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Digital Divide

Embarrassing confession time: from time to time people have sent me books to read in my spare time and I accept them, despite knowing I never get around to reading books in my spare time because I try hard never to have spare time. NEVER. I have had a e-copy of A Digital Divide long enough to misplace it (I bought a new copy, along with a couple of other Spangler books) and I never got around to reading it because I am a terrible person.

Spangler is probably best known for A Girl and Her Fed, which shares a universe with this novel. As it happens, I've never read A Girl and her Fed so any elements that would leap out at a fan of that strip were missed by me.

My impression is the author was concerned the memespace for her book would be filled by the doomed Fox show Almost Human, which to be honest I thought was going to be the inferior Yank rip-off of Äkta människor but which seems to have been closer to the inferior rip-off of Holmes & Yoyo played straight. In any case, the doomed Fox show Almost Human is both dead in the water and also not much like Digital Divide at all. For one thing, I'd actually recommend Digital Divide.

Rachel Peng is an Office of Adaptive and Complementary Enhancement Technologies Agent, one of the lucky few who gained abilities beyond those of mundane humans thanks to a very high tech implant and the only cost was half a decade of having her mind and identity ripped apart thanks to some misleadingly documented features of the implant.
Read more... )
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Within a few decades, solar technology will evolve to the point where power is endless . . . unless someone wants to stop the flow—which someone does.

And the only men who can stop these high-tech terrorists are on horseback.

In the near future, the New Las Vegas Sunfield will be one of many enormous solar farms to supply energy to the United States. At more than fifty miles long and two miles wide, the Sunfield generates an electromagnetic field so volatile that ordinary machinery and even the simplest electronic devices must be kept miles away from it. Thus, the only men who can guard the most technologically advanced power station on earth do so on horseback.

They are the Outriders.

Though the power supplied by the Sunfield is widespread, access to that power comes with total deference to the iron-fisted will of New Las Vegas’s ruthless mayor, Franklin Dreg. Crisis erupts when Dreg’s quietly competent secretary, Timothy Hale, discovers someone has been stealing energy—siphoning it out of the New Las Vegas grid under cover of darkness.

As the Outriders investigate, the scale of the thievery becomes clear: these aren’t the ordinary energy leeches, people who steal a few watts here or there. These are high-tech terrorists (or revolutionaries) engaged in a mysterious and dangerous enterprise and poised to bring down the entire energy grid, along with the millions of people it supports.

The pressure mounts and fractures appear within both the political leadership of New Las Vegas and in the tight-knit community of Outriders. With a potential crisis looming, the mysterious goal of the “Drainers” finally comes into focus. Only then do the Outriders realize how dangerous the situation really is.

Stealing solar power at night? That's a plan so cunning you could stick a tail on it and call it a weasel!

Oddly, this is the second SF novel I have run into that features a highly centralized solar power scheme (the other one also included 40,000 km long extension cord).
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)

A young lady walks by, who you find sexually attractive. You're probably not clever enough to come up with an original thought, so the only remaining option is to yell out at her, like you are not a smart person. Should you do it?

A flow chart.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
Red Planet

1949's Red Planet takes us to a Mars far more habitable than the real one, an inviting if challenging world whose ancient civilization seems to have little issue sharing Mars with a handful of human colonists from Earth. Changes are coming for the colonists, changes that will cast a stark light on the assumptions the humans have about their hosts.

Read more... )
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I think I saw the point in the play at which Shakespeare suddenly realized Regan and Goneril were more sympathetic than Lear.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)

The Steerswoman Quartet                             Acquired          Posted            
The Long Run                                        Acquired          Posted                                
Riddlemaster of Hed                                 Acquired          Posted 
Voyage of the Shadowmoon                            none              Posted
Footfall                                            Acquired          Posted 
Max Gladstone's Trilogy                             Acquired          Posted
Wheel of the Infinite                               Acquired          Posted
A Desert of Stars                                   Acquired          Posted
KJ Parker's Shadow                                  Acquired          Posted       
Geraldine Harris's Seven Citadels quartet           Acquired          Posted
Rocket Ship Galileo                                 Acquired          Posted
Lucifer's Hammer                                    Acquired          Posted
KJ Parker Pattern                                   Acquired          Posted
KJ Parker's Memory                                  Acquired          Posted
Rocket Ship Galileo                                 Acquired          Posted
Space Cadet                                         Acquired           Posted 
Search for the Star Stones (Norton)      Ross Smith Acquired          Posted
Red Planet                                          Acquired          Posted
Digital Divide,                                     Acquired          Posted

Heinlein Juveniles                                  Acquired
Sewer, Gas and Electric                             Acquired
Ash (Mary Gentle)                                   Foraging
Another Parker                                      Foraging
Golden Witchbreed (Mary Gentle)                     Acquired
The Russians Came Knocking,                         Acquired
Maker Space.                                        Acquired
Kathleen O'Neal Gear Powers of Light trilogy        Acquired
Them Bones                                          Acquired
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone
Footfall by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
Two Serpents Rise: A Novel of the Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone
Wheel of the Infinite by Martha Wells
Full Fathom Five: A Novel of the Craft Sequence by Max Gladstone
The Desert of Stars - A Human Reach Novel by John J. Lumpkin
Sight of Proteus by Charles Sheffield
Seven Citadels: by Geraldine Harris
Cage on the Sea by Kaoru Ohno
Shadow: Book One of the Scavenger Trilogy by K.J. Parker
Rocket Ship Galileo by Robert A. Heinlein
Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
On a Red Station, Drifting by Aliette de Bodard
Pattern: Book Two of the Scavenger Trilogy by K.J. Parker
Hard to Be a God by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky
A Voice Out of Ramah by Lee Killough
Space Cadet by Robert A. Heinlein
Memory: Book Three of the Scavenger Trilogy by K.J. Parker
Sword Art Online: Aincrad by Reki Kawahara
Search for the Star Stones by Andre Norton

I feel vaguely ill at how short that list is. There have been eight days where I posted no reviews. I will do better in September.

Total  F     M    Mu    F/T
20     5    12     3    0.25

And that's not making me feel much better.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
Search for the Star Stones

Search for the Star Stones is an omnibus of two linked Norton novels, 1968's The Zero Stone and 1969's Uncharted Stars. Many of Norton's books shared an ancient universe where the history of technological civilizations began long before humans appeared and would presumably long continue once we fell into dust with the rest. While the Zacathans managed to survive through two million years, such longevity is not the usual case and most of the civilizations that rose and fell, lumped together as a misleadingly unitary term “Forerunner”, are known only through enigmatic relics.
Read more... )
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For my next Tears review...
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)

2022 AD: thousands of players around the world flock to log onto Sword Art Online, a cutting edge Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game. They soon discover the VRMMORPG has features that even beta-testers like Kirito had no inkling of, the most obvious of which is the total absence of any way to log out of the game.
Read more... )
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
The winners were announced at GenCon:

GRAND PRIZE: "The Golden Knight" by K. D. Julicher

FIRST RUNNERUP: "Phoenix for the Amateur Chef" by Scott Huggins

SECOND RUNNERUP: "The Girl with No Name" by Travis Heermann
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
I got a request to read something cheerful. What F&SF would people say passes the something cheerful test?
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)

It seems obvious that you wouldn't want a supernova exploding near Earth. Yet there is growing evidence that one did—actually, more than one. About 10 million years ago, a nearby cluster of supernovas went off like popcorn. We know because the explosions blew an enormous bubble in the interstellar medium, and we're inside it.

Go me!

Aug. 26th, 2014 03:33 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
Rating today

Although I worry that it is a bad sign my rating went up after a period where posting frequency went down...
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)

His reunion with his family having not gone entirely well, the man using the name Poldarn flees back to the Empire he fled in the first book. People familiar with the series thus far might ask if that is an entirely sensible idea on Poldarn's part; sadly, Poldarn's talents do not lie in the field of ratiocination or even “learning from experience”.

Read more... )
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
I don't understand the overt hostility to young adult fiction as a category, especially from older people whose formative reading experiences as they themselves relate it include works aimed at younger readers.


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