Christopher Barzak

27 12 2008

Memorable Quote:

“I think one of the best sorts of reviews are those that somehow present the feeling of the book to a reader without telling the whole story, and that provides a window of some kind of context for how to view the book (or film, album, etc).”


Books Read: 2008

21 12 2008

Books Read 2008 (PDF)

It’s hard to believe that I have read over 40 books in 2008 – see the PDF list.

Ian M. Banks – Rather than reading his latest novel, Matter, I picked up his first 2 and have the third (unread) in my archives. Not earth shattering books, but I liked the second book better. Intend posting a review after reading “Use of Weapons” his third SciFi novel. He also writes general fiction as Ian Banks (no “M.”)

Ray Bradburysee earlier post

Robert Buettner – the Jason Wander series started with an (almost) clone of Robert Heinlien’s “Starship Troopers” and now wanders down a similar path to David Feintuch’s “Seafort Saga” (Hope Series). Book 4 has been released, and book 5 not far away – definitely worth reading this series.

Lois McMaster Bujold – compiled yet another Miles Vorkosigan omnibus while we wait for something new… long wait while she writes a few fantasy novels. The first fantasy series was OK, but I have “gone off” her fantasy.

C.J Cherryh – So I have read all 3 Foreigner trilogies, and it looks like there is another one in the pipeline.

James Doohan (Dec’d) & S.M. Stirling – Have written a great series called “The Flight Engineer”. This year I re-read the series for the 3rd or 4th time – highly recommended.

Jim Baen’s Universe – a collection of the best stories published in Baen Press’s online magazine, “Jim Baen’s Universe”

David Gemmell – this year I read his excellent “Lion of Macedon” duology. The only thing of His I have not read yet is the “Troy Trilogy” – maybe in 2009.

Fiona McIntoshsee earlier post

Karen Millersee earlier post

L.E Modesitt Jr. – is one of my favourite authors. I particularly love the Recluce series.

Elizabeth Moon – always a good read. This year I read the final (5th) book of the “Vatta’s War series”. Not quite up to the standard of here earlier stuff, but a good read any way. Earlier stuff is highly recommended.

Andre Norton – always a good read

John Ringo – Wow stuff this “Ghost” series, LOVE IT!! But, it is really over the top with sex and violence. If  you liked “Californication” or Tara Moss’s crime series, you might like this too. Dare I say more action than James Bond, and… just read them.

Brandon Sanderson – his first novel “Elantris” is a great read. Supposed to be a one off, there are rumours of a sequel. Brandon has also been chosen to write the final (12th)  “Wheel of Time” novel, following Robert Jordan’s death. Current expectations are for a late 2009 release.

John Scalzisee earlier post

Joel Shepherd – I read so much fantasy, that I had to re-read “Sasha” before reading book 2.

David Weber – Another favourite author, mainly for the Honor Harrington series. “In Fury Born” is an expanded version of an earlier novel, “In the Path of the Fury”. “Worlds of Weber” is a collection of  previously published short stories, but I hadn’t read most of them anyway – recommended addition to your collection. The subtitle is “Ms. Midshipwoman Harrington and Other Stories”, and there are some Bolos stories in the mix too.

Brent Weekssee earlier post

Wil Wheatonsee earlier post

Brandon Sanderson – Firstborn

20 12 2008

I have just finished reading Brandon’s excellent short story at TOR.COM

Nice to see well written Science Fiction, and hope to see a novel, from him, in that genre one day. Read it at..

Metamerism vs. Metameric Failure

14 12 2008

Metamerism is a complex phenomenon involving physics, biology, and perception. Most confuse metamerism with metameric failure (or have never heard of either term). Here are a few helpful terms:

Apparent colors that match under different light sources

The matching of apparent colors between objects with different spectral distributions

Metameric Failure:
Colors will match under one light source but not another

Geometric Metameric Failure:
Colors match when viewed from one angle but not another

Field-Size Metameric Failure:
The same colors appear different when viewed as small and large areas

Observer Metameric Failure:
Two spectrally dissimilar lights or surfaces produce a color match for one observer but not a second observer, due to differences in the observers’ physiology.

See Photoshop User Magazine – Dec 2008 or the authors blog

The Photoshop Mag article was titled “The Fine Art of Printing” – Understanding Gloss Differential, Bronzing, and Metamerism. When evaluating both print and printer quality, there are three things to watch for: gloss differential, bronzing and metamerism. they all make a subtle but appreciable difference in print quality. the article explains what they are, how you identify them, and what you can do about them…

If you know of any additional (free) links that help with explanations, leave a comment.

CD Compilation PickMe#16

13 12 2008

The 16th compilation in my PickMe series is called “Xmas 2008

01 When the Quail Come Back to San Quentin (Artie Shaw)
02 Daryl of the Bells (Captain & Tennille)
03 Saudade, Pt.1 and 2 (Chris Rea)
04 Pure Joy (DAB)
05 Sonatina [Andante II] (Dave Grusin & Lee Ritenour)
06 This Could be the Start of Something (The Five Corners Quintet)
PickMe16 CD Cover07 Inka Dinka Doo (Jimmy Durante)
08 Katia (Kinema)
09 A Lira – Solidao No Oceano [Afterlife mix] (Madredeus)
10 Jupiter Dub (Max Melvin)
11 Flyin’ Away (Mo’ Horizons)
12 Invisible (M-Seven)
13 Tears/Rivers Eyes (Original TV Score – Firefly)
14 Gipsy Story (Rue Du Soleil)
15 The Lonely Shepherd (Zamfir)
16 Oiche Chiuin (Enya)

A basically chillout/lounge compilation with a bit of fun chucked in.

The Way of Shadows

13 12 2008

brent-weeks-night-angel-1by Brent Weeks
Bk 1 of the Night Angel Trilogy
ISBN 978-1841497402 (Orbit)

I have the entire series as each book has been released monthly to Dec 2008. The other books will be read over the Xmas break, but next I’ll be reading something very different – see the next review.

The Way of Shadows
I picked this book up on Wed, and finished it on Sat. A great, easy and hard-to-put-down read.

Azoth, urchin/thief from the slums of Cenaria becomes apprentice to the best assassin in the city. Part of his education involves mixing with the aristocracy. He makes friends with the crown prince and local lord, Logan Gyre. As part of a coup attempt, Logan is accused of the crown princes death and Azoth (now Kylar Stern) marked for arrest.

This is only the beginning of the end for Cenaria as foreign powers with the aid of mages over-run the city. Kylar’s master aids in the downfall, and near the end there is a duel between them. Kylar can only survive if he is able to unlock/obtain the full powers of a Night Angel.

The perfect killer has no friends, only targets – Kylar and his master are not perfect in that regard, so many complications compromise their efficiency and ability to survive the destruction of Cenaria. But, its those friendships that ultimately prevent them from just giving up.

A great tale – I can’t wait to read the other 2 books. I haven’t read ahead.

This book has been nominated for “The David Gemmell Legend Award
Check out the site and vote for your favourite when the shortlist is released later this month. Voting opens on Dec 26th, 2008.

Orbit has signed on Mr. Brent Weeks, for three more novels. All set in a totally different fantasy world . . . they’ll start publishing his whole new series in Fall/Winter 2010 (Spring/Summer for Aus).

Summer Morning, Summer Night

10 12 2008

Bradburyby Ray Bradbury
ISBN 978-1596062023 (Subterranean Press)

This book returns Bradbury readers to Green Town, Illinois – the setting for classic Bradbury novels such as Dandelion Wine, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and Farewell Summer.

It is a new collection of 27 stories (17 new). Not all the stories hit the sweet spot, but enough to make the purchase worthwhile. Here’s just a sample of his imagery…

“The rain came as a cool surprise. It smelled of soda water and limes and oranges and the cleanest freshest river in the world, made of snow-water, falling from the high, parched sky.”

In the best stories, you can just feeeel the lazzzy summer atmosphere. As it should be… a good read!