Saturday, December 16, 2006

Cold Day in Paradise
by Steve Hamilton

Just what rookie shamus Alex McKnight needs: Maximilian Rose, the maniac who killed his partner and sidelined Alex himself from the Detroit Police Department 14 years ago is now back in his life again, phoning him late at night, leaving him red roses as mementos, and sending him letters bragging about what he's going to do now that he's out of stir. Except that he isn't out, not according to the best authorities at Jackson State Prison, who report that he hasn't left the grounds or even seen any visitors for years and years and has no plans to start now...
This is the first in a series of what looks like very exciting material. My wife has been encouraging me to read them for years... and of course now that I've started, I'm hooked. Actually I like this sort of thing - having a great series of stories "banked" for the future for when I can cash in and start reading them... I'm already well into the second one.....

Monday, December 11, 2006

Cambridge Lectures: Life Works, Vol. 4
by Stephen Hawking, Stephen W. Hawking (Read by)

The idea of a "read by" from someone who speaks with a speech synthesizer is an interesting one. Listening to six hours of Hawking via computer was a different experience, but the fascinating material transcends the odd inflections. Probably nothing new to people who follow popular treatments of Hawking and cosmology, but an enjoyable time spent with a great mind.

I have heard Hawking speak in person - and it helps having it on tape. Both because you can pause and re-listen to phrases, AND because, in an audience - when he answers questions, there is a long pause..... during which the audience begins to chatter and buzz, which means you always miss the beginning of his reply.