Wednesday, March 30, 2005

World Con 63

I'm currently sorting out arrangements to attend World Con in Glasgow in August. Larry Niven is going as well as a couple of people from the Niven List, it will be great to finally meet Larry (and get Ringworld's Children signed of course) and the other people from the list.

Unfortunately, I don't know if my long time pal Ted can make it now ;-(

Friday, March 25, 2005

Book Meme

Here are the rules:
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your blog along with these instructions.
5. Don’t you dare dig for that “cool” or “intellectual” book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.

I cheated, instead of grabbing the nearest book (I'm posting in bed [oh the joys of wireless internet!] and my headboard is a bookcase so techinically they are the nearest, but I grabbed the book that I'm currently re-reading at the moment which is Stephen Baxter's Moonseed [this is my third time reading this book, but I picked it up after watching the BBC's Supervolcano Mini Series a few weeks ago). The entry is:

"Oh." She was looking at the pool rim. "Look at this," she said. She pointed to a patch at the rim of the pool, where bare rock showed through the glass.

A foot-wide patch of rock was - Henry thought, shielding his eyes against the sunlight - glowing.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Review: Black Wind by Clive & Dirk Cussler

Been off sick for a few days and managed to finish reading Black Wind by Clive Cussler and his son, Dirk. Just like most other Clive Cussler stories that I've read, it was difficult to put down once I got into it.

The "Black Wind" of the title refers to biological agents developed by the Japanese in World War II. The submarines carrying these agents were sunk towards the end of the war their deadly cargoes still intact. Of course this is where NUMA comes in by diving on the wrecks to retrieve the cargo.

The story primarily follows the exploits of Dirk Pitt Jr and his sister Summer, while the older Dirk Pitt (now head of NUMA) and Giordino take a rather back seat, although they still do feature in the story once or twice and have a big part towards the end. In fact, this is the only part of the story that I can find criticism with, all the way though the book, we follow in the footsteps of the younger Pitt, and at the end of the novel, Daddy comes to save the day again, which seemed somewhat to take some of the wind out of the younger man's sails.

The story was easier to follow than the last installment though, because when I read that the story skipped repeatedly between the two Pitt's and you needed several paragraph's worth of mind adjustment to work out which Pitt you were actually reading about.

I'm glad about one thing though, the whole bioagent plot was interesting, also introducing new departments within the real US government like homeland security, but moreso, pitting a Korean businessman as the "bad guy" made Cussler go where even President Bush fears to tread: North Korea.

Overall 9 out of 10