The Three-Body Problem
(Remembrance of Earth’s Past #1)
by Liu Cixin (2014)
Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion.
An English translation by Ken Liu was published by Tor Books. It won the 2015 Hugo Award for Best Novel and was nominated for the 2014 Nebula Award for Best Novel.
I’m not sure what all the fuss is about. The translation is well done, Liu’s prose has a nice flow and is easy to real. The first problem is that it’s just too slowly paced. Things take too long to get going. The second problem it the rather tough beginning for the main character. The third problem is … where is the science fiction. Is this a book about just about oppression ?
In the end I stopped reading after getting a quarter of the way through.
Mary Frances “Debbie” Reynolds
(April 1, 1932 – December 28, 2016)
(mother of Carrie Fisher)
Carrie Frances Fisher
(October 21, 1956 to December 27, 2016)
(Star Wars: The Old Republic, #2)
by Paul S. Kemp (2011)
The second novel introduces the Sith warrior Darth Malgus.
Malgus brought down the Jedi Temple on Coruscant in a brutal assault that shocked the galaxy. But if war crowned him the darkest of Sith heroes, peace would transform him into something far more heinous—something Malgus would never want to be, but cannot stop, any more than he can stop the rogue Jedi fast approaching.
Another decent story, only loosely related to the previous book. Well done, it ramps up slowly to final confrontations but still delivers some unexpected twists.
(Star Wars: The Old Republic, #1)
by Drew Karpyshyn (2001)
Revan: hero, traitor, conqueror, villain, savior. A Jedi who left Coruscant to defeat Mandalorians and returned a disciple of the dark side, bent on destroying the Republic. The Jedi Council gave Revan his life back, but the price of redemption was high. His memories have been erased. All that’s left are nightmares and deep, abiding fear.
A good, but not extraordinary story of Jedi vs Sith. Based on the Bioware games I have not played
Not quite the North Pole, but ‘Break My Fucking Sky‘ comes from Russia and appears to be part of a large amount of music coming from this country recently.
The music ranges from ambient to chamber jazz and post rock, all done in the best possible taste (despite the band’s name).
Fields of Venus
by 10 Waves Of You (2015)
10 Waves is Luca Crivellaro, making music in Vigevano (Italy).
Best described as post-rock, but incorporating styles of ambient, Space rock and electronica. Somehow combining these elements in a unique way, this becomes a modern gem of recording.
Steve Lawson is a solo bassist. He uses lots of loops and layering to create solo albums. He also has collaborations, most notably with singer Lobelia.
The music is mostly laid-back almost chill-out style. No flashy fast fingering here, there is more emphasis on melody than rhythm.
There is lots of music on his bandcamp site, accessed through his web page.
(Star Wars: Darth Maul #2)
by Michael Reaves (2001)
For the infamous, power-hungry Sith, beholden to the dark side, the time has come to rise again.
After years of waiting in the shadows, Darth Sidious is taking the first step in his master plan to bring the Republic to its knees. Key to his scheme are the Neimoidians of the Trade Federation. Then one of his Neimoidian contacts disappears, and Sidious does not need his Force-honed instincts to suspect betrayal. He orders his apprentice, Darth Maul, to hunt the traitor down.
What I liked about this book was that it was unpredictable. It’s set before the events of ‘The Phantom Menace’, so we know that Darth Maul has to survive . But what about the Jedi and other participants. Will they survive ?
The plot twists and turns to keep you guessing right up to the end.