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M. Jones "It lives" (UK)
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The Long Earth
The Long Earth
by Stephen Baxter
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost old school SF. A nice read., 26 Nov. 2013
This review is from: The Long Earth (Paperback)
I was recommend this book as an SF book where you are invited to consider the position the characters are in and the overall premise of the book.

I will not detail major issues with later chapter plot lines them as this would be a major spoiler for the book. Suffice to say as you can see from the synopsis this story covers different parallel worlds and the possibilities in this but also how mankind reacts to this.

The journey in these worlds is interesting and in some places the ideas are clear and others more cryptic. I assume the drive author for the main plot device is Stephen Baxter. Sometimes is reminiscent of ACC and the Rendezvous with Rama which also follow s journey and gets you to explore ideas within the story for yourself. This is however old school `What if?' SF and it is quite good at it too. A lot of the negatives in some of the reviews for me were the positive. You are asked to ponder the ideas even if you may not agree with them.

The book reads easily and fast and has some nice ideas in it.

So why do I not give it a top rating.

The plot does tail off and end abruptly. It's not clear where the tail end bit will go apart form into another book (i.e. the second book). The events at the end just suddenly happen and do not really connect with earlier chapters. Unlike Clarkes rendezvous with Rama where the end fit perfectly and you anticipate something this book just seems to stop. So it is not a rounded novel in any sense of the word and could have done with 100+ more pages to round off the main threads more neatly.

Just reading the back page synopsis of the long war (book 2) its set a generation after book -1 it makes it feel even more like something is missing unless the authors refer back. Will I get the next book? I'll wait for the paperback version as it not so gripping and not obvious how it follows on to things I find interesting in this book.

A lot of comments in low score reviews complains that there is not enough Terry Pratchett humour. This is not a problem because it is not this type of story. Terry Pratchett obviously introduces some humour and other ideas in the book which helps it flow and makes it interesting. There is some sprinkled here but it under control, although sometimes it is not needed it does not detract from the flow of the book. Overall the partnership works well and I could not discern major disparity or clash of styles.

So a 4 here, it stimulated ideas, thoughts and imagined worlds but lacked a roundness even if the end was a question mark it needed a bit more work. I would however recommend it as a good thoughtful SF read.


Oblivion [DVD] [2013]
Oblivion [DVD] [2013]
Dvd ~ Tom Cruise
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £4.99

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the one star bandits seem to think., 25 Nov. 2013
This review is from: Oblivion [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
I only just got round to watching this. I held back because I am not a big cruise fan and I am sick of a lot of current CGI messes that pass for SF right now but that was a mistake. I do not write a lot of reviews but the low rating by some here who either did not watch the whole film, or based comments on the trailer lead me to put in a bit of balance.

You can get the premise form the other reviews so I'll comment on the quality
* Yes the plot it predictable after a short bit into the film, but anyone that's read a lot of SF finds that with most `novel' [sic] SF movies.
* The images were through provoking and great compared to most films which just go for too fast to watch CGI.
* The pace was fine.
* The effects were good and looked fine to me.
* The weakest bit of sets for me was the set for the bit near the lake.
* The acting was fine. In fact I reckon taking the full plot in to account Cruise is spot on as the support cast. Yes it will not win awards but which SF films ever do for acting.

Unlike a lot of more superficial SF this leaves room to look for plot holes and think would it really work that way. Some consider this a weakness while for me a film or book that makes me think even if the premise is flawed (which I am not so sure it is in this case as it holds up OK) can be better than overly simple CGI festivals with no plot at all.
So it gets four stars as it was for me worth watching, I enjoyed it and I'd be happy to watch it again.


Symphonies Of The Night
Symphonies Of The Night
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £12.45

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A lot of potential but something is lacking., 25 Nov. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Symphonies Of The Night (Audio CD)
This band could offer so much more but seems to lack something critical to allow them to make that step. The individual song writing, production values are great the sound is crystal clear. If you like rough edges on your music this is not for you.

Livs vocals soar all over the record but are let down by repetitive use of that vocal style. The weak song structures seem to lack any real hooks both vocally or with the guitar. This leads the songs to bleed into each other where it is hard to tell if any of them are special.

The band may be getting into a groove with this live but as an album it becomes too monotonous.
If you get a chance and listen to Hell to the Heavens or the title track these are the stronger songs(for me).


Sony BDPS185B.CEK Compact Size Blu-ray Player
Sony BDPS185B.CEK Compact Size Blu-ray Player

1.0 out of 5 stars Piece of junk., 29 July 2013
Had this less than one year. It was fine to start with but then sound went out when used a few times but seemed to sabalise (and yes I had the right cables in and plugged in corretly). So anyones guess what happened those few times.

Then the thing just died. No issues with wires and checked fuse. Still no joy.

Also the disc quick open release does not work so I'll have to work out how to get disc out now which is currently locked in it.

It is simply a poor machine. This is the first large piece of electrical goods I have had that has ever failed me. Maybe I have been very lucky up to now and unlucky with this. But to be honest reading the comments on here makes me think its the machine and its design.

As others said the iplayer does not work either overall I wasted my money on this. I'll try and get refund.


Neverender: Children of the Fence Edition
Neverender: Children of the Fence Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best box sets I have got in ages., 16 Nov. 2010
I got this to get the CDs of the shows as I like live version on CD but had not expected such a nice set. It is very well made and the documentary and footage of the shows are superb quality. This has put the first four albums in context with when they written and also the songs in album context. The package is great the book is well bound and the brass dragonfly in very nice. Altogether this is one great collection. I was worried I would find it hard going to watch whole albums live but that was no problem as the energy of the shows shines through. There is limited text in the package but it looks lovely and the music is just beautiful.


The Live Anthology
The Live Anthology

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not your standard song selection and better for it., 14 Dec. 2009
This review is from: The Live Anthology (Audio CD)
I have had a soft spot for TP since about 1985 when the live double `Pack up the Plantation' came out. I have only managed to see TP once but it was memorable. I have nearly all his studio output and this sits well along side this. The set clearly makes a case for why people like his shows so much and while this is in no way the same as seeing him live it did give me an insight into the range of songs he does and covers live.

The choice of songs is not a `true'-best of, although a few of the classics are there, it is a celebration of the variety of shades of TPs live shows. It really does fell like the songs selected have been chosen for feeling. There is even an odd version of the `Goldfinger' theme-tune in there but it somehow fits and adds to the charm.

The packaging is good. The book is well laid out I have only read part of it so far. It has a nice description of why songs were chosen etc and also comments from rock commentators on TPs live shows. It is a good accompaniment while listening. I bought this for the music and I have not been disappointed. I can't comment on the blue ray music format as I do not have anything to play it on. The vinyl is a nice touch and I always liked LUNA and the DVDs add to the set. I bought it for the live CDs though and got it so I could get CD5.

If you are looking for the 80s rocking Petty this is a bit softer but it reflects his concerts over the years and that has given me insight into something I could not experience myself.

I ordered this from Amazon UK and it arrived promptly in fact earlier than I expected well packaged and in good condition.


Pagan Paths: A Guide to Wicca, Druidry, Asatru Shamanism and Other Pagan Practices
Pagan Paths: A Guide to Wicca, Druidry, Asatru Shamanism and Other Pagan Practices
by Pete Jennings
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.79

5.0 out of 5 stars A good clear review, 18 Oct. 2009
I would be happy to recommend this to anyone wanting a quick view of the range of beliefs in paganism today. I found it very useful to give me a quick grounding and it helped direct my further reading. The things to do bits may grate a bit but that may depend on how open you are to new ideas. They did help me understand the different paths a bit more. Overall he has a clear honest style which I found useful as that is exactly what I wanted.


Unbreakable
Unbreakable
Price: £7.71

5.0 out of 5 stars Back on form, 18 Oct. 2009
This review is from: Unbreakable (Audio CD)
This album is a return to top form for the Scorpions.
The album is full of great songs and an energy not seen since the 80s.
This is matched by the new live shows which have been spot on too.
Wondering where the Scorpions are at. This is a good place to start.
Humanity follows on well from this album but this is the better of the two.
I rank this as equal to their classic 80s output.


Babylon
Babylon

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good rocker, 18 Oct. 2009
This review is from: Babylon (Audio CD)
This album is classic WASP in the vein of Crimson Idol. I'm enjoying it a lot. The prodction is clear. There are two intersting covers on the ablum the Purple cover is good. The style of the Chruck berry cover is good but it it could have been a different band. In all though I am happy with this album.


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