Fallen Dragon (31 Dec 2002)

Book reviews today...

(Peter F. Hamilton, 0-330-48006-5)

I've always really enjoyed Hamilton's books; every single one of them. Night's Dawn is an incredible epic and I highly recommend it if you're ever suck on a dessert island for a few weeks.

Fallen Dragon is set in a different universe to his other books, thou there are many similar ideas (like genetic enhancement and neural interfaces). I've never felt that Hamilton wrote very deep sci-fi like Baxter or Egan, but he tells a fantastic story.

This particular fantastic story is totally centered about one person and it's told from two different points in time at once. Each chapter alternates between this guy's childhood and a point much further on in his life. As you read about the earlier experiences, the later ones start to make more sense and by the end of the book the early thread is upto where the later one started.

The ending I won't talk much about because it will spoil the book. It's a good ending (which is foreshadowed, but I didn't make the connection till afterwards), but I can't help but feel it raises more questions than it answers.

Anyway; if you see it, consider buying; you'll enjoy it


(Michael Crichton, 0066214122)

Well, it's another Crichton. Never deep, but a couple of neat ideas. If you have read Timeline then you know the style. I get the feeling it was written with a film in mind. It's not long (I finished it in a night), nor taxing. I wouldn't buy it, but don't run screaming if it drops on your doorstep either.

Altas Shrugged

(Ayn Rand, 0-451-19114-5)

Zooko persuaded me to read this huge book, and I'm quite glad that I did (thanks Zooko). It really is long (and I must admit that I skipped most of the Galt monologue) but it's quite enjoyable.

It doesn't change my view of the issues she covers one little bit thou. It's pretty much the minarchist capitalist manifesto, which is nice because I quite like minarchist capitalism. Rand is a little more minarchist than I am, but that's ok.

Interestingly enough she doesn't cover environmental issues at all (despite dealing with railroads and steel mills) which is a shame because that's one of the main arguments people beat anarchists/extra-minarchists with. But then, being American, the thought might never have had occurred to her.

In the end, I don't really like arguing about exactly what form of government would be best in a world where they are rapidly going in totally the wrong direction. It just seems a little pointless.

It's a decent book; maybe a little too long. One might want to try The Moon is a Harsh Mistress for something smaller.