Friday, January 15, 2016

Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin

Voyage of the BeagleVoyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An enjoyable introduction to Darwin.

(Note, this is a review of the Recorded Books Audio version of excerpts from Voyage.)

I picked up this e-audio-book from my library and enjoyed it. Read by a distinguished English actor, Darwin here presents his tour on the Beagle and the observations of a thouroughly 19th century Englishman, hardly the bĂȘte noire anti-god iconoclast some may imagine him to be. It was delightful to hear his descriptions of Patagonia, and interesting to hear his observations on the politics of the "less civilized" world. He's not afraid to call people savages - and ends "thanking God" that he'll never again travel to a country where slavery is practiced. Though, of course, scientific in his observtions, he's also not afraid to refer to animals as "ugly" or unpleasant.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Sight Unseen by James Swallow

Sight Unseen (Star Trek: Titan)Sight Unseen by James Swallow
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Another Trek on the Titan

I've not read all of the Captain (now Admiral) Riker books on the USS Titan, but I've read a number, and intersected with them in the arc of stories with Bashir's going rogue, so I wasn't out of my depth in following this story. With all the eons of Star Trek - TV, film, novels - it's mind boggling to keep track of everything and everyone in the Trek Universe. Fortunately, Swallow and his Trek-scribe colleagues do that - no doubt with assistance - so if the story moves, and they don't mess up, you get a good story out of it.

This was an interesting revisiting of some very spooky TNG aliens - and a nice bit of diplomacy, peril and adventure. A decent and enjoyable addition to the Trek canon.

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Star Rigger's Way by Jeffrey A. Carver

Star Rigger's Way (Star Rigger, #2)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Like nothing else!

Thanks to recent promotions, I've found my course set for "flux space," Carver's conception of faster-than-light space travel. It's poetic, hallucinogenic, visual and imaginative - I can't think of another seriStar Rigger's Way by Jeffrey A. Carveres that presents the travel among stars in a similar way. As a fan of SF in general, and Space Opera in particular, I find this a refreshing change. It doesn't always work for me (maybe my imagination is lacking), but I really like it all the same; it does what science fiction is supposed to do - at least what I expect - stretch the imagination.

This book explores alienation, depression, loss and more. Paired with the well done (and reasonably priced) Audible version, it made for a very enjoyable and brisk adventure.

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