Reviews written on books by other authors (mostly Science Fiction)

Review of "Indra's Net" by Juan Miguel Aguilera - Ed Alamut

Indra's netIndra's Net It is a book of science fiction of what might be called the subgenre of the "books of travel in time" with a mixture of "parallel universes" and "military campaign". The book engages fairly and read at a time.

The story tells the adventures of a mature professor of physics who has led an intense life, including two divorces and his participation in the Strategic Defense Initiative during the Cold War. Now he prepares to face the part which is more sedate of his career.

Obviously, circumstances force her to devote himself to have to help one of their ex-husbands, a colonel in the United States Department of Defense, which leads her and her assistant, to investigate a perfect geode two kilometers in diameter found in the basement of Canada, for which geologists find no rational explanation and that everything points to have an extraterrestrial origin.

At one point our heroes enter the pocket and this causes an unexpected twist of the story, which takes us to worlds inhabited by intelligent non-human species and to know the existence of beings who live outside of time. To this is added a terminal illness by the protagonist, a traitor in the team and various military topics.

Its author, Juan Miguel Aguilera, It presents characters with depth, consistent with the past and with a well worked psychological profile. Non-human civilizations that creates are interesting and generally wish to know more about them.

The book ends the story of the pocket, but leaves the actors stranded in one of the worlds they have visited ... I do not know if there will be a second part ... I would not mind reading it.

Review of "peaks and valleys" by Spencer Johnson - Empresa Activa

Peaks and valleysAntonio González Barros (of Intercom) You have the amiable habit of sharing the fragment and a brief review of some book that seemed interesting, every Monday morning. That's how I met "Peaks and valleys"As little blurb about an interesting book that came to my email from my former boss.

The review was interesting and author, Spencer Johnson (author of "Who has taken my cheese“, “The present“, “The One Minute"And so many other good books), I know that I like and it offers an entertaining way (although parabolic) good advice both personal and enterprise level. So last week, one of the visits I make to my usual bookstore in search of science fiction, I decided to buy it. The book reads in a couple of hours or less.

The author presents us with life as a continuum of peaks (good times) and valleys (not so good times) and reflects on the cause-effect relationship between the two. To write this review I will take as a basis the summary made by the author himself, in the final pages of the book, and I will add my comments about it (in brackets and italics).


Make your reality is your ally. You're temporarily on top of a peak or in the depths of a valley, ask yourself: What is the truth in this situation?

(The author puts special emphasis on the need to correctly perceive reality and not to create our own world. To ask what the underlying truth in every situation is the key to resolving it.)


Find and use hidden well at a bad time. Calm down, because you know that the Valleys are not eternal. Do the opposite of what led you to the Valley. Salt yourself: provides more help at work and be more loving in life. (This seems to me a crucial advice to quit a bad time ... stop focusing on yourself and others oriented. It never fails and produces great satisfaction.)

Avoid comparisons. Discover how good it hides a bad time, and use it to your advantage soon. (This advice is especially important, comparisons lead to envy and fear ... and as we know well say the Benejeserit of Dune "Fear clouds the mind". Instead of longing and fear is better to concentrate on seeing the good that hides all times and use it in your favor.)


Rate and manage your good times wisely. I am humble and grateful. Do more of what got you there. Keep doing things better. Do more for others. Economizes for your next Valleys.

(... how many times I lacked humility ... I can not count them on the fingers of one hand ... or with those of the two, for that matter. Anyway ...)


Follow your perceptive vision. Imagine enjoying a better future with details as specific and credible soon enjoy doing what you take there.

(This is another great tip that I put into practice whenever I can, and I recommend both pupils and friends. Visualize where you want to go, simply because doing so shows you how you can get there and greatly facilitates the way There's nothing worse to go adrift and expect it to be chance or luck that take you to a successful conclusion. in this sense, there is another book of these yellow and blue top can also be useful to us "good luck" by Fernando Trías Bes and Alex Rovira of.)


Share it with others! It helps people to good and bad times are also helpful.

(Sobran comments)

In short, it is a book 100% recommended that 90 pages can help a lot in these times of crisis in which more than one is plunged into a valley, so it is worth making a small investment in time it takes to read the book and then have 3 or 4 hours to reflect on what they have learned, notebook in hand, and draw up a plan.

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Reseña de “ANATEMA” de Neal Stephenson – Nova, Ed. B

AnathemaI believe that Anathema It is one of the best science fiction books I've read this 2009. But I am obliged to warn in advance that it is not easy to read and it is necessary to perform an act of faith during the first 150 pages of the book. That said, the typical good book by Neal Stephenson: great prose, good sense of humor, impeccable setting and well created and deep characters. all a joy. If you also like philosophy, music, mathematics and science in general, then you would not stop reading.

Writing this review will not be easy (hence this task has been delayed a few weeks), there is much to explain and much to consider.

As far as the argument is concerned, Stephenson unveils us little by little the story of a planet called Arbre, like Earth but not the same, with a history of collapse and social and cultural rebirth that has taken so far in which the action of this book lies. The actual plot begins with the discovery in the sky Arbre of an alien spacecraft orbiting the planet for two years. Our protagonist and his companions sources (As Arbre vocabulary, people who have sworn to follow the Discipline Cartasiana and they are living in a kind of monasteries called concentos) Shall establish contact with the ship and try to understand these strange beings coming from elsewhere and not chemically or culture share with the people of Arbre.

Without warning, Stephenson puts us squarely in the culture of Arbre, using vocabulary and concepts of Arbre, which for the poor mortals of Earth are really hard to understand (these are the 150 pages that need to overcome in order to fully enjoy the book) ... in the end, total immersion is appreciated and you see that gives the book a rich and exquisite dimension that would otherwise not be achieved, but at first ... phew, you have to repeat yourself like a mantra "this is a book Stephenson, I have faith"A few times, to keep going and not give up when you get whole paragraphs that do not understand ... to illustrate, here's an example:

“Tres fras y dos sures cantaron un motete en cinco partes mientras otros doce revoloteaban frente a ellos. En realidad, no estaban revoloteando, aunque desde donde estábamos daba esa impresión. Cada uno de ellos representaba el índice superior o inferior de una ecuación teorética sobre ciertos tensores y una métrica. Al desplazarse de un lado a otro, cruzándose e intercambiando posiciones mientras se movían frente a la mesa principal, estaban representando un cálculo sobre la curvatura de una variedad tetradimensional, con varios pasos de simetrización, antisimetrización y elevación y descenso de índices. Si alguien que no supiese nada de teorética lo hubiese visto desde arriba, se habría llevado la impresión de que era un baile campestre. La música era encantadora a pesar de que cada pocos segundos el gimoteo de los cismexes la interrumpía.”

... This paragraph corresponds to page 120 of the book. I promise to prospective readers that by the end of the book, passages like this are totally clear and understandable ... at least as regards vocabulary. Little by little you discover that a "cismex"It is something advanced to a mobile phone, a"syntactic device that uses quantum theoretical"It is something like a quantum computer and when referring to a Faraday chamber do calling it a 'Cesto of Bucker Sante"... It ends up being even fun to appreciate the changes in vocabulary.

I selected this paragraph in particular for another reason: the "...cantaron and motets". And I thought that probably only the 16 geeks that we meet every Wednesday to pay tribute to Piarist father introduced us to music 30 years ago and we respect singing motets in his honor, knew what a motet !!! It turns out that Stephenson knows, and what is more important in this case, the translator of the book also knows !!! In fact, the great honoree commenting Anathema should be the translator, so I'm going to devote the next paragraph of this review.

Pedro Jorge Romero: This is a Galician-making that I think is my age (1967 ... c'mon) and I admire for his work, for many years. I think I discovered it around 1995 on the Internet in news groups devoted to science fiction. Already in 2003, 2004 and 2005 while I was in sindicaba RSS content your blog to incorporate the articles published in this newspaper online, for its originality and because I loved. Peter George was also a fanzine editor BEM Science Fiction that was all the rage in the 90s, and the alma mater of Nessus file (An extinct website dedicated to science fiction). Along with Rafael Marin (another author and translator who has stolen my heart) are who translate a large part of the books of Ediciones B Nova collection, dedicated to the science fiction and directs Miquel Barceló. I know that some credit that enchant me Neal Stephenson's books is thanks to the work of Pedro Jorge Romero. So I am very grateful. In the case of AnathemaThe work of Pedro Jorge must have been very difficult and deserves my sincere compliments and congratulations.

Back to AnathemaIn addition to the theme of "motets” también me ha entusiasmado el trato científico que da a la música y concretamente al poder de los armónicos que producen los bajos, que se acoplan tanto al lugar en el que se cantan como físicamente en la cabeza de quienes cantan, llegando a modificar (según el protagonista de ésta historia…) el funcionamiento de la mente. Seguro que los monjes budistas del Tíbet están de acuerdo con él.

In short, it is a book that I loved, which is long to read through more than 700 pages, but after the first 100 pages is bearable, but you end up with wrist pain if you try to read several hours. The book suggests dream and, above all, as you discover why why the alien ship is in orbit Arbre.

The book is 100% recommended if you are an advanced reader of Science Fiction, for someone starting out would not recommend it because it is too "hard" to start both the CF and Stephenson's world. Instead, it would recommend starting with reading Stephenson Baroque cycle, with the Criptonomicón or even better, Snow Crash which is much simpler, if you want to get into it gently.

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Review of "ANTARCTICA: POLAR STATION", Matthew Reilly - The Factoria

Polar Antrdida StasiónThis is a book that is read at a time and engaging from the first page, but it is not science fiction itself (increasingly costs more to find science fiction in bookstores), it is a technological thriller with a good base is key scientific and military context.

If not because it is clear that the author is Matthew Reilly, an Australian born in 1974 who had not read anything above, as indicated by the review of the New York Times, it seems that he has written himself Michael Crichton or Clive Cussler by fast pace that prints its scenes and suspense generated at the end of each chapter.

El libro nos narra una historia que transcurre en una remota estación polar estadounidense en la Antártida, donde un grupo de científicos ha descubierto un objeto atrapado en el interior de una capa de hielo de cuatrocientos años de antigüedad. A primera vista, dicho objeto parece una nave espacial y por ello, mucha gente está dispuesta a conquistar la base y hacerse con el objeto.

A team of US marines, a charismatic but miss time Lieutenant Shane Schofield at the head, goes to the polar station to protect the find, while in the United States a journalist investigates about conspiracies between the military, the CIA and other government agencies, and a former military look to unmask infiltrators into the body of the Marines, one of these agencies.

Es muy curioso ver cómo el autor ha tratado las alianzas entre estados de la OTAN y cómo éstas alianzas tan pronto penden de un hilo, como pasado un rato, muestran ser las más solidas del mundo… al menos a ojos del público general. También es divertido ver a los franceses y a los ingleses como rivales de los norteamericanos… si alguna vez llevan el libro al cine y lo convierten en un guión, no creo que les permitan mostrar a fraceses e ingleses como a enemigos.

In short, it is a good book for a weekend of fun week, but not forcing you to concentrate on the details or plantearte existential dilemmas. Personally, I have learned a lot about military weapons and strategy. That said, it is a book 100% recommended.

Review of "THE LADY OF LABERINTOS" Karl Schroeder - La Factoria

The Lady of Mazes, Karl SchroederAhhhhh ... (<- sigh)!, How I love Science Fiction hard. How much he missed her!

This is an interesting book that creates dreams and frees the mind of any concern is. A balm before going to sleep. While reading requires absolute concentration and certain intellectual effort that thankfully is rewarded by good hour that makes you spend while you're reading.

The book puts our characters in a distant future in which the solar system is colonized by humans, in which some humans have evolved to something beyond and in which artificial intelligence has evolved beyond all expectations.

Our protagonists live in Corona Teven habitat located near Jupiter and has toroidal form. Surely a world inspired by the Ringworld from Larry NivenBut unlike the latter, its inhabitants do not live isolated from the rest of humanity, if not with other human habitats by neighbors with which the founders of the crown are related when they want.

both Corona Teven like the rest of the human universe, it is colonized by millions of people who can live together, just are not all located in the same plane of reality. Thanks to what the author calls collectorsEach company can create an environment in which to move and interact with their fellow people without interfering with other companies. That is, that in the same physical point can live many companies created by collectors different, without interfering with each other. Each company created by a manifold it is a culture in itself, with a history, mythology and unique technology, though virtual. The interaction between humans of different collectors is limited and one of our protagonists is a diplomatic moves between companies of different collectors and who will be discovering us how your world.

This theoretically idyllic society begins to crumble when an entity called 3340 begins to interfere with collectors and try to knock down the barriers that keep technology under control.

In the book we nanotechnology, terraformaciones, virtual reality, interstellar travel, IA God, human post also believe that God is believed and countless other things that make your reading is really a joy.

The author, who has a way of telling the story reminiscent Greg Bear, Strives at all times to make credible the universe and explain the philosophy of its people and its interesting political system based on the theories of open source we all know.

In short, 100% recommended a book worth reading.

Review of "WITH NEW EYES" Alessandra Borghese of Ediciones Rialp

With new eyes, Alessandra BorgheseThis is a book that leaves what accustomed to normally read (Science Fiction or professional reading) is. In fact, not even bought it, I gave it to a friend who thought I would like to dedicate a few hours to meet Alessandra Borghese. And this is what I did, I spent a weekend reading this book.

The book is an autobiography that tells the story of the author since, at age 16, one of his commits suicide in front of her friends, until his conversion to orthodox Catholicism. Going through an unhappy marriage (and subsequent death of her ex-husband), for his work in New York at American Express and as a promoter of art exhibitions and back to Rome.

Of course, with this synopsis, not a book that invites reading. But the important thing is not what happens to the author, if not the reflections that goes along by the narrative of his life and end up taking her to rediscover the Catholic faith and to look "with new eyes"Its existence and everything that surrounds it.

And the truth is that it gets you to think and look sense of what you're doing in your life. So I gave it to my friend, and I thank you.

The book consists of three parts. In the first, the author places his life in a social context and some events that shape and become someone rather frivolous and fun-loving without a clear objective. In the second part, the house of cards on which mounted their daily lives is decaying, and begins to see the need to create a stronger basis for their existence. In the third part, he speaks and his conversion to orthodox Catholicism and the new direction of his life.

This last part is a bit confusing because it speaks of liturgical issues and theory of Catholicism that did not know existed ... but precisely this lack of knowledge makes it interesting to read about it.

In short, as I think it took me about 3 or 4 hours to read it, my verdict is worth spending the time and then get a few hours to reflect on what they read. The book leaves no one indifferent.

Review of "A GLEAM IN HEAVEN" Kay Kenyon - The Factory

Flash in the skyA Flash in the sky It is a different book. In some ways is the typical science fiction book "discovery of alien world", but the world shows us is really original, well built and worked characters.

The story tells the adventures of space pilot Titus Quinn in a parallel universe that you accessed through a kind of wormhole when he was in space mission.

The first time you visit this parallel universe (christened Omniverso by Kay Kenyon) makes it by accident and with his family. The family is stranded in the Omniverse and Titus Quinn appears in the normal universe, without memory and with 14 years more (although in the real world have only been a few weeks).

The corporation you work for it apart from all spatial plan and ostracized because they do not believe anything that has (small pieces of memory). Time passes and the protagonist is plunged into a deep depression, until because of an accident in another spacecraft, the corporation begins to give credence to the possibility that there is a parallel universe and decides to organize a mission to investigate.

He Omniverso which tells us Kenyon is interesting. It is home to different races, some humanoids. For hundreds of years, from Omniverso You can see parts of our universe, which made flower a whole similar to the medieval Chinese culture, although race that dominates and has subdued all the Omniverse, the Tarig not know where they come from, have sophisticated technology (with travel space included) and fears our universe.

At times the Tarig remind Goauld from Stargate, Although the construction of Omniverso It is completely original and more or less consistent.

The only criticism I would make is about the irregular rhythm of the book. At times get bored, others get to read hours on end. It is also somewhat disappointing when as it nears the end're realizing that the author can not finish the book on pages remaining and you begin to suspect that there will be a second part. When you finish the book, it is clear that it is only a first part, and when you investigate a little more, you find that is the first of three books (A World Too Near Y City Without End). This explains some scenes filling and uneven pace of the book.

Still, the book is worth reading and is entertaining but does not give it a 10, more entertaining books with which to hang out.

About the author: Key Kenyon. It is interesting to know who started his career as an advertising writer and actress, and this explains in part the freshness of its proposal and originality. This is his eighth novel and has been a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award and the John W. Campbell

Review of "CHILDREN OF PARADISE" by Nick Sagan - The Factory of Ideas

The children of ParaisoThe Children of Paradise It is the second part of Genetic code but it is meant to be read individually ... Of course all this did not know to start reading the book, so I spent a long time thinking if he had read or not. And that is to put the new situation reader, the first chapters are very similar to those of the first book (almost equal would say) ... and a bit confused.

After the initial shock and checking it was a second part, I was reading the book as usual (one hour daily approx.), But as advancing the plot, every time I liked less and eventually recovered memory and the entire first book and my thoughts as they read came to me: conclusion, this book is as bad as the first.

Well ... I do not know if it is bad literary level, because I have no idea and do not dare to issue such judgments, but I can say that I do not like it and surely, I'm not the target audience of the author.

The argument would give much of himself in the hands of any other (in the hands of the father of Nick Sagan, for example), but I think this book is intended to be read by teenagers, and both issues raised as the type of decisions made the protagonists are primary and banal ... no offense ... but teens say they are different approaches that you have when you pass forty.

The story takes place in a future in which a strain of the black plague has wiped out all of humanity, except for a small redoubt of posthumans created by a genetic laboratory while a cure for the pandemic was being sought, and since they have been raised by VR entities are a bit unhinged. This is basically the summary of Genetic Code, the first part. In this second part, we meet a second generation of posthumans more insane than the first, who pose us dilemmas and challenges of the most stupid and nonsense. …With how good it would have been to tell what this world is like almost without humans and how they try to survive and ensure that the human race does not die with them. Obviously, he does touch on these issues, but he does so superficially and without entering into philosophical or scientific discussions.

Anyway ... I think Nick Sagan uses the name of his father to introduce his books in publishing houses adult science fiction, but actually writes books for pre pubescent teens.

Decidedly I liked more like Star Trek screenwriter. I hope you reconsider and return to the script ... that, or that do not include their books in some collections.

Review of "TUF'S TRAVELS" George R.R.Martin - Ed. Zeta Science Fiction

Tuf's TravelsAs indicated Miquel Barceló in the prologue Tuf's Travels, We are faced with a book that actually is a collection of interrelated short stories including a bridge and filled with history just give it meaning. This makes it no less interesting the book, of course. Tuf's Travels It is a book that reads at a time and it's hilarious.

The book tells the story of a man named Haviland Tuf curious, independent merchant, a man of large (more than two and a half meters), bald, with white skin, vegetarian and lover of cats.

Note: Haviland Tuf not look anything like the character of the book cover ... I think that's designed thinking of another book or just came to read the first page of this. ... I wish the publisher would make a little more attention to these details.

Anyway ... back to the review ...

Haviland Tuf logra poseer una enorme nave espacial (de 30 Km) construida con tecnología de la Vieja Tierra y muy superior a la tecnología actual del universo que nos narra George R.R.Martin, sobre todo en materia de ingeniería biológica y ecología. La nave contiene una vasta biblioteca biológica y gigantescas estaciones de clonación.

A lo largo de siete relatos vamos descubriendo cómo Haviland Tuf consiguió la nave, qué características tiene, para qué sirve, por qué es un arma tan temida y cómo puede “ayudar” a mundos necesitados. Cada narración transcurre en un planeta determinado y con una problemática determinada, cosa que el autor aprovecha para describir sociedades y costumbres pintorescas con las que tendrá que lidiar el protagonista de esta historia.

Haviland Tuf, the main character describes how well the author, ends up being endearing, especially for his love of cats and his curious personality. I guess also because I read the book with my cat next door, purring grateful for my attentions.

The book is also fun because of all the stories, the author plays with the names of cats that go with situations in which the protagonist is. This causes some cats "Chaos", "Duda", "disorder", "Stupid" and many other names like that are called.

Anyway ... a highly recommended book, with situations that lend a good time to think about them and how to resolve them.

Review of "THE SOLAR NAVIGATOR" by David Brin - Ed Folio SF.

SundiverThis review should be called Review of "Until the Heart of the Sun: the cycle of elevation I" from David Brin, Because I had to buy in Paris when I lost my lack of foresight reading. Luckily, on the Champs Elysees Virgin have a good science fiction section and found this book I had not read (or if you've read, I do not remember having done so).

I have a little mental mess with him if I had read it or not, because I have not read strange because I thought I had read all the books Elevation cycle (Plus many other books by this author, among which is The postman [That of the homonymous film directed and carried by Kevin Costner] and a prequel The foundation de Asimov) pero al leer la contraportada de éste me di cuenta de que no lo había leído. Y al leerlo entero, creo positivamente que no lo había leído. Por otra parte, podría consultar mi biblioteca, pero resulta que estos libros que fueron escritos hace tanto tiempo (este es de 1980 y supongo que si lo leí, lo habría hecho sobre 1988-90) los tengo en el fondo de la biblioteca y no alcanzo a verlos si no saco un par de niveles que tengo superpuestos a estos. En fin… un drama. Cuando sea rica tendré una biblioteca enorme que me permita leer los lomos de todos los libros. O eso… o digitalizo todo lo que tengo ahora. En parte, el posible olvido y la falta de facilidades para la consulta fue lo que me motivó a escribir estas reseñas en el blog. Al menos ahora estoy segura de recordar lo que he leído estos dos últimos años.

But ... we go to the book review of Brin.

Like all books Elevation cycle based on the premise that humans have contact with other races of the universe, but it seems that none of these races has reached the stars without the help of a guide race that has helped her rise.

In the case of humans, it seems that no one helped us rise ... or someone helped us, but for unknown reasons abandoned us to our fate. This causes both on Earth and beyond, there factions are in favor of a thesis and factions are in favor of the other, which causes some friction between humans, and between humans and aliens.

The civil organization of our world is curious to say the least and Brin describes it in detail.

Despite being "orphaned" humans are respected by the other races of the universe because in turn have raised two landraces: dolphins and chimpanzees.

In this particular book, they show signs of a race of strange beings half average power field, living in the sun. So an expedition was organized to our sun king to try to establish contact with this race and discover, eventually, if it is or is not who gave us a hand in raising.

The characters are endearing and have depth. Aliens from the high races are very curious and description of their societies lends itself to dream to see them sometime. Also the description of solar ship and the technology used to avoid being burned (stasis field generator amending spacetime outside deck of the ship) is detailed and interesting.

The book is highly recommendable, and whether they had read or not, I'm happy having spent a few days of my vacation.