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Reviews Written by
Mr. M. Hanlon "twiglet100" (London, UK)
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Hyperion (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
Hyperion (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
by Dan Simmons
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.09

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best science fiction novels ever, 25 Feb 2014
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This is an enchanting book that stays with you long after you turn the final page. I like science fiction for the ideas, but rarely for the writing; this is a glorious exception, beautifully crafted. And decent characterisation as well. And the ending is a stroke of pure genius.


Flood
Flood
by Stephen Baxter
Edition: Paperback

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Damp and worrying, 5 Aug 2008
This review is from: Flood (Paperback)
For some reason the end of the world is rarely terrifying. From even the nastiest plagues, the most ferocious wars, the most apocalyptic asteroid strikes or alien invasions there is usually hope - hope of recovery, of rebuilding, a glimmer of light at the end of a long dark tunnel.
The brilliant thing about Flood is the sheer lack of hope. For once you lose the land you lose everything. Any terrestrial species, however brilliant, is doomed from the moment the waves lap around the highest mountains. Baxter at his hard sci-fi best here, providing a plausible mechanism for an implausible catastrophe. The episodic treatment works well and the characters, although a tad cliched (the grizzled old astronaut, a brace of plucky hardbody female scientists, several annoying teenagers) are engaging enough to carry the story along.


French With Michel Thomas Complete Course CD
French With Michel Thomas Complete Course CD
by Michel Thomas
Edition: Audio CD

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This man was a genius, 15 Jun 2007
I failed French O-Level, miserably, 26 years ago. Since then I have made intermittent attempts to rectify the situation - taking a job in an Anglo-French company, private lessons, numerous visits to France and intensive private tuition at the Institut Francais in London. All have been more or less unsuccessful.

Now, the marvellous Mr Thomas. All I can say is that he seems to have cracked it. If I had had this bloke teaching me in school, rather than the useless shower who had us chanting verbs, I would now be fluent not just in French but doubtless in Spanish, German and Italian as well. The way he builds the grammatic structure of French (which is much trickier for English speakers than is supposed) is extraordinary. Best of all, for a lazybones like me, this course is quick and efficient. I am no way fluent but I would say that the 10-12 hours I have invested in these CDs was one of the best investments in time I have ever made. No, I don't work for the publishers, but I am happy to say that these are cheap at the price. Now for Spanish ...


Water and the Search for Life on Mars (Springer Praxis Books / Space Exploration)
Water and the Search for Life on Mars (Springer Praxis Books / Space Exploration)
by David M. Harland
Edition: Paperback
Price: 16.50

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Takes the search for life on Mars bang up to date, 22 Jan 2006
While other authors often concentrate on the dramas and personalities involved in space exploration, Harland's USP is to strip away the flim-flam and get straight to the science - the whole point, after all, of sending expensive robots to places like Mars. This is an accessible, highly readable and yet scientifically-correct account of current Mars knowledge. Water is the key here, and Harland brings us right up to date with an account of the early results from the two Mars Exploration Rovers, which are still performing sterling service. Have they found evidence of early water (and hence circumstantial evidence that things were once right for life)? The jury seems still to be out. A must for anyone even remotely interested in planetary astronomy.


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