Friday, August 29, 2008

This is a stickup

Duane Swierczynski's book The Wheelman is a tightly plotted wild ride through Philadelphia. We meet our main character Lennon, a mute Irish getaway driver, in the middle of a bank heist. As the robbers escape and begin to think about the future things go pear-shaped.
The story starts of at full speed and doesn't let down for an instance. Along the way we meet the Russian Mob, the Mafia, crooked cops, and discover that there is no honour amongst thieves as everyone seems to be double-crossing everyone else. The novel races towards a suprising climax that will leave you gasping for breath.

This is a short and extremely easy to read novel, and moves with such pace and verve that it is very hard to put down.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bo and Luke

In a wonderful trip down memory lane I watched some episodes of the original Dukes of Hazard TV show. I remember coming home from school and watching this show nearly every day. And I was surprised at how well it held up watching it now. Also the voice over by Waylon Jennings has the right amount of humour to carry it of.

I though it may have aged, and the fashions have, but two boys riding around in a fast car still works. Forget the lame ass movie, the TV version is the only true version worth watching.

Yes, like most boys I had a crush on Daisy Duke, and I wanted my very own General Lee 1969 Dodge Charger. That was one fine looking car!

If I can get my hands on other DVDs I'll enjoy watching more of the Dukes of Hazard.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Future crime

Stone by Adam Roberts deals with a criminal in a future utopia.
When we first meet our protagonist being held in a prison in the centre of a star, and has just been sentenced to execution by having the nano machines in our protagonist's blood removed. (The nano machines keep citizens from harm and allow them to lead very long lives.) Before long the main character, Ae, is contacted by a mysterious stranger who promises to break Ae free in return for doing a small favour. The favour is that Ae must wipe out the population of a planet without harming the planet itself.
This short book (under 300 pages) is a very good and interesting read. Roberts is an author who likes using Science Fiction to explore ideas and this book is no different. The fact that it is short means it flies along without much padding and this helps the story to move along.
Well worth reading.

Book of the Year

I know it's early to declare my book of the year, but after reading Maps and Legends by Michael Chabon I know nothing else is going to live up to it.
This is Chabon's first book of essays, and what a marvelous collection it is. Chabon has an amazing mind, and the eclectic nature of his interests comes through in the wide ranging essays. From comic books to Arthur Conan Doyle, by way of Phillip Pullman and genre fiction, Chabon has written about many things.

This is a great book to dip into, or like me read cover to cover in a couple of sittings, either way you will find yourself being awed by Chabon's easy writing style and his enthusiasm for whatever he happens to be writing about.

Grab a copy and enjoy.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mice with swords

Mouse Guard Fall 1152 is the first amazing tale in David Petersen's chronicles of the Mouse Guard.
The Mouse Guard protect the Mouse Territories by doing the things that need doing, patrolling the byways, escorting travellers, and general scouting. Until our heroes on the cover discover a plot to bring down the Guard.

Petersen is a good storyteller, sure some of his characters are cliched, you will not notice this too much as the amazing artwork sweeps you along and the tale hurries towards its ending.

Well worth reading, and keep an eye out for Mouse Guard Winter 1152.
The three mice on the cover from left to right are Lieam, Kenzie and Saxon. (They're sooo cute)

Undead Empire

Scott Westerfeld has written a great space opera called The Risen Empire. The Risen Empire is run by the Undead Emperor who has been in power for sixteen hundred years, and has the power to grant immortality on selected members of his court who join the elite class known as the Risen.
The Risen Empire is opposed by their eternal enemy the Rix who exist to turn planets into compound minds run by an AI.

The story starts with the Rix capturing the eternally youthful Child Empress and events unfold from there. This story is full of battles, political intrigue, thrills, spaceships and amazing technology. In other words all the ingredients that make up space opera of the Star Wars type.
A fun read you can enjoy without having to worry about any hard science.