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Philip XP Talbot (Portsmouth UK)

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Ready Player One
Ready Player One
Price: £5.98

5.0 out of 5 stars What a Superb Book, 13 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ready Player One (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoyed this book from both a story point of view and that of nostalgia. The book contains numerous references to geeky 80's stuff that I felt right at home with. Most of the fun comes from identifying the things that the clues refer to (I managed to get virtually all of the references apart from some of the first clue). There is even mention of an obscure bug from a video game that I remember well in my youth (although I always remember it to be over 170,000 and not 180,000 score as per the book that the bug manifested itself - oh well...). If you want to know what the hell I am talking about then you are going to have to buy the book and find out for yourself. The only thing bad I have to say is that once you have finished the book you are going to feel sad with the realization that you not going to read it's like again.

Progeny: The Progenitor Trilogy, Book Three (Progenitors Universe)
Progeny: The Progenitor Trilogy, Book Three (Progenitors Universe)
Price: £2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Stuff, 13 Dec. 2012
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When I discovered than Dan had released the third book in his Progenitors trilogy it was a total non brainer decision to buy it. The book is a triumph in space opera story telling. I would have no hesitation in recommending this trilogy to any of my Sci-Fi loving friends. The characterisations and pacing of the story are nigh on perfect. I have trouble in accepting that Dan has not had any editorial help. If he has done all of this on his own, editorially-wise, then he is ten times better than the likes of David Weber, Tad Williams or Peter F Hamilton. He really is that good. Don't take my word for it, just buy the trilogy and judge for yourself - you will not be disappointed at all. Note to Dan - I want more please!

The Hydrogen Sonata: A Culture Novel (Culture series Book 10)
The Hydrogen Sonata: A Culture Novel (Culture series Book 10)
Price: £5.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Yawn, 8 Nov. 2012
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I found this book hard to plod through. It did not engauge me at all (ok, to be fair, there were some moments where my interest was slightly piqued). It was not a page turner by any stretch of the imagination. i really like Iain M Banks stuff but feel that he is sacrificing style for story telling in his recent few Sci-Fi books. Shame really...

Fiskars 113880 Momentum Reel Mower
Fiskars 113880 Momentum Reel Mower
Price: £167.76

51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Push Mower Full Stop, 24 July 2011
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The Fiskars Momentum mower is quite simply the best push mower you will ever buy. Okay, it may be a bit pricey but you will get a well crafted, high quality mower for your money. It is so easy to push the mower and it cuts through even the toughest types of grass. The mower requires a fair bit of self assembly (the handle bit). After assembly you are guided by the instructions to adjust the blades so that they cut pieces of paper evenly across the entire width of the blade rotor. This has got to be seen to be believed. Somehow the blades can cut single sheets of paper without any sign of rubbing anywhere. Its almost magical (and a good sign of quality). This engineered precision is a clue to why it is so easy to operate. After several months of use I can report that it is still brilliant. The only slight problem my mower has recently shown is a squeeky front wheel which I will get around to lubricate with something that will not harm the plastic. Another thing that I found slightly wanting was the lack of a grass box. If you look at the mower they seem to have made a provision for one but as of the time of writing there is nothing from Fiskars yet. Having said that the cut grass is thrown forwards by the mechanism and is chopped up again and again quite finely and so can be left on the lawn (unlike my old mower that left bit clumps of cut grass scattered around). But these problems are only minor niggles. The best thing about this mower is that there are no electrical cables to worry about or petrol engines or nasty pollution. Once the grass has been cut all it needs is a quick brush off and back to the garage it goes (about 60 seconds in total - try that with any other type of mower). I have no trouble in assigning it the full five stars.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 30, 2013 1:30 PM BST

A Mighty Fortress (Safehold)
A Mighty Fortress (Safehold)
by David Weber
Edition: Hardcover

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappears Up It's Own Behind, 5 July 2010
I really liked the Safehold series up until this book. The books have been slowing down in pace as the series progresses but with this book it has slowed down too much and is mired in literary treacle. While the other books have been un-put-down-able this one was a bit of a struggle to motivate myself to read it. The authors self-indulgence in what is obviously his favourite subject (wooden warships) is very noticeable and should have been moderated by firmer editorial control in order to keep the overal series tone on an even keel (please excuse the pun). Hopefully the author has realised what he's been doing and will rectify the pacing in the next book.

Big disappointment after such a wonderful start.

Universal Audio
Universal Audio
Price: £9.12

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Album, 30 July 2007
This review is from: Universal Audio (Audio CD)
This has got to be one of my top ten albums (and boy, there are other very good albums in that top ten so it faces stiff competition but holds its own!). I heard 'I Fought The Angels' on the radio and thought that it sounded interesting which in turn led me to get this album. All of the songs are nigh on perfect and vary wildly from each other but somehow the album feels coherent as a whole despite this. I bought their other albums but somehow they did not seem to match the excellence of Universal Audio. It is the one I listen to the most if I want a Delgado 'Fix'. My favourite tracks are 'I Fought The Angels', 'Come Undone', 'Get Action!', 'Sink Or Swim', er, ok - perhaps it's all of them ;-)

Price: £16.23

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite albums of all time., 2 Mar. 2002
This review is from: Velveteen (Audio CD)
This album is easily in my top ten albums of all time. It is surprisingly varied and represents Transvision Vamp at their peak. I'll try and give you a brief track by track precis of this brilliant album;
Baby I don't care - A great barn stormer of a track. Lyrics that really cut through a wonderfully heavy guitar riff.
The only one - another brilliant tune that has a great tune. Full of the classic TV raunchiness.
Landslide of love - A medium paced song with Wendys voice cutting through with that delightful clarity.
Falling for a goldmine - A slow moving song with lots of breathy lyrics and a wonderful chorus.
Down on you - a heavy guitar and synth song with piercing lyrics. Superb.
Song to the stars - a delightfully silly piece thats nice and slow!
Kiss their sons - a really heavy track with guitars and synths and those cutting lyrics. Brilliant.
Born to be sold - quiet (compared to the rest of the album) ditty with superb lyrics and good tune with a good twangy guitar in the chorus.
Pay the ghosts - Good heavy drums with a lighter guitar on top - pure joy.
Bad valentine - a slower ditty with the wonderful breathy voice of Wendy - oooh sexy!
Velveteen - All I can say about the title track (which is the last track on this album) is that it is 9 min 51 seconds of pure genius. Velveteen is a surprisingly complex song comprising of quiet parts and the bit about 2:49 into the track is absolute magic. Its worth buying this album for the title track alone. Exquisite - the best track of all time.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 9, 2012 12:13 PM BST

Half Life
Half Life
by Hal Clement
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sorry, but..., 3 Dec. 2000
This review is from: Half Life (Mass Market Paperback)
...this is the poorest Hal Clement story I have ever read. The plot is very thin on the ground and all it amounts to is basically an overextended chemistry lesson. I read this book and thought to myself, 'Er, did I miss something or is it supposed to be like that?'
Hal's other books are much better reading than this - stay away!

Thunderbirds FAB Cross-sections
Thunderbirds FAB Cross-sections
by Graham Bleathman
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Detail, detail, detail, 24 Nov. 2000
From the toilet (and shower) on Thunderbird 3 to the air recycling duct on Thunderbird 1 this book illustrates all the inner workings of the machines featured on Gerry Andersons Thunderbirds.
As well as the main Thunderbird craft there are detailed drawings of such favorites as the Mole, FAB 1 (the Rolls Royce!), the Sunprobe, the US Army Sidewinder and the Crablogger. Other lesser known things are also included such as Lady Penelope's Mansion, TB2 Pod vehicles and FAB 2 (Lady Penelope's Yacht). Last, but not least, Tracy Island, home of International Rescue is given the cutaway treatment.
The attention to detail is astonishing. If a detail was mentioned (or hinted at) in the Thunderbirds universe then it is illustrated here in this book. The artist, I suspect, has even drawn his own cats laying on one of the beds of Lady Penelope's Mansion!
Children (and really grown up children) will be delighted with these colour illustrations that really fire up the imagination. If you are into Thunderbirds (and lets face it, who isn't) then you will LOVE this book.

A Deepness in the Sky
A Deepness in the Sky
by Vernor Vinge
Edition: Paperback

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Satisfying Read, 8 Jun. 2000
This review is from: A Deepness in the Sky (Paperback)
Along with 'A fire upon the deep' and 'Across Realtime' this is yet another good SF book by Vernor. The way Vernor introduces aliens in his book is novel - you read about someone doing something that sounds as though they are humanlike until they do something that is totally alien and you think 'er, this person I have just been reading about is definitely NOT human'. The aliens in 'A deepness in the sky' are presented throughout the book as creatures that you feel you can relate to. However, towards the end of the story you are given a peek at what they are really like without the assistance of 'translators' and this brings home how alien they are in a very powerful (to me) way.
This book is full of the inventiveness that is Vernors trademark: human 'computers', a sun that turns on/off at regular intervals, diverse human cultures and of course, aliens. I would recommend this book to SF readers without hesitation.
P.S. I have only one complaint to make: There are not enough Vernor Vinge stories - Vernor get your finger out and write MORE, PLEASE!

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