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Dust "Dust"

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Xeelee: An Omnibus: Raft, Timelike Infinity, Flux, Ring
Xeelee: An Omnibus: Raft, Timelike Infinity, Flux, Ring
by Stephen Baxter
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.90

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome old school sci-fi, 5 Oct. 2011
Reminds me of why I started reading sci-fi long long ago. Enjoyable though difficult and depressing at times. Also, switches topics and places a lot without much continuity.

New Model Army
New Model Army
by Adam Roberts
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Solidly written, laughable premise, 5 Oct. 2011
This review is from: New Model Army (Paperback)
Adam Roberts writes solidly and enjoyably. The premise that the book is based upon is laughable. SPOILER SPOILER. I'm not writing about the premise that a devolved highly networked highly decentralised fighting force is the way of the future. His premise however is that the modern state army (203) will not be a devolved highly networked highly decentralised fighting force and will be hamstrung by a mercenary army that is. US and UK armies already are the armies that he writes about (except for the democratic decision taking). The military and intelligence arms of modern states have leapt on networking, crowdsourcing and decentralisation technology. If you don't believe me, google :us navy crowdsourcing pirates. Or have a read about modern infantry tactics and how highly decentralised combat. The author writes about UK army soldiers walking in a line down a street in an urban combat environment. Now google "Infantry Squad Tactics". It seems the New Model Army organises in very small infantry groups. Well US Marines often fight in 6 person squads. The SAS basic unit is 2 soldiers. TWO. Not the 40 in a building groups I read about. On the note of soldier autonomy and democracy, here's a quote "All Marines must exercise initiative during combat. Squad leaders must design training techniques in order to stress initiative. Marines must be able to look around, assess what their squads or partners are doing, feed off it, and act in order to support them. IBT is paramount. Constructive criticism should be encouraged. Every Marine debriefs each other, telling good and bad observations. The squad leader should also be critiqued by his Marines."

Superfreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance
Superfreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance
by Steven D. Levitt
Edition: Hardcover

8 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful, 16 Dec. 2009
I liked Freakonomics and bought two copies.

This book is horrendous.

What I learnt from it:

1) to drive drunk instead of walking drunk

2) pimping my wife would be profitable and safe

3) not to use a child seat in the car

4) monkeys will pay for sex

5) suicide bombers should buy life insurance to throw police off their track (thanks for sharing that)

6) prostitutes charge more seasonally just like Santas

Forgive me for being enraged at the terrorist advise, furious at the fact that some drunk will definitely use this book to support their decision to drive drunk and annoyed at being told the obvious.

Some statistics are used to support the above but overall this book seems to be have been written simply to create controversy. Being contrarian is not a virtue in itself. Horrendous.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 9, 2010 1:38 PM GMT

Coyote Rising: The Coyote Series: Book Two
Coyote Rising: The Coyote Series: Book Two
by Allen Steele
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars More bad science and childishness, 9 Oct. 2007
The first book in this series, Coyote is atrocious for reasons I discussed in its review.

The second book is merely horrendous. Allen Steele has cut down on the science, thankfully. The book is still full of scientific blunders but they occur less frequently. That said, staid and ridiculous economic, political and religious ideas take their place.

Allen Steele would have us believe that in the 23rd, the cyborg supermarxists rulers of America, despatch colonists into space with less planning than 16th century European monarchies. I find that hard to believe. I also find it hard to believe that a colony of a couple of thousand lazy no-gooders (as described in the book) could build a two mile long bridge with stone and wood. Oh, I forgot to mention that the cyborg rulers prefer to send people who live in smelly tents instead of robots and heavy equipment, to colonize a planet. That despite their having a regular ferry service of space ships travelling to and from planets. I guess space, in the future is just like the Atlantic.

The first colonists on the planet are a rabid lot of xenopaths. All one hundred of them believe that the whole planet is theirs, because they were there first. This rather greedy point of view is portrayed as valid by the author.

The characters are still one-dimensional and the writing dull.

This is science fiction written for those who don't read science fiction.

Oh, did I mention the vampiric batman and his cult? I'm not joking about the batman.

Coyote: The Coyote Series: Book One
Coyote: The Coyote Series: Book One
by Allen Steele
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sci-fi for children, 8 Oct. 2007
The first question that Amazon asked when typing this review was whether I am over 13.

I find it an extremely apt question.

I can give this book two scores, based on the age of readers. Either a 4 for a 'rousing', tolerably well-written (for a children's book) and slightly thought-provoking children's book. Or I can give it one stars for a book that has a mature sci-fi reader shaking his head at every single turn of page. Perhaps not shaking, perhaps banging his head against a shelf of well-written sci-fi books.

I'm sure children and teenagers will be engaged by this book and will enjoy it immensely.

That said, they'd prefer Heinlein.

I find it astonishing that this book was written only a couple of years ago.

This is not a book that was written, in spirit, in the 21st century. Heinlein was writing better books, in the exact wagons-to-the-stars vein half a century ago. The 'inspiration' is obvious.

Adults will be driven to frustration by one-dimensional characters, awful science, barely concealed political frustration, unoriginal plots, pandering to children and the absolute stupidity of plot events and character behaviour.

A couple of examples of stupidity includes a laughable plot to steal a spaceship, a spaceship arriving to colonize a planet with no idea what to expect (so if the planet was hostile, the colonists would presumably have been doomed to eating each other in orbit), that spaceship being full of 'scientists' (a very 50s expectation) because agricultural experts were not foreseen, a planet with edible organisms that did not evolve from shared DNA (unexplainable), Marxist superhumans arriving to take over a planet (they have super-fast propulsion systems and cyborgs but forgot to take their food with them) and perhaps the most insulting part of all, a plot development in which a treacherous colonist reveals the colony location to the super-communists by sending them its location by radio. I can see my car parked on my street via Google Earth and I expect those that use zero-point energy could probably read the contents of this computer from orbit and they do not need traitors to find a primitive settlement on a planet.

Help, my brain is imploding from this childish sci-fi!

This is not hard sci-fi in any way. The science is atrocious

This is not space opera, there is nothing epic about its descriptions of children canoeing around a sea on an alien world.

This is a story of the American West being conquered by wagons, except it occurs in space.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 15, 2013 12:40 PM BST

Galactic North (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
Galactic North (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
by Alastair Reynolds
Edition: Hardcover

17 of 67 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unimaginative, 24 Jan. 2007
Reynolds is sometimes capable of writing evocative baroque science fiction.

He is unfortunately very weak with characters and his plot-lines are unimaginative, if not, simply repetitive of the masters. Ideas that Asimov, Clarke and Heinlein bandied about in the days of pulp fiction are clad in a thin skin of modern-day physics and rewritten in Reynold's weak style. I write thin skin, as Reynolds, despite being a trained scientists, does not attempt to give reasons or explanations for the science elements of his work, relying instead on deus ex occurances and manifestations, i.e. magical Conjoiner star drives that draw power from somewhere, strange biological/nano plagues that simply mysteriously appear and the granting of telepathy to soem of humanity through a process that is never explained.

Price: £7.21

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disowned cash-in, 7 April 2006
Pendulum stirred up quite a stir in the d&b community when they openly disowned this mix cd as released by their label Breakbeat Chaos. They stated that it had released without their knowledge and contained a dated sound.
Owners of Junglesound 2 will immediately recognize the tracklisting from the excellent Bassline Smith mix.
This is not a bad mix cd as such with quality tracks. However it is at heart a copy of the superior and original Junglesound, except mixe by Pendulum.

Price: £8.80

2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Excellent tracks, awful mixing, 20 Oct. 2005
This review is from: FABRICLIVE 24 : Diplo (Audio CD)
The tracklisting is enough to make you buy this cd, but accept my advise and don't. The mixing is simply cringeworthy and the chaining of songs shameful. This just goes to show that even the ingredients might be of the highest quality, the soap will still be ruined by a bad cook.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 20, 2008 1:27 PM GMT

FABRICLIVE19: The Freestylers
FABRICLIVE19: The Freestylers
Price: £11.96

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Freestylers - total quality, 11 Dec. 2004
The Freestylers are probably the most talented and creative collective in dance music today. They play, they scratch, they mix, they dance and they do the washing. Their fans love them with good reason - they make insanely good music. This mix cd is another example of their skills. Heavy but danceable tunes - music to cure your hangover and wake the dead.

Two Pages
Two Pages
Offered by positivenoise
Price: £3.46

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nod your head to this, 22 Sept. 2004
This review is from: Two Pages (Audio CD)
Pleasant dnb that may be a little too artsy and overproduced for its own good. Good ideas but a little too smooth.

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