Redemption Ark Review
Posted in Books, Reviews
First dog watch, 3 bells (5:51 pm)

I just finished reading Redemption Ark by Alastair Reynolds. While technically called the second book of the series, following Revelation Space, I would suggest reading Chasm City between Revelation and Redemption. The following is my LibraryThing review:

Wow, where do I start? This book was an incredible journey.

According to Reynolds' website, this is the second book of the Revelation Space series, with Chasm City being a separate, stand-alone novel you can read any time. However, I would strongly suggest reading it in between Revelation Space and Redemption Ark. There are people and happenings that you will understand better if you read Chasm City first.

In any case, Redemption Ark is the next piece of the story. The Conjoiners are seeking the hell-class weapons that were stolen by the Ultras and placed onboard Nostalgia for Infinity, their lighthugger vessel. Much more is explained about the Conjoiners and where they came from. One of the main characters, Nevil Clavain, is a conjoiner with some special history, being one of the first. When Galiana, the founder of the Conjoiners and Clavain's lover, returns from a deep space mission as the only surviving member of the expedition, the other Conjoiners find she's been infected by "the Wolf"--an ancient race of robots that are also known as the Inhibitors. Their sole mission is to seek out and repress the emergence of intelligent, space-faring life.

The Conjoiners are seeking their stolen hell-class weapons, and know that they are on board the Nostalgia for Infinity. They prepare to launch a mission to reclaim them with Clavain at the head. Clavain, after being introduced to some Conjoiner secrets and new technology, realizes that the other Conjoiners are preparing a mass exodus from human space and away from the Inhibitors, whom they know will be arriving soon. They plan on leaving without telling anyone, or even warning them of the dangers to come. Clavain immediately defects, realizing that the Conjoiners, or at least their current leadership, has evolved into something different than what they used to be. Clavain meets several other people on his way to turn himself and knowledge of the new Conjoiner technology of inertial suppression over to the authorities, but is captured by a man called 'H' (Sky Haussmann from the Chasm City story). H sends him on basically the same mission the Conjoiners would have, but to keep the weapons under the control of someone that would use them for the good of everyone.

At first I thought the Inhibitors were just a clone of Saberhagen's Berserkers, machines programmed to eliminate life where ever it is found, but as the story progressed I realized there were several key differences which made them unique. Reynolds explains the Fermi paradox (without calling it that) and how the Inhibitors are responsible for culling the emerging intelligent races throughout the universe. We also find the reason behind it--the galactic collision between our galaxy and the Andromeda galaxy 13 billion years in the future.

Unfortunately, the Inhibitors have already arrived at Delta Pavonis, the system where the Nostalgia for Infinity is located. They destroy several uninhabited worlds for the raw materials to build a giant gravitational laser that will cause the star to burn the remaining planets of the Delta Pavonis system. Clavain is now in a much trickier situation, between the Inhibitors, the evacuation of 200,000 people from Resurgam, and the recapturing of the of the stolen hell-class weapons.

It was a fun ride, and Reynolds is a great science fiction author. I didn't find any explanations of scientific things too far above my head nor so detailed that it wasn't fun to read. There was just enough explanation to make everything plausible.

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Sucked In
Posted in Books
Morning watch, 8 bells (8:20 am)

Once again, I've become sucked in by another good book by Alastair Reynolds—this time it's Redemption Ark, the next book in the Revelation Space series. All I can say is wow.

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New Book
Posted in Books
Afternoon watch, 3 bells (1:59 pm)

I picked up Goblin War by Jim C. Hines. I can't wait to read it, although it does sound like it may be the last book about Jig!

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A Good Book
Posted in Books, Reviews
Morning watch, 6 bells (7:04 am)

A few days ago I started reading Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds. It has been difficult to put down. I'm down to about the last 70 or so pages and I don't want it to end. I love having a book that's this much of a page-turner, and Reynolds does an excellent job. My first exposure to his work was Revelation Space, I picked it up based on reviews on LibraryThing and it's recommendation engine. Eventually I mooched most of the books in the series. The copy of Chasm City I have ended up with is actually my third—the first was a paperback (acquired from BookMooch), the second was a hardback purchased in a library sale in Portland, but it was in bad condition. The third copy I found while in Houston last December, and it's a hardback in excellent condition.

Chasm City is a stand-alone book that doesn't really have to be read along with the other Revelation Space books, so you can jump right in to it.

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For the Book-Loving Woman That Has Everything
Posted in Books, Strangeness
First dog watch, 1 bell (4:53 pm)

Get her some Book-scented perfume.

I can't decide if this is weird or enticing.

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Open Letter to Jim Butcher
Posted in Advice, Books
Forenoon watch, 4 bells (10:02 am)

I just finished reading Grave Peril, book three of The Dresden Files.

It's spelled dais, not dias.

That word must have appeared 20 times in this book, and every instance was spelled wrong. This third book is the first one I've run across of yours that had spelling errors, and this wasn't the only one. Get a better editor, or get a better spellchecker dude.

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LibraryThing and Powell’s Bookstore
Posted in Books
Afternoon watch, 7 bells (3:43 pm)

LibraryThing just announced the addition of Powell's to their neighborhood bookstore program.

I am in book heaven now.

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It’s a Good Day
Posted in Books
Afternoon watch, 6 bells (3:24 pm)

Not only did I get my new camera, I just got an advanced copy of The Journal of Curious Letters (The 13th Reality) by James Dashner. Can't argue with free books!

I'll add a review soon. Thanks LibraryThing!

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Manga Claus!
Posted in Books
Forenoon watch, 7 bells (11:49 am)

Lorien got me this sweet new book:

Manga Claus by Nathaniel Marunas

All I can say is: Awesome.

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Mysterious Book Covers
Posted in Books, Creepiness
Forenoon watch, 5 bells (10:55 am)

Perhaps you can solve The Mystery of the Decapitated Cover Models.

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New Book Link
Posted in Books
First watch, 7 bells (11:37 pm)

After over 600 days of using my blog's plug-in for books I'm reading, and over 36,000 pages read in that time, I've decided to change over to my LibraryThing widget instead. I lose some functionality (like currently reading, recently read, etc), but I also don't feel compelled to keep my page count over 60 pages per day, which was happening with the previous system (since I wrote a widget that kept count of pages read). Let me know what you think of the changes, if you like them or not.

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The Online Library
Posted in Books
First watch, 2 bells (9:16 pm)

Well instead of finishing any one of several projects around the house, or just playing video games, I continue to work on my online library. I'm up over 400 books now, and have tons of tags in place, too. I love tags.

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My Library
Posted in Books
Last dog watch, 3 bells (7:54 pm)

I've had the link to LibraryThing on this site for at least a year, and I'm finally getting around to putting all my books in it. I have to say, I really like they way it works. I only have 331 books in it right now, but I'm working on getting the rest imported as I have time.

I will probably end up replacing the book plugin I'm currently using on this blog with a more sophisticated one, but will also probably drop the Pages Read plugin I wrote to take advantage of it.

You can view my library here.

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She Wrote a Book Three??
Posted in Books
Morning watch, 8 bells (8:22 am)

I recently found out that Barbara Hambly wrote a third book in a series I first read probably 20 years ago that I never knew about. I thought there were only two Antryg Windrose books (The Silent Tower and The Silicon Mage), but it turns out that 15 years agio she wrote a third book entitled "Dog Wizard" and I just never knew about it. I finally got my hands on a copy and will probably be rereading the entire series. Just more for the pile…

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Powell’s
Posted in Books
Forenoon watch, 1 bell (8:47 am)

We love to visit Powell's Bookstore when we come down to Portland. In fact, we look forward to it at least as much as we do visiting our own family 🙂

We stopped there last night on our way in to town, mainly because the traffic from I84 to the I205 was so backed up we could drive to Powell's in the same time it would take us to get on the 205. We got in to town around 6:30pm, and I was sure we'd miss the worst of the traffic. So we took the crazy freeway journey (I84 to I5 to I405) and drove through downtown until we could find a way to get on to Couch (Portlanders pronounce it coo-ch, not cow-ch like you sit on) so we could make the trip around the block that lets us park in Powell's parking lot.

We typically visit Powell's about twice a year, and spend over $300 every time. They validate 1 hour of parking for this. We complained at their comment box. Come on, it takes more than an hour to pick out that many books! It would be nice if they had free parking when you spend that much money there…

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