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Friday, 27 April 2007

Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov

Second Foundation, of the compilation books from the stories written back in the 1940s, this one is my favourite, particularly the second story Search By The Foundation. Asimov was never an “action” writer, with most of his writing happening in discussion between the characters with a lot of exposition done by the character thinking to themselves. Search By The Foundation, comparatively, has a much more urgent plot then I find in his other works. The only other one that is similar, IMNSHO, is Caves of Steel, the first Elijah Baley novel, published in 1953.

I give this book 4.7 out of 5.

Monday, 23 April 2007

Who's it going to be — Muggle or Wizard?

Well, the biggest thing about up and coming final book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is that two main characters die. In an interview, J. K. Rowling said:

One character got a reprieve, but I have to say two die that I didn't intend to die...A price has to be paid. We are dealing with pure evil...They go for the main characters... well, I do.

Talking about this a few weeks ago with my Mom and sister Janelle, Janelle came up with the idea that we would each pick three people from whom we thought the two goners would come from, and then see who was closest on 21 July 2007 when the book is due to be released. I picked two names right away, but it took until Sunday to finally decide upon the third.

Here are our picks:

Nancy Ellen

You'll see that Janelle says Voldemort is going to die, and while I agree that he probably does, Rowling says that two will die whom she did not intend to die. For me, Voldemort dying is just way to obvious, so I think Rowling means two other characters.

Also, Mom chose a Draco/Lucius possibility while I chose just Draco. I don't think that Lucius is enough of a major character to be one of the unintended deaths that people are making such fuss over. Draco, on the other hand, has been Harry's secondary nemesis from day one at Hogwarts.

The one I had so much trouble choosing was Severus Snape. I'm not entirely convinced that he was an undercover agent for Dumbledore, so I'm thinking Snape's either going to get caught as such by the other Death Eaters or he's going to pay the price for being a double agent (and being truly loyal to Voldemort all along).

All we need to know, now, is who's the character that got a reprieve from death?

Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov

Another one of my favourites (actually, the whole Foundation/Elijah Baley/Robots universe by Isaac Asimov is a favourite — I have this thing for multi-story universes). Like Foundation, this book is really a collection short(er) stories, than a single book.

The initial Foundation stories were written in the 1940s and thus reflect the ideas of that era as to what would “high” technology in a galactic future. Similarly, how women are portrayed is somewhat dated though I can't help but think that, relative to the times, Bayta Darell received a far more even-handed treatment from Asimov than she might have from another author of the times.

I give this book 4.4 out of 5.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Foundation by Isaac Asimov

This is one of the books I like to re–read every few years. Isaac Asimov is one of my favourite authors, and while the the bits about nuclear fission being high technology are dated, the stories as a whole are classic. I have always wanted to see the Foundation and Elijah Baley stories made into movies — with modern F/X technology they would look so cool.

I give this book 4.5 out of 5 and strongly recommend it to anybody.

Saturday, 7 April 2007

Which Firefly/Serenity Character Are You?

Personally, I would have though I was Simon Tam.

Your results:
You are Derrial Book (Shepherd)

Derrial Book (Shepherd)
Dr. Simon Tam (Ship Medic)
Zoe Washburne (Second-in-command)
Kaylee Frye (Ship Mechanic)
River (Stowaway)
Malcolm Reynolds (Captain)
Inara Serra (Companion)
Wash (Ship Pilot)
Jayne Cobb (Mercenary)
A Reaver (Cannibal)
Even though you are holy
you have a mysterious past.

Click here to take the "Which Serenity character are you?" quiz...