Archive for Geek Culture & Tech
I am so happy that I finally managed to reach my yearly goal of reading 50 books. I read almost 25,000 pages of science fiction and fantasy in 2015. Shit, I’m such a geek. Ladies and gentlemen… my own personal Hugo Awards for books I read this year.
The Best Three Books I Read in 2014
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Simple, beautiful book that everyone should read. It made me cry.
A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge
Super amazing book, beautiful plot, genius science.
The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
This series should be a classic. It’s very well written, the characters are so rich, and the plots are fun.
The Worst Three
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
The Elric Saga by Moorcock, Michael
Among Others by Jo Walton
I hated hating this one, because I love Jo Walton’s articles.
Books I Couldn’t Complete
Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
I’ve never been able to finish any of his books.
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
Sorry, Ray! This was awful.
Shards of Honour by Lois Bujold
I’ve heard so much about the Vorkosigan Saga and I was so excited to read it… unfortunately, the books are crap.
Gateway by Fredrik Pohl
It could have been a very good book, but it was empty.
Gardens of the Moon by Erikson, Steven
I’ve been looking forward to this one for years.
Most Creative Plot
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
I really enjoyed this classic — scary, fun, and fast-paced.
A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge
Loved this one.
All the Books I Read in 2014
- The Book of the New Sun by Wolfe, Gene
- Flowers for Algernon by Keyes, Daniel
- Sunshine by McKinley, Robin
- The Road by McCarthy, Cormac
- The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower, #1) by King, Stephen
- Magician's Gambit (The Belgariad, #3) by Eddings, David
- Cat's Cradle by Vonnegut, Kurt
- Shards of Honour (Vorkosigan Saga, #1) by Bujold, Lois McMaster *
- Queen of Sorcery (The Belgariad, #2) by Eddings, David
- A Fire Upon the Deep (Zones of Thought, #1) by Vinge, Vernor
- Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Clarke, Susanna
- A Deepness in the Sky (Zones of Thought, #2) by Vinge, Vernor
- Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera, #1) by Butcher, Jim
- Among Others by Walton, Jo
- First Lord's Fury (Codex Alera, #6) by Butcher, Jim
- Cursor's Fury (Codex Alera, #3) by Butcher, Jim
- A Spell for Chameleon (Xanth, #1) by Anthony, Piers
- Captain's Fury (Codex Alera, #4) by Butcher, Jim
- Princeps' Fury (Codex Alera, #5) by Butcher, Jim
- Academ's Fury (Codex Alera, #2) by Butcher, Jim
- Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2) by Gabaldon, Diana *
- Outlander (Outlander, #1) by Gabaldon, Diana *
- Gardens of the Moon (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1) by Erikson, Steven
- The Gods Themselves by Asimov, Isaac
- World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Brooks, Max
- Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle, #1) by Paolini, Christopher
- Eldest (The Inheritance Cycle, #2) by Paolini, Christopher
- Brisingr (The Inheritance Cycle, #3) by Paolini, Christopher *
- Inheritance (The Inheritance Cycle, #4) by Paolini, Christopher
- The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next, #1) by Fforde, Jasper
- Cryptonomicon by Stephenson, Neal
- The Martian Chronicles by Bradbury, Ray
- The Elric Saga Part I (Elric Saga, #1-3) by Moorcock, Michael
- The Magicians (The Magicians, #1) by Grossman, Lev
- The Magician King (The Magicians, #2) by Grossman, Lev
- The Magician's Land (The Magicians, #3) by Grossman, Lev
- Taliesin (The Pendragon Cycle #1) by Lawhead, Stephen R.
- The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1) by Dashner, James
- The Death Cure (Maze Runner, #3) by Dashner, James
- The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, #2) by Dashner, James
- Merlin (The Pendragon Cycle, #2) by Lawhead, Stephen R.
- A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #1) by L'Engle, Madeleine
- Arthur (The Pendragon Cycle #3) by Lawhead, Stephen R.
- The Blade Itself (The First Law, #1) by Abercrombie, Joe
- Before They Are Hanged (The First Law, #2) by Abercrombie, Joe
- Last Argument of Kings (The First Law #3) by Abercrombie, Joe
- Prince Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles #11) by Anne Rice
- The Andromeda Strain by Crichton, Michael
- Gateway (Heechee Saga, #1) by Pohl, Frederik
- Darkover Landfall (Darkover #1) by Marion Zimmer Bradley
The only sort of nursery rhymes that my kids are gonna hear.
NASA recently published this beautiful image of the sun. It’s the most sensitive shot ever taken in the high-energy X-ray range of the spectrum.
Look at the beautiful days:
This is really cool because the new telescope has the potential to capture hypothesized nanoflares — smaller versions of the sun’s giant flares that erupt with charged particles and high-energy radiation. Nanoflares, should they exist, may explain why the sun’s outer atmosphere, called the corona, is sizzling hot, a mystery called the “coronal heating problem.”
The corona is, on average, 1 million degrees Celsius, while the surface of the sun is much cooler at a measly 6,000 degrees Celsius. It is like a flame coming out of an ice cube.
Words are eternal, but movies are not.
A few days ago, I watched what may very likely be my last visual and auditory experience in Middle Earth, with the final hobbit installment. What a sad day!
I’ve loved JRR Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” (LOTR) well before Peter Jackson’s excellent movies came out. I read every word, fell in love with the characters, and enjoyed the epicness. I’ve read LOTR several times in my life, enjoying it wholeheartedly each time. It never gets boring, it never gets old.
When I was 16, the first Peter Jackson LOTR movie came out, and it was unfathomable: the movies were AS GOOD AS THE BOOKS. That’s insane, because movies are almost never as good as the book, especially when the book is amazing as LOTR.
Yet, Peter’s rendition of Middle Earth was beautiful. He managed to change the way I imagine elves, men, and orcs, in a way that other movies have not (Harry Potter characters for example do not look like they do in the movies in my mind, nor does “The Game of Thrones”, or “True Blood”).
Peter’s Middle Earth is a perfect imagining. The sounds are perfect. The outfits are perfect. The acting is perfect.
I’m so sad it’s done, because with it’s end, it died. I tried to rewatch LOTR a few days ago. You can see the green screen :) Movies die, but Peter’s characters will never die, as far as I’m concerned.
Goodbye, Elve. Goodbye, Orc. Goodbye, Man.
Terraforming, human-powered flying, basking in the light of Saturn… here’s a very beautiful short movie with Carl Sagan’s voice.