Having finally escaped the gravity well of Earth, humanity began to spread out, and living in space became much more practical thanks to a handful of critical technologies–fusion power, faster-than-light communication, artificial gravity, automated mining, and advanced construction, to name a few. For many, living in space was as comfortable as living on Earth. Corporations, in the meantime, realizing the potential profits of space industry, scrambled to get into orbit. And with such rapid expansion came heavy competition … and piracy.
Dallas is a 22-year-old, non-organic, “Next-Gen” human with too much energy and not enough challenge in his life. Seeking fame, fortune, and adventure, he joined the military–the U.N. Security Council Defense Force. With rampant piracy interfering with trade, the UNSC Navy commissioned a space fleet in response. Two rushed space cruisers, three unfinished hulls, and a lot of bugs later, the fledgling fleet began its interdiction patrol.
As if piracy wasn’t bad enough, an interstellar neighbor has taken an interest in the “upstart” humans….
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Lexicon by Max Barry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I’m so annoyed with Max Barry right now! So much that I waited a day before writing this review.
The premise was interesting. A modern explanation for magic. It seems hokey at first, but then becomes more believable as the story takes shape. There are exciting scenes, but … always with the same people, over and over again. Continue reading
Big news for 2016! The sequel is nearly complete, an action-packed story set 10 years after the end of Mandate. A new U.N. warship; corporate asteroid mining; rogue crews turned to piracy; a new colony called Luna City; massive construction projects on Ganymede; and Decatur causing problems, manipulating human DNA and offending the Tau Cetians. It is tightly written and concise at about 300 pages, and worthy of the name “Legacy” (hint/hint!)
And, to celebrate the launch of this sequel, Mandate is undergoing a huge revision to trim it down from 480 pages to about 350. I’ve listened to the reviews from readers and agents. It will be the same story but with less speculation and other debut mistakes. The tighter writing will be a welcome improvement, and I’m hopeful that the exciting sequel will generate new fans of the original. Stay tuned for both releases this winter!
Only Lovers Left Alive
My rating: 8 / 10
This film is not about vampires. It is not horror. That is merely the backdrop to explain the ageless perspective of the philosophy. Aged vampires who no longer prey on humans. (Warning: Spoilers)
Tom Hiddleston plays Adam, a centuries-old vampire who, like Anne Rice’s Lestat, is a rock star; but unlike Lestat, he does not seek vain attention, he simply loves the music. He is tired of living, however, and contemplates ending his long life due to its futility. He is frustrated with the direction human culture has taken, and the scenery of Detroit reflects the world as Adam perceives it. The futility of human effort, so short-lived, short-sighted. Ugly. He is offended by the ugliness of human invention and industry, commenting twice on ugly power lines cluttering the architecture. Continue reading
Amazon is the largest online retailer in the world with $100 billion in revenue during 2015 (FYE September, 2015). That’s some serious candy.
When a company builds a foundation that leads to continuous growth/improvement, then the founder/board usually begins thinking about long-term projects. The pressure to survive evolves to a new creative realm where the corporation goes into new areas–perhaps new industries.
The founder and CEO of Amazon is Jeff Bezos. He is in a unique position, like contemporary Elon Musk, of having so much money in reserve that there’s actually nothing he can’t do. The question is what to do. Continue to gobble up smaller companies and become weighted down with bloat? Or funnel that money into new endeavors? Continue reading
I’ve made no attempt to hide my contempt for Microsoft, as I’m reminded daily of this company’s narcissism. It’s always something. You can count on them making the wrong decision concerning customer satisfaction.
Where does Microsoft succeed? When they emulate others: Game consoles, Tablets, Phones, App Store, and Music. Oops, Zune died, scratch music. Windows Store isn’t doing so well, either. Surface is kind of meh–I don’t know anyone who would choose a Surface over a Samsung or Apple tablet. Actually, toss phones into that same barrel. Why would anyone want a Windows Phone? (Possibly Microsoft employees who leave it on their desk while keeping the iPhone in their pocket). Continue reading
I moved to central Ohio in 2012 for family reasons. When we first got here, I marveled at the beautiful trees and seasons. Coming from Phoenix where there are two seasons: hot and hotter. Fall was beautiful with all the multi-colored leaves.
Then I started to meet people here.
I would have been fine if I’d just minded my own business, but instead I decided to start meeting new people, try to make new friends here. Boy was that a mistake!
It is now 2015, and I have logged 3 1/2 years here. I thought I was losing my mind, that I had a mental illness. Seriously! But, I started swapping notes with others who relocated to the midwest, and it turns out I’m not crazy! Continue reading
To Sail Beyond the Sunset by Robert A. Heinlein
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
This is a sequel to The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, and I could not bring myself to read beyond the first two chapters, as was also the case with The Number of the Beast. I did manage to finish Cat, but Number was a DNF like this one. Not because Cat was much different in writing style or content; it just started off better than the other two before getting into the “same tired old rhetoric” (I’ll call it STOR). Continue reading
The Cat Who Walks Through Walls by Robert A. Heinlein
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The Cat Who Walks Through Walls get a very generous 3 stars due to the cute little kitten (“blurp!”), otherwise it’s a 2-star novel with a nonsensical plot. I just don’t know where to start, how to summarize it.
This was Heinlein’s 2nd to last novel and I cannot recommend it to anyone but a current RAH fan. There are no new ideas here and hardly any new characters, either. It doesn’t even benefit from being bizarre the way Greg Bear is, occasionally, where the strangeness itself is compelling.