Archive for April, 2009

Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome

Posted on 29 April 2009. Filed under: Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , |

Originally published in 1889, Three Men In a Boat, is a wonderful tongue-in-cheek narrative of a voyage up the Thames. So many things go wrong, occasionally things go right, but most of all it is the way it is written that makes this book the wonderful book it is.

Warnings:

Laughter may happen at any time
No swear words
No referrals to sex of any kind
Lots of meals, some cooked by the three men and rejected by the dog.

Currently for sale on the Suz’s Space website.

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Get Smart Books

Posted on 27 April 2009. Filed under: Collections | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Lots of people remember Get Smart. Bumbling Agent 86 and Gorgeous Agent 99. Talk about a great combination and they always managed to foil KAOS despite everything. One thing I didn’t know about Get Smart was that William Johnston wrote a series of books about his adventures. I found one by accident and giggled my way through it only to discover I had to have the rest. While not as good as the series they are still very funny and I now have four of them…actually, maybe it’s only two as my kids have also read them and bought two of them.

I’ll finish with an ethical question. If I’ve bought two of the books and my kids have bought two, does that mean they’re all mine? Do I have to collect the same titles to say they’re really mine or does just having them in the house count? I await your discussion. The funniest will win a 20% discount from the Suz’s Space website.  You have two weeks from today to give me your thoughts.

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Dragons of the Highlord Skies – Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Posted on 25 April 2009. Filed under: Book Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Dragonlance
The Lost Chronicles, Volume Two
Dragons of the Highlord Skies by Margaret Weis and Tracey Hickman

The Lost Chronicles series is an informal sequel to the Dragonlance Chronicles that reveals untold tales from the original, classic epic. So much for the brief synopsis I pinched from the dustjacket.

This is a series of three books published in one volume written from the point of view of three Solamnic Knights and also the view of Kitiara. We see her riding Skie, the blue dragon and how she gets the support of Lord Soth. We understand how she has risen so far and why she is so great. We begin to understand some of the problems Sturm had in Solamnia and see some knights following the The Measure to the letter and how much trouble it gets them into which is shown in other books.

I was so excited to read this book. Most of the books I’ve read recently have been mysteries, biographies or autobiographies. While I love reading about other people and what they’ve done with their lives, my first love is fantasy while my second is science fiction. While reading this book, I felt I was home again.

What I loved about it. There’s so much I loved and so much is unquantifiable that it’s hard to know where to start. I think I need to start with Dragonlance. I actually don’t like the whole of Dragonlance. I really only like the stories with certain characters, such as Tanis, Raistlin, Caramon, Tasslehof, Kitiara, Flint, Sturm and any of their close friends. It’s hard to know why, but my guess is because they are so well drawn and each one has flaws just like people in real life. Except, Tas, of course, who is just perfect as he is and has absolutely no flaws whatsoever, or so he’d have you believe.

I liked being able to see how the details in these books dovetailed with some of the other books. We get to see the opposition’s point of view with the assassination of Verminaard and how that changed their strategy for the war along with several other points that dovetail very nicely.

It is fabulous being able to actually see Kitiara from her mind and not through Tanis’ eyes. He is very biased about her and this shows her as she truly is, a really formidable character.

One of the parts I like the most is seeing Laurana mature and take her own part in the destiny of Krynn, rather than remaining a hanger-on and being in the way. In the early books and throughout most of these, she is just there getting in the way, but this shows the beginning of her journey of self discovery which is continued in Dragons of Spring Dawning.

What I didn’t like about it. That’s an easy one. I borrowed it from the library at the same time as an Andre Norton and there’s just not enough time in three weeks to read both books properly, especially as they’re both three-parters. I totally overestimated the amount of time I’d have to read.

Warnings:
This is Dragonlance, how many warnings do you need about blood, gore and violence?

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Thank you to the MSFC for a fabulous Minicon!!!

Posted on 23 April 2009. Filed under: Conventions I've attended | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The MSFC (Melbourne Science Fiction Club) ran a fabulous Minicon last Saturday. If you run or are a member of a science fiction club in Melbourne then you should have been there. If you’re not a member of a science fiction club and want to consider joining one you should have been there and if you’re just interested in science fiction then you should have been there. Basically, it was a must attend event for all interested in science fiction.

I was there selling books. I had a table full of Science Fiction and Fantasy magaines, Fantastic Stories, If Science Fiction and some Analogue magazines. On my right was a man selling off some of his Star Wars collection, on my left was the Doctor Who Fan Club of Victoria. We also had SpacedOut, the Australian Science Fiction Foundation, Austrek, Scienceworks, Andromeda Spaceways In Flight Magazine, Slow Glass books and maybe Star Walking, but I don’t recall seeing them.

I’ll expand on these clubs at a later date and try and get a representative to come along and talk about their club as well.

I had a fabulous time. I was in the perfect position to see and hear the Guest of Honour, Kim Westwood, the author of The Daughters of Moab. She read parts of her book and also answered questions. I think she asked more questions than she answered. I’ll be adding this book to my reading list and you’ll see a review in due course.

I’m not excited by Trivia Quizes and tend not to join in. I was able to watch from my table and listen to people answering the questions very loudly and very wrongly in order to put off their opponents. The answer ’42’ came up many times. There was much laughter and hilarity. I was very surprised to find I could answer many more questions than usual. I’m sure that’s due to my knowledge and not the simplicity of the questions. It was great fun.

The MSFC run one of these every year. Situated in a church hall in Brunswick the cost is low and the fun level is high. Put it in your calendar for next year to check out their website before April so you don’t miss it. Better yet, join the MSFC so you know exactly what is happening. Here’s the url for you: http://msfc.sf.org.au

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