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Mr. Steven Calvert (Wiltshire, UK)
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The Endymion Omnibus: Endymion, The Rise Of Endymion (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
The Endymion Omnibus: Endymion, The Rise Of Endymion (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
by Dan Simmons
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal, 5 Oct. 2008
Quite simply, the best love story I have ever read; the best sci-fi novel I have ever read, hell - the best novel I have ever read, full stop.

Characterisation, plot, story-weaving genius, depth, breadth, epic scope, emotion, science, philosophy, it's all here. An imagination that is, frankly, astounding and a sense of the human condition that is awe inspiring.

Knocking on 40, I've read thousands of books to date. Only 2 have ever brought me to tears, and this is one* of them.

Read the Hyperion Omnibus first, to really set the scene for the climactic conclusion of this masterpiece.

Dan Simmons, I salute you.

*The other was Greg Bear's Forge Of God / Queen of Angels series.


Linked: How Everything is Connected to Everything Else and What it Means for Business and Everyday Life
Linked: How Everything is Connected to Everything Else and What it Means for Business and Everyday Life
by Albert-Laszlo Barabasi
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Look closely ..., 19 Jan. 2008
... because in this book lies the fundamental truth about everything.

Study anything, casually or seriously, and it becomes apparent that there are underlying patterns. They are visible in all things, at all levels from the interaction of subatomic particles to cellular dynamics to the Internet to the formation of stars to traffic flow to 'the economy' to pieces of music to religious beliefs to political systems to Darwinian evolution. I could go on indefinitely, but the point is that at the root of all these seemingly diverse things, there is a single, common pattern. A simple, self-replicating pattern, governed by amazingly simple rules.

That pattern is identified here by those rules, and the way they manifest in various aspects of life as we know it. As you go through this work, think across the chapters. The implications are right there, but never explicity stated.

The pattern that underlies everything is a network.


Uncommon Wisdom: Conversations with Remarkable People (Flamingo)
Uncommon Wisdom: Conversations with Remarkable People (Flamingo)
by Fritjof Capra
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An intellectual epic, 6 May 2006
... and I haven't even finished it yet.

I've been a Capra fan ever since 'Web of Life' changed my world view, but this book is something different. The reader gets to delve into some of the formative experiences that have moulded Capra's mind in to the incisive, inquisitive and enlightened force that produced 'Tao of Physics' and 'Turning Point'.

It's an extremely well written piece - thoughtful and thought-provoking, informed and informative - a linguistic sculpture by an artist with a shocking talent who loves his work.

Capra is surprisingly open about the influences that each extraordinary person had on his own thinking style and processes, and the book contains many gems of sheer intuition - the kind that make one stop reading just to allow time to absorb them. Best of all, it's possible to share Capra's comprehension because of the faithfully recorded intellectual debates in which he made each mental leap himself.

A joy - thoroughly recommended.


The Final Theory: Rethinking Our Scientific Legacy
The Final Theory: Rethinking Our Scientific Legacy
by Mark McCutcheon
Edition: Paperback

15 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite literally, a 'tour de force' ..., 8 April 2006
You need several things before you pick this book up:
1) a healthily sceptical attitude to anything calling itself a 'final theory'
2) an open mind, that enjoys being 'boggled'
3) a willingness to have your world turned upside down
If you can manage this, you're in for an absolute treat. This book is based on a concept that is as elegantly simple as it is extraordinary. It's bold, beautiful, myth-shattering and above all it will challenge one of the most fundamental assumptions you hold.
Whether you exit the book a convert to the theory or not is irrelevant. McCutcheon is the first to point out that like any theory his is designed to make you think for yourself - to examine in the light of your own basic common sense some of the things in scientific standard theory that have for too long been worshipped as sacred cows that are beyond question by mere mortals.
I loved it - every word on every page. I started the book a cynic of mythical proportions, and finished it thinking 'no way; it can't be that simple'. A year on and I can't find single viable objection. I try. I tell other people, and ask them to find the flaw. I'll keep trying. That's the point of the McCutcheon's challenge to the scientific powers-that-be: PROVE me wrong.
I think the most telling criticism of the book is the complete absence of 'official' response. That silence from the 'experts' speaks volumes ... but don't listen to me - go judge for yourself.
To the reviewer 'donnaundblitzen': why not read the whole book, and read it thoroughly, before projecting your inability to grasp McCutcheon's simpler concepts as an reason for others to forgo their own judgement. Just a thought.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 28, 2008 12:05 PM BST


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