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review 2017-08-18 16:56
Automatons, clocks, and a train station
The Invention of Hugo Cabret - Brian Selznick

I'm guessing that if you haven't read The Invention of Hugo Cabret then you've at least seen the film Hugo starring Asa Butterfield and Chloë Grace Moretz. The movie adaptation is actually very faithful to the book. If you're unfamiliar, it's about a boy that is living in a train station in Paris and trying to put together a clockwork man. In order to do so, he has to stoop to thievery, sneaking, and subterfuge. But it's not simply the storyline that sets Selznick apart from the pack. It's his use of illustrations and words that make reading his books so enjoyable. There are full-page spreads with no text whatsoever that are absolutely breathtaking. Generally, his illustrations are done in pencil and without color. They're gorgeous and I love them.Themes explored include but are not limited to: loss and redemption, solace in the written word, trust of children over adults, and orphaned children. Out of the three I'm reviewing today this one was my least favorite but that might have been because I already knew the story from seeing the film...or that he was still experimenting with his style with this earlier work. However, I'd still rate it a 9/10. 

 

 

Source: Goodreads

 

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2017-08-14 16:36
One Trick Pony - Nathan HaleĀ 
One Trick Pony - Nathan Hale

I enjoyed this enormously: I liked the juxtaposition of multiple different cultures and societies. The premise was intriguing, the kids are resourceful, the parents believable, the robots were funny. Good set up and good payoff. I would thing this would be insanely popular since it's like to appeal to fans of fantasy and science fiction, to horse people and 

Western people, everyone really, except aliens.

 

My only problem with the book is a technical detail: I had tremendous trouble reading the speech sometimes. Yes, I'm old and the eyes go and dim lighting isn't sufficient anymore et cetera, et cetera, but none of that troubles me when reading anything else. I'm not confident I know what the difficulty was: whether the book pages were too small (for me), or the font size too small (for me), or the contrast not sharp enough (for me). I can't say with any certainty. But it made for an uncomfortable experience. I'm a motivated reader, so I stuck with it, but I can imagine that not everyone would. YMMV

 

Library copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

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text 2017-07-31 14:35
Global Spinal Surgical Robots Sales Market Will Targets Emerging Markets By 2022

The report offers a detailed insight into the upstream raw material analysis and downstream demand analysis along with crucial elements of the current dynamics Global Spinal Surgical Robots Sales Market industry. The report furthermore highlights key proposals for new project development along with offering an assessment of investment feasibility analysis. This study is a useful guide to all investors to identify the lucrative market avenues across different segments and geographical regions. The market entry conditions along with emerging avenues will help the new entrants to gauge the pulse of the market. Furthermore, the study tracks industry news in terms of new mergers and acquisition made by prominent companies to expand their product offerings across various countries. The report is an useful guide to market players, all stakeholders, interested market participants and investors to formulate their strategies.

 

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In this report, the global Spinal Surgical Robots market is valued at USD XX million in 2016 and is expected to reach USD XX million by the end of 2022, growing at a CAGR of XX% between 2016 and 2022.

Geographically, this report split global into several key Regions, with sales (K Units), revenue (Million USD), market share and growth rate of Spinal Surgical Robots for these regions, from 2012 to 2022 (forecast), covering

United States

China

Europe

Japan

Southeast Asia

India

 

Global Spinal Surgical Robots market competition by top manufacturers/players, with Spinal Surgical Robots sales volume, Price (USD/Unit), revenue (Million USD) and market share for each manufacturer/player; the top players including

Intuitive Surgical, Inc.

SpineFrontier, Inc.

Kuka AG

Medtech S.A

Mazor Robotics Ltd

Spineology Inc.

Alliance Spine LLC

Stryker Corporation

Alphatec Spine Inc.

Accuray Incorporated

Medtronic Sofamor Danek, Inc.

Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc.

Nuvasive, Inc.

 

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Key Chapter

 

1 Spinal Surgical Robots Market Overview

1.1 Product Overview and Scope of Spinal Surgical Robots

1.2 Classification of Spinal Surgical Robots by Product Category

1.2.1 Global Spinal Surgical Robots Market Size (Sales) Comparison by Type (2012-2022)

1.2.2 Global Spinal Surgical Robots Market Size (Sales) Market Share by Type (Product Category) in 2016

1.2.3 Open Surgery Type

1.2.4 Minimal Invasive Type

1.3 Global Spinal Surgical Robots Market by Application/End Users

1.3.1 Global Spinal Surgical Robots Sales (Volume) and Market Share Comparison by Application (2012-2022)

1.3.2 Laminectomy

1.3.3 Spine Fusion

1.3.4 Intervertebral Foramen

1.3.5 Intervertebral Disc Resection

 

2 Global Spinal Surgical Robots Competition by Players/Suppliers, Type and Application

2.1 Global Spinal Surgical Robots Market Competition by Players/Suppliers

2.1.1 Global Spinal Surgical Robots Sales and Market Share of Key Players/Suppliers (2012-2017)

2.1.2 Global Spinal Surgical Robots Revenue and Share by Players/Suppliers (2012-2017)

2.2 Global Spinal Surgical Robots (Volume and Value) by Type

2.2.1 Global Spinal Surgical Robots Sales and Market Share by Type (2012-2017)

2.2.2 Global Spinal Surgical Robots Revenue and Market Share by Type (2012-2017)

 

3 United States Spinal Surgical Robots (Volume, Value and Sales Price)

3.1 United States Spinal Surgical Robots Sales and Value (2012-2017)

3.1.1 United States Spinal Surgical Robots Sales and Growth Rate (2012-2017)

3.1.2 United States Spinal Surgical Robots Revenue and Growth Rate (2012-2017)

3.1.3 United States Spinal Surgical Robots Sales Price Trend (2012-2017)

3.2 United States Spinal Surgical Robots Sales Volume and Market Share by Players

Continue……..

 

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Source: www.researchtrades.com
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review 2017-07-08 18:03
Void Star
Void Star - Zachary Mason

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]

This story takes us on the paths followed by three characters very different from each other: Irina, carrying a brain implant that gives her perfect memory and access to AIs; Kern, a young refugee from the San Francisco favelas, who taught himself through books and martial arts thanks to a laptop found in a dump; and Thales, son of a murdered Brazilian politician, whose life hangs by a thread only because his body may reject the implant that saved his life at any moment.

The world depicted in the novel is not exactly cyberpunk, not exactly transhumanistic, not exactly dystopian, but a blend of all three? Life-prolonging and youth treatments exist... only for those who can afford them. The implant in both Irina and Thales’s brains is exceptional... but. Large corporations dominate everyday life, but the protagonists are different from their more usual cyberpunk counterparts. Earth is going through climate changes and places like Singapore are gradually going underwater, and many people don’t have access to basic necessities... but at the same time, a sense of wonder still permeates the story, if only because of the way the characters are confronted to various threats and obstacles, yet also to hopes and openings towards new paths. Kern’s laptop, for instance, because of what it represents, or could represent, for a young boy living in the streets. Or the inhuman and fascinating beauty of the AIs introduced here, the destructive Cloudbreaker and the elusive Mathematician.

This is both close to us, making it possible to grasp it, with its technologies that we can understand (tablets and phones, albeit somewhat obsolete for the wealthier characters), and at the same time deeply alien and full of mysteries (what would it be like to live with a perfect, artificial memory you can access just whenever, yet that may send you into seizure and kill you?).

‘Void Star’ reads well, although for some reason I felt like taking my sweet time with it, perhaps because unconsciously I didn’t want to finish it too fast? It may sometimes be a wee difficult to follow, since it doesn’t rely on detailed explanations, instead taking its readers through its characters’ travels; I quite liked that, though—I like that in general in SF/F, even though I know I can’t read such stories when I’m too tired, for fear of losing my pace and missing important hints. While some events appeared, as a result, a little confusing, in the end I could still piece everything together. The three main narratives are well interwoven—chapter Y actually holds the missing answers to what happened in chapter X, and so on—and even when I didn’t have all the information to understand their world in the beginning, it wasn’t much of a problem.

Conclusion: Not the easiest read around, due to its (beautiful but sometimes complex) descriptive language and concepts; however, if one is ready to tackle that, this book can be positively fascinating.

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review 2017-07-08 04:45
Review - Sea of Rust by C Robert Cargill
Sea of Rust - C. Robert Cargill

There are not enough stars to indicate how much I love this book! We're only half way through 2017 but I'll go so far as to say that this is my favourite book this year and I honestly can't imagine anything that would knock it off that spot. I loved this from the very first chapter and literally couldn't put it down. I cracked it open within 10 minutes of it falling through the letterbox and didn't look up from it again until the last page was turned.

It's very rare for me to gush about a book but this one is just made of awesome. I'm all about Post Apocalyptic fiction and I can't get enough of it. It's usually zombies that I favour but really it doesn't matter how the world ends, just so long as it DOES end. Nuclear, aliens, plague, climate change...it's all good. Apocalypse by robot though is rare enough to get bumped up the TBR list every time. I thought Robopocalypse was good when I read it a few years ago but Sea Of Rust just blows that one out of the water.

I was hooked right from the get-go when Brittle's (great name) interaction with Jimmy got me right in the feels. Gah, my heart broke a little bit. Best introduction to a character I've read in a long time. All of the characters were easily pictured though, even the very short lived secondary ones, due in part to absolutely pitch perfect dialogue. Mercer is the best kind of villain, the kind you love to hate without really hating them, and the interactions between him and Brittle never got old. I was on the edge of my seat more than once when things looked bleak for Brittle and I alternated between racing to the end to see how it all came together for her, and trying to pace myself and spin it out so it lasted as long as possible. It was a thing of beauty to watch it all unfold and I could happily have read on for another 400 pages. I marvel at the mind that brought this concept to life and made me forget at times that I was reading about robots while at the same time ramming it home that this was a world populated by machinery. Mr Cargill is a very talented man.

I would LOVE to see this made into a movie and have no doubt that it won't be long until I get my wish. It's just crying out to be on the big screen and I can't wait! This fellow can definitely write and I'll follow him wherever he goes from now on. Hugely enjoyable story and I can highly recommend it without hesitation. Best book of 2017!

*I received this paperback from the publisher*

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