Category Archives: Books

Book Review: Scorpion Down

In 1987 I was an intern at IBM Federal Systems Division in Manassas, VA. I was working on testing the software for the AN/BQQ-5D bow-mounted spherical array sonar system for the SSN 688 Class (Los Angeles) fast attack nuclear submarines. This was shortly after Tom Clancy had written The Hunt for Red October, one of my favorite books of all time. In fact, my "interview" for the internship was almost entirely a discussion about the …Continue reading

Book Review: Queen of Candesce: Book Two of Virga

Late last year I “discovered” Karl Schroeder when I read Sun of Suns: Book One of Virga. Recently he released the 2nd book of this series titled Queen of Candesce: Book Two of Virga and I finished it this weekend. Like the first book I thoroughly enjoyed it. Like the first book, I found a few too many “convenient” plot alignments. But overall, Karl paints an amazing picture of a “world” that is extraordinarily rich …Continue reading

Book Review: Spook Country

Johnny Mnemonic, Neuromancer, Count Zero, Burning Chrome.  All phenomenal stories.  Some of my favorite reads. The Difference Engine & Pattern Recognition: I never finished them. They just didn’t resonate with me. But I still will buy anything William Gibson writes and give it a go. I just finished his latest novel, Spook Country and here are my thoughts… In the end, it’s a great premise. I won’t spoil it for you but the premise is …Continue reading


I’ve always been a huge fan of Robert Ludlum. I started reading his books when I was in middle school. I don’t think the Bourne trilogy are his best works. I think The Osterman Weekend was my favorite. But with the Bourne Ultimatum coming out as a movie this week I felt I needed to go back and re-read the series. I frankly do not remember if I ever watched the first two movies or not. …Continue reading

Book Review: River of Gods

Whew! I finally finished River of Gods by Ian McDonald this weekend. I categorize River of Gods as a “Great story but a PITA to read book”. Here’s the deal: I shouldn’t have to work to read a science fiction novel. To me “a great read” just flows…I start reading the first chapter and 17 hours later I close the book and say “wow”. The books I love to read don’t make me tired. I …Continue reading

Cheesburger Brown…rediscovered

Those of you paying attention will remember Cheesburger Brown. He’s an insanely talented sci-fi author and artist who, two years ago, penned Simon of Space as well as Darth Vader’s blog. Simon of Space was originaly written in the form of a daily serial where each chapter was posted as blog entry every day. When he was posting it, checking for new chapters was a seriously important part of my daily routine. It has since been …Continue reading

Android Dreams

I recently finished John Scalzi’s Andoid’s Dream. I’ve said it before, but I’ve always been a huge fan of Robert Heinlein and John’s writing reminds me of his. This book is John’s 3rd sci-fi novel and his maturity over time as a writer is obvious. I think Old Man’s War is my favorite Scalzi book so far (although Ghost Brigades rocked too), but this is a fun, interesting book. It has great childish humor (passing gas is a …Continue reading

Book: Sun of Suns: Virga

Found this book via Boing Boing and ordered it along with several others for reading over Christmas in Colorado. With the power outage, I had the chance to get through it last week. All in all it’s a pretty good read. The idea of an “inside out” world where the Sun(s) and the people live inside the world; a bubble, is intriguing. The author does a nice job of unfolding how it all works throughout the …Continue reading

Simon of Space is compete!

Simon of Space is complete. The last chapter has been posted. I’m shocked that the major outlets (/., BoingBoing, etc…) have not picked up on this phenomenon. You can now order a printed book version: Read this book; it is that good.

Seriously, read Simon of Space

I wrote about it before, but it warrants more attention: The online SciFi novel being presented as a blog titled Simon of Space is simply fantastic. Start reading it today at Every day I look forward to a new installment, and each one is as good or better than the previous. I can’t wait to hear how this story turns out.

First Darth Vader and now Simon

I Am A Cheeseburger ( is an immensly talented author who has been publishing some very creative things on various “Blogs”. I first discovered his Darth Vader’s Blog this spring and now am thoroughly enjoying Simon of Space, a science fiction adventure published as a blog. Really great stuff. Read it.

Old Man’s War

I wish I could read more books. I love reading. That’s the problem. I start a book, and if it’s any good, I read it cover to cover in one sitting. Even if it takes me 2 days. Instead of fixing this by being more discliplined about putting books down, I’ve taken the stance of just avoiding starting books. That way I can have a life. This weekend, however, I  broke my rule (for the …Continue reading

The Bomb In My Garden

  It is a small world and I always get a kick out of discovering connections between seemingly unrelated people and events. A few weeks ago I received a mailing from my high-school alma-mater, The Webb Schools of California, that was the typical “send us money” thing. It contained an article on Kurt Pitzer who was a year ahead of me and whom I played soccer with at Webb (he was goalie). The article talked …Continue reading

CodeView: Another Blast from the Past

A post on the Windows Off Topic mailing list today on multi-monitor reminded me of the fun we had debugging Windows 3.0 applications. In the early DOS and Windows days (I did this with Windows/386 and up) you could have both a EGA, CGA, or VGA adapter and a Hercules monochrome adapter in your system. The CodeView debugger could be configured to run on the monochrome monitor freeing the Windows GUI from the debugger. You could …Continue reading

Page 23

From Larry Grab the nearest book. Open the book to page 23. Find the fifth sentence. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions. “Right,” I said. “And in Star Wars, no one was from Earth, so everyone, technically, was an alien.” This is from Agent to The Stars by John Scalzi. I went to high-school with John, but haven’t talked with since. My buddy Robert Takata (where’s your blog …Continue reading