Apr 23, 2017

QuickLook at The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet


I really enjoyed reading The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet. It's a beautifully written feel good story about a small crew onboard a ramshakled space ship called the Wayfarer. The crew of the Wayfarer, who build hyperspace tunnels between worlds, aren't on an epic journey to save the galaxy they are on a year long journey to fulfil a very big contract which will set them up for life.

As the ship travels from point A to Point B, the place they will create and anchor the hyperspace tunnel, they visit various places of significance for each crew member. From small moons with large insects to bustling multicultural space ports which sell anything your heart desires, including soap. Along the way we get to know the crew of the ship and watch them grow and change over their year long journey.

And that's the story if you're looking for a plot driven story this is not the book for you.

Even though it was sold to me as a Space Opera or an Epic Journey it's more a Road Trip story. The crew do face disasters like pirate attacks (which they handle nicely) and bad border crossings (this was my favourite part of the book) but these crises are used to push character development more than push a plot. The plot only seemed to exist as a backdrop for their interactions.

Similar to the crew of Firefly or the crew of the Ketty Jay, the crew of the Wayfarer reminded me more of a dysfunctional family than the well trained space ship crews you encounter in Military Sci-Fi. In one scene we see the sparks fly between two of the crew members who are arguing over the ships internal temperature setting much like Sheldon and Leonard in 'The Big Bang Theory' not something we'd see in Star Trek.

Chambers writing is engaging and I liked the way her characters interacted with each other. Each crisis allowed us to learn more of the crews backstory and provided them with motivation to grow in their understanding of themselves and each other. I also enjoyed learning more of the universe they existed in, this was revealed piecemeal throughout but the way it was revealed made it seem real and authentic.

It is what science fiction used to be like before the Star Wars type epics became popular. The story explores many aspects of human nature like gender, race, politics and sexuality. It did get a bit preachy in places and bordered on faintly patronising at times when reflecting on 20th-21st century sensibilities, however I accepted that as this is something we do today as well, when reflecting on our own history so why would future humans be any different? (i.e: I can't believed they did X in 1908, how unenlightened.)

Finally, one thing to be wary of is that because this book is exploring sexuality, as previously mentioned there is a small amount of alien-human sex scenes. They aren't too explicit and are consistent with the type of scenes can be found in a lot of other Science Fiction books.

All up I found it a pleasure to read.

Interested? Get yourself a copy by clicking hereThe Long Way To A Small Angry Planet. 


The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers)

by Becky Chambers

A rollicking space adventure with a lot of heart

When Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the Wayfarer, she isn't expecting much. The patched-up ship has seen better days, but it offers her everything she could possibly want: a spot to call home, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and some distance from her past.

And nothing could be further from what she's known than the crew of the Wayfarer.

From Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot, to Kizzy and Jenks, the chatty engineers who keep the ship running, to the noble captain Ashby, life aboard is chaotic and crazy—exactly what Rosemary wants. That is until the crew is offered the job of a lifetime tunneling wormholes through space to a distant planet. Sure, they'll earn enough money to live comfortably for years, but risking her life wasn't part of the job description.

The journey through the galaxy is full of excitement, adventure, and mishaps for the Wayfarer team. And along the way, Rosemary comes to realize that a crew is a family, and that family isn't necessarily the worst thing in the universe… as long as you actually like them.

The links will be affiliate links, so if you going to make a purchase at Amazon I'd appreciate you using the link. Doing so will help me buy more books so it should be a win-win for us both.

Enjoy reading more and thinking more... with your favourite beverage!



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Apr 21, 2017

Weekend Reads - RAW 170421



Interesting new this week is that Amazon will be expanding into Australia and are looking to 'destroy the retail environment in Australia'. Also this week a Japanese crime thriller were the crime part is a low priority, the demise of the handwritten letter, the crisis of attention theft and more. When it's time to relax this weekend, grab your favourite beverage and have a read of the following articles.

Amazon is coming to Australia with 'low prices, vast selection, and fast delivery'

The US online retail giant is actively looking for a warehouse to become a fulfillment centre, the first of many in Australia, with floor space of up to 93,000 square metres, or about five MCGs.


A Japanese Crime Thriller in Which Crime Is the Least of It | NYTimes.com

Usually, in a mystery or thriller, the main character is the detective, and the crime is the main ingredient. But is that really a special thing for the detective? It’s not a big deal for the detective. Instead, Mr. Yokoyama, (author) said he is interested in the psychology and social dynamics of characters who happen to be affected by crime.


10 Critical Theory Books That Came Out in March, 2017 | Critical-Theory

Check out these 10 books, which one would you be interested in reading?


Should you feel sad about the demise of the handwritten letter? | Aeon Ideas

At the start of To the Letter (2013), Simon Garfield asks 'what we have lost by replacing letters with email?' His answer is individuality and authenticity.


The Crisis of Attention Theft—Ads That Steal Your Time for Nothing in Return | WIRED

Attention theft happens anywhere you find your time and attention taken without consent. The most egregious examples are found where, like at the gas station, we are captive audiences.


The Failure of Print and E-Book Bundling | The Digital Reader

How many times has this happened to you: you buy a print book, you start to read it, you go on a trip, you forget to take the book, you find the e-book version online, and you chafe at having to pay full price for another version of something you already have?


SpaceX to Send Privately Crewed Dragon Spacecraft Beyond the Moon Next Year | SpaceX

We are excited to announce that SpaceX has been approached to fly two private citizens on a trip around the moon late next year. They have already paid a significant deposit to do a moon mission. Like the Apollo astronauts before them, these individuals will travel into space carrying the hopes and dreams of all humankind, driven by the universal human spirit of exploration.


Scientists develop 'lab on a chip' that costs 1 cent to make | ScienceDaily

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have developed a way to produce a cheap and reusable diagnostic "lab on a chip" with the help of an ordinary inkjet printer.




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Apr 19, 2017

Up and Coming Reads | The Celaran Solution by Michael McCloskey


The Parker Interstellar Travels Series (PIT) continues with The Celaran Solution. In this book the ragged remains of the PIT team travel to Celara Palnod to reunify the fragments of a peaceful alien civilisation.
I love these books because they are big on action and relatively quick paced. Each book is written with a cliff hanger ending and the plans and adventures build on the former ones which means that you can't start at any book. I would recommend that you read them as a whole starting at book one, The Trilisk Ruins (It's free to download*)

McCloskey has put a lot of thought into creating his aliens and each one's culture and it's great to read. Understand that these aren't your Star Trek aliens who act like some specific human culture and are only differentiated by special bump on their head, McCloskey's don't behave like humans but behave like, well, aliens.



Buy the entire set, it won't cost you much, and have a read, they have Wolfs Seal of Approval, enjoy them with a cup of Earl Grey Tea, hot.

I've purchased my copy and will started after finishing Revenger.  If you've read any of McCloskey's books I'd be interested in hearing what you thought.


The Celaran Solution


by Michael McCloskey

Telisa Relachik studied to be a xenoarchaeologist in a future where humans have found alien artifacts but haven't ever encountered live aliens. Of all the aliens whose extinct civilisations are investigated, the Trilisks are the most advanced and the most mysterious. Telisa refuses to join the government because of her opposition to its hard-handed policies restricting civilian investigation and trade of alien artifacts, despite the fact that her estranged father is a captain in the United Nations Space Force.

When a group of artifact smugglers recruits her, she can't pass up the chance at getting her hands on alien objects that could advance her life's work as an employee of their front company, Parker Interstellar Travels.

In this the ninth book, the ragged remains of the PIT team travel to Celara Palnod to reunify the fragments of a peaceful alien civilisation.

Interested? Get yourself a copy by clicking here: The Celaran Solution

In these post titled 'Up and Coming Reads', I want to provide you with some suggested reading material. These are books which look interesting to me and that I'd like to share with you. The links will be affiliate links, so if you going to make a purchase at Amazon I'd appreciate you using the link. Doing so will help me buy more books so it should be a win-win for us both.

Enjoy reading more and thinking more... with your favourite beverage!




* Free as of 18th April 2017.

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Apr 14, 2017

Weekend Reads - RAW 170414


This week I've compiled some articles about the culture of consumption, ultra hardcore reading using audiobooks, a few lists of books to read this year plus more, so when it's time to relax this weekend, grab your favourite beverage and have a read of the following articles.  If you need more to read feel free to stay on this blog and check out my articles, click on the Start here tab to see what I have on offer.

But to kick it off have a read through the following article explaining why Christians call Good Friday good.

Why We Call the Worst Friday ‘Good’ | Desiring God

It was the single most horrible day in the history of the world... And yet we call it Good Friday.


The Art of Enough | Experience Life

Our culture has become almost fanatically centered on consumption of all types, and it’s affecting our health, happiness, and well-being.


30 Essential Crime Reads Written by Women in the Last 100 Years | Literary Hub

Undisputed Queen of Crime Agatha Christie died on this day in 1976. Crime fiction is a genre that has traditionally been dominated by men—but on the other hand, Christie is the best-selling author of all time, so that should tell you something. In honor of her life (and her prolific publishing career) I’ve picked out a few great crime novels written by women from each of the last ten decades.


Audiobook readers obsessed with multitasking are driving America's biggest new reading trend | Quartz

Audiobooks are the latest trend in book publishing. They’re part of the podcast boom, and they’re helping US publishers keep losses down as ebook sales from big-name companies continue to slump. What’s been around since the 1980s has a sleek new face, and today who’s listening, where, and why, offers a glimpse into a new reading trend sweeping the US.


Why 2017 is the year to read these 11 topical books | Penguin

There's no doubt 2017 will be a big year in books. From Adrian Mole to Dan Brown to Jane Austen, these titles chart some of the year's most significant literary moments.


Here are Six Factors Kobo Considers When Expanding Into a New Country

Kobo has expanded into international markets with utter and complete abandon over the course of the past six years. The company is now localized in 21 countries across five continents and has an e-book portfolio of over five million titles. Here are six of the factors that Kobo considers when moving into a new market, according to CEO Michael Tambyln.


Internet Trolls Have a Case of the Mondays | Mockingbird

A doozie of an article from the WSJ last week, provocatively titled, “We’re All Internet Trolls (Sometimes).” The piece highlights recent research out of Stanford and Cornell on the patterns and habits of internet trolling. Like any study of taboo topics, the research has its own missing pieces, but some of the findings are, frankly, revealing




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Apr 12, 2017

Up and Coming Reads | Thrawn by Timothy Zahn


It was a sad day for me when Disney bought Lucasfilm and declared the old Star Wars Expanded Universe novels to no longer be canon. I had an existential crisis... had I wasted my late-teens and early adulthood reading these Legends?

Well, of course not, reading is reading and always worth it, but it's nice to see a favourite story by Timothy Zahn being brought back into cannon with the release of Thrawn (Star Wars).

Have you read it? If so let me know how it differs from the original Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn.

Apr 7, 2017

Weekend Reads - RAW 170407


Bookstores that use clickbait to great effect, a new Dune movie rumour, vertical farms and more...

When it's time to relax this weekend, grab your favourite beverage and have a read of the following articles. Start with my article showing who the finalists for the 2017 Hugo Awards are.

Up-and-Coming-Reads-Hugo-Awards-2017




Apr 6, 2017

Up and Coming Reads | Hugo Awards 2017


The finalists for the 2017 Hugo Awards were announce and it's an interesting line up.

For those new to Science Fiction the Hugo Awards have been termed as "among the highest honors bestowed in science fiction and fantasy writing". They are a set of awards given annually for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The awards are named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, and were officially named the Science Fiction Achievement Awards until 1992.

There are six titles which made Best Novel, most of them I would recommend as a good read. Take a look through the list below and see if there are that pique your interest. If so click on the book cover or link to purchase from Amazon. I'd appreciate you using the link as these links are affiliate links and doing so will help me buy more books so it should be a win-win for us both.