January 15, 2012

Pre-order Book Dorking

Filed under: Books,Geek-ery — base2wave @ 11:13 am

I decided this ought to go in a separate post, well, just because. THought I’d share my current pre-orders and other books I’m dorked out about for 2012

From the Deep of the Dark
Stephen Hunt

I’ve been reading this particular series for a number of years now, and aside from my ire at the change in cover art (thus ruining a cohesive, and attractive look for the series on my bookshelf), I’ve really liked this series and it various cross over characters. This is definitely a steampunk, verging on pulp fantasy series, but shit it’s fun . This is is the 6th book in the series and I might be looking forward to this as much as anything else this year. HAd to order it from overseas, as there is ALWAYS a year-some-odd delay in the american publication of this series. Luckily BookDepository.com seems to keep these in stock/for pre-order, offers free shipping anywhere in the world, and allows me to pay in USD, thus not having to deal with VAT and whatnot.

Purchase Link

The Flame Alphabet
Ben Marcus

Having never read anything by Ben Marcus, I will admit, this was a bit of a gamble purchase, but the premise sounded intriguing, and I’m a sucker for a hardcover with a deckle edge binding. I read an early review of this book on io9.com [here] and essentially the book is about a virus that sweeps over the earth spread via language/words, transmitted by children. Ok, you’ve got my attention. And as I understand it, the adults/ parents have to flee their children in fear of themselves succumbing to this illness. I guess, I’ll have more to say about this AFTER it arrives on Tuesday and after I get a chance to read it (Hopefully not at the expense of my current read)

Author’s Page | Purchase Link

Nick Harkaway

This is Nick’s second novel, and if it’s any bit as good and a crazy as his first, Gone-Away World, then I’m all in. I’ll just leave this one to the cover flap:

Joe Spork spends his days fixing antique clocks. The son of infamous London criminal Mathew “Tommy Gun” Spork, he has turned his back on his family’s mobster history and aims to live a quiet life. That orderly existence is suddenly upended when Joe activates a particularly unusual clockwork mechanism. His client, Edie Banister, is more than the kindly old lady she appears to be—she’s a retired international secret agent. And the device? It’s a 1950s doomsday machine. Having triggered it, Joe now faces the wrath of both the British government and a diabolical South Asian dictator who is also Edie’s old arch-nemesis. On the upside, Joe’s got a girl: a bold receptionist named Polly whose smarts, savvy and sex appeal may be just what he needs. With Joe’s once-quiet world suddenly overrun by mad monks, psychopathic serial killers, scientific geniuses and threats to the future of conscious life in the universe, he realizes that the only way to survive is to muster the courage to fight, help Edie complete a mission she abandoned years ago and pick up his father’s old gun

Can you really go wrong with a story like that? I can’t wait for this to land on my door step in March.

Author’s Page | Purchase Link

Mr. G: A Novel about the Creation
Alan Lightman

I’m a complete sucker for stories about “the creation” being turned on ear (like with Glen Duncan’s I, Lucifer: finally the Other Side of the Story. And in a not very nice way, it’s probably me looking for the fallacy of it, but we’ll not dwell on that at this time. But anyway… Doubled with the fact that Alan Lightman’s “Einstein’s Dreams” is without reservation, one of my top 3 books of all time. This clearly was must read. Mr g is a story about creation from the point of view of God, a possibly somewhat naive character who goes about setting things in motion only to then be questioned for explanations about the inexplicable and the necessity of evil, amongst other things. I’m quite certain I’ll plow through this book in a days time as I did with much of his other work, but Alan Lightman’s prose and voice are possible some of the most beautiful, heart-wrenching, soul turning words I’ve read in the past.

Author’s Page | Purchase Link

The Great Game
Lavie Tidhar

What can I say, I have a fondness in my heart for pulp. All the better that Lavie’s works are well written, intelligent, adventurous pulp. Another Angry Robot release (Which I should add also has their shit together enough that they manage to release book in the US and overseas in a relatively close timeframe, which I have no fear in saying most publishers haven’t really managed yet). I’ve read his first two book in this series (The Bookman and Camera Obscura), which are really only tangentially related in the sense of continuing world building. But that’s ok, since that it allows his characters not to get so mired in their own backstory that nothing can ever move forward. and since someone else writes it better than I (And I’ve not yet read the book), I give you the cover blurb:

When Mycroft Holmes is murdered in London, it is up to retired shadow executive Smith to track down his killer – and stumble on the greatest conspiracy of his life. Strange forces are stirring into life around the globe, and in the shadow game of spies nothing is certain. Fresh from liberating a strange alien object in Abyssinia – which might just be the mythical Ark of the Covenant – young Lucy Westerna, Holmes’ protégé, must follow her own path to the truth while, on the other side of the world, a young Harry Houdini must face his greatest feat of escape – death itself.

As their paths converge the body count mounts up, the entire world is under threat, and in a foreboding castle in the mountains of Transylvania a mysterious old man weaves a spider’s web of secrets and lies.

Airship battles, Frankenstein monsters, alien tripods and death-defying acts: The Great Game is a cranked-up steampunk thriller in which nothing is certain – not even death.

And I loves me some well written steampunk.

SIDE NOTE:How can you not like a guy who write a Samurai retelling of the New Testament called “Jesus and the Eightfold Path

Author’s Page | Purchase Link

I’m certain there will be another post to follow this, both with thoughts on these books once I’ve read them/the arrive (Likely in reverse order of that) and also as I squander away more of my income on my bibliophanatic addiction.

Week 2 Ramblings

Filed under: Books,Geek-ery,Life through my lens,Noble Effort — base2wave @ 9:52 am

Well, I’m about 2 for 2 with resolutions at the moment. I’ve found it incredibly difficult to be able to find/make thew time to do some of these things, but I endeavor to press on.

Quiet time alone is decidedly at a premium, making my efforts to practice samadhi OR write weekly more difficult. Regarding samadhi, I’ve yet to get a chance to practice, so I’m gonna have to step up here soon and just do it. As for writing, I’ve been working at it (At the moment I have one post I started working on while at work the other day, but I’ve had to shelve for now, just until I can truly make the time to post it). Time constraints have been equally compounded by the death of my media PC earlier this week, as I’ve been focussing a good deal of effort towards data recovery from the old drive and subsequently doing my research for new components to rebuild this system (This time with better cooling).

As for reading and sobriety, I’m still chugging along. My tea consumption is quiet astronomical at present, but I’m sure my liver is thanking me. I’ve lost about 5 pounds so far and hope to lose more. As for the mental chemistry reasons for this, I don’t know if I can tell yet if there s a difference. I think that talks longer to suss itself out, so I’ll just keep pressing on.

I finished reading Adam Christopher’s debut novel, Empire State, which I thoroughly enjoyed (and by one of my favorite publishers, Angry Robot). While it’s been billed as a “Steampunk Noir” novel, I certainly found more of Noir than anything else with a detective, eccentric ex-military, and psychopathic villains, and enough of a twist to have kept me wondering about more than a few characters. All in all a great novel, and relatively quick read at 448 pages.

And I’ve finally got some foothold in Neal Stephenson’s “Reamde“. Not being a stranger to Mr. Stephenson’s style of writing, I know that this 1056 page tome was going to have it’s fair share of info dumps where it can be easy to get distracted/turned off but power through a handful of these so far as brought be about 300 or so pages in and in the story itself pretty thick. I’m really like it so far and I have not a damn clue where it will wind up.

And there we have it. A week-ish in recap. Power forward and moving on.

Oh, and the New Years day brisket turned out SPECTACULAR. I’m definitely going to keep working at that, but I’m more than please with my first smoked brisket attempt.

January 1, 2012

A New Year, A New Try

Filed under: Life through my lens,Noble Effort,Personal,Writing — base2wave @ 9:56 am

“Fuck! I slept through the alarm!” And these are the words that I woke into 2012 with. I suppose that life gives you little more than you can handle, or at least that’s what I tell myself so I can muster the energy to wake in the morning…

So my best laid plans to wake in the wee hours of the morning so I could start smoking a 13 pound brisket for a small get-together later today have been rattled a bit, but se-la-Vie, I press on. Not only did I coming screaming into consciousness this morning with these words, but this was also a screaming launch into sobriety for me. In an effort to lose weigh, re-align my Seratonin levels, and generally get a better view of my life I’ve endeavored to spend the entire month of January (And possibly February) en abstentia from booze entirely. My gut feeling, is that this will be a trying month…

And so along with the obviously bigger life choice, I also have made several other resolutions for the year that endeavor to keep/make which is why I’m so publicly posting these (Not that ANYONE reads this anymore; which is my fault for letting it go to rust around here). So, in no real particular order my 2012 Resolutions:

  • In addition to my month (or so) of self imposed sobriety, I’m endeavoring to become more moderate in my vices (at least this one), and I’ve set the goal that once the abstinence period is over, I’m only allowing myself 2 “night’s-out” per month, to be taking non consecutively, preferably not on weekdays, and in better moderation of what I consume.
  • My goal is to read a bare minimal of 10k pages this year. One of my friends thinks this is too easy for me, but I wanted to set realistic and achievable goals, and 10k pages is 27.3 pages per day (It’s a leap year) and that gives me all the flex to handle life as it comes at me as well.
  • Included in this 10k pages, I want to read the entirety of Neal Stephenson’s “Cryptonomicon” as we all as his entire “Baroque Cycle” series. This task alone is 3344 pages, so it ought to take a big dent out of the afore mentioned goal.
  • In the past few years, I’ve slipped as a solitary practitioner of Theraveda buddhism, and so I need to get back to it, and I want to practice Samadhi a bare minimum of once a week (preferably more, but again, realistic limits)
  • And lastly, I’ve decided that this place has gathered far top much dust (and brambles and rust and ghosts and woodland creatures large and small, etc., etc.) and I’m going to update this blog once a week for the year, if not more. Maybe this will force me into some creativity which I’ve longed for for some time. It’s also a good place to be accountable for all of these things I’ve set myself to for the year, even if for no one other than myself. We shall see. I’d like to redo the look of the site too, but I’m not making it a goal, just something I rant to do this year.)

And there we have it. I’m sure I’ll come to kick myself for some of these choices throughout the year, but it’s all for good reason and noble effort. And maybe that’s what I more so endeavor to this year, is better effort. So off we go…

all text (c) 2006-2008 Living in Blue Shift.
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