Howrah, Australia | Member Since 2008
Jack McDevitt's series of yarns starring Alex Benedict and Chase Kolpath, his pilot in a galactic setting. A Talent for War sets the standard for modern SF and is worth reading for a primer.
When Ben Bova wrote the first of his Mars trilogy a few years ago, personally I considered it to be the benchmark for we few who like nuts and bolts spacecraft, human frailty and death rather than techno-mage or the fantasy element. I read some of the latter and the humor is usually entertaining and the plots vary. Bova's Navaho Indian finds his ruins and fights official apathy and disbelief and it remains a good read. I don't know much about Andy Weir but this is currently the number one on my Mars list.
The audible.com blurb is excellently written, without giving away too much and highlights the struggle of stranded Astronaut Mark Watney, virtually dead after an emergency which saw the main ship leave in horrendous winds. Wanted, faces death but refuses to give in at any stage, grimly calculating the odds, with a key weapon, potatoes, and his engineering know-how. No-one expects Watney to have survived but he manages and the account is well worth reader's time.
I regard Tom Clancy as a solid, competent writer who deserved the success he has received. We foreigners who have been to the US have to remind ourselves that while Special Forces are carefully selected and trained to be the very best they can be and enjoy most of the advantages of hi-tech, offensive and defensive, they are still human and can be killed, wounded or mentally damaged. In Executive Orders, a Japanese pilot, seething over conflict described in a previous book, takes a 747 below the radar, kills hi co-pilot and dives the huge bomb into Congress, killing most of the US government, including the President, and the chain of command down to a level beneath the Joint Chiefs. Our hero Jack Ryan is thrust but unwanted circumstance into the role of President, with only one Senator protesting. The reluctant POTUS faces danger from many quarters but manages to find sufficient men with backbone to rally to the cause and uncover/destroy the real perpetrators of the plot to take out the US. If the plunged 747 decapitating the US government only to be foiled doesn't grab you, the underlying plot, which involves the weaponizing of the ebola virus, should make thinkers pause and pay more attention to events in Africa and the Middle East.
Mr Clancy has written a powerful account of a mega tragedy for the US and the world. I rate Red Star Rising as the best of Clancy's books but even with the passage of time this is a very close second. I purchased not knowing that that it was set on a different time line. Normally, my first reaction would be to return the book but I'm pleased I hung in there. It's a long but very worthwhile read.
I have read a great deal by Bob Mayer and seen some of his TV work. I found this book entertaining and interesting especially as I listened to it just before the world was supposed to end last December. I never regarded those predictions as plausible but the author writes a quite beautiful narrative about the person regarded as the ultimate betrayer.
The authors are usually excellent and have a fine history of writing behind them. The plot line in this book, namely that US astronauts landed on the moon before Neil Armstrong but it was hushed up because of what was found had so much potential. I was disappointed that it wasn't developed further because while it's a rattling good read and having corresponded with both authors a few years ago, I was left with the feeling of wanting more. In terms of quality the book is one of the best "nuts and bolts" style of science fiction but I would have loved to have sat down with Jack and Mike to discuss other ways of fleshing out the story, perhaps even a hook for an encore. The politics of the times were accurately depicted and although every story needs a victim, it was all too easy to blame Richard Nixon, whom I think will be more fairly treated by history than by current commentators.
Michael Flynn is a very accomplished writer and I have several of his books in hardback or paperback form. This is a classic conspiracy theory that maintains Charles Babbage's "difference engine" was built and used to change history. The Babbage story in itself is fascinating and worth reading and a number of replicas do work but they are advanced calculating machines rather than computers. This is a book where you have to switch worlds to a parallel time and immerse yourself for a reasonably complex plot and some taut action about the way organizations rise and fall, split and admit to human weaknesses. Mr. Flynn conveys the outdoors in a very beautiful manner. This is not a book for everyone but rewards the diligent reader.
If you want to buy an argument about the greatest detective in the world, some of the modern updates are highly entertaining and although I approach some with apprehension, by and large those to be found on audible.com are well up to standard. I have thoroughly enjoyed all the alternatives and this is no exception. If you are a traditionalist, as I was once, it may take a little time to reorient but it is time well spent.
Be warned that this is an old book and the author has been dead for some while. I like it because of my interest in aeronautical matters and especially the problems of metal fatigue in early jet airliners. The film made in black and white has not stood the test of time but the plot of this story is really quite good as an obsessed and driven man tries to prove he is correct before more disasters occur. I am extraordinarily pleased that audible.com has secured rights to a number of old books. My paperback copy of the book fell apart years ago but as someone who was born to fly and loves the experience, Nevile Shute did a very good job given the time. There is some congruence with Michael Crighton's Airframe and the technological differences are considerable. Well worth a read.
I don't know the author's work and came at this after the very smooth Stephen Booth. Some familiarity with the UK and police practice is probably required for maximum enjoyment. At first I despaired with the plot but as the author drew it together, with various complexities and the darker side of human nature, it gripped me quite well. The scene is set in Shropshire and the senior cop is from Birmingham via London while his current squeeze is a DC in London. The anticipation in reading the book was knowing that murder had been committed but not finding out until almost the end, who did it and more particularly how. I found it most enjoyable but patience is a virtue.
I'm interested in the social aspects of erotica but make no judgements - each to their own. For an enjoyable rest and listen, this is pretty good. The story line hangs together quite well.
This is not a definitive substitute for the surgical implant. However, it may work for some, provided you can work at it. The reader is excellent but it probably needed another 15-25 minutes. For those with problems where a band is recommended I suggest that a psychological evaluation is a necessary pre-requirement: as a person qualified to make this statement, you must fully understand what the process involves and the side effects - food that you can no longer enjoy even in minute quantities; sudden reflux and rejection of food you may have enjoyed days before with the band in! Learn the basics of projectile vomiting and practise before you venture out.
I can assure you your life will never be the same. I would not have my band removed because it reduced weight and appears to have rendered treatment for Type II diabetes unnecessary. I would have liked this track available some 7 years ago - well done Hypnosis Live.
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