Artemis Fowl: Audiobooks

Some twelve year olds might be prodigies. Artemis Fowl, however, is a criminal mastermind. While plotting to restore his family's wealth after his father's disappearance this young Irishman discovers an entire world below Ireland, full of fairies, elves, and all manner of creatures of legend. But gone are the days when magic is their only weapon. These mythical folk are armed with high-tech gadgetry and they bring it all out in defense of their gold.

All the audiobooks are read by Nathaniel Parker who does excellent Irish accents and voices for all the characters. The stories also start and end with a techno-rock theme that, while some may find cheesy, I quite liked and I thought it definitely fit the tone of the story. I liked the audio versions so much that I listened to the entire series which is currently five books long with a sixth (Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox) scheduled to come out July 15th. It is also worth noting that the audio versions are the original Irish editions and not changed or edited for America. There are very few changes, but if you'd like the original versions, audio's the way to go.

It really happened!

Today is the first day of the Martian Marathon in Dearborn, MI. In fact, a library employee who ran the 10K today and I will be running the 1/2 marathon tomorrow. In honor of the event, I decided to blog about The Martian War by Gabriel Mesta, who is actually Kevin J. Anderson. Step back to Victorian England as eyewitness H. G. Wells collects reports from other survivors of the war. Be sure to check-out the original story, War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells.

Author Arthur C. Clarke dies

Arthur ClarkeArthur Clarke

Science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke died yesterday at the age of 90 in Sri Lanka. In addition to his script for the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, for which he and director Stanley Kubrick shared an Academy Award nomination (it was based on Clarke’s 1951 short story, "The Sentinel”), Clarke was the prolific author of several novels, short stories, and non-fiction works. He's also widely credited with introducing the idea of the communications satellite.

Read more at CNN.

Another fine classic

First published in 1969, Ursula K. Le Guin's Left Hand of Darkness won both the 1969 Nebula and 1970 Hugo awards. The story revolves around Genly Ai, a representative of the Ekumen human federation of worlds and Therem Harth rem ir Estraven, the prime minister of Karhide. Genly is sent to Gethen, to negotiate their entry into the Ekumen federation. Gethen is divided into two kingdoms Karhide and Orgoreyn. Genly must negotiate with both to to accomplish his goals. The story is divided into three sections covering Genly's visit to both kingdoms and a journey over glaciers connecting Orgoreyn and Karhide. Enjoy

Future Warfare

Drones are now a part of the modern day battlefield. In the future, robot warriors make take the field in the place of their human counter-parts. In Bolo and Old Soldiers author David Weber continues the works of Keith Laumer describing future warzones. Bolos are gigantic robot battle tanks. The tanks are programmed with artifical intelligence which is designed to serve and proect humans throughout the galaxy. Check these books out to see what might happen in mankinds future.

Why do bad things happen to good people?

It's aliens! In Interlopers author Alan Dean Foster tells us the story archeologist Cody Westcott uncovers their secret. The trans-dimensional creatures feed on human pain and misery, from headaches to nervous breakdowns and even war. Now that Cody knows their secret, he starts a one-man war against them as he races to save his wife from alien control.

Teleportation - the next generation

Who can fathom the minds and imaginations of young boys? Not me, but I do like to guess. Surveying toys and electronics at home – especially Power Rangers and Transformers - I’m guessing teleportation could be on the horizon, particularly considering the Feb. 14 release of the film Jumper. Some promising signs: When the book came out, it received good reviews. And the film may have scenes shot in Ann Arbor, according to the Ann Arbor News. So repeat after me: “Anywhere is possible . . .”

If TV killed the book, what did the Internet kill?

Have you ever read Fahrenheit 451 and thought it was all about censorship? According to a quote on Wikipedia, author Ray Bradbury really wrote the book about how TV destroyed interest in books. Humm. Very interesting. I had never thought about that. So if TV killed the book, what has the Internet killed? Seems like there are a number of possiblities. How about CDs and DVDs? What about books (again), magazines, and newspapers? Maybe all of those things still have a place in our society just like books in Bradbury's story. Form your own opinions by first reading the book. You can also listen to it on cassette or on CD. It can also be seen on DVD or VHS.

Burn baby burn...

When the South Won

What would North America be like if the South had won the Civil War? Author Harry Turtledove examines the idea in his book How Few Remain. The book is the first in the Timeline-191 series. The story's alternate history begins on September 10, 1862.

History tells us that on September 10, 1862, a Confederate messenger lost General Robert E. Lee's Special Order 191. The order outlined General Lee's plans for the Invasion of the North. Union soldiers found General Lee's orders. The orders were used by George McClellan to defeat the Army of Northern Virginia at the Battle of Antietam.

When He Was Young

So far I've been avoiding this topic. Not out of any fear mind you, but rather because it's so big. It's the Star Wars universe. You can't go down an aisle of science fiction books without being buried by their sheer volume. Since I'm old school, I can remember sitting in the theater for Star Wars A New Hope as a kid, I like the old Star Wars books. Here are some great ones, The Han Solo Adventures, consisting of Han Solo At Stars' End, Han Solo's Revenge, and Han Solo and the Lost Legacy. In these stories we get to read about a younger Han Solo and Chewbacca as they do their best to make a living in the Corporate Sector.

When combined with A. C. Crispin's Han Solo Trilogy and L. Neil Smith's The Adventures of Lando Calrissian you can get a very complete picture of Han's early life as a smuggler and Lando's a rogue too.

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