wI Read More
A blog to help me reach my goal of reading at least three books per month. I will post a review of each book I read.


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wThursday, May 12, 2005


Magicats

Magicats! is a book of short stories edited by Jack Dann and Gardner Dozois. It features stories from such greats as Stephen King, Ursula K. LeGuin, and Fritz Leiber among others. The stories feature fey cats, funny cats, deadly cats, cats that dreams are made of, cats to haunt your nightmares. Fun!

I don't usually read collections of short stories, but I recommend this book if for no other reason than the great story by Cordwainer Smith, "The Game of Rat and Dragon."

As the book says, "Here, in what may well be the most imaginative of the science fiction extrapolations in this anthology, {Smith] shows us a future in which travelers can flit between the stars in the blink of an eye . . . if they are willing to dare the dark and twisted dimensions of 'space three,' the 'up-and-out,' and face the 'dragons' that dwell there, malevolent and implacably deadly creatures who strike without warning out of the black hollow nothingness of multidimensional space, and who can only be defeated by - a cat."

posted by deborah at 10:17 AM


wMonday, March 21, 2005


Tinker
by Wen Spencer

I was introduced to Spencer’s writing with her Ukiah Oregon series (loved that) and was expecting the same sort of seat-of-your-pants writing. I wasn’t disappointed. In Tinker, Spencer has created an interesting concept: the feedback from a “spacegate” has caused Pittsburg, USA, to become displaced on an alternate Earth known as Elfhome. Every thirty days the stargate is shutdown for a day and Pittsburg returns to earth for the length of one day. When the stargate is turned on again, Pittsburg returns to Elfhome. The main character of the book, Alexander Graham Bell, aka “Tinker” was born in the Pittsburg of Elfhome. It is the only home she has known. She runs a junkyard and “tinkers” with various inventions, such as a magic siphon/container. Just such an invention comes in handy when the high caste elf-Windwolf is chased into Tinker’s junkyard by some very nasty wargs intent on killing the elf—and the adventure begins. The book is filled with intrigue, action, romance, and the reason why you should never just trust an elf.

posted by deborah at 9:28 AM


wSunday, February 13, 2005


Wen Spencer

I am an addicted fan of Wen Spencer and her Ukiah Oregon series:

Alien Taste: Living with wolves as a child gave tracker Ukiah Oregon a heightened sense of smell and taste. Or so he thought-until he crossed paths with a criminal gang known as the Pack. Now, Ukiah is about to discover just how much he has in common with the Pack: a bond of blood, brotherhood...and destiny.

Tainted Trail: The sequel to Alien Taste (2001) sends Ukiah Oregon off on the trail of Alicia Kraynak, the niece of his partner Max's best friend. What appears to be an ordinary disappearance quickly turns out to involve alien invaders, the Ontongard (somewhat like the Borg of Star Trek: The Next Generation), and one of Ukiah's earlier selves, the feral Wild Boy of the Oregon wilderness. These contingencies immediately put Ukiah on his mettle, for he is actually the only fertile offspring of a rebel faction of the Ontongard that has been struggling for centuries to save Earth from universal infection and conversion into another conquered group-mind of the "orthodox" Ontongard. The battle against evil aliens is action-packed though relatively unsurprising, but Spencer's skillful characterizations, vividly drawn settings, and comic exploitation of Ukiah's deceptively youthful, highly buff looks make the romp high light entertainment. Fortunately, this isn't likely to be Ukiah's farewell performance.

Half-alien PI Ukiah Oregon is in bad grace with his moms, Jo and Lara, and his protecting pack. They are unhappy about Ukiah's engagement to FBI agent Indigo Zheng: the moms because, though Ukiah is a couple of centuries old, Indigo is too old for him; and the pack because he is marrying at all. Partner and mentor Max Bennett is on Ukiah's side, however, and that is critical when the routine tracking of a missing boy exposes Ukiah to a fanatical, malignant cult that kidnaps his son, Kitanning. The cultists have learned of the existence of the Ontongard, descendants of Ukiah's enemies who are still programmed to attempt to conquer Earth for their hive, and they are every bit as dangerous as those they call "demons," for they have acquired Ontongard chemical and biological weapons. Well-chosen everyday details as well as fire, murder, sudden death, and a lot of sex lead to an ending that resolves some of Ukiah's problems but leaves Earth's fate hanging fire for eagerly anticipated sequels.

Dog Warrior: On the run from a fanatical cult, Ukiah Oregon is surprised to discover Atticus Steele, a brother he didn't know he had. He's even more surprised when Atticus involves them in the traffic of an alien drug that could end up getting them both killed.

posted by deborah at 1:13 PM


wWednesday, August 18, 2004


AFTER DUING A bit of research, actually I was looking for a graphic, on The Wayfarer Redemption trilogy, I found out that the American Version of The Wayfarer Redemption includes all 6 books combined. (Sara Douglas is an Australian and the series first appeared there).

The set includes:
· The Axis Trilogy: Battleaxe, Enchanter, Starman
· The Wayfarer Redemption Series: Sinner, Pilgrim, Crusader

The books I have are apparently first editions because book one of what is now know as the “Axis Trilogy” is titled The Wayfarer Redemption.

Now I understand why it was so confusing when I searched for the first book on eBay because I wanted the hardcover and Pauline had bought the soft cover version of the first book because it was all she could find at the bookstore.







posted by deborah at 11:51 PM


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The Wayfarer Redemption Trilogy
by Sara Douglass

Yes! I actually read and finished not one, but three whole books—Pauline gave them to me for Christmas. She was really, really trying to find a gift I would truly enjoy, and she succeeded despite herself because I usually read sf not fantasy—even if it did take since Christmas.

The cover blurb on the back of The Wayfarer Redemption (book 1 in the trilogy) say, “Few descendents of Tolkien approach the narrative energy and integrity of the master. [Douglass] is tirelessly inventive rather than repetitive.” I agree.

In this trilogy, three races inhabit the land of Achar: Acharites, Avar, and Icarri. In the distant past, the Achar (followers of the god Ator) purged the realm of the Forbidden Ones (Avar and Icarri), banishing them to inhabit what was left of the once great forest (the Avarinheim) and a small area of the Iscarp Alps.

But, Prophecy now walks the land of Achar and if the Destroyer (Gorgrael) is not defeated, all of the land will be plunged into horrible darkness. The only way to defeat the Destroyer is for the Acharites, Avar, and Icarri to unite behind the Starman, the one man Prophecy says is powerful enough to destroy the Destroyer.

Prophesy is all well, and ultimately good (we trust), but those chosen to carry out the “will of the Prophet” are mortal with all the wants and desires of the same. One of those desires involves a romantic triangle. Another is the way family interrelationships help/hinder the Prophecy.

Tightly woven plot, character-driven storyline, just the right amount of sword and plenty of sorcery and paganism (perhaps too much of the latter for some of my Christian fellows, so I caution them).

Enchanter and Starman are the second and third books. Also there is a second trilogy that deals with the children of the characters of the first. The first trilogy sets itself up for the second trilogy. I think there is also now a seventh book in the series.




posted by deborah at 11:44 PM


wSunday, June 06, 2004


Star Trek: The Lost Era: Catalyst of Sorrows
by Margaret Wander Bonanno

The year is 2360.

She was trained to be a killing machine. Abandoned as a child, without home or family, past or future, Zetha survived only by her own cunning in the back alleys of Romulus before being taken by the Tal Shiar and remade into one of its deadliest weapons. But Zetha is about to undertake a mission unlike any in her experience.

The Mysterious return of a virulent scourge thought to be long extinct threatens devastation on a scale almost too horrific to contemplate. Zetha's only hope of stopping it is across the Neutral Zone--among the enemies of Romulus. Now Admiral Uhura, centenarian chief of Starfleet Intelligence, must decide what to do with the knowledge Zetha has risked her life to bring her. In order to stop the spread of the disease that is already ravaging the Romulan Empire, Uhura must assign a hand-picked team of Starfleet officers to covertly trace the contagion to its source--and do whatever is necessary to contain it.

But the world awaiting Lieutenant Benjamin Sisko, Lieutenant Tuvok, Dr. Selar, and Zetha herself is a hot zone of secrets, deceptions, and subtle machinations revealing an imminent holocaust beyond anything the away team expected, or what they could hope to combat.

This story is set sixty-seven years after the presumed death of Captain Kirk aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise-B in Star Trek Generations, and four years before the launch of the Enterprise-D in "Encounter at Farpoint."

posted by deborah at 8:30 PM


wMonday, March 01, 2004


This is for you Harry Potter fans

I suspect some of you bought "Sorceror's Stone" when it first came out. Do you have a first American editon - valued at $3,500? Here are some clues to help you identify it:
Number line reads: 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2 8 9/9 0/0 01 02
States: "Printed in the USA" and "First American edition, October 1998"
Dust jacket lists price of $16.95
The numbers 51695 appears above the smaller bar-code on the rear panel of the dust jacket.
Good luck!

posted by deborah at 7:16 AM


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Now this is interesting

I was doing some research into various first editions. I am selling some books on eBay and want to know what books to look out for. I knew John Grisham's first book A Time to Kill had a high value because it is listed in the Price Guide I use at the book stores. But, I didn't know this
[Grisham] Began writing A Time to Kill in 1984, and finished in 1987. The book was published by Wynwood Press in June of 1989, and 5000 copies [were issued]. It was reissued as a Wynwood trade paperback in July of 1991, and sold 250,000 copies. It was reissued again as an Island/Dell mass market paperback in July of 1992, and has sold 7,500,000 copies through 25 printings. A Time to Kill was on the New York Times bestseller list for 98 weeks. Foreign rights have been sold in 36 languages. In November of 1992, Doubleday reissued a hardback editon of the book.
The book is currently valued at $2,500. I will see how well it does on eBay because I FOUND A 1ST EDITON WYNWOOD at a used book sale on Saturday!!!!!!

posted by deborah at 7:06 AM


wWednesday, January 21, 2004


Christmas Gifts

My best friend gave me three books. It is a trilogy called "The Axis Trilogy" by Sara Douglass: The Wayfarer Redemption, Enchanter, and Starman. I am a little more than half-way through the first book and it is very good. I say that even though I don't usually read fantasy.
Book Description from Amazon.com

A millennia-old prophecy was given when the Forbidden Ones were driven from Achar. And now, the Acharites witness its manifestation: Achar is under attack by an evil lord from the North, Gorgreal-his ice demons strike from the sky and kill hundreds of brave warriors in the blink of an eye.

All Acharites believe the end is near.

One young woman, Faraday, betrothed of Duke Borneheld, learns that all she has been told about her people's history is untrue. While fleeing to safety from the dangerous land, Faraday, rides with Axis, legendary leader of the Axe-Wielders-and hated half-brother of Borneheld-and a man Faraday secretly loves although it would be death to admit it. She embarks on a journey, which will change her life forever, in search of the true nature of her people.

This grand and heroic story tells the tale of one woman's plight to learn the truth of her people and change their hearts and their minds forever. She fights against oppressive forces to share this reality and will not desist until everyone knows. . . . . The truth of the Star Gate
This trilogy is also the first part of a six book series called "The Wayfarer Redemption."


posted by deborah at 6:28 AM


wMonday, December 15, 2003


Nothing Human
by Nancy Kress

Yes, I actually read a book. I found this title when I was checking out the "What's New" list at the library at the beginning of the month. Since Kress has been a favorite of mine for quite some time, I decided to give it a try.

Noting Human puts us in a near future where mankind is on the verge of destroying himself. The biggest threat is environmental contaminations from biological warfare. Humans are unable to adapt to the climatic changes as well as handle the killer diseases caused by the warfare.

A group of genetically engineered humans from somewhere out in space come to Earth to covertly, the overtly, teach Earthlings "The Right Way," genetic engineering to adapt to the changing Earth.

Ultimately, it comes down to a choice to accept the engineering or face extinction. But, can Earthlings accept the fact that the result of such genetic tinkering may be "nothing human?"

This novel is as good a read as any of Kress's books.

posted by deborah at 7:04 AM


wWednesday, December 03, 2003


A New Pern book
by Anne McCaffrey and son.

From Amazon.com:

"Young Kindan has no expectations other than joining his father in the mines of Camp Natalon, a coal mining settlement struggling to turn a profit far from the great Holds where the presence of dragons and their riders means safety and civilization. Mining is fraught with danger. Fortunately, the camp has a watch-wher, a creature distantly related to dragons and uniquely suited to specialized work in the dark, cold mineshafts. Kindan’s father is the watch-wher’s handler, and his son sometimes helps him out. But even that important job promises no opportunity outside the mine.

Then disaster strikes. In one terrible instant, Kindan loses his family and the camp loses its watch-wher. Fathers are replaced by sons in the mine–except for Kindan, who is taken in by the camp’s new Harper. Grieving, Kindan finds a measure of solace in a burgeoning musical talent . . . and in a new friendship with Nuella, a mysterious girl no one seems to know exists. It is Nuella who assists Kindan when he is selected to hatch and train a new watch-wher, a job that forces him to give up his dream of becoming a Harper; and it is Nuella who helps him give new meaning to his life.

"Meanwhile, sparked by the tragedy, long-simmering tensions are dividing the camp. Far below the surface, a group of resentful miners hides a deadly secret. As warring factions threaten to explode, Nuella and Kindan begin to discover unknown talents in the misunderstood watch-wher–talents that could very well save an entire Hold. During their time teaching the watch-wher, the two learn some things themselves: that even a seemingly impossible dream is never completely out of reach . . . and that light can be found even in darkness."

I have this one on hold at the library and look forward to doing my own review of this newest Pern novel.


posted by deborah at 7:53 AM


wWednesday, November 12, 2003


A library is a great place to be

Or at least to find a book. Currently I have two books waiting for me: Nothing Human by Nancy Kress, and Solar Lottery by Philip K. Dick. I will pick them up today and I will try to get them both read and reviewed in a timely manner.

The last Kress book I read was The White Pipes. It was a romantic fantasy and one of her early books. I do much prefer her science fiction writing.

The last Dick book I read was Do Androids Dream of electric Sheep (AKA Bladerunner). It was different. I think I liked the title better than the book (what I can remember of it. It was a long time ago).

posted by deborah at 7:01 AM


wMonday, September 08, 2003


Okay, okay!

Maybe I really should rename this blog "I Read More (or Less)." Yes, I am back online, but I don't seem to be updating my pages in a timely manner. I think now that the children are back in school I will be able to get back on track. Please keep me in your good thoughts.

posted by deborah at 7:06 AM


wWednesday, August 20, 2003


I think I should change the name of this blog

I think I will rename my blog "I read more (or less)." I have actually read one book in the past month. It was The White Pipes by Nancy Kress. It was one of her first books and is a fantasy. I generally don't read fantasy, but this was by Nancy (one of my favorite writers of sf).

The book is quite good and shows the creative genius of Kress which becomes evident in her later sf novels. The heroine is a "storyteller," a person able to conjure stories out of thin air, literally. The story figures become animated on a stage set between the storyteller's hands.



posted by deborah at 9:28 AM


wMonday, July 07, 2003


I Think I Am Back Online to Stay

A short time after I published the previous blog, my computer had a major malfunction and had to go to the PC hospital way over in South Dakota. Thankfully, it is back now and seems to be recovered *cross fingers*.

I have read only one book since the last post, and that was the Timothy Zahn book Dragon and Thief. It was a very good book for young readers. I would guess, early teens would enjoy it most.

The storyline involves a 14-year-old vagabond named Jack Morgan. He is on the run from the law for a crime he didn't commit. He is hiding on an uninhabited planet when a spaceship crash lands, or rather is forced to crash land. All on board the craft are killed except for Draycos, a K'da warrior. K'da are a species that must live in a symbiotic relationship with a humanoid. Since Jack is the only humanoid on planet, when he investigates the crash site Draycos attaches himself to Jack, literally.

Draycos is a creature that can become two-dimensional and wrap himself around his host like a living tatoo. He can detach himself at will, which provides some lively surprises for the enemies Jack and Draycos are trying to discover--who framed Jack and who killed Draycos's compatriots?

posted by deborah at 8:20 AM


wSunday, May 18, 2003


Now that I am back online...

Yeah, my computer was broke down for a whole month! What a pity party I went through. Now that I am back online I hope to update this page more frequently. I am currently reading a new novel by Timothy Zahn, and have a couple more waiting to be read. Hope to get at least the one I am reading and one more done by the end of May.

posted by deborah at 6:54 AM


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Wow! April is gone, too

And I read only one book during that Month. That book was Permanence by Karl Schroder. I didn't care for this book very much. In fact, after it was done, I wondered why I bothered reading it in the first place. You may like it, though, so I'll post the book description from Amazon.com:
Young Rue Cassels of the Cycler Compact -- a civilization based around remote brown dwarf stars -- is running from her bullying brother, who has threatened to sell her into slavery. Fleeing in a shuttle spacecraft from the sparsely populated and austere comet-mining habitat she has lived in her whole life, she spots a distant, approaching object, and stakes a legal claim to it. It is not the valuable comet she hoped for but something even more wonderful, an abandoned Cycler starship.

Her discovery unleashes a fury of action, greed, and interstellar intrigue as many factions attempt to take advantage of the last great opportunity to revitalize - and perhaps control - the Compact.

This is the story of Rue's quest to visit and claim this ship and its treasures, set against a background of warring empires, strange alien artifacts, and fantastic science. It is a story of hope and danger, of a strange and compelling religion, Permanence, unique to this star-faring age, and of the re-birth of life and belief in a place at the edge of forever.
Buy the book:
Permanence




posted by deborah at 6:51 AM


wWednesday, April 09, 2003


Wow, March disappeared

I am still working on the third book for March which has actually become the first book of April. Oh, well, maybe if I really put my mind to it I can accomplish my goal for April. I only have to say I have fallen behind in my reading because of the blahs the last couple of weeks. I think I am over that. I sure hope so. I don't like being so disinterested in my hobbies.

posted by deborah at 10:17 AM


wSunday, March 23, 2003


Tenebrea Rising
by Roxann Dawson and Daniel Graham

Book three of the Tenebrea Trilogy finds Andrea Flores on a desparate mission to rescue her mentor Hal K'Rin and his elite Tenbrea from certain death in Klamdara prison. In order to effect the rescue she has engaged the wilderness clone Brigon and his brigade of followers. In the meantime, the Cor Ordinate has plans to wipe out the Jod fleet and become the supreme power of the Alliance. On a third front, Tara, a Precinct clone, is planning the takeover of Sahrn, the capital city of the Cor Ordinate. How will these plans affect Andrea's quest for revenge against the Cor Hunters who killed her husband and daughters? Was it really the Cor Hunters who were ulitmately responsible for the deaths?

Tenebrea Rising was a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy, but not as engrossing a read. Perhaps it is not the book's fault. Perhaps it was up against stiff competition as I had just finished reading Aftermath, a top-of-the-line story.


cover Buy the book



posted by deborah at 11:42 AM


wTuesday, March 18, 2003


Aftermath
by Charles Sheffield

Earth has suffered an unexpected natural disaster: Supernova Alpha Centauri. The supernova has become a second sun, destroying everything in the southern hemisphere and severely crippling the northern.

The story focuses on several groups of people: The president of the U.S.A. and his staff; Three cancer survivors who are desparate for continued treatment even if it means placing their trust in a convicted child murderer; the returning Mars Expedition--how will they get back to Earth when all of the computers they have been counting on for reentry were fried in a second wave, a gamma burst from the supernova?; and the "Eye of God" a prophetess who sees the Alpha Centauri super nova as a chance to takeover and shape the post nova society into her own image.

This is the first book I have read by Charles Sheffield. At first, I thought it was ho-hum, just another disaster novel. But, the story soon became more than that, developing into a compelling read. There is a sequel
Starfire (Bantam Spectra Book)

which takes place 50 years beyond the events of Aftermath, when the super nova's third wave is scheduled to arrive and threaten all life on Earth.


cover Buy the Book



posted by deborah at 6:52 AM


wThursday, March 06, 2003


The Top 50

Thanks to Betty for this mentioning this link to the Science Fiction Book Club's Top Fifty Most Significant Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of the Last Fifty Years.

Considering the thousands of books I have read in my life, I am surprised that I have read only 10 of these books:


The Lord of the Rings


Dune


Stranger in a Strange Land


Childhood's End


Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?


Dragonflight


Gateway


Interview with the Vampire


Rendevous With Rama


Ringworld


Of all the books I remember reading, the one I think should have made the list is
Flowers for Algernon
.
And what about
2001: A Space Odyssey
? I'm absoulutely floored it isn't on the list!



posted by deborah at 12:06 PM


wWednesday, March 05, 2003


Quantum Moon
bu Denise Vitola

The time is the mid-twenty-first century. The setting is an Earth under the control of The United World Government. Ty Merrick is a Marshall charged with bringing murderers to justice.

When the wife of a powerful District councilman is murdered, it is Ty and her partner LaRue who are hot on the trail of the killer. It is no ordinary case for it involves the trafficing of "Quantum," an illegal drug, as well as the trafficing of human lives in an ultra-top-secret project. Is the project to benefit humankind or exterminate world populations.

As if searching for the killer isn't enough, Ty is dealing with the onset of the full moon. A time when her own lycanthrope is nearing it's most intense stage. How ironic (and unfortuante for the killer) that the killer is planning his next murder to occur during the full moon.

Quantum Moon is a different sort of book. It is undoubtledly a murder mystery, a werewolf story, and science fiction all rolled into one. Ty is a most interesting character. Her pragmatic approach to the world in which she lives, a world filled with superstition, magic charms, and a seemy underworld, is in the tradtion of all great detectives.


coverBuy the book



posted by deborah at 11:29 AM


wThursday, February 27, 2003


Oxygen
by John B. Olson and Randall Ingermanson

One minute Valkerie Jenson is looking for microbes in the heat of an on-the-edge-of-erupting volcano, the next she is on the first manned mission to Mars, aka Ares 10. Well, it doesn't happen quite that fast. First Valkerie has to pass some grueling testing and then catch-up (in a year and a half) the five years of training she has missed. After all of that she does make in onto the team of 4 astronauts that will go to Mars. It sounded so certain, until a malfunction during launch messes up the machinery and then an explosion after making Mars trajectory threatens not only the Ares 10, but the very lives of the astronauts. Was the explosion an accident or was it sabotage?

Oxygen is a well written book, tightly plotted with interesting characters. It is Christian fiction. I am a Christian who doesn't read much Christian fiction because so much of it is fluffy or has it's head in the clouds sort of stuff. But this novel isn't like that. It is compelling with an "it could happen" sort of feel. Being Christian it does have quite a bit of God-talk, but only so much as suits the storyline. The God-talk is also very realistic and deals with doubts all Christians have about the existence of God, especially the "Where is He when everything seems to be going wrong" kind of doubts.

There is a sequel:
The Fifth Man: Will They Find Life on...



coverBuy the book



posted by deborah at 4:09 PM


wMonday, February 24, 2003


Artemis Fowl
by Eoin Colfer

Twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl is not a good little boy. In fact, he is a criminal mastermind. His mission, this time, is to regain the wealth lost when his father's scheme to sell a shipload of cola to countries newly free after the collapse of the Russian empire was sunk, literally. To this end, Atemis has kidnapped an elf and is holding her ransom for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Little does he know that Holly Short is no ordinary elf. She just happens to be a Captain with the elite LEPrecon, and her superiors will do anything to retreive her, and they don't negotiate with humans, and by the way, how did Artemis know how to capture that elf in the first place?

A delightful book.


coverBuy the book



posted by deborah at 6:51 AM


wSunday, February 23, 2003


Remnant Population
by Elizabeth Moon

Ofelia is an old woman. In the way of old people who have made up their minds, Ofelia refuses to leave when the colony planet on which she has lived for more than 40 years is ordered evacuated. At the last minute she runs away and hides in the forest knowing the Company will not spend much energy or time searching for her. And she is right. After the other colonists leave, including her son and his wife, she finds she enjoys her solitude more than any other time of her life. She putters in her garden, maintains the other buildings in the settlement, cares for the cattle and sheep left behind, updates the offical log according to her own memory of events, takes up beading and other artworks, learns to be herself . . . but just when she thinks she will truly be left alone, other colonists arrive. The new arrivals are unaware anyone has been left in the old colony.

It doesn't really matter, though, because the new arrivals set down a few thousand kilometers to the north. Ophelia is able to keep track of their goings on through radio equipment left at her settlement. She listens as their shuttle touches down, as they set up shelters, as they clear ground for a landing pad for other arrivees, as an hitherto unkown indiginous population kills everyone of the new arrivals--after which Ofelia is fearful of her own life. What if the natives come looking for her?

This is an excellent book!


coverBuy the book



posted by deborah at 12:46 PM


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To Trade the Stars
by Julie Czerneda

Sira, the most powerful member of the Clan, and her human lifemate, telepathic Jason Morgan, have just settled down into the life of traders when their world is shaken up: Jason's best best friends is framed for murder; a rouge faction of the Clan is sending fosterlings out willy-nilly; Sira is kidnapped by an arch-enemy; and the Drapsk...just what are those aliens up to anyway?

This is the conclusion to the Trade Pact Univers trilogy that began with
A Thousand Words for Stranger
followed by
Ties of Power
.



coverBuy the book



posted by deborah at 12:19 PM


wThursday, February 06, 2003


IN THE COMPANY OF OTHERS
by Julie Czerneda.

Gail Smith is a scientist on a mission—to destroy the alien Quill from the terraformed worlds, worlds which were prepared for humanity and which the Quill now own. Quill are deadly to humans and the terraformed worlds have been quarantined for years. Not only that, any humans who were absent from Sol system when the quarantine went into effect were forbidden to return to Earth lest they bring the Quill to humanity’s home. Those exiles are trapped on overcrowded space stations like Thromberg.

It is to Thromberg that Gail and her team turn for answers on how to defeat the Quill, for it is on Thromberg that the lone survivor of an encounter with the Quill is rumored to live—a survivor who just may hold the knowledge that will defeat the enemy Quill.

In her search for the survivor, Gail expected to find opposition, suspicion, and treachery. The last thing she expected to find was love.

I have been a devoted reader of Czerneda’s books for a few years now. She has never let me down. She weaves tight plots with complex characters. She develops alien worlds as if she has been an actual visitor to such places.


coverBuy the book



posted by deborah at 12:17 PM


wMonday, January 27, 2003


Tenebrea's Hope

This second in The Tenebrea trilogy by Roxane Dawson and Daniel Graham finds Andrea Flores on a desperate mission to free her mentor, Hal K'Rin and his elite Tenebrea guard from their imprisonment at Kaldara--a prison planet left over from the Jod's ancient "clan wars." If Andrea fails, all those she has come to admire and respect face certain, agonizing death from the effects of Quazel poisoning. In order to free the captives, she must first return to Cor (the very place she should avoid at all costs because she is a fugitive from the Cor who consider her a terrorist) and enlist the help of the renegade clone, Brigon.

Another enjoyable read, I'm certainly going to have to read the third installment now.


coverBuy the book



posted by deborah at 12:27 PM


wSunday, January 19, 2003


The Coming

This novel by Joe Haldeman is strange. I don't know if I liked it or not. Having never read anything by Haldeman in the past, I didn't quite know what to expect. In this novel, astronomer Aurora Bell discovers a message from outer space. It simply reads "We're coming." After the message is verified as genuine (ie, that it is actually coming from light years out), the world goes a little bit crazy. The aliens are due to arrive on New Year's Day. Coincidence or elaborate hoax? The story doesn't deal so much with the advent from outer space as with the goings on in the lives of the main characters: Bell and her husband whose secret past could ruin her career and put him in prison, the President of the USA whose approach to dealing with the aliens could spell disaster for the entire human race, Willy Joe the mob front man who has the goods on the Bells and isn't afraid to use it, Pepe (Aurora's co-worker) who isn't quite what he seems - but then who is he? In addition to these characters there are a half dozen others who come and go within the chapters of the book (the chapters are written in an unusual way. A character from the previous chapter is the main focus of the subsequent chapter). The stories of each character are often gritty, delving into the seemy side of life, but I do recommend the book as not your ordinary sf adventure.


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posted by deborah at 7:43 PM


wMonday, January 13, 2003


Entering Tenebrea

This book one of the Tenebrea Trilogy by Roxann Dawson and Daniel Graham introduces us to Andrea Flores who in just a few short minutes on a pier at Baltimore Harbor loses her husband and young daughter in a gruesome, seemingly mindless massacre. Disillusioned by failure of authorities to provide rational answers to the deaths, Andrea turns to K'Rin, a Jod who has taken her under his protection as his protege. After being drummed out of the Space Academy because of her obession to find her family's killers, she abandons earth and joins K'Rin's elite "Tenebrea," her ultimate goal--vengence.

A very good book. I look forward to the second and third book in the series.


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posted by deborah at 9:33 PM


wThursday, January 09, 2003


Hey, Have I already met my goal for January

Yes! I have. That means I can start on the three I brought home from the library yesterday
  • Entering Tenebra by Roxann Dawson (of ST: Voyager fame) and Daniel Graham
  • Gateways: What Lay Beyond by various authors
  • The Coming by Joe Haldeman.


posted by deborah at 7:02 AM


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A Free Man of Color

This novel by Barbara Hambly is a murder mystery sent in pre-civil war New Orleans. Benjamin January is newly returned from Paris after 16 years. He is readjusting himself to a social heirarchy that is based on the color of the skin, or rather, how on much "white" blood you inherited from your parents. In this society, as the author points out in her introduction:
Light skin was valued and dark skin discredited, and a tremendous amount of energy went into making distinctions that seem absurdly petty today. An intricate hierarchy of teminology existed to categorize those of mixed race [among the free people of color ]: mulatto for one white, one black parent; griffe or sambo for the child of a mulatto and full black; guadroon for the child of a mulatto and a full white; ectoroon for a quadroon's child by a full white; musterfino or mameloque for an octoroon's child by a full white..."
Whithin this heirarchy, mothers wrangled contacts for their daughters with white men who wanted mistresses. When one of the mistresses is murdered, it is up to January to find the killer because he was the last person to see the woman alive and the white powers that be are trying to pin the murder on him, rather than on one of their own.

Hambly writes an interesting story of time in history when things were changing. She does so from the African American point of view, and she treats her subject with respect and dignity. Plus, it's a darn good mystery. It's also the first in a series.


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posted by deborah at 6:52 AM


wTuesday, January 07, 2003


How To Eat Like a Thin Person
by Lorraine Dusky and JJ Leedy, MD

I found this book at the used book store, and it is a keeper. I was especially drawn to it because I have recently started a weight loss program and I have often asked myself the question "How do thin people stay thin?"

This book doesn't exactly answer that question, but it gives oodles of sage advice on how to overcome the complusive eating that leads to obesity. Some of the chapter headings include things like: How to eat like a thin person in a restaurant; How not to gain weight when smoking; Which foods keep you full the longest; How to resist second helpings; 25 ways to survive the holidays, Why exercise decreases your appetite; How to handle midnight snacking.

Most of the tips are quite helpful. For example, in the section titled "How to eat like a thin person, or, table techniques, the following advice is given (I have listed only a few examples from this section)
  • Drink a glass of water before each meal . . .
  • Sit at the table for a full minute before you start eating. It will help you practice willpower.
  • Cut the food into small peices. Even a banana
  • Chew each mouthful ten times.
  • [And my favorite] eat dessert first, no, actually it says: Don't save the best for last. You will want to eat it anyway. Have you ever notices how you "couldn't eat another thing - except dessert?
I recommend this book. It is currently out of print, but there seem to be a few used copies available through Amazon.com

Buy the book
How to Eat Like a Thin Person



posted by deborah at 3:57 PM


wFriday, January 03, 2003


The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter
A Treasury of Myths, Legends, and Fascinating Facts

Myth has always fascinated me. Though considered fantasy by today's standards, at one time myth was used to explain the way the world worked. This book shows how common myth, etc, underpins the imaginary world of Harry Potter.

Some entries in this book include "Did Alchemists Really Search for a Magic Stone?" "What is the Favorite Trick of Cornish Pixies?" "Why Would Eating Chocolate Help after Escaping a Dementor?" "Besides Mail, What Does the Arrival of an Owl Mean?" and perhaps my favorite "Which Creature May Not Bow Its Head?" which gives the reader the following advice:

"Kappas [creepy, water-dwellers that looked like scaly monkeys] can be vicious and enjoy the taste of human blood. However, a human may escape from a kappa by exploiting the creatures greatest weakness. Its vitality is drawn from a saucer-like depression on its head, which must remain filled with water. If one offers a polite and ceremonious bow, the kappa will be obligated to return it. The water will spill and the kappa will be defeated."

The author David Colbert was once a head writer for TV's Who Wants To Be a Millionaire and an editorial director of HarperCollins. He is best known as author of the Eyewitness history series.


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posted by deborah at 9:42 AM


wMonday, December 23, 2002


I've met my goal for December

That pleases me. I have read three books so far this month. Well, to be honest, I should count A Matter of Profit as 1/2 of a book since it was written for readers ages 9-12. But, I'm not going to! Now I can start another book. Yea!

posted by Deborah at 7:12 AM


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A Matter of Profit

This young adult novel by Hilari Bell is quite compelling reading.

Ahvren is a young man in search of himself. He is a Vivitar (warrior) who is sick of war. His people, the Vivitare have just conquered the T'Chin Confederation. Or, as Ahvren disgustedly thinks, the T'Chin surrendered to the Vivitare without a fight, marking them in Ahvren's mind as cowards (but to the T'Chin "it doesn't matter" if they have been conquered [a philosophy that becomes another puzzle for Ahvren to figure out])

Ahvren's father wants him to accept a new assignment with the Fleet to go to Zodan, the one world of the T'Chin that hasn't surrendered. Ahvren doesn't want to. He wants to find a career in which he can use his wit and his sword in a "clean" way, not in the bloody tides of war. Ahvren's father makes a deal; find out who is behind a rumor there is a plot to assasinate the Emperor (or if there really is a plot) and Ahvren can have a year to figure out what he wants to do. If Ahvren fails; he goes to Zodan with the fleet. In addition, Ahvren realizes if he can unmask the plot, he can ask a favor of the Emperor - a favor more dear than life itself.

A Matter of Profit is written for young people ages 9-12. It's story is rather simplistic, but it is a rewarding read even for this adult. I recommend it.


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posted by Deborah at 6:48 AM