Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-10-31
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Morning watch, 6 bells (7:03 am)
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Pandora’s Succession by Russell Brooks
Posted in Books, Reviews
First watch, 8 bells (12:07 am)

I was invited by the author to read and review his book, Pandora's Succession before it was released. A few weeks ago I received a PDF of the pre-release manuscript and began reading.

If I had to summarize it in one quick phrase it would have to be "Action-packed, Hollywood-style spy novel."

In more depth, this story is about Ridley Fox, a CIA agent with a troubled past of loss and regret who is out for revenge. Ridley is approached by a scientist working for The Arms of Ares, a weapons consortium that plays on the wrong side, who wishes to defect. This drags him deeper and deeper into a crazy-evil-scientist-style plot to wipe out most of the Earth's population with a terrible new bio-weapon called Pandora.

Now let me preface the remainder of this review by saying I'm excited about today's publishing technology. Newer, up-and-coming writers that have a tough time "breaking in" to the market due to overloaded publishing houses and plain-old rejection have more options than ever before. And we're starting to see the results of that change. Fiction podcasts, webzines, and other non-traditional methods of publication are available to both new and established writers. But what does this mean to us, the readers?

A lot more choice in our reading pile!

Brooks has done what I have always wanted to do, write a story and, by hook or crook, get it published and available to the masses. Now let me tell you what's great about his writing. Brooks writes action and he writes it well. Pandora's Succession was very well-paced, a difficulty for many writers. There was a definite build of tension as we approach the climax of the story. Brooks, to me, seems like an expert with modern weapons, so he either has a huge gun collection or he did great research. His characters are believable people, too. And he's good at writing dialog, too.

The one thing I think the story could have used would be a good run-through by an editor. Not that there were plot problems or sections that need to be cut, but a few times in the story I was distracted by a repetitive sentence or word that popped up too frequently. That aside, I've read books by recognized authors who've published many books that have more problems than Pandora's Succession. My complaint here is only what kept me from being totally immersed in the story. Be aware though that what I read was an early copy, and is not the verbatim manuscript that will make it to final publishing.

All-in-all, if you like spy novels you should read Pandora's Succession, and keep an eye on Russell Brooks, because he's only going to get better!

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-10-24
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Morning watch, 6 bells (7:03 am)
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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-10-17
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Morning watch, 6 bells (7:03 am)
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Mess With the Blank
Posted in Random Thoughts
First watch, 5 bells (10:48 pm)

Let's have a thinking exercise. Take the phrase mess with the bull, you get the horns and make a new one in the same spirit.

For example, I'll start a couple:

Mess with the cat, you get the fuzzy ears. (not so good)

Mess with the moose, you get the antlers. (better)

Mess with the angler fish, you get the lantern thingy. (awesome)

Now you try!

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-10-10
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Morning watch, 6 bells (7:03 am)
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Hamster Atonement
Last dog watch, 1 bell (6:38 pm)

This comic from The Oatmeal may be one of the funniest web comics I've seen in a very long time:

Hamster atonement from The Oatmeal

Thanks Sarah for sending it my way!

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-10-03
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Morning watch, 6 bells (7:03 am)
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