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Joined 11 months ago

Brit in Canada. I read when I can't sleep, so yes there's a lot of books here. Nearly all SF.


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2023 Reading Goal

Success! Stephen has read 69 of 50 books.

Paul à la pêche (French language) 5 stars

Well drawn autobiographical, but dark

5 stars

Great comic, mainly but not exclusively about a fishing trip in Gaspésie, and the earlier events in the character's lives that they recount.

This isn't a full Canterbury Tales type thing, it's just a slice of someone's life. However the book gets pretty dark, with some detailed coverage of their attempts to have a child. Fair warning, not just about fish!

Well drawn history, odd comic

3 stars

So, there is a girl called Echo Désjardins, who is Métis and in Winnipeg Middle School. She seems entirely depressed and detached from her life. She is interested in her history lessons, but daydreams in them, and then enters the actual past of how the colonials treated the Métis (spoilers, not well at all).

So half the book is telling this story from the roughly 19th century, and the other half is Echo wandering around being confused. She gets a bit happier, I think, but I'm not sure why. And then the omnibus finishes. Now in general one can say that true life doesn't have a neat beginning, middle, and end; but the historic parts told a much better story to me than Echo. I certainly hope the girl has had some character growth but it was difficult to tell.

The artwork of the book is nice, and I appreciated …

Judas Unchained (2007) 5 stars

Great action-filled conclusion

5 stars

Difficult to review in detail without spoilers, but all the things I like about the first one. The characters still manage to find some time to have a lot of sex but do calm down a little. Still a very horny future. I'm sure billionaires now read it and love it, as basically the plot is "the billionaires get together to sort out all the problem" in a similar manner to fantasy books where the kings and queens do it. The myth of competence is reassuring.

reviewed Pandora's Star by Peter F. Hamilton

Pandora's Star (2005) 4 stars

Horny sci-fi opera

4 stars

After a break of reading PFH, I've started reading some of his books again. I still absolutely love Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained. I really liked his previous long space opera (Night's Dawn) but this universe feels a bit more fleshed out. Cars and trains (oh, the trains) have models and people clearly have preferences. There's discussions about sports and brands and TV and paying attention to some of it now rewards later on, but not in a major way.

The action is good, the science is fun, but unlike his next trilogy in this universe, it doesn't feel cartoonish. The Void Trilogy to me feels like a lot of technobabble and deus ex machina. Book 1 here starts well.

But it's difficult to ignore the sex. Everyone is constantly horny and having sex with at least one other person. In fact it is stated in the book that after …

Eversion (Paperback, 2022, Orbit) 5 stars

From the master of the space opera comes a dark, mind-bending adventure spread across time …

Fast page turner

5 stars

If I described the plot it would sound like a classic SF novelette and barely push 70 pages. It's a credit to Reynolds that the 300 odd pages here feel very short. It starts slow, and each time I start thinking "okay you've made your point" it speeds up the exact right amount. So it repeats, but not in a bad way.

Anne of Green Gables (Paperback, 2020, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform) 3 stars

Why do people like Anne?

3 stars

I enjoyed the gentle humour as the grown-ups put up with Anne but when she's young, she's bloody irritating. Very glad I read it before doing the mandatory tour of "her house" which is set out with a large number of references to the book (shattered slates and all).

The book suddenly speeds up in the last quarter and a few years pass, before the conclusion of the book slows down again. Honestly can't guess the tone of the next one.

Astérix chez les Pictes (Hardcover, French language, 2013, Editions Albert Rene) 4 stars

Asterix and the Picts is the 35th book in the Asterix series, and is the …

Classic Asterix, now with female characters

5 stars

Honestly could barely tell this wasn't by the original authors, the writing and graphic styles are both on point. The main difference I noticed was that there's (a bit) more diversity in the speaking roles. Very welcome.

Public Domain, Volume 1 (Paperback, 2023, Image Comics) 2 stars

Syd Dallas is responsible for pop culture’s greatest hero: THE DOMAIN! But his sons Miles …

Well-written, but a bit dull

2 stars

Fundamentally I think there's not much entertainment I'm getting from a comic about the copyright dues of comics. Some good jokes, but even a whole trade seemed like a lot to devote to this, and it keeps going.

Gardens of the Moon (2005) 4 stars

Dark forces gather in the Malazan Empire as Empress Laseen, malevolent ruler, turns her attention …

Okay, feels like a superhero novel

3 stars

Will be interesting to see if I change my mind on this, as generally the reviews appear to be "book two is where it all comes together" but while this was enjoyable, there was the fantasy version of technobabble and unstoppable forces literally colliding in the air over protagonists heads.

It's not bad, but the thought of nine more doorsteps means I'm going to have to pace them out.