Saturday, March 01, 2008

Hm - free book, kinda-sorta.....

Neil Gaiman's American God's has been put up as a free book - but not in a cool way like Baen or Tor do... it's an annoying widget that you have to read in a browser - so forget about loading it to your Palm like I do with the Baen books, or Scalzi's excellent "Old Man's War."

Anyway, if you can live with that... here it is:

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Friday, February 29, 2008

Old Man's War by John Scalzi

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When John Perry turns 75, he does two things: He visits his wife's grave and he joins the Colonial Defense Force. The CDF's enlistment contract is incredibly tempting. When a person reaches retirement age, all they have to do is give up all their worldly possessions and promise never to return to Earth. In return, elderly recruits get to take advantage of the Colonial Union's secretive therapy, which somehow reverses aging. In essence, the soldiers exchange a few years of military service for a new life on one of the Union's many colony planets.

It would be easy to sum this book up as part Forever War, part Starship Trooper... and there certainly are elements of both - but there's far more. There's even an element that resembles the excellent way Karen Traviss has considered the meaning/signifigance of the clones in Star Wars. Brisk pace, and nicely presented characters give a great story and an exploration of the meaning of life and war - and the enduring power of love.

Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama, Barack Obama (Read by)

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This would be a fascinating narrative if it DIDN'T come from a man running for President. The tableau of characters in his life presented him with challenge and opportunity - and it is worth reading about how he has lived out that life. But it IS the story of a presidential candidate - and all I can say is that I am impressed. I look forward to getting to vote for Mr. Obama this fall.