Review of "The Well of Ascension" by Brandon Sanderson, Nova - Ediciones B

He "Well of Ascension"It is the second installment of the saga"Mistborn"Brandon Sanderson and is as addictive as the first ... even though not science fiction but fantasy.The Well of Ascension Brandon Sanderson

As in the first part, the story takes place in a world in which the last thousand years has been falling ash as a rain (for reasons still unknown but are linked in some way to the rise to power of the Lord Ruler) and every night impenetrable mist covers your world.

The society describes Sanderson is divided between skaa (Slaves) and nobles who often have powers Allomancers allowing their bodies to burn certain metals for special skills. The Allomancy It is an inherited trait but not dominant. By extravagances of genetics, some characters in our history have the concentration of all these powers and become "Mistborn"Beings capable of burning any kind of metal Allomancer and get skills that becomes almost invincible against conventional armies.

In the book first we saw the fall of the Lord Ruler after a thousand years of absolute rule through terror and control Allomancy. The Lord is defeated by a whole group of characters formed by a band of "thieves" and their allies, both of noble birth and origin skaa, Led by Kelsier, who dies at the last moment to liberate the people skaa. En esta segunda entrega, el libro trata sobre cómo los protagonistas de la historia (ya sin Kelsier) sobreviven a las consecuencias de la caída del Lord Legislador y a todo el caos económico y social en el que queda sumido el mundo tras mil años de estabilidad.

El sistema de magia que nos va explicando el autor a lo largo de éstos dos libros está bien construido y hasta llega a ser creíble desde un punto de vista científico si pasamos por alto ciertas premisas que sólo son aceptables en el género fantástico. Aún así, el autor nos los explica siempre desde un punto de vista químico y no mágico, cosa que se agradece. Diferentes metales, actuando siempre en pares opuestos, otorgan poderes a quienes tienen la capacidad de quemarlos en el interior de su cuerpo. Por ejemplo, la quema de zinc permite encender las emociones de quienes nos rodean, y la quema de latón (una aleación de zinc y cobre) permite aplacar las emociones. La quema de cobre oculta la alomancia, y la quema de bronce (aleación de cobre y estaño) descubre la alomancia. Existen 12 metales con poder alomántico y por lo tanto, 12 habilidades extraordinarias.

Some characters that do not have these powers, they can also use skills storing bracelets and rings (the author calls ferruquímia). These characters can build physical strength, speed, heat, mental speed, etc. depending on the metal of the ring or cuff is composed.

Los personajes están bien construidos y adquieren profundidad. Algunos de ellos llegan a hacerse entrañables y en muchos casos llegas a desear conocerlos más a fondo. Entre estos personajes destacaría a un cambiador de formas que pertenece a una especie llamada kandra, que vive en cadáveres (no tienen porqué ser cadáveres humanos) y que son profesionales imitando a la perfección la forma y la personalidad de quien toman el cuerpo. La relación entre estos kandra y los humanos se rige por un curioso contrato que vamos conociendo mejor a lo largo de ésta segunda entrega. Espero que en la tercera entrega volvamos a encontrar a uno de estos personajes y el autor desarrolle más la sociedad que forma esta especie.

2009-08-17 12:56:14

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 "invasive treatment" of Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston - Nova

After reading the penultimate sequel Ender's GameI promised myself not to read anything more than Orson Scott Card. When from Nova published the latest sequel, I did not buy it, even though I bought all the books published this collection. Not that I have anything against Orson Scott Card (I met him in Mataro Hispacon in 97 and I've read almost everything published his Nova de Ediciones B). But he was sick of sequels to Ender and books aimed at an increasingly young audience and without any grace or orientation toward science fiction.Invader treatment, Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston

When I saw that Nova published Invader treatmentI was tempted to not not buy it, but reading the back I saw that was not set in the Ender universe and perhaps could give another chance to CSOs. I'm glad to have given it ... although I'm not sure that this book can be attributed to CSOs. I explain:

As indicated the same as OSC and makes Miquel Barceló in his foreword, the book was written by Aaron Johnston from a story published in Analog CSO in 1976. So although the characters are typical of CSOs, the rest of the book it is not.

Make no mistake, the book is written by Aaron Joshnston not by CSOs. Although CSO hand can be seen in the plot and setting.

¿Es o no es un libro de OSC? ¿O es un libro escrito a medias como indican en la portada al mostrar los dos autores?… yo pienso que no, que es una novela escrita por Aaron Joshnton (un guionista amigo de OSC), basando el argumento en una narración de OSC, supervisado todo por OSC, y utilizando el nombre de OSC para vender más… pero bueno… eso no quita que el libro está bien, aunque para empezar, además de no ser OSC el autor, tampoco se trata de un libro de Ciencia Ficción aunque se publique en la colección Nova de Ediciones B, si no que es un Thriler Biolotecnológico, por más que Miquel Barceló quiera justificarlo en el prólogo.

The plot tells the story of several characters and mysterious "healers" who are biologically enhanced. These healers have a virus that adapts to individual genetics for which has been created, and allow any genetic disease cure the person to whom he inoculated. So in theory, they have the cure for many diseases until today mortals. The bad thing about this virus is that for a few days, is deadly to other humans who are close to the sick, which makes it extremely dangerous. And the bad thing is that the curators believe in a new religious cult invented by its leader, promising them "happy world"And above all healthier.

We must acknowledge that even though there is a clear protagonist, all characters are treated in depth and acquire the dimension that gets to empathize with some and hate others. This is something that CSOs often do well in their books and this has certainly veiled it so well.

También vemos la mano de OSC en los dilemas que se plantean los personajes en temas como la ingeniería genética y la evolución de los humanos. Se trata de saber si los virus que modifican nuestro genoma son o no son la respuesta a nuestros problemas, o sobre qué consecuencias puede tener para una sociedad el que se investigue más sobre este campo, con el fin de poder modificar nuestra especie.

Aquí, como en otras cosas, discrepo de OSC y por lo tanto la mayor parte del libro me la he pasado estando a favor de “los malos”. Para mí no hay duda en que en algún momento tendremos que modificar el genoma humano y adaptarlo al medio en el que nos encontremos en cada momento. De lo contrario la colonización de Marte o las largas estancias en el espacio no van a ser posibles… pero ya sabemos que las creencias de OSC le impiden aceptar esto, así que el libro acaba postulando en contra de la investigación en ciertos campos de la ingeniería genética y el autor pone los virus que reparan el ADN en manos de un desequilibrado megalómano que quiere conquistar el mundo, advirtiéndonos así, de los peligros de disponer de este tipo de tecnología.

Overall, the book is well written, can be read well, engages, has pace and ultimately, a book that makes you think it is. So my verdict is a book by Orson Scott Card and Aaron is Joshnston, is that it is 100% recommended.