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G. Williams "tychobear" (Darmstadt, Germany)

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Close (1988)
Close (1988)

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Best of Kim Wilde, 27 Jan. 2004
This review is from: Close (1988) (Audio CD)
'Close' is arguably the best album from Kim Wilde. With 'Close' she finally finished maturing her sound into a sophisticated mix of dancefloor and lounge. It was a pity though that this album also saw the effective end of her chart career.
Tracks like 'Never Trust a Stranger' and You Came' are fairly well known but there are other tracks such as the 'European Soul' and 'Four Letter Word' which are well worth a listen also.
This album was a fitting finale to my 1980s schoolboy crush on the spike-haired faux-Punk goddess that gave us 'Kiss In America' and 'Water On Glass'. Ah, me ...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 21, 2009 10:40 PM BST

by Stephen Baxter
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, 1 May 2003
This review is from: Moonseed (Paperback)
This book is simply great. It blends Greg Bear Eon-esque scale with good ol' fashioned sci-fi hero romps to give a book that you find really hard to put down, despite it's Clancy-like length.
Starting off with a relatively slow beginning establishing the characters, the tale moves into the early stages of the mystery and builds gradually from a small, local affair into a global, then interplanetary plot of broad scale and implications. The events in Edinburgh are especially enjoyable (I'm a native of Scotland's capital city and so could feel a connection with many of the scenes).
His other works in the Manifold series were my next buy but I was distinctly disappointed by their concentration on hard sf that, in my opinion, detracted from the story-writing - there's only so much deep-time universal heat-death depression that you can take! "Moonseed" suffers from none of this. Similarly his alternative history of the Apollo era ("Titan") reads enjoyably, although this feels much like an unintended companion/sequel to James Michener's "Space".
If you enjoy Greg Bear, Arthur C. Clarke or their ilk, then you'll love this book. Put simply, buy it.

Night Watch: (Discworld Novel 29) (Discworld Novels)
Night Watch: (Discworld Novel 29) (Discworld Novels)
by Terry Pratchett
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 1 May 2003
OK, I'm going to go out on a limb here, and say that "Night Watch" is Pratchett's best Discworld book yet.
Why? Because the characters in the book have been so long-established in the Discworld universe that it is uniquely revealing to see their younger selves in the era in which Sam Vimes began his career. This is a bit of a quandry, because in order for this book to be so good, it needs the reader to have gained an understanding of these characters by first reading the other City Watch books in the series.
"Night Watch" is, as noted by other reviewers, also darker in many ways than the other books of the series. There is sadness here, and grief, and heroism, and horror. This mix of humour and darket tones works extremely well, especially as the sadness is interwoven seamlessly into the overall plot and character development.
In all, it makes a refreshing departure from the other (still excellent) tales of the Discworld.
I'd be very happy to read more books of this hue from Terry Pratchett. It is especially welcome bearing in mind that the Discworld series is now approaching thirty books and shows no sign of becoming repetitive, stale or reduced in humourous content, or slowing down for that matter. A tribute to Mr. Pratchett's seemingly bottomless well of talent, I'm sure.
Encore, please!

The Sum Of All Fears :
The Sum Of All Fears :
by Tom Clancy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clancy At His Best, 30 Sept. 2002
This review is from: The Sum Of All Fears : (Paperback)
"Sum Of All Fears" is Tom Clancy at the pinnacle of his writing career.
In this book he brings together the political manoeuvering of "Cardinal ...", the action of "Red Storm ..." and the tension of "... Red October" in one book.
As usual, this one starts with a bang, then slowly builds again until around the page 600 mark, at which point things really get going. The tension towards the climax is breath-taking. I still find the book gripping after several reads.
While inevitably abridged and rewritten for the film starring Ben Affleck, most of the important elements were retained. Missing though was the Marvin Russell sub-plot and the Arab terrorists were downplayed in favour of Neo-Nazis. I strongly recommend anyone who enjoyed the film to try the original book.
What amazes me is that Clancy can write something as brilliant as this, or the equally excellent "Executive Orders", but then bring out the at-best average "Red Rabbit". I can only conclude that he has either lost interest, or lost his inspiration for good writing. He doesn't need the money (there can be fewer more financially successful writers) and might be getting bored with writing, or at least the 'Ryanverse'.
So, try something else. Come up with a new character, or do as was done in "Without remorse" and "Rainbow Six" - take an 'also starring' character and create a story around them. The Robby Jackson character might be a good possibility, but I would be tempted to go for someone who is a barely mentioned one instead. That way, there is little to constrain the plot and scope.
But, please, no repeat of "Red Rabbit". I doubt Clancy's success could be sustained if another poor effort like that was published.

by Stephen Baxter
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Science Fiction, 21 Sept. 1999
This review is from: Moonseed (Hardcover)
I really liked this book. Not only because I am from Edinburgh and so know many of the places described in the book, but also because it is a science fiction book on the scale of Greg Bear with a runaway plot much like Tom Clancy.
The gradual disintegration of the Earth by the Moonseed makes a great plotline that Baxter follows through to the exciting finale. A great yarn. The sort of big book you take on holiday expecting to get halfway through in two weeks but then find yourself finished after two days of through the night reading. Few other books have done this for me - Clancy's Red Storm Rising and Sum of All Fears, Greg Bear's Eon, Asimov's Foundation series are among the few others.
A word of warning though. Baxter doesn't seem to have a wholly consistent style across his books. I have just finished his novel Time and was frankly disappointed. He seemed to have a good idea that ran out of steam halfway through and resorted to hard sci-fi as a means to get through to the end with that one. But Moonseed is excellent and a thoroughly recommended read.

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