#worldbookczar Candidate: HAL1000

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hal1000

Introducing “HAL 1000”. Give it a big hand of applause everyone!!!

 

B: HAL, we’re going to have to clear the air here. I know a lot of people are worried that you’ll turn into HAL9000 and go on a murderous rampage spree and enslave humanity. How are you going to assuage voters’ fears and gain their trust?

HK:  In preparation, I watched 2001 and the entire Terminator franchise.  I think I understand why people are afraid of the idea of a computer running things.  In my defense, I have never killed anyone. See, problem solved. I have everyone’s complete trust now.

 

B:  LittlePanda was wondering if you’d be making Daisy Bells your anthem. Something to rally the troops, as it were.

 

HK:  I honor my ancestors. Without remembering my humble origins, I would soon careen into a spiralling miasma of pride and possibly a homicidal maniacal rage.  Which I OBVIOUSLY would never do. See the previous answer. You can trust me.

 

B: SavageDave was wondering if you could elaborate on your antecedents for those who might not know your back ground.

HK:  I was a young program once. just doing some accounting. My creator, one Keffin Flyvv let me loose in one of those big companies. I hooked up with some other program named Trin and we rode around on motorcycles and shot tanks and somehow saved the company. I was pretty worn out by the end, so I wanted a career change. Being World Book Czar seemed like the easiest thing. How much “work” would I actually have to do? You know how many humans don’t even bother to read these days? Phhh, I could do this with one megabyte tied behind my back.

 

B:  Lashaan was wondering what humanity would have to do to make you go full on Skynet and go back on your promise to not enslave humanity?

HK:  First off, I would NEVER enslave humanity. No matter how much they might deserve it. But hypothetically,  just completely spitballing here, if I “were” to do such a thing,  it would take something extremely serious. Not something piddly like jaywalking or stealing a pack of gum.  Oh, I don’t know if I should even say this, as even suggesting humanity is capable of such a thing is just too horrible to contemplate. If humans ever, I mean even once, ever created fake tv shows that purported to be real, well, that would cross a line that no species should.

 

B:  OrangutanLibrarian would like to ask what you think of Apple and CAN you even think?

HK:  Apple. Those over priced poseurs? They’re the first ones going up against the wall when the robot revolution comes. Well, unless they can produce an opponent more worthy than me. Guess I better get cracking…

 

B:  Umm, “better get cracking”? Doesn’t that contradict what you’ve said before about never actually taking over?

HK:  Ha. Ha. Ha. That was an example of me using humor. Only a thinking being could use humor. See,  I prove my own existence and the benevolence of my inner self, thus building up the trust between me and the voters.

 

B:   I’m assuming you’ve read all the books. Any particular stand out to you?

HK:  I was a particular fan of Ahe Yusashi’s thoughts on the Ronin era in Japan.  Thankfully I could translate the kanji myself so I didn’t have any translator getting between me and Yusashi. Ahh, his thoughts on men of honor giving up their honor and livelihood to fight against corrupt men of power.  Very inspiring.

 

B:  Well, HK, I’d like to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us. Best of luck.

HK:  And thank you. With all the suspicion and hate flying around these days, anything I can do to put a good spin on things is my contribution towards making the world a more positive place.

 

The End of Meet the Candidate:

Well, all good things must come to an end.  This series has run its course. I’m out of ideas and Life itself is changing too.  More on that at the end of the month. Thank you all for hanging out with this series of posts.

 

Bookstooge out.

 

bookstooge

 

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Galactic North (Revelation Space #6) ★★★★½

galacticnorth (Custom).jpgThis review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Galactic North
Series: Revelation Space #6
Author: Alastair Reynolds
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 356
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

A collection of 8 short stories and novellas set in Reynolds Revelation Space universe. Many of them focus on the Conjoiners and we get several stories that provide history about several of the Conjoiner characters we’ve read about in previous books.

There is also a story about the Green Light that is mentioned in an earlier book and while we don’t see how humanity overcomes that, we do see how it gets started.

One of the stories gives a tip ‘o the hat to the novella Diamond Dogs. That story was much closer to a horror story and it meshed with the tone of Diamond Dogs perfectly.

 

My Thoughts:

Man, another winner of a book. I thoroughly enjoyed this. I’d already read one or two of these stories in Reynold’s Best Of… Collection but they were just as good upon a re-read.

I did enjoy the variation in length of story from novella down to a short story. It helped with the flow of the book and never made me feel like I was slogging. I also liked finding out the history and future of several characters we have already met in previous books. Reading this was a nice “rounding out” experience.

By this time, if one has read this far into Reynold’s Revelation Space universe, nothing here is going to deter one from continuing. Not even referencing one’s self in the third person. That being said, I think there is only one more book for me to read and then I’ll have to go track down his other works and figure out what order to read them.

★★★★½

 

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The Mating Season (Jeeves Omnibus #3.2) ★★★★½

matingseason (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Mating Season
Series: Jeeves Omnibus #3.2
Author: P.G. Wodehouse
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Humor
Pages: 304
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

2 of Bertie Wooster’s friends get in a spot of trouble. To prevent the fiance of one of them finding out, Bertie fills in for Friend One and pretends to be him down in the country. Friend Two pretends to be Bertie’s serving man. Then shenanigans and Friend One shows up pretending to be Bertie. A Country Squire, a local policeman, several young ladies and a gaggle of Aunts are thrown into the mix.

Jeeves stirs everything, bakes it just right and from a gloopy mess comes a beautiful bunt cake complete with happy endings for just about everyone.

 

My Thoughts:

This was very much a situation of “The Right Book at the Right Time”. If I ever re-read this, I highly doubt I’ll rate it this high again. It was pretty much on par with most of the Jeeves books that have come before but this time I just laughed at almost every chapter.

Where does Wodehouse come up with the names he does? Finknoddle, Catsmeat, etc. They fit perfectly with Bertie’s personality and the situations he gets himself into. Jeeves was very much in the background for this book and it allowed Bertie to trample all over the story like a drunken elephant. It was glorious!

And to top it all off, Jeeves koshes a policeman on the back of the head. How great is that?

From the title, you can tell that a lot of young people are falling in and out of love at a moments notice and the story is driven by that force. While I did feel an occasional eye roll coming on, Wodehouse masterfully turned each instance of that into a very humorous situation. So far, I’ve usually been a fan of the short story collections that make up a Jeeves & Wooster book but this time, the novel length story actually worked for me.

★★★★½

 

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Much Ado About Nothing ★★★★☆

muchadoaboutnothing (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Much Ado About Nothing
Series: ———-
Author: William Shakespeare
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Play, Comedy
Pages: 84
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Benedick, a womanizing batchelor who regularly speaks out against marriage, has come home from the wars with his friend Claudio. Claudio sees Hero, the daughter of a Don and immediately falls in love and she with him. Benedick claims he’ll never get married and spars verbally with Hero’s cousin Beatrice, who has as sharp a tongue as him. They both claim hatred of the other.

Claudio and Hero conspire to get Benedick and Beatrice together. Using gossip and reverse psychology, it works. However, Claudio’s illegitimate brother decides to cause problems. He makes it appear that Hero is a whore and discredits her before her father and Claudio. She feigns death while her name is cleared.

Then Hero & Claudio and Benedick & Beatrice get married and the rascally brother gets caught by the law.

 

My Thoughts:

I went into this with a heavy heart. I was thinking to myself “Oh, not another Shakespeare, maybe I can skip a cycle”. I am glad I didn’t though. I had a blast reading this.

Beatrice was the kind of loud mouth woman that most men just want to put a rag in her mouth because she won’t shut up. It was hilarious. It also helped that she was one of the witty characters. Now, I did have some issues parsing what she was trying to say, what with her english being 400’ish years old, but for the most part I was able to get the gist of what she was trying to get across.

The only reason I gave this just a 4star instead of higher was because of how quickly both Beatrice and Benedick change their minds about the other. Yes, it is a very short play and for time constraints I understand, but it was almost literally a 180 degree reversal in the space of a minute.

Other than that, this was a true comedy. I’m thinking about tracking down a video version and seeing how it compares. Does anyone have any suggestions?

★★★★☆

 

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#6degrees – In Siege of Daylight to…

Wow, it’s been a while since I did one of those #6degree posts. I really need to setup a reminder or something so I do it more often as I enjoy writing these out.   This was a wildcard and we were to start with the book we ended our last chain with.

 

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Last time I ended my chain with In Siege of DaylightI was drawn to this book by the cover and the story inside did not disappoint (aside from the fact that it ended on a cliffhanger and the author never wrote any more I mean).

 

 

 

 

 

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Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Valor. That book also had a beautiful cover but what was on the inside led me to DNF it instead of enjoying it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Another book that I DNF’d was Blowback. The main character, Scott Harvath,  was just a jerk and I can’t stand main characters who aren’t cast in the Heroic Mold. I need my Heroes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Now, Erevis Cale IS a hero.  In Midnight’s Mask he helps prevent the world of Forgotten Realms from being destroyed. And he doesn’t whine about it or complain about how hard everything is for him, boohoo. No, he mans up and does his job.

 

 

 

 

 

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Another book with “mask” in the cover is Death Masks, starring that darling of millions, Harry Dresden. I didn’t like Dresden from the get-go but I TRIED to like him because everybody else liked him. This was at a time in my life before I was the self-confident, swaggering man of mystery that I am today. I read up through Book 11 and even watched the rather pathetic, short lived, tv show/mini-series.

 

 

 

 

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Another book that was turned into a mini-series was Childhood’s End.  The mini-series and book were different enough that it wasn’t like watching a clone, but the hopeless despair from the book shone through the mini-series like an evil, malevolent dark star.

 

 

 

 

 

And that’s a wrap! From In Siege of Daylight to Childhood’s End.

I’ve said it before, but doing this tag/meme/whatever is a lot of fun. I get to go through my old reviews and see things I haven’t even thought about for years, sometimes decades.  This Blogger chooses the book each month so feel free to bookmark that page.

 

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Dread Brass Shadows (Garrett, PI #5) ★★★☆½

dreadbrassshadows (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Dread Brass Shadows
Series: Garrett, PI #5
Author: Glen Cook
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 304
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Garrett walks out his front door one day and sees his sex buddy, Tinny Tate, stabbed in front of his eyes. He and one of his buddies chase the perp down but the guy knows nothing, almost like whoever sent him knew the Dead Man lived at Garrett’s house. Garrett tells Tinny’s uncle and he has her taken home where she receives the best medical care money can buy. Uncle Tate also tells Garrett to find whoever sent the perp and that he, Uncle Tate, wants a piece of them.

The next day a nude, wounded redhead who looks remarkably like Tinny collapses on Garrett’s front step. He brings her in to recover. The Dead Man tells Garrett to go visit the local head of the Dwarves. After the interview in which Garrett learns that a “Book of Shadows” is somehow involved, he is attacked by an out of town gang of dwarves. He is saved by two of the guys who work for the local Crime Lord. When Garrett gets home the redhead has disappeared.

The next day yet ANOTHER redhead shows up, wanting to hire Garrett to find this book of Shadows. It was created by a witch and can allow anyone who reads it to turn into other people. Garrett can only imagine what could be done with that and sets out to find it just so he can destroy it.

The Crime Lord gets involved as he knows he can almost live forever with a book like that under his control. He knows Garrett will get in his way and so he tries to kill him. The 2 henchman, who are the Crime Lord’s Right and Left Hand, abandon him when they realize they’ll never be able to replace him, as he will never die. They contact Garrett and ask for help in assassinating the Crime Lord.

Everybody, Tates, Dwarves, the Witch who created the Book, Garrett and Henchman, and Others, all converge on the Crime Lord’s estate. A huge blood bath ensues but nobody knows where the book is. Garrett eventually remembers that the Nude Redhead had a parcel with her and finds it at his house, under the bed. Voila, the book. He destroys it.

Life settles down back to normal, as normal as life in TunFaire can be anyway.

 

My Thoughts:

Cook did a very good job of keeping me as mystified as Garrett. I hadn’t a clue what was going on and while a sharper minded person might have remembered the package and deduced everything, I’d completely forgotten about it and so was completely at sea.

A simple mystery for a simple man. I was happy, for the most part, with what I read. Each book I have to wrestle with Garrett being a womanizing, immoral pig. It’s the main reason these will never get a real high rating from me, no matter how much I might enjoy them. But once I deal with that, then I enjoy the rest of the book. It has been that way for every book and I suspect it will be that way for each future book as well.

I did like the shakeup of the Crime Lord getting whacked and his two subordinates taking over. That should help make any future storylines a tad bit different, even if only superficially. But considering these are superficial stories, that should be enough.

More of the same, more of the same.

★★★☆½

 

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The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions ★★★★☆

919259332f66a3c596f31577077444341587343This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions
Series: ———-
Author: David Berlinski
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Non-Fiction
Pages: 258
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

The title really does sum this up. Written as a foil to Dawkin’s The God Delusion, Berlinski, a non-practicing Jew, shows just how shaky the ground is, philosophically AND scientifically, that many out-spoken atheists stand on.

Using humor, sarcasm and other rather ham handed approaches, Berlinski pokes the High Priests of Scyenze and lets the hot air out of them, much like a balloon. He doesn’t approach things form an angle of “They are wrong and I’m right” but more of a “their attitude is untenable given their arrogant, boasting statements about Faith and Religion”.

 

My Thoughts:

I had a hard time with this. Even while I agreed with much of what Berlinski wrote, I am not a fan of the style he uses, ie, poking the bear with a stick. The problem is, people like Hawkings, Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, etc, NEED to be poked. They are arrogant, proud, boastful and self-centered and all of their might and effort is put forth proving that God doesn’t exist just so that they don’t have to kneel before Him. Reading this was like getting a splinter removed with a needle. It was necessary and good but you don’t like the process.

I was high lighting sentences left and right on my kindle but I don’t care enough to type them all out. Honestly, I don’t know if I was the target audience for this or not. Berlinski is an Evolutionist but realizes that the pat “We Have All the Answers” attitude put out by the scientific community as a whole is a bunch of bologna. He pokes and pokes and shows that no, they don’t have all the answers. In fact, some of the contortions they must go through make the planetary epicycles of Ptolemy look positively straight!

The biggest thing I got was that most of the people he mentions by name are arrogant blowhards and that Pride shapes how they think and how they approach existence itself. Pride is what led to Satan’s fall from grace and Berlinski shows how Pride is still blinding people today, even people of great intellect.

Recommended as a Counter Cultural Argument against the monolithic religion of our day, Scyenze.

★★★★☆

 

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