Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday's Interesting Links

What I’m Reading

I am still working my way through How to Teach Physics to Your Dog, but I have finished Judge and posted a review here:

I’m currently enjoying The Cardinal Rule by Cate Dermody (I finally got a hold of C.E. Murphy’s other series). This is more of a candy read than Judge so I don’t expect it to take two weeks :) .

I also read a Holly Black short story ( that packs a serious punch. Well worth the read.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Judge by Karen Traviss

If you’ve been following my reading habits, you’ll know that I adore Karen Traviss. I ran into the second book of this series through an Early Reader program and have been hooked ever since, even to the point of contacting her to say how thrilled I was about a new series in sociological science fiction, my first ever time contacting an author who I didn’t already know.

Because of the above, I am a little saddened by Judge. While I do not need to read series in order like some, obviously from the above, one of the things I try to look for is whether the book can be used as an entry point into the author or the series. Crossing the Line left me charged up and racing out to get a copy of City of Pearl, the first in the Wess’har tales. The same cannot be said about this latest novel. The story in Judge is a winding down of the series. It ties up loose ends that I didn’t even remember as loose and left me with the sense that, whether Karen plans to write in this universe again or not, she’s largely done with this set of characters. (more…)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday's Interesting Links

What I’m Reading

This week is a recap of last week’s because I have finished neither. Some weeks it’s a breeze to finish 2 or more books, while others I struggle to finish one. This is an odd case of reading two at the same time, but they’re very different in content, even beyond the non-fiction to fiction, simply because one is philosophy and one is physics…though they end up having a lot in common at times. Usually, this reading speed difference has to do with how much the particular book asks of me. If it’s thought provoking, I tend to read more slowly to make sure I absorb every possible aspect. If it’s brain candy, I just dive in head first and plow through to the end, enjoying the ride but ultimately sad when it comes to an end. Both of these book fall into the thought provoking category, and with a big programming push as well, they’re taking their time getting read. I have not stopped, nor do I have any intention of, stopping, because I’m enjoying both book, albeit slowly.

As a reminder:
* Judge by Karen Traviss
* How to Teach Physics to Your Dog by Chad Orzel (


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Appreciate a Dragon Day

Dragons have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My father told us bedtime stories about an unusual dragon he met while boating in Lake Michigan. My parents were Peter, Paul, and Mary fans, so Puff the Magic Dragon was a common song on our many road trips. Even Elliot made an impression as he tried to rescue Pete from slavery in the Disney movie, Pete’s Dragon.

Since those days, I’ve been introduced to mechanical dragons in real life, the thought that dinosaur bones could have begun the belief in dragons in the first place, wise dragons, horrible dragons, dragons that were brought to life through myth and magic and those crafted by genetic science. I can’t imagine a world without dragons in it, whether you hold to the Smaug image of a monstrous creature that hoards treasure and eats people, the helpmates of Pern, or the wise creatures who try to steer humanity in the proper direction only to fail time after time. (more…)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday's Interesting Links

What I’m Reading:
(Okay, so no mini reviews. This is just what I’m actively reading at the moment.)
* I’m trying to catch up on Strange Horizons ( and Beneath Ceaseless Skies ( I did read a good story on the TOR website ( The Starship Mechanic by Jay Lake and Ken Scholes is surreal and strange, but in some ways makes more sense than most first contact stories.
* Judge by Karen Traviss – Thought I’d already read this, but it got lost on the shelf. Wonderful sociological SF with philosophical leanings.
* How to Teach Physics to Your Dog by Chad Orzel ( – Read about this online and thought I’d check it out. So far, so good. Interesting approach.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk

Devon Monk has been recommended to me by friends, and even by Amazon based on some purchases I made, but I have an extensive to-be-read pile. Though I picked up a copy some time ago, I hadn’t gotten to it yet. Then, a friend was visiting and looked at the pile. She picked out Magic to the Bone as the “must read next.”
Now I know why. (more…)

Friday, January 08, 2010

Friday's Interesting Links

Books I’ve Read

I have decided to post the book reviews, even mini-reviews, as separate posts again. I swear this decision has nothing to do with the fact that I’m still 100 pages or so from the end of the novel I’ve been reading this week and barely started with the non-fiction one. That’s no reflection on either book. I just started very late and haven’t had much time to read, though every time I start reading the novel, Magic to the Bone, I have to tear myself away.

There are a couple reasons behind this: (more…)

Friday, January 01, 2010

Friday's Interesting Links

What I’ve Read:

This was a good reading week for me. I finished one book, and started and finished two others.

Dragonfly by Frederic S. Durbin is a modern fairytale adventure written by an author I met at World Fantasy. I picked up the book out of curiosity and in support. There are no regrets. If I had to classify this book, I’d say it’s a little like Nightmare Before Christmas crossed with Narnia, and a good dose of unique elements. A young girl is drawn into a world of vampires, werewolves, and monsters from other dimensions when she ignores the warning of her uncle and a mysterious character named Mothkin. Rather than condemning her for following Mothkin when he goes to prevent the break-in between the two worlds, Mothkin’s attitude is more that if she was there, she was supposed to be. (more…)