in space immediately after the cataclysm, who have the task of keeping the human species alive or the duration of the catastrophe.  The third part of the book takes a look at what happens when the Earth is made habitable again five thousand years after the cataclysm.

The author has a fondness for lengthy explanations and descriptions of new environments, but is short of character development.  There is a great deal of focus on hard science in this novel - everything from orbital mechanics, robotics and the physics of keeping a space station in space to genetic engineering and psychology.  However, this story is still enthralling, the world building is fascinating and the character cast entertaining and their interactions complex.  I enjoyed this book immensely, but wish there was more to the second and third sections.  There are some poignant moments, some funny moments, feats of heroics, and then there are the moments where you wish you could toss a particular character out the airlock!  

NOTE:  Seveneves is a palindrome.

 

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