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Full title Accelerando [permalink]
Language English
Author Charles Stross (author)
Publisher Ace Books
Categories Novel and science fiction
Publication year 2005
ISBN 0-441-01284-1 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Online version Link
Pages 390
Synopsis

Manfred Macx, a heavily augmented transhuman in the early 21st century, is a visionary and a so-called venture altruist: He roams the world, giving ideas away for free and turning paradigms upside-down as a matter of course. The novel follows him towards a technological singularity, his daughter Amber through it, and her son, Sirhan, after it.

Review

This novel is somewhat special in that it is chuck full of jargon (e.g. 419) and techno-speculation (e.g. utility fog). Have a dictionary handy if you want to avoid being drowned in it. It's when you understand all of it, if only superficially, that the novel becomes the brilliant flair of wild ideas that it is.

Images Back flap of Accelerando.Back of Accelerando.Spine of Accelerando.Front of Accelerando.Front flap of Accelerando.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Part 1: Slow Takeoff
    • 1: Lobsters
    • 2: Troubadour
    • 3: Tourist
  • Part 2: Point of Inflection
    • 4: Halo
    • 5: Router
    • 6: Nightfall
  • Part 3: Singularity
    • 7: Curator
    • 8: Elector
    • 9: Survivor
Full title Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch [permalink]
Language English
Authors Neil Gaiman (author) and Terry Pratchett (author)
Publisher Ace Books
Categories Fantasy and humor
ISBN 0-441-00325-7 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Synopsis

A demon and an angel, Crowley and Aziraphale, having become good friends on Earth, decide to postpone the end of the world by keeping a close eye on the Antichrist, making sure he doesn't make a choice between good and evil.

Images Back of Good Omens.Spine of Good Omens.Front of Good Omens.
Full title Robot Dreams [permalink]
Language English
Authors Isaac Asimov (author) and Ralph McQuarrie (illustrator)
Publisher Ace Books
Categories Anthology, science fiction and short stories
Publication year 2004
Original publication year 1986
ISBN 0-441-01183-7 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 333
Images Back of Robot Dreams.Spine of Robot Dreams.Front of Robot Dreams.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Introduction
  • Little Lost Robot
  • Robot Dreams
  • "Breeds There a Man...?"
  • Hostess
  • Sally
  • Strikebreaker
  • The Machine That Won the War
  • Eyes Do More Than See
  • The Martian Way
  • Franchise
  • Jokester
  • The Last Question
  • Does a Bee Care?
  • Light Verse
  • The Feeling of Power
  • Spell My Name With an S
  • The Ugly Little Boy
  • The Billiard Ball
  • True Love
  • The Last Answer
  • Lest We Remember
Full title Starship Troopers [permalink]
Language English
Author Robert A. Heinlein (author)
Publisher Ace Books
Categories Novel and science fiction
Publication year 1987
Original publication year 1959
ISBN 0-441-78358-9 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 263
Synopsis

A classic military SF book. An alien arachnid race launches a meteor upon unsuspecting Earth which crushes Buenos Aires, plunging the two races into war.

Review

There's a lot of monolog from the protagonist's teacher in History and Moral Philosophy, Jean V. Dubois. For me, this is really the meat of the book. The rest is character development and furtherance of the story.

There is a movie based on the novel with the same name, and it follows the novel really closely. The only things missing from it are the jump-suits the troopers wear and the so-called neo-dogs, dogs with their intelligence amped to approximately human retardedness level that are used for reconnaissance.

Images Back of Starship Troopers.Spine of Starship Troopers.Front of Starship Troopers.
Full title Stranger in a Strange Land [permalink]
Language English
Author Robert A. Heinlein (author)
Publisher Ace Books
Categories Novel and science fiction
Publication year 1987
Original publication year 1961
ISBN 0-441-79034-8 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 438
Synopsis

A man born of human parents but raised on Mars arrives on Earth and goes on to learn as much about it as possible. He learns about religion and eventually founds his own church (which turns out to be more of a school than a church) where he teaches Martian so that Martian concepts can be readily communicated and understood; things like levitation, teleportation, and telepathy are available so long as you learn the language. The title is a reference to the Bible. From the KJV, Exodus 2:22:

"And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land."

This book is also the book from which the term 'grok' comes. See the Jargon file entry on grok.

Review

I think the portrayal of Michael (the man from Mars) as he learns more and more about Earth is very well-written and his progression is reflected in his speech pretty well.

Images Back of Stranger in a Strange Land.Spine of Stranger in a Strange Land.Front of Stranger in a Strange Land.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Part One HIS MACULATE ORIGIN
  • Part Two HIS PREPOSTEROUS HERITAGE
  • Part Three HIS ECCENTRIC EDUCATION
  • Part Four HIS SCANDALOUS CAREER
  • Part Five HIS HAPPY DESTINY

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