Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Hawn Locks, just right. The cost is from $2.50 to about $3.50. Now here is the interesting part, you don't pay the other person to send you a book. You post or list the books your willing to trade, then when someone wants one of your books, you mail it to them. When received you get a credit and can request any book. Then that book is sent to you by its owner and they get the credit next. This I have found is the cheapest and easiest of the online paperback acquiring methods, it does have draw backs; time delay is one of the smaller problems, the books are mailed 'media mail' and subject to lower rates, this means they can take longer to reach there destination. Choice is the next problem, allot of very popular, rare or expensive books don't show up very often. Then the biggest problem with SciFi is we readers of SciFi have a tendency to hang on to the books we really like. So head on over to PaperBackSwap.com, Sign up and start trading... and if you have any "Doc Smith" post them... ;)
Thursday, February 11, 2010
So how do we collect our treasured books?
1/2$Bks is a great used book store I make to or thee pilgrimages there a year frequently coming out with a small bag of goodies. When searching half priced books look for the older covers, The price of the book is half the cover price. So a book from the eighties and nineties will run you around two to three bucks but later printings of the same book can run four to five bucks. Not a huge difference but when I buy eight to fifteen on a single haul, that's eight of fifteen bucks or three or for more books.
Don't forget to check out front as well as the dollar racks. The key here is to look at every title, I've found many books here for just one dollar and they were worth the time. Like the classics? Many old classic books can be found bagged for one dollar. Last tip for 1/2$Bks, when you walk in ask someone behind the counter for a ten percent off coupon.
Next Post Online hunting for SciFi Paperbacks!
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Ilium is set in mankind's distant future. Three stories unfold into a epic style journey only comparable in its complexity with its initial premise the Iliad. Mankind is now nothing but a shell of it former greatness, brought down by our lazyness, our ultimate demise. Unlike some distopia predicted by the likes of Gibson, Stevenson or even Tevis, this futrue is of opulence and decdence. Mankind neither creates, explores or builds, they live a dream life of being served and seeking only pleasure. On teriformed Mars at the base of Mons Olympos lies the plains of Ilium where the the Iliad is being replayed for the pleasure of the Greek Gods, all of them. Sent to investigate the happings on Mars is a team of robots/syborgs from depths of our solar system.
Unlike many futures of Gibson, Stevenson and Tevis, Simmons takes mankind down a more Wells or Clarke path. The advance technology, an ultimate liberating force, is the ultimate path to an Eloi way of life, sans Morlocs. Though the story of the remaining humans, after the Posts humans have gone, is a cross between Mockingbird and Logan's Run. The mind runs through "what would I do in that place" scenarios as we learn more and more about life after post humans. The world of earth is filled with the types of tech only the really future hungry can appreciate. The only thing none advanced is a the none faxing form of transport, walking or riding in alien pulled carts. Mankind has forgotten how to use most of the really cool stuff left around.
On the plains of Ilium the Trojan war rages on fueled by the Greek Gods. In the mix are a group of Professors called Scholics specializing in Homer's Iliad. They observe the Iliad as it plays out reporting to the muses, who are in charge of the Scholics, any discrepancy's in the story line as it plays out. At first this is a bit tedious not quite as bad a reading the Iliad or for that matter any other work translated from Homer. The story does take on a life of its own as the the plot begins to thicken, in a way only the Greek Myths, or their modern day equivalent, the Soap Opera, can imbue. This then gets intwined with the robots from space.
Morvacs a race of robots inhabiting the solar system began to see strange quantum signatures from mars and notice odd figure heads poping up on coastlines across mars, reminiscent of easter island. Our Morvac mission comes under attack and almost comes to an end except for the aid of a cult like aliens "little green men". Even though they are not described as having three eyes I'm unable to see anything but the little green alien toys from Toy Story. The tail of the Morvacs is soon intertwined with the story of the Iliad being played out.
Ilium was thoroughly an enjoyable read. I look forward to Olympos!
Saturday, January 23, 2010
This is the web site hands down. If you want to find out what books were written by a certain author or just looking for a book in particular, this is the place to go.
you can search by Author or Titles and they show the books by the cover, as well as group them by series.
Check it out today!
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Memories are funny things, especially when I've read so many books. Sometimes the stories seem to blend together. I was clicking through Fantastic Fiction, a great web site for SciFi, Fantasy and other genre, when I clicked to the Jack Chalker page and found he had died in two thousand and five.
A deep sadness came over me, I have read a few of his books. My favorites being the well world saga. I scrolled down and found listings for the Well World books and what did I find but two more books I've not read. I also noticed that I hadn't yet read the first book. How I missed that, don't know.
I headed over to paperbackswap.com and used up the rest of my credits ordering the three missing books. Soon I was reading the saga all over again.
The three books new to me were, of course, quite good. The others, the ones I have read, well they were different. The story line was basically the same but there were huge details I had completely forgotten or we're extremely different. Whole story lines were new to me, some of the characters were even new as well as their story lines. What the hell is going on around here?
Needless to say it seemed quite strange to me, here was one of my favorite
series of books and I had remembered it ...wrong. Yet it was fun rereading these books. It see med as if I had only read a synopsis of the works and I was reading them for the first time. I got to rediscover some old friends and relearn an old story.
What was going on here? I had quite the feeling of disconnect. Was some one getting ready to offer me a red or blue pill? Am I suffering from a botched alien memory wipe? Early onset of Alzheimer? Is it poor memory implants and I'm a replicant? Cognitive dissonance?
No, turns out I'm quite normal in fact I'm more average than I'd like to believe. Memories are funny a thing. Turns out most of our memories are poor and worse yet they don't even record the way we think they do. Also the m
ore you use those memories, recall them, retell them, the more likely you are to keep them whole as well as accurate. Be prepared though some will still drift any way.
An experiment was done, where a group of students were asked to write down what they were doing when a major event occurred.
A few years later they were then asked to do this again for the same event. The two stories were compared and the differences were amazing. Some even argued that their earlier writings were wrong.
Have you ever gone back and watched a favorite show from long ago or perhaps your youth? Say a favorite shoe you and your wife watched like, maybe Doctor Who? Even the favorite story line like, say the Daleks' story. Then found it to be, um, lacking? Let's just say I won't be watching any more of the old Doctor Who. I wish to keep my altered memories...altered.