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A Week of Books - Part 1

I've been catching up on reading over the last month and I feel like taking a break from things technical/community/etc minded, so I'm going to share some mainly non technical books I've read.

The first is Red Thunder by John Varley. Totally sci-fi, it's about going to Mars - but the interesting part is that it's built around the idea that they have an unlimited power source. Think about how that changes things! They are thinking about how to store provisions for the flight, with no weight restrictions they buy a freezer at Sears and take along a microwave. The weightier part of this book goes into what might happen if such a power source were discovered; it could be used as a weapon, and at the least you might have those that try to control it and so keep others down. It's a fun book, but with a nice under current of what if.

The second is Lost Fleet: Dauntless by Jack Campbell. Here you've got a much revered space battle commander who was frozen for about a 100 years, and turns up when he seems to be needed most. The challenge - he's become a legend and he was never quite the legend they think he was. Yet, in the end, you see that maybe he was after all. Reminds me a little bit of the Tactics of Mistake by Gordon Dickson, and a little bit of Enders Game too. It's a lot about obligations, tradition (for better or worse), and making hard decisions. It's a more serious book than Red Thunder, but still a lot of fun to read and I'm looking forward to reading the continuation of it soon.

Both were recommended by Steve Jones and I'll have to give him credit for the recommendations, good stuff and worth the $8 each. Though I did read them the old fashioned way on paper, not the new fangled Kindle he loves!


I'm Andy Warren, currently a SQL Server trainer with End to End Training. Over the past few years I've been a developer, DBA, and IT Director. I was one of the original founders of SQLServerCentral.com and helped grow that community from zero to about 300k members before deciding to move on to other ventures.


Posted by Grant Fritchey on 15 December 2008

Cool choices, funny too. I've gotten through Red Thunder already, great read. I'm sitting here looking at The Lost Fleet:Dauntless and Rolling Thunder (a sequel to Red Thunder) in my "to be read" stack (and yeah, I'm still into killing trees too). I just finished re-reading The moon is a Harsh Mistress. If you're looking for something more modern with a good hard sf edge, The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman is pretty good.

Posted by John Magnabosco on 15 December 2008

Here are some other good reads since you are a sci-fi fan:

"The Fountains of Paradise" - Arthur C. Clarke

"Pastwatch" - Orson Scott Card

Posted by Steve Jones on 15 December 2008

Rolling Thunder and Red Lightening are both good sequels, following through with successive generations from the same story.

The remainder of the Lost Fleet series is great as well, each one ending as a cliffhanger. There are 4 done, but supposedly 6 total coming.

Posted by Andy Warren on 16 December 2008

John, I've read Pastwatch and it is excellent, one of my favorites by Card (along with Enders Game of course) I'll take a look at the other one.

Grant, I'll look at your suggestions too, always need more to read. Plant a new tree and call it even on the paper consumption.

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