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Review of "THE CODEX SECRET" by Lev Grossman, Byblos - Ediciones B

El códice secretoI have outstanding writing large numbers of reviews, so I'll take these holidays to catch up. Today's is on a technological thriller set in a world of video game programmers [a little strange :-)] and librarians [also a little strange :-)].

El argumento del libro nos sitúa en la piel de Edwuard Wonzy, un joven banquero de New York que acaba de aceptar un traslado a Londres, pero al que antes de su partida, la empresa para la que trabaja le encarga a nivel personal, ordenar y categorizar una biblioteca particular. (Aquí casi estuve a punto de dejar el libro: ¿un banquero haciendo de bibliotecario por encargo de su empresa? No tiene ni pies ni cabeza… luego acabas entendiendo que esto ya forma parte de una “conspiración”… pero confieso que como el libro lo había comprado en un supermercado [lo compré en verano y en las librerías de la población en la que me encontraba no había Ciencia Ficción] tenía prejuicios hacia el posible argumento y hacia la calidad del libro).

Total, which results in one of the books to be cataloged there is a esteganograma (mensaje cifrado de tal modo que a su vez, oculta la existencia de otro menaje cifrado, este mucho más fácil de descifrar [en principio]). El origen de este mensaje lo encontramos en un escritor de la edad media con una vida anodina. El descubrimiento del mensaje y su posible publicación podría afectar a la reputación de poderosas familias de origen noble inglés, así que mucha gente está en contra de que esto ocurra. Encontrar el libro y descifrar el mensaje llevará a nuestro protagonista a interactuar con programadores de videojuegos y con bibliotecarios expertos, cada uno de ellos descritos con profusión y mostrando sus rarezas para hacerlos más interesantes a nivel de creación de identidad de personaje.

The truth is that as when I started reading the book I was expecting the worst, did not disappoint the fact that the book itself is loose and "light" (in the sense that it suggests not raise any question of that interests me) but can be read and does its job as reading weekend escape. In addition, the author was pleasantly surprised when describing the den where the programmer who has to interact lived, indicates that "The walls were papered with posters of diagram Mandelbrot reproduced in psychedelic colors". Yes sir! A good freaky anchored in the 80 should have a diagram Mandelbrot hanging on your wall. Good description.

MandelbrotI have none, but I confess that fractals have always fascinated me. In fact, my passion for programming started when I discovered at age 13, when in an equation that I taught school in replacing the variable by a random number (random), obtenía preciosos dibujos en la pantalla de mi ZX-Spectrum. En mi cabeza, las mates dejaron de ser algo abstracto para ser algo visual y bonito (…ingenua de mí). Cuando llegué a la universidad y me tocó estudiar conceptos como Ker, núcleo, Rank… en funciones algebraicas… por desgracia, me volvieron a poner en mi lugar y nunca me recuperé :-).

But back to the diagram Mandelbrot (he is the one I show in the attached picture), precisely Benoit Mandelbrot, the mathematician creator of theories of fractal geometry, died this past October 10, 2010 and some media echoed this and explained some of their work. Through this review I also wanted to pay a tribute.

Here is the link to its listing on Wikipedia if anyone wants more information: Benoit Mandelbrot

Here is a 17-minute lecture by Mandelbrot himself in early 2010 (is interesting): TED – Mandelbrot

To see beautiful fractal images created from the geometry of Mandelbrot studies, follow this link to Google Images: Mandelbrot images

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 RESURRECTION OF ANTARCTIC" Jeremy Robinson - Thriller (Via Magna)

Although The Resurrection of Antarctica It is not published in the collection Quantum Via Magna, it is a science fiction book.Resurrection of Antarctica

El argumento que el autor plantea en el libro se basa el análisis de las consecuencias de un movimiento súbito de la corteza terrestre (al margen de la tectónica de placas), que provoca que todos los continentes queden movidos unos 40 grados respecto su posición actual. Así, los nuevos polos están ocupados por EE.UU y Australia, respectivamente, y la Antártida florece con una selva tropical.

Según la hipótesis del autor, éste fenómeno ocurre cada 10.000 años porque la Tierra gira sobre su órbita tambaleándose levemente debido a la acumulación de hielo en los polos, y es el desequilibrio entre el peso del Polo Sur y el del Polo Norte lo que provoca que cada cierto tiempo parte de la corteza se deslice encima del magma sobre el que flota. Esto explica mitos como el Diluvio Universal y un gran número de leyendas parecidas… también el de la Atlántida, aunque el autor no la nombra.

Obviously following the global catastrophe caused by the movement of the earth's crust, a large part of the population has perished beneath the waters that caused the melting of the poles and the world has great difficulty in reaching the millions wounded and displaced they have survived the frost that occurred in areas that are now the poles.

Following such an American custom (and I've never understood), the world decides that Antarctica to claim a race in which there will be three winning teams will be divided this continent is organized. So every country prepares its teams.

Once in Antarctica, teams to various types of risk will face: animals that have revived thanks to the Anhydrobiosis (a kind of liofiliación but allows animals to revive ... I know there are certain agencies that do have this capacity for regeneration ), dinosaurs and finally to biblical demons that the author calls Nephilim.

Since Jeremy Robinson (author) is scriptwriter, the whole book has pace and is very well told. If something sins, is that at times we seem to be in the chapter of a TV series.

One issue that yes I liked is how the author mixes crustal movements and the whole issue of the cycles of 10,000 years, with the map Piri Reis (An Ottoman map based on another map 1,500 years prior to Columbus in which the coasts of America and Antarctica appear). Jeremy Robinson makes the characters will appear mapped finding areas on this map and this gives an additional interest to the story.

One thing that strikes the author is the extreme religiosity of one of the protagonists ... it's almost as if we were reading science fiction Orson Scott Card ... although in the book's foreword, the author confesses that is Christian and prepares us for what We await us during reading.

However, the book reads well and is fun. Hooked from the first chapter and is one of those that if I get to catch during August, I would have read it in one fell swoop, regardless of the number of hours it took to spend. As it has been the case and apart from work in the office I had to teach, I used 4 days ... but I recognize that there have been times when I have heard bad having to leave the book for another quiet time.

Looking image to illustrate this blog post I found this video presentation ... not surprise me that the book ends in film ... the trailer for presentation have carefully worked.

More information about the Anhydrobiosis: anhydrobiosis
Information on Piri Reis map: Piri Reis Map

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