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Fluxian (London)

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Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web (Voices That Matter)
Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web (Voices That Matter)
by Christina Wodtke
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Great starter for IA, 3 Aug. 2012
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I've recommended this book to many people since reading it. It is simple, accessible, humorous and covers all of the basics. I wish more web designers would read this before setting out on their careers.


The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Dreadnaught (Lost Fleet Beyond/Frontier 1)
The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Dreadnaught (Lost Fleet Beyond/Frontier 1)
by Jack Campbell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as great as the ancestors said it would be, 13 Jan. 2012
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I absolutely love this series and pretty much chain-read them all as quickly as possible and lent them to friends with gusto. However I found this new post-syndic war installment a little stilted, without much in the way of action. Campbell is the master at space battle descriptions and ratcheting up the tension throughout a book in between the engagements, but there just isn't enough of this in Dreadnaught by a long chalk. Instead we are treated to a lot of political shenanigans, but frankly the ensemble doesn't have the depth to pull these off with any degree narrative impetus. Campbell just isn't a John le Carre and should really stick to what he's truly good at. I feel terrible writing such a review when I have so thoroughly enjoyed the other Black-Jack Geary books but there you go, it was good whilst it lasted. I wonder what the Stark series is like?


Canterbury Navy Waihi Rugby Shirt - Size: XL
Canterbury Navy Waihi Rugby Shirt - Size: XL

4.0 out of 5 stars Great casual Rugby top, 19 Nov. 2011
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Very happy with the purchase, good quality and cut. I would say that in terms of size go one higher than you would usually go, I bought an XL and am usually a L in most other garments.


The Evolutionary Void
The Evolutionary Void
by Peter F. Hamilton
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable conclusion but not awesome, 22 Oct. 2010
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This review is from: The Evolutionary Void (Hardcover)
I may be in a minority here but I far preffered the first two books of this series. The universe and characters seemed to have more depth and a lot more urgency to their narratives. I actually cared about the people in the first two books but they were mere aquaintances in the final three.

I never really bought the idea of the Void being such a hypnotic, religous draw for a society that (in part at least) seems to have gone beyond that achievement with their post-human element and practical immortality for everyone else. And so with a weak over-arching premise the work just didn't seem to hang together and justify the usual Hamiltonian cast of thousands, villains and good guys etc etc. I felt the same way about the void as I did about the big secret of the Da Vinci Code, it just didn't seem like a very big deal. Not that you could compare Hamilton and a semi-literate moron like Dan Brown.

Also, I found the Void too ready a font for Hamilton's always present sentimentality. The Void narratives gush with emotion and I found myself rooting for the bad guys just for something to alleviate the endemic bloody goodness. On the outside the Void never really gets going as the destructive force that it is supposed to be and consequently didn't provide the narrative drive to keep the whole drama going. In short the stakes just never got high enough for me to feel involved.

I found the conclusion weak and incredibly rushed considering I could barbell train with the book, I think the publisher should have given the guy a bit more time to get this up to the level that the readers were expecting and deserved. Shame, he's a great writer with a fanstastic ability to paint and juggle multiple characters and plotlines - it just didn't work out for this part of the series.


Surface Detail
Surface Detail
by Iain M. Banks
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Writer WLTM new sci-fi universe, 22 Oct. 2010
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This review is from: Surface Detail (Hardcover)
I've great respect for the Culture universe and have really loved the balance of humour and semi-hard science fiction that Banks has so delightfully woven over the years. However, the last couple of books are really beginning to show an attenuation of ideas and momentum and I can't help wondering if Banks is just getting a bit bored of his great creation.

On the surface (sorry), everything seems in place; troubled SC agents, morally bankrupt lower tech megalomaniacs, cheeky Culture ships and a moral dilemma of virtual hells spanning the 'involved' civilisations of the galaxy. But despite optimal ingredients, and half a rainforest of paper, the novel never really finds its soul. I spent most of the book casting around, trying to find a link with an empathetic character, but finding no succour was left to trundle through a well sign-posted and unsurprising narrative. Even the writer seems to give up the ghost at the end and the book frankly seems to dissipate rather than climax with any narrative satisfaction.

The problem is that Banks has tread the almost impossible line of a post-singularity civilisation crossed with a compelling narrative so many times now that he has no further to go in this universe, he has simply said all he has to say. Pulling the anachronistic concept of the virtual hells into the story seems to me only greater proof that bottom of the barrel has been reached here.

This is no way diminishes Iain Banks' talent as a writer and visionary but sometimes you just have to know when to quit.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 21, 2010 2:54 PM GMT


The Quantum Thief
The Quantum Thief
by Hannu Rajaniemi
Edition: Paperback

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too avant-garde for this sci-fi fan., 22 Oct. 2010
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This review is from: The Quantum Thief (Paperback)
I'm really not getting why this is making such waves. It's very obviously a first novel and seems almost painfully self aware of its own cleverness and erudition, all enhanced by a very 'modern' present tense narrative. There is a nauseatingly gushing commendation by Charles Stross on the back cover which just didn't seem to be justified by the contents, this confused me greatly as Stross' Accellerando is one of my favourite books ever and deals with similair themes of post-singularity civilisation etc.

I think you'll enjoy this book if your are into the avant-garde of science fiction but not so much if you prefer a more classical storyline. I'm wondering if the writer should have just published his quantum physics PHD paper and spared us the undergratuate creative writing course output.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 26, 2010 3:37 PM BST


Palimpsest
Palimpsest
by Catherynne Valente
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.75

2 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars whimsical nonsense, 14 Oct. 2010
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This review is from: Palimpsest (Paperback)
I got to page three. This will suit you if you are studying an MA in women's lit and you secretly like a bit of fantasy but want to make sure people remember how 'literary' you are 'n all.


Orphan's Journey: Jason Wander series book 3
Orphan's Journey: Jason Wander series book 3
by Robert Buettner
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More of the same but still fun, 14 Oct. 2010
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The narrative branches out but the writing doesn't. I still like this series though. The first one is by far the best of the lot.


The Black Lung Captain: Tales of the Ketty Jay: Bk. 2 (Tales of the Ketty Jay 2)
The Black Lung Captain: Tales of the Ketty Jay: Bk. 2 (Tales of the Ketty Jay 2)
by Chris Wooding BA
Edition: Paperback

3 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars de ja vu, 14 Oct. 2010
It's readable but seems to be stuck in the same uninspired kitchen sink mire of recent sci-fantasy. Question: does any book like this get published if it doesn't contain a dirigible?


Memory Seed
Memory Seed
by Stephen Palmer
Edition: Paperback

0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Derivitive and slightly boring, 14 Oct. 2010
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This review is from: Memory Seed (Paperback)
I got to page 40, I could be wrong but it just didn't grab me.


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