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Review of "PUPPET MASTERS" by Robert A. Heilen - The Factory

Amos de Títeres, Robert HeilenGenerally, books Heal I like, despite its moral and its fascism (which came not sure if it is fake and therefore caricatured, or is real ... but hey, the books are well and have rhythm), but this time, with "Puppet Masters"I have been unable to finish the book (and this rarely happens to me).

This book is written in 51 and the passage of time note:

  • It is sexist to abusive ends.
  • The future in which history passes (more or less our present) is completely outdated and shabby (not shabby to steam punk, this would be fun ... tatty tatty really).
  • The story goes aliens coming from Titan and occupying human bodies to go invading Earth (it is most normalillo for the time, we could say that "a classic" ... but it is an argument that is already very tired ... and above we know that there is nothing on Titan).
  • In the book nothing happens noteworthy and characters are not credible.

Anyway ... maybe in 1951 it was interesting (won four Hugo awards and 3 Locus), but now not even worth buying it nor read it.

(... And by the way, who designed the book cover [which is the only thing that saved] I'm sure you did not read it, it has nothing to do with the story)

Review of "The Seven MARGARETS" Sheri S. Tepper of - Nova Ed B

Las 7 Margarets - TepperI love Sheri Tepper and how to write. This book is no exception. I imagine that much of the blame that I like so much, is that it is feminist science fiction, and it is not very common: in his books the protagonists of Tepper, in addition to fighting enemies of any race or planet, must also fight their own societies.

In Seven Margarets Furthermore, the author is able to surprise with an original, cool, interesting, well-crafted and developed a narrative that engages from the first page script.

The argument is as follows: the story begins on Phobos (satellite Martian partner Deimos) in a small community of scientists on living our protagonist, a girl who is bored both adults six imaginary companions invents from six traits of his personality.

Por razones que no descubrimos hasta el final del libro, 6 veces durante la vida de la niña, algunos de sus personajes ficticios se separan de su plano de la realidad, para crear otra realidad que se sobrepone a la original y que convive con ella. Es decir, en 6 tomas de decisiones que son cruciales para su vida, a la vez, la protagonista toma una decisión y su contraria, desdoblándose, sin ella saberlo y viviendo vidas paralelas, que por razones relativistas relacionadas con los viajes espaciales, también acaban convertidas en tiempos diferentes.

The universe in which all this happened to find an Earth on the verge of being wiped out by alien races that do not consider us rational, a land with much of ecosystems destroyed and whose only exportable good is the people themselves, who dies of hunger and thirst , and it is sold by the rulers of the planet in exchange for drinking water, slave contracts of 30 years. We also found other alien races who want to give us a chance and help humans spread throughout the galaxy to survive in hostile worlds and societies.

Seven Margarets are 7 personalities of the girl with which the story begins, they end up living different lives, according to the luck and the decisions they have taken, and end up converging in original and unexpected end.

Cuando terminas el libro y pasan los días, sigues pensando en la protagonista, en sus vidas y en la cantidad de veces que tú misma has tomado decisiones que te han cambiado la vida… sin ir más lejos, yo tenía que haber estudiado Telecos en La Salle, tenía que haber construido naves espaciales y ahora mismo, tenía que estar en Marte colonizando el planeta (estos eran mis planes de futuro a los 18 años [no es broma, es sólo que mi yo actual, el que conocéis, decidió en el último minuto estudiar Económicas en la UAB y empezar a trabajar en un Banco])… espero que en alguna otra realidad, una Montserrat esté instalando potabilizadoras de agua y generadores de gases de efecto invernadero para crear una atmósfera en Marte. Desde aquí le mando un saludo! ;-)

In short, a book 100% recommended to escape during during the hours-long reading, and to reflect on oneself, a few days later.

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 Noticias.com 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.

We talk to each other.

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 "HARVEST OF CENTAUR" by Eduardo Gallego and Guillem Sanchez - NOVA Ed B.

As every year, the Nova Collection Ediciones B publishes the winning book Short Novel prize UPC Science Fiction. This year's winning book is "Harvest Centauri"Eduardo Gallego and Guillem Sanchez.Harvest Centauri

Like all books NOVA Collection, the book includes a presentation of Miquel Barceló (without detracting from the content of the books, the presentation of Miquel Barceló is one of the best things about this collection). In this book also it gave the conference included Lois McMaster Bujold in the ceremony of the UPC awards. Still, I've missed you too advertize any of the finalists and the winning play section UPC students ... are usually interesting and different works, and in previous editions published them in the same book by the winning work ... What will the crisis?

Let's talk about the book:
La trama transcurre en un futuro lejano en el que nuestra galaxia está colonizada por humanos, pero por dos grupos separados que habían perdido contacto entre sí. Los de un brazo están más desarrollados en ingeniería y disponen de buenas naves espaciales, larga vida y androides de combate (con sentimientos) y que físicamente son indistinguibles de los humanos. En el otro brazo de la galaxia es la biología la ciencia que se ha desarrollado más, y sus habitantes son capaces de crear edificios a partir del desarrollo natural de árboles y plantas, son pacíficos y sociables, y aun a pesar de ser capaces de colonizar planetas de distintos sistemas, no disponen de naves que rivalicen con las de los humanos del otro brazo.

Only by developing the "first encounter" and the subsequent relationship between the two groups of settlers of the two arms, the book and promised to be interesting, but the authors have not been satisfied with this and have included in the plot to a powerful alien species it is dedicated to plant life different planets, and then returns to "pick up" their harvest.

Following this argument, some of the remaining planets to collect, are located in the human site arm which has developed more biology, and the imminent danger that leads to the appearance of these aliens causes the representatives of the two companies human unite to collaborate and solve the mystery of harvested planets.

As this is a short novel, the book is read in a couple of days and leaves you wanting to know more about human colonies and the interaction between them.

About the Authors: Eduardo Gallego is a biologist and professor of mycology at the University of Almería. Guillem Sánchez He is an economist and military history buff. Together they make a good tandem. I had not read anything about them so far, even though Miquel Barceló indicates in his preface that both are known in the world of Science Fiction Spanish, so we'll look to amend my mistake and read more books by these authors.

In short, a book 100% recommended, which leaves a good taste and makes for a fun weekend.

Review of "REAL TIME THROUGH" by Vernor Vinge - Icarus Ed.

"Through the Real Time" an entertaining book that raises a good story, even though it actually three books written at different times is.

The book presents us with time travel, but only forward, using a technology that allows the creation of bubbles enclosed in a kind of ecstasy all that is left inside, getting no time passes for those who are locked inside.

The book extends over millions of years and narrates the history of mankind.

The frame is divided into two parts. The first, places the reader in the near future in which humanity is recovering after a nuclear disaster caused by a world war. This part is fun and is pure literature "steampunk".

The second part is more Science Fiction of all life (to speak) and explains how humanity's future, in the distant future ... although most are not human because something has happened in the XXIII century and have only left the humans who for one reason or another were emburbujados.

The book presents a future society in which humans must live in different times and access to different types of technology (depending on the time they were emburbujados), and consequently with different social models. The main task of this society is to perpetuate the human species, even though the few hundred copies of remaining humans.

To encourage a bit more plot, the author includes a murder, a police century and to some alien.

100% recommendable.

Reseña de “VUELTA ATRÁS”, de Robert J. Sawyer – Nova (Ediciones B)

VUELTA ATRÁS, Robert J. Sawyer - NovaVuelta Atrás” es un libro divertido, ameno, bien narrado, que transmite conocimiento y que hace pensar. ¿Qué más se le puede pedir a un libro?

El argumento versa sobre el descifrado de unos mensajes alienígenas que llegan a la Tierra. El primero de ellos lo descifra una joven investigadora del SETI, que también se encarga de enviar su respuesta. 38 años después, llega un segundo mensaje y de nuevo, la investigadora del SETI esta vez anciana pero habiéndose aplicado un tratamiento de rejuvenecemiento (que ha fallado y que la ha dejado a las puertas de una muerte por vejez) lo descifra, mientras que su marido, cuyo tratamiento ha funcionado bien, explora su nueva juventud.

En el libro se discuten el papel de la tecnología en el desarrollo futuro del ser humano, cuestiones morales sobre los tratamientos para alargar la longevidad de las personas, el aborto, la existencia de Dios y otros muchos dilemas morales a los cuales Sawyer nos tiene acostumbrados a plantear en sus libros.

Como el resto de obras de Robert j. Sawyer “Vuelta Atrás” es 100% recomendable y merece la pena dedicarle las pocas horas que se tarda en leer.

Reseña de “LUZ ROBADA”, de Gary Gibson – Quantum Ed. VíaMagna

Libro interesante que se lee rápido (o eso, o es que las vacaciones de verano me sientan bien). Dentro de la Ciencia Ficción lo clasificaría como “space opera”… protagonista que va de una parte a otra, todo con poca profundidad, pero con una historia que engancha.Luz Robada

El libro está ambientado en un futuro lejano en el que el secreto de los viajes superluminales está en manos de una raza alienígena llamada Shoal, que ejerce un control absoluto sobre esta tecnología y por ende, controla el comercio y la exploración de la galaxia. Las razas que desean utilizar esta tecnología deben ceñirse a las normas que dictan los Shoales, sin excepción.

Por su parte, los humanos (que utilizan la tecnología Shoal) están divididos en diferentes tipos de sociedad y mientras que unos han adoptado todo tipo de tecnología invasiva en sus cuerpos y por lo tanto llevan implantes craneales entre otros dispositivos, otros grupos han rechazado este tipo de tecnología y rehúyen a los que la han adoptado. Las estructuras sociales de unos y de otros también varían y despiertan el interés del lector.

La protagonista de esta historia es una ex piloto militar cargada de implantes y con un pasado turbio. A lo largo de toda la narración tendrá que lidiar con su pasado, con los extraterrestres, con mafiosos y con militares. También con naves que casi tienen sentimientos y finalmente con otra raza extraterrestre. Este personaje es el más trabajado y el que tiene más dimensión, aunque el protagonista Shoal también está bien tratado. En cambio, otro de los personajes principales, el humano mafioso, pienso que podría habérsele sacado más partido.

El libro tiene sus momentos divertidos, por ejemplo, los Shoales, que son criaturas acuáticas con tentáculos incluidos, utilizan nombres humanos de lo más sugerente. Nombres como: Comerciante-de-Excrementos-Animales, Rigor-Mortis, o Guardián-de-los-Secretos-Íntimos-de-los-Comprometidos-Involuntariamente.

Un libro 100% recomendable.