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Rick W. - Reviews

1 to 6 of 6
The Atrocity Archives (Laundry Files, Bk 1)
The Atrocity Archives (Laundry Files, Bk 1)
Author: Charles Stross
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 24
Review Date: 5/28/2011


Absolutely loved this book, reminded me of the first Dresden book (the only one I've read in that series so far) except I liked the scientific bent of Stross instead of the fantasy bent of Butcher.


Foundation (Foundation Series, Book 1)
Foundation (Foundation Series, Book 1)
Author: Isaac Asimov
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 67
Review Date: 4/1/2014


I really enjoyed this book and feel bad that it took me over two weeks to read it. It's not a slow read at all, I just kept letting myself get distracted by other activities when I should have plowed through it in about 4-5 days.

Anyway the book itself started off quite slowly for me, for some reason the first ten pages just dragged along. Then it picked up and as the story advanced forward in time in big jumps I was really getting into it. My favorite line in the book has to be Mayor Salvor Hardin: "To succeed, planning alone is insufficient. One must improvise as well." I think my favorite aspect of the book was seeing characters like Hardin and Mallow in one chapter, then appearing again farther along in time in the next, typically playing a similar but not identical role.

I am embarrased that I've been reading science fiction for over 30 years and hadn't read Foundation until now. I knew it was a classic but the synopsis just never grabbed me. I have been reading more books suggested by my groups on Goodreads in the last year or so which includes reading I, Robot directly before Foundation. This one was interesting enough and left off at a good place in the story arc that I will definitely read the next volume.


I, Robot
I, Robot
Author: Isaac Asimov
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 251
Review Date: 3/12/2014
Helpful Score: 2


I am a little disappointed in myself that I hadn't read this book until now (since I have been reading sci-fi for 30 years). On its own it is very well written except for a few pieces of stilted dialogue. The characterization was amazing for a set of short stories and the stories tied together nicely.

As someone with a very analytical mind I loved how each story boiled down to figuring out how the Three Laws were interacting and causing unexpected behavior in the various robots. I really like the concept of robopsychology as a discipline but wonder if it could exist outside of a world with such strong restrictions placed on all robot brains.

The fact that these stories were written between 1940 and 1950 makes them all the more intriguing to me. I am impressed that Asimov wrote about hyperspace travel and elegantly wove it into a story.

If you saw the Will Smith movie of the same title but haven't read the book then do yourself a favor: read the book and pretend the movie had a different title since they have nothing in common but the Three Laws of Robotics. The movie was a simple murder mystery but the book is a rich history of a world that might have been.


Leviathan (Leviathan, Bk 1)
Leviathan (Leviathan, Bk 1)
Author: Scott Westerfeld, Keith Thompson (Illustrator)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 28
Review Date: 2/2/2014
Helpful Score: 1


My overall opinion on this book is that the intriguing Darwinist faction is interesting enough to more than compensate for the typical YA (young adult) plot dvice of the teenage protagonist who just might save the day.

I also enjoyed how many historically accurate facts were used verbatim or as a direct inspiration for events in the book. The afterword was fascinating as the author described the way in which he integrated history into his writing.

I will definitely put aside my dislike of typical YA writing to read the rest of the trilogy.


Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions
Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions
Author: Neil Gaiman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 173
Review Date: 5/28/2011


Great book, I especially appreciated the short history about how each story came about.


Snow Crash
Snow Crash
Author: Neal Stephenson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 257
Review Date: 10/27/2010


Excellent book, I can't believe I never got around to reading it until now. Great cyberpunk, I enjoyed it just as much as early William Gibson but Stephenson puts his own spin on the theme to make it distinct from Gibson. Highly recommended, I think that I will keep this one to re-read every few years.


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