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James Ingram (UK)
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Excession
Excession
by Iain M. Banks
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.48

5.0 out of 5 stars Science fiction at its absolute best, 4 Jun. 2012
This review is from: Excession (Paperback)
The thing about this book is spoilers. Trust me: you don't want any. So be careful when reading reviews: the temptation to give away the twists is huge.

This was the first Banks book that I bought; I needed something for a train journey and the cover caught my eye. Luckily, the back cover only gave away the first couple of chapters. I couldn't put it down, and when I finally turned the last page, I simply had to browse through it again, re-reading the main plot points in light of the later turns in the plot.

It is chock full of fantastic creations which beautifully described, and situations that only Banks could imagine in the first place. Prepare to enter entirely alien cultures that somehow reflect our own society.

Not for a Sci-Fi beginner ("The Player Of Games" would be a better start if you are unfamiliar with the genre), but any Sci Fi fan should be able to pick up this book and find delight from the very start.


Pop-up Flash Diffuser (white) for Nikon D2x,D3,D90,D300,D700,D7000,D5100,D5000,D3100,D3000,Canon 40D,50D,60D,7D,5D,1D,500D,550D,600D,1000D,1100D,SX1,SX30,Olympus E3,E5,E30,E420,E450,E520,E620,E-P1,E-P2,E-PL1,Pentax ,K-r,K-x,K7,K5,Panasoic Lumix DMC-FZ45,FZ100,G2,G10,GH1,GH2,Fuji FinePix S4000,S3200,S2950,HS20.HS10,Sony Alpha A580,A390,A290,A350,A230,A33,A35,A55 Sigma Cameras DSLR
Pop-up Flash Diffuser (white) for Nikon D2x,D3,D90,D300,D700,D7000,D5100,D5000,D3100,D3000,Canon 40D,50D,60D,7D,5D,1D,500D,550D,600D,1000D,1100D,SX1,SX30,Olympus E3,E5,E30,E420,E450,E520,E620,E-P1,E-P2,E-PL1,Pentax ,K-r,K-x,K7,K5,Panasoic Lumix DMC-FZ45,FZ100,G2,G10,GH1,GH2,Fuji FinePix S4000,S3200,S2950,HS20.HS10,Sony Alpha A580,A390,A290,A350,A230,A33,A35,A55 Sigma Cameras DSLR

5.0 out of 5 stars Quick delivery, good and cheap product, 15 Jan. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Recommended by a friend, I ordered this and it arrived promptly. Tried it out that night, comparing the same shots and settings with and without the diffuser. It makes a very noticeable difference to the flash, allowing the colours to come through very nicely indeed. I need to play around with my flash on manual now, and turn it down a wee bit, but I am very impressed by the difference such a cheap addon can make. The manufacturers should take note and ship this as a standard attachment.


The Spirit Level Delusion: Fact-Checking the Left's New Theory of Everything
The Spirit Level Delusion: Fact-Checking the Left's New Theory of Everything
by Christopher John Snowdon
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

27 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Looks very interesting, 19 Jan. 2011
Disclaimer: I have not yet read the book, but I saw the author give a talk about the subject a week ago in London. He basically took the very simple step of going to the source data which the book used, and replotting the graphs, but NOT omitting serveral countries (seemingly omitted at random and changing with each graph).

Putting the missing countries into the graph removed the correlation in all but one of the graphs he replotted - the final one had the correlation removed when he relabelled the axis to scale.

He made a very strong case for the authors of the Spirit Level having cherry-picked their data, and made the very valid point that the USA is included in almost all the graphs, and it skews the correlation significantly. I'll be picking the book up as a guide, and I'll also be replotting the graphs myself when I get the chance.

I'm in favour of more equal societies.. but not in favour of poor science.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 14, 2015 6:35 AM BST


97 Things Every Programmer Should Know
97 Things Every Programmer Should Know
by Kevlin Henney
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.10

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good and valuable read, 25 May 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I didn't agree with everything in the book, but I agreed with most of it. Some of it I consider a little basic (if you're having to convince developers of the value of code reviews, for example, then you've got much bigger problems than a book on good practices can sort out for you).

But on the whole I found it engaging, well-written, and well-argued.

Best of all: each chapter is at most two pages long, so everything is in nice bite-sized chunks, just right for sparking discussion or for dipping into from time to time.

I can't tell precisely how good the whole book is: my lead architect asked to borrow it before I had finished it: that was two months ago, and I've not seen it since...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 7, 2015 3:34 PM BST


First Man In Rome (Masters of Rome)
First Man In Rome (Masters of Rome)
by Colleen McCullough Doctor of Neurophysiology
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Sumptuous, 25 May 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I borrowed this book over ten years ago. I went on to buy and read the rest of the series. I've been a fan of Roman history all my life, and have read many books (fiction and otherwise), but none have been as entertaining as the Masters of Rome series.

Scrupulous research combined with a rare talent for writing gripping tales makes this an extraordinarily good book.


Against All Gods: Six Polemics on Religion and an Essay on Kindness (Oberon Masters)
Against All Gods: Six Polemics on Religion and an Essay on Kindness (Oberon Masters)
by A. C. Grayling
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.99

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 23 April 2008
Succinct and to the point. Written with wit and eloqunce. If Dawkins has a powerful right hook, Greyling simply knocks the opposition down with a few short jabs and then walks away without even rubbing his knuckles.

To see exactly how effective his arguments are, read the reviews below which give the book just one star, and see the logic that those reviews employ.

Everyone should read this book.


Judge Dredd: Necropolis Book One (2000 AD Presents)
Judge Dredd: Necropolis Book One (2000 AD Presents)
by John Wagner
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally - the big one!, 14 May 2003
I have been waiting avidly for this book. I read the story for the first time when a mate left a few hundred issues of 2000AD at my house for a few weeks in the 1990s. Since then I have been waiting for this release.
This is Volume ONE of two volumes, and therefore does NOT cover the whole story; it is more an introduction and build up to the main event. But even so, it is well worth having. For Judge Dredd beginners, I would recommond The Pit or Tha Apocolypse War before this one (they are single-volumes, for a start).
The artwork is fantastic (full colour), the storyline is up to the usual Dredd standard and the whole package is just superb. Read it once for the plot, then again to savour those graphics and pick out the details you missed the first time around.


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