Broadcast by Liam Brown

Broadcast by Liam Brown.

David is a rather shallow person but has become something of a personality because of his continuous vlogging. He shares just about every experience of everyday with his followers and he is doing very nicely from his inane posts.

Along comes a tech guru that offers him the opportunity to broadcast to his fans, live by direct feed, all he has to do is accept the terms and conditions, have a small implant and he is within days vlogging 24/7.

The journey David then goes on is one that starts off as curiosity, going through realisation that he can hide no thought from anyone to downright despair. Things like credit and debits cards are no longer things he can use because he would instantly tell the word his PIN. Anything needing a password cannot be accessed, again because his password would be broadcast to the world. Obviously there are good things too, like when he is hungry, all he has to do is think about that food and within an hour or so it arrives.

Eventually this all becomes too much for David and he attempts to escape from what has turned into a nightmare.

I really enjoyed this pre-distopia type story. Although it is relatively short it is full of insights into modern society, things like celebrity, fame, Reality TV and so on. The desire to be rich and famous outweighing almost every other desire.

If you like your Science Fiction relevant and with not much tech-talk I think you will really enjoy this one.

Thanks to Legend Press and Netgalley for a free prepublication copy

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Stark by Ben Elton

Stark by Ben Elton.

Nearly 30 years since publication this still has a lot of very current themes running through it. I hope Elton’s finale is very different to the one humanity will see. Stark is all about waste, pollution, chemical waste and generally how humans are ruining this beautiful planet we live on. How we all blame the manufacturers of the waste we throw away yet never really stop to thin that we have the power to stop them making these pollutants just by not buying them or the products they make!

Firstly, the Eco Warriors. They are what most of us would have expected to see in the late 80’s, hippy types who simply by their lack of purchasing power are complaining about all the waste and pollution. I know that view has changed over the years but 30 years ago we all held different views on what we thought Eco Warriors were. Not one of them is particularly likeable but I did find Zimmerman the best of them. An Ex Vietnam soldier that served with the mainly forgotten Australian forces that were alongside the US Army. He is certainly deranged but in a friendly sort of way and always puts others in the group before himself whereas the other members seem quite selfish at times.

Stark are the moneyed elite of the world. The 0.1% that own 99% of everything on the planet. Egotistical, greedy, self serving and generally obnoxious. I’m not sure that in reality these people are like this but for the purposes of the book it is a pretty good stereotype. They have discovered that the planet is dying, rapidly, and have a way of escaping but because of their self serving greed, they don’t want anyone else to know so they design a plan to build their escape in the Australian Outback.

From here we have this adventurous and at times riotous journey through to the completion of the Stark Project and the end of the world.

As always, I enjoyed Elton’s style with his meandering slightly off topic in the same way that the hippies wonder off topic in their discussions. There is more than enough humour mixed in with the real mess we are making of the planet, even a couple of proper laugh out loud moments!

Great read and I highly recommend it.

Mistress Of The Empire by Raymoned Feist & Janny Wurts

Mistress Of The Empire by Raymoned Feist & Janny Wurts (The Empire Trilogy #3)

There is something unnameable that is within all fantasy that I’ve read so far. You get wizards. magicians, strong characters, evil enemies, dwarves, elves and a whole plethora of weird and wonderful animals, dragons and the like. And, no matter how much I enjoy in all this world and society building it all boils down to political intrigue and posturing. Yet I still read and thoroughly enjoy fantasy!

I’ve really enjoyed The Empire Trilogy, almost as much as I enjoyed The Riftwar Saga. Loads of adventure, discovering new peoples and societies, the world building is pretty complete. Most of the characters are easily recognised and positioned to be either good or bad, one or two change sides but essentially there is little mystery within the factions.

In this finale, everything builds towards almost an anti climax because as the sides are drawn together it becomes pretty obvious how it will end. Which is a bit of a shame when the book is 500+ pages. The thing I find with fantasy though is that I just HAVE to carry on reading. If it were a crime thriller/political thriller I might be tempted to just lay it down to gather dust but for some unknown emotion, I just cannot do it with good fantasy writing.

I’m not saying much more as I’ve not written about the first two in the trilogy other than to say if you have yet to discover Feist’s Riftwar Cycle, I would get a start on. The whole series is a measly 31 books short.

November

The depression I suffer continues unabated, in fact it’s even worse since I had a heart attack in late May. It has become debilitating to the point where I cannot work or function in many day to day situations. It reached boiling point for me a couple of weeks ago when I overdosed and ended up in hospital for 30 hours. Not the best moments in my life! Thank goodness I have someone in my life that cares for the person behind this depression, without her I don’t know where I’d be.

 

The one thing I seem to be able to do is read. In the early summer I treated myself to and Android tablet PC and although it is useful for many other things I mainly use the kindle and library software to download (loan) and read books on it. I love printed books but since I’ve owned this tablet PC I seem to read avariciously, which I guess is a good thing.

 

The wine and beer making continues, I currently have some rose wine fermenting which I hope will be drinkable at Christmas. It came in kit form and says it should be ready to drink in 2 months which should be just right for Christmas. I’m also about to start my beer brewing for Christmas, I’m brewing one of the better ales on the market because the holidays deserve something a bit better than usual.

 

Book Review: The Pathfinder Project by Todd Stockert

The Pathfinder ProjectThe Pathfinder Project by Todd M Stockert

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not a bad read with some intriguing concepts. There are some elements that seem a little contrived, the way religion is brought into the story seems more like an afterthought in that the author almost struggled to find an ending and included those parts of the story as a late edit to suit the finale.

The human interactions are quite strong and well written though and when in this mode I found it hard to put down as I always wanted to know what would ultimately happen to the characters, which is a good thing.

The finale is also a little weak, I was hoping for something more detailed perhaps but overall i enjoyed the journey.

View all my reviews

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