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Bugger, I've just forgotten what I wanted to say.

Oh yes, I read two spectacularly good books a week or so ago. John Scalzi's The Ghost Brigades was a more than worthy successor to Old Man's War. Rich, meaningful, and poignant. My only regret is that I need to operate dangerous machinery between now and Wednesday afternoon, because borrowing Jon's copy of The Last Colony would probably require the sacrifice of sleep.

The other one was my first Elizabeth Bear book, Carnival. Oh, my, goodness. Very, very good, although the men-women role flip was interesting. Well justified, mind you, on a sociological basis. I liked it more than the Wen Spencer book with the same idea - A Brother's Price because it's set in the future of ambassador-spies and tech stuff in the style of Crossover. Did I say it was good?

Oh yes, and I forgot. I also re-read Patricia Briggs' Mercy books over the weekend. They are just as good as I remember. *sighes over Adam Hauptman* And there's good news - they are not going to turn into Anita Blake - see

Anyway, off to Paris on Wednesday, so I better run.
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Fresh from reading Old Man's War (which fulfilled all its promise), I picked up my first conscious Heinlein. By which I mean that it's the first book by him that I've read since realising his importance in the field of SF. This one was also courtesy of Jonathan.

While The Door into Summer is obviously dated in its references to 2000 AD as the future, I began to understand why Heinlein is admired. The story is about Dan Davis (an engineer!) and his cat, Pete, (what is it with SF writers and cats?) being swindled out of his business by his greedy partner and greedier fiancée. It holds lessons not only for the lawyers among us, who would lecture you gravely on the importance of control and preferred voting shares, but on human nature, social hacking (ref: Kevin Mitnick), and the time travel paradox.

It is a thoroughly entertaining story. Definitely a keeper.
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I've just started reading Old Man's War by John Scalzi, due mostly to Jonathan's exceedingly good sales technique. I can't say I was persuaded by the starting scene in a graveyard, but now that the action has started, I'm deeply impressed. The dialogue sparkles, the premise is stunning, and I can't wait to find out what happens next.


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August 2012



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