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Steven Hanley hackergotchi picture Steven
Hanley

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email: sjh@svana.org

web: http://svana.org/sjh

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Fri, 20 Mar 2009

My geek credentials in question - 17:38
I have been rereading some of my Terry Pratchet Discworld books the last few weeks and I realised I have not read some of those I am likely to enjoy. Vimes and watch books tend to be my favourite and yet I do not have Thud! or Night Watch and have not read them. Others I expect I would like that I do not have are Making Money (I liked Going Postal so expect I will enjoy this), Thief of Time and Interesting Times and the two alternate format books Faust Eric and The Last Hero.

I own two of the witch books but have never yet been able to read more than the first few pages without getting bored and putting them down, so I doubt I have any interest in those I do not have. Anyway thinking I should attempt to rectify this lack of ownership involving some good Pratchett books I headed out to Canty's second hand book shop in Fyshwick today to see if they had any of those I do not have to buy. Alas it seems their Pratchett stocks were low as only two of the YA books were there and nothing else. I guess it is probably time to trawl through some of the other second hand book shops in Canberra, if only I can find the time.

I wonder if my geek credentials should be called into question for not having them all?

[/leisure/books] link

Wed, 25 Feb 2009

Stardust comparison - 10:56
I have often said how I am a huge fan of Neil Gaiman, when the Stardust movie was released I went to see it and loved it, however I had never read the book. I bought the book just before Christmas (not the illustrated one) and this week finally got around to reading it. Last night I read until I finished and was up too late to get up at 5:30am to head out for the road ride.

It is interesting to see how much the stories diverge in places and yet how they tell the same story well and also how good they both are. The stories are different and the movie definitely has a slightly more Hollywood sort of end. The book, though short, provides a lot of detail that can back up the movie well, it also deals with conflicts differently. I also think it makes more sense at the end how Tristran and Yvaine travel together (although the movie does not explicitly say that did not happen, so again it is just an extra detail that may not have made sense squeezing it into the movie.

The flying ship is not quite such a large part of the book, however I think that is partly because they had Robert Deniro in the movie and wanted to do a lot more with him. Anyway I love both the book and the movie and recommend them both highly as good entertainment.

[/leisure/books] link

Tue, 16 Dec 2008

Yay for international book purchases. - 15:29
After reading Little Brother recently I was keen to buy a copy. I also wanted to get hold of the Last Watch book by Sergei Lukyanenko, and I had been keen on getting Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book. However of those three only The Graveyard Book was available in Australia already. The Watch book did not get released in the US when it was supposed to, however I discovered it had been released in the UK. The other books were also available there. So i made an order with Amazon UK to get those three books, and while buying from there anyway I also got a copy of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

I was happy today to receive all of these books in the mail at work, yay some good reading, some fantastic food and hopefully some more things to keep my mind occupied at the moment. Once again showing it would be so much nicer if things were released internationally at the same time so I could have bought them locally.

[/leisure/books] link

Tue, 18 Nov 2008

Dinner reading, that got extended - 10:11
For a while now I have been meaning to read the Cory Doctrow book Little Brother, it is not yet available in Australia (being released in January next year) and I was not sure enough I wanted it to get it from Amazon. Fortunately for me Cory has it available for download so you can make your mind up. I decided to open it and read a bit while I ate dinner last night.

I ended up finishing the book (fortunately a light read), I have to say it really is good, highly entertaining, realistic in that you can see how that situation could already happen in the world, and though I am a computer geek and thus aware of the technologies discussed I have to agree that it is well presented and can inform a huge number of people about what they can do with computers (and what is done by authorities) if they just sit down and read the book.

I want to buy a book that is being released on Amazon on November 25, so I am now happy to say I can add a copy of Little Brother to the order when I make it. Sure the book is apparently a Young Adult novel, however as is so often the case (Neil Gaiman's recently released The Graveyard Book for example) a so called youth aimed book may still offer many delights and interesting content to anyone who reads it.

Thanks Cory for a entertaining and informative tale.

[/leisure/books] link

Wed, 02 Jul 2008

The Shadow of the Wind - 18:10
I have not had much time to read books in the last month, however just before Geoquest someone handed me a copy of the Carlos Ruiz Zafon book The Shadow of the Wind suggesting that it is a good read. I had some spare time up at Geoquest to sit and read it in the sunshine however did not finish the book until this week, I have been home sick on Monday and Wednesday (today) this week so apart from sleeping I also finished reading the book.

I like this book a lot, I do not notice any clumsiness in language or similar that can sometimes appear in translated works. The story is rather interesting, Daniel and all the people surrounding him constantly have new facets open up concerning their characters. I also think it shows some interesting aspects of Barcelona, though I have not been there so do not know how accurate the depictions are. The book with in a book aspects in the story are also interesting, and I like the concept of the cemetery of forgotten books. Definitely a good read, and though I may be tempted I had better not spoil any of the story for anyone who may read it.

[/leisure/books] link

Wed, 30 Apr 2008

Spoilerriffic - 22:06
So this may not be the best character trait, and admittedly I may only be posting this on the off chance I can up my posts for the month before tomorrow. I am somewhat addicted to spoilers, I am happy to go around reading TWOP or similar before shows air here. When reading books or other things with endings off in the distance I have been known to skip ahead to find out how things end before going back to reading through the entire book.

I realised this once more tonight as I was reading something new, I am trying to fight the urge to skim ahead, I want to find out something about a character, and yet I know I should simply continue reading in a linear fashion. Interestingly I generally do not mind spoiling the ending for myself, however I often want to share, my sister and others have to remind me not to from time to time. A simple warning, if I ever start to tell you some ending early, remind me not to.

[/leisure/books] link

Mon, 24 Dec 2007

Longer wait than anticipated - 23:00
Well it appears there are hints of the English translation of the 4th Watch series book by Sergei Lukyanenko appearing on Amazon and a few other places. Alas it appears the translation will not be out in January. Instead it looks like we will have to wait until July for the paperback (strangely it seems the hardback will be released later in August).

I guess on the plus side there are also rumours around that he may write another novel in the series after the 4th, though waiting for English translation will extend that out even further.

[/leisure/books] link

Sun, 04 Nov 2007

It almost makes me want to learn Russian - 18:50
Though I have not seen the movies yet, a few of my friends have told me the movies Night Watch and Day Watch are pretty good. So instead of seeing the movies I went out and purchased the three books Night Watch, Day Watch, Twilight Watch and read them. Unfortunately the fourth book in the series is not yet released in English, as I suggest in the post title, it almost makes you want to learn Russian. Though there are no release dates I can find record of, I suspect the translation of Final Watch will be released in January (matching up with the every 6 months schedule of the last three books), I had better wait for that as it will be easier than learning a Language <g>.

These are really good books, fascinating use of magic and mythical creatures in modern society. No idea what makes me like them so much but I did, one thing I find strange is the marketing blurb on them all suggesting it is like JK Rowling in a Russian setting. I have to say, it really isn't. Sure the marketing is probably just trying to convince more people to buy it, however the focus of the books is more adult as are the themes and stuff happening in them. Though they may suit readers of Rowling it is obviously not a direct overlap, as I personally do not find the Harry Potter series hard to put down. Though I have all but the final book in the Harry Potter series in my possession, and have had them all for most of the year, I have still only read the first 4 books (I read these 3 or 4 years ago borrowing them from a friend) and do not feel a strong need or inclination to finish them at the moment.

On the other hand I rushed through the three watch books in less than two weeks. No idea what this says, but I do think they are a great read.

Looking at the wikipedia entries about the films I am a little disturbed by how much they appear to actually differ to the text of Night Watch, however I suspect treating them as related but seperate works would mean they will still be good to see.

[/leisure/books] link

Wed, 19 Apr 2006

Women in a blokes world - 17:32
Interesting, Stewart is discussing movies in which women dress up as guys. I have not seen the movies so can not comment, however it reminded me of a book I saw an article about linked from kottke late in March. The article in the Guardian, Double Agent, touched on parts of the Norah Vincent book Self-Made Man: One Woman's Journey into Manhood and Back

Norah, a journalist, dressed up as a guy for 18 months and wrote a book about the experience. Including going bowling with the blokes as a guy activity, and even dating women during the time. I am keen to read this book sometime just to see the more detailed reasoning behind her so called newfound respect for blokey blokes if nothing else. It does sound like a strange but likely fascinating read though.

[/leisure/books] link

Tue, 19 Jul 2005

Neil Gaiman Live - 20:21
Tonight I attended the Neil Gaiman lecture in MCCT1 at ANU. I found out about it from his Journal as part of his current world tour (this being the Australian Leg) promoting Mirrormask and Anansi Boys.

I took along some of my Sandman books and my copy of Neverwhere for the signing, however in the end decided not to wait around (there were around 400 people in he theatre for the event and most of them subsequently lined up for the signing). Right now I am a few hundred metres away back in my office as there is a bit left to get finished at work just now.

As for the lecture, Neil is a fantastic sort of guy I reckon. One of my favourite writers, and this being the first time I have seen him speak I am happy to say he comes across well in real life. He opened by playing the Mirrormask trailer and then some other Mirrormask items. The movie looks like it will be a good watch. Apparently Sony has not committed to a release in Australia, if you want to see it here you may want to write a letter to Sony. Of course when it is release it may be enough to simply buy the DVD from Amazon or similar. Some of the questions the audience members asked were also pretty good, I at least not not feel too embarrassed by my co inhabitants here in Canberra.

Rock on Neil.

[/leisure/books] link

Tue, 22 Mar 2005

More Earthsea books - 17:54
Yay, I just found out there are some more books in the Earth Sea Trilogy by Ursula K Leguin. Rather fittingly I found out about the 5th and 6th books in the "Trilogy" after reading some stuff about The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (another well known "Trilogy") on Wikipedia and linking through to the BBC h2g2 site and finding some stuff about fiction books.

I already have the first 4 books in the Earth Sea Trilogy, the last 2 definitely look like they would be worth getting hold of.

[/leisure/books] link

Wed, 09 Feb 2005

More Neal Stephenson - 21:44
To go with the rather good Stephenson interview on Slashdot a while back, BoingBoing just had a link to another pretty good Stephenson interview, this time talking a fair bit about how the public may perceive "The Baroque Cycle", and some other stuff too.

Thinking about it I really should try to borrow copies of that series and read them sometime.

In other unrelated stuff on the Interweb thingy, Kottke had a link to an amusing poem, I Ate iPod Shuffle, in loving memory of the cautionary note that was for a time at the bottom of the Apple iPod Shuffle page "2. Do not eat iPod shuffle.".

[/leisure/books] link

Thu, 06 Jan 2005

Neverwhere - 11:15
I finished reading the Neil Gaiman book Neverwhere last night. I loved the book, of course I should not be surprised by this as most of the stuff Neil writes is brilliant. The book was written after the screenplay for a mini series that aired on BBC in the 90's, DVD's of this series are available and I would love to watch it if anyone has them.

The story was based on the idea of a different almost medieval sort of underground society in London, where people in the western society living above ground don't see or know anything about the other society. The story set interesting and entertaining characters in some familiar places and some unfamiliar places and an adventure unfolded when a man from London above got caught up in London Below. I am hooked (I already own some of the Sandman collected editions) I should go buy myself a copy of American Gods now I suppose, oh and a new copy of Good Omens (by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett) as Maxine managed to remove (never to be seen again) the first 50 or so pages making it a little harder to reread.

Who am I kidding, like Michael I suffer from Book Addiction, and am lucky to walk out of good book shops with any money remaining.

[/leisure/books] link


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