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Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories
Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories
by China Miéville
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.85
60 used & new from $10.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Quite Possibly This Year's Best Short Story Collection, August 31, 2015
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One of the premier literary stylists and storytellers in contemporary Anglo-American literature, not only speculative fiction, China Miéville demonstrates why he may be the most interesting writer currently working in Great Britain in this splendid collection of short stories, "Three Moments of an Explosion". Most of these are recently published stories, having appeared in print - or online - in journals like Icon Magazine ("The Rope is the World"), Tor.co.uk ("Polynia" ), and Granta ("The Buzzard's Egg"), though there are some, like the title story ("Three Moments of an Explosion") that appeared in self-published form on his website. Miéville - who writes what Jeff VanderMeer has dubbed "new weird fiction" and may be its finest practitioner - offers readers a compellingly readable blend of science fiction, horror and fantasy in memorable flash fiction pieces like the title story to longer works like those I have mentioned. "Polynia" is a spellbinding eyewitness account of what happens with floating icebergs hover in the sky above London. "The Rope is the World" may be the most fascinating space elevator speculative fiction tale I have read, in which the narrator recounts tersely, the history of their construction. In "The Buzzard's Egg", the narrator has a "conversation" with the statue of the demi-god, that is memorable for its melancholy tone, and vividly descriptive prose. The flash fiction piece "A Mount" may be the collection's best, about a young boy who has an intense fascination with a porcelain horse sculpture. And then there is "The Design", about a medical student who unexpectedly finds an elegantly wrought design on the skeleton of a corpse he is studying in his anatomy course, which may be one of Miéville's most disturbing - and engrossing - weird fiction tales. Without a doubt, "Three Moments of an Explosion" is a long overdue addition to Miéville's oeuvre of notable, quite compelling, novels and short story collections; it must be seen as one of the most important - if not the most important - short story collections newly published this year.


RUBAN 24x Slim USB 3.0 External Cd DVD Rw+- ± Cdrw Dvdrw Combo Burner Writer Drive for All Windows Xp WIN 7 Vista Linux Mac 10 os system Lenovo Asus Sony Gateway Dell Macbook Loptop Pc Portable (CD/DVD-RW-3.0)
RUBAN 24x Slim USB 3.0 External Cd DVD Rw+- ± Cdrw Dvdrw Combo Burner Writer Drive for All Windows Xp WIN 7 Vista Linux Mac 10 os system Lenovo Asus Sony Gateway Dell Macbook Loptop Pc Portable (CD/DVD-RW-3.0)
Offered by Laptop-Services
Price: $39.99
2 used & new from $39.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Slim Portable Optical Drive, August 31, 2015
One of the finest external portable drives I have used, I tested the Ruban 24X USB Slim Portable Optical Drive with two Dell SSD laptops operating with recently installed Windows 10 Professional, and this worked superbly with both. It has a remarkably small profile that might lead potential users into thinking that it is an external hard drive, not an optical drive. Ruban offers plug and play usage with this optical drive, with its software easily installable. It is quite fast, and quite possibly, faster, than other optical drives or other external CD/DVD player drives I have used. Although I received a sample from the manufacturer for testing, please note that mine is a sincere, heart-felt, review of this superb external optical drive.


You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine: A Novel
You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine: A Novel
by Alexandra Kleeman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.36
43 used & new from $14.36

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Weird Psychological Thriller about the Body and Consumerism, August 29, 2015
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For those unfamiliar with great writing about science and nature from the likes of Diane Ackerman, Jared Diamond, Stephen Jay Gould, David Quammen, and E. O. Wilson, Alexandra Kleeman’s “”You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine”, will be a revelation, and more than a few have noted elsewhere how she writes about the human body like no other, in her compellingly readable debut novel. While there is much to admire in Kleeman’s descriptions of human anatomy, it may be wrong to conclude that her descriptions are as unique or as well written as those I have mentioned, especially Gould’s, who drew repeatedly upon references to popular culture, music, architecture, history and literature in his notable nonfiction pertaining to paleobiology and other aspects of evolutionary biology. Instead, Kleeman has written a memorably weird psychological thriller that owes much to Haruki Murakami, early Thomas Pynchon, and perhaps, to an extent, Rick Moody too, exploring a literary terrain well-traveled by the likes of China Miéville, David Mitchell, and Jeff VanderMeer, among others, which VanderMeer has dubbed “ new weird fiction”. A weird psychological thriller whose speculative fictional aspects rank her debut novel alongside Jess Row’s “Your Face in Mine” as the best recently published speculative fiction novel written by an American mainstream literary fiction writer, in a literary style that will remind some of William Gibson’s recent work, especially his “Blue Ant” trilogy (“Pattern Recognition”, “Spook Country”, “Zero History”). Gibson has said that we live in a “science fictional present”, and Kleeman’s debut novel may be the closest I have seen from a mainstream literary fiction writer that explores this very notion, adhering to an extent, what J. G. Ballard has dubbed the “tool kit of science fiction”.

In a manner reminiscent of Murakami, and perhaps Franz Kafka too, Kleeman introduces us to three characters known only as A, B and C, with A and B female roommates in some nondescript New York City apartment, and C, A’s long-time boyfriend. Told in first person from A’s perspective, she describes how she spends her time eating popsicles and oranges, and watches television, especially commercials, and, in particular, those promoting Kandy Kakes that have become her dietary obsession. How she becomes absorbed in trying to reshape her body, as a means of making herself more physically attractive like those actors she has seen in many television commercials. Meanwhile B has become obsessed with transforming herself into A’s twin, seeing in A, a role model well worth emulating. After becoming obsessed with Michael, an unlikely television hero who has purchased all the veal from a local supermarket chain, A decides to apply to the reality television show “That’s My Partner!” and joins a Christian church that mandates a most unique set of dietary restrictions upon its members.

Wildly imaginative and darkly satirical in her writing, Kleeman demonstrates that she is a keen observer of human nature. Her writing sparkles with ample intelligence, in a manner not too dissimilar from Rick Moody’s best writing. It is a noteworthy fictional exploration of love, sex, faith, appetite and marketing, deserving of some favorable comparisons with the likes of Gibson and Murakami. However, her heroine, A, isn’t nearly as riveting a character as Gibson’s Molly, from his exceptional debut novel “Neuoromancer”, Chloe Bathurst from James Morrow’s recently published, quite brilliant – and unfortunately, ignored - “Galapagos Regained” or the heroine in Haruki Murakami’s “1Q84”. While this is a notable flaw in an otherwise fine literary debut, it shouldn’t discourage readers from buying copies of Kleeman’s debut novel, for which there is much to admire for the reasons I have stated. Kleeman demonstrates she is one of the most distinctive, and original, voices of her generation, having written a debut novel worthy of consideration as among this year’s best.


Chasing the Phoenix: A Science Fiction Novel
Chasing the Phoenix: A Science Fiction Novel
by Michael Swanwick
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.23
47 used & new from $12.83

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Delightful Darger and Surplus Romp Through a Post-Utopian China, August 28, 2015
Demonstrating once more why he is one of the premier literary stylists and storytellers in Anglo-American speculative fiction, Michael Swanwick's "Chasing the Phoenix" is yet another madcap romp through the post-Utopian future of Aubrey Darger and Sir Blackthorpe Ravenscairn de Plus Precieux - better known as Surplus; a compelling sequel to his earlier "Dancing with Bears" and the all too brief, quite hilarious, short fiction he's written about these two extraordinary con men (or rather, genetically modified dog, Surplus) who may be among the most compelling fictional creations in contemporary American literature, not just speculative fiction. Those unfamiliar with Swanwick's earlier novel, or his other Darger and Surplus tales, will find "Chasing the Phoenix" a most delightful read, not least because Swanwick's exceptional literary talents have raised what should be an ordinary example of pulp speculative fiction to high literary art. What more can you ask of a novel that has bioengineered extinct creatures, hordes of invading armies, and a long-lost nuclear warhead? In "Chasing the Phoenix", Darger and Surplus find themselves the unexpected architects of a successful effort to reunite China under the rule of a single emperor, merging a motley collection of warring states into a revived Chinese Empire. Without question, Michael Swanwick has written yet another notable addition to his splendid oeuvre of novels and stories, and one that may be remembered as among the finest new novels of speculative fiction published this year.


By the Sword (The Spoils of Olympus) (Volume 1)
By the Sword (The Spoils of Olympus) (Volume 1)
by Christian Kachel
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.49
28 used & new from $7.71

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Historical Fiction Novel Set at the Dawn of the Hellenistic World, August 27, 2015
"By the Sword (The Spoils of Olympus) (Volume 1)" is among the best recently published historical fiction novels I have read, told admirably from a soldier's perspective from a writer who, himself, is a former soldier. Christian Kachel's self-published novel is one of the rare few I have read that warrant favorable comparisons with those published by traditional publishing houses. It will appeal to fans of Steven Pressfield's novels set in Classical Greece, not least because this covers a pivotal moment in the Hellenistic world, more than a year after Alexander's untimely death in Babylon. Kachel has written a most memorable account about war during the Hellenistic period, as seen through the eyes of an ordinary soldier, Andrikos, who, through some unexpected twists and turns of fates, soon leads a double life as a spy working in the name of surviving members of Alexander's Macedonian dynasty. Without a doubt, Kachel deserves ample credit for his superb historical research, without losing sight of what it takes to tell a compellingly gripping fictional tale. I have no doubt that succeeding volumes in this series will be as memorable as this debut, not least because of Kachel's superb storytelling talent and fine prose, drawing upon his prior service in the Middle East serving in the United States military forces.


The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth)
The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth)
by N. K. Jemisin
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.97
31 used & new from $8.53

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Finest Fantasy Novel of the Year, August 26, 2015
"The Fifth Season" is the fantasy novel of the year, worthy of comparison with Robert Jackson Bennett's "City of Stairs" published last year for the exceptional quality of Jemisin's world-building, memorable characters, vividly realized plotting, and exceptionally crafted prose. Both superb novels are the finest fantasy novels published in recent years, with Jemisin demonstrating that she may be our foremost contemporary epic fantasy writer of our time. While I admire greatly, N. K. Jemisin's earlier "The Inheritance Trilogy", "The Fifth Season" represents her maturation as one of the most important storytellers and literary stylists in contemporary speculative fiction. Clearly she has embarked upon her most ambitious fantasy epic yet; an epic fantasy that is a compelling saga about love, identity and power, coupled with thoughtful reflections about gender, race and class which are persistent themes ever present in her fiction. But more importantly, in her dramatically realistic depictions of her characters, she reminds us of some of the foremost literary stylists of "New Wave" Anglo-American Speculative Fiction; not only such obvious candidates as Ursula K. Le Guin, Samuel R. Delany and Joanna Russ, but even, the likes of Angela Carter too. As a former geologist, I'll concede my initial skepticism with using terms like "orogenes" and "orogeny", but I was soon won over by her exceptionally high literary craft, starting with her exceptional world building. Without question, "The Fifth Season" is destined to be remembered as one of this year's most notable new works of speculative fiction, and one that should be a strong contender for all of the major awards in science fiction and fantasy.


Microsoft Windows 10 Home | Download
Microsoft Windows 10 Home | Download
Price: $119.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Microsoft Gets It (Mostly) RIght For Home Users, August 7, 2015
Finally Microsoft gets it right, offering users an operating system that offers the best from Windows 7 and Windows 8, that may be the most pleasant using - and viewing - experience I have had on a laptop, including those made by Apple. (In fact, I think the new Windows 10 is superior to Apple's latest operating system.) I've been able to upgrade to Windows 10 Home for free, replacing Windows 7 Home on one laptop so far. The upgrade was surprisingly easy, taking at most an hour and a half to download and then install the upgraded software. Those familiar with Windows operating systems up to Windows 7 will greatly appreciate the return of the start menu, but in a greatly improved, updated form, which has Windows 8's visual appeal, but still opts for a KISS (Keep IT Simple Stupid) philosophy. The major difference that I have determined so far between Microsoft 10 Windows Home and Microsoft Windows 10 Professional is the start menu, which looks much nicer - and less cluttered - than Windows 10 Professional; though both are substantial improvements in the start menu of Windows prior to Windows 8. I've tried the new Microsoft Edge browser and like it, but don't like that I have to important favorite pages from my earlier Internet Explorer browser, or that the new Microsoft Edge doesn't support add-ons to allow searching via Google or Norton Safe Search. Instead, I would recommend that users try to retain Internet Explorer 11 as their default browser so they can use online security software like Norton's easily. However, despite my strong misgivings with respect to Microsoft Edge, I think overall, Microsoft has released a superior operating system that looks to be better than Apple's.


Microsoft Windows 10 Pro | Download
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro | Download
Price: $199.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Microsoft Gets It (Mostly) Right, August 6, 2015
Finally Microsoft gets it right, offering users an operating system that offers the best from Windows 7 and Windows 8, that may be the most pleasant using - and viewing - experience I have had on a laptop, including those made by Apple. (In fact, I think the new Windows 10 is superior to Apple's latest operating system.) I've been able to upgrade to Windows 10 Professional for free, replacing Windows 7 Professional on several laptops. In each case, the upgrade was surprisingly easy, taking at most an hour and a half to download and then install the upgraded software. Those familiar with Windows operating systems up to Windows 7 will greatly appreciate the return of the start menu, but in a greatly improved, updated form, which has Windows 8's visual appeal, but still opts for a KISS (Keep IT Simple Stupid) philosophy. I've tried the new Microsoft Edge browser and like it, but don't like that I have to important favorite pages from my earlier Internet Explorer browser, or that the new Microsoft Edge doesn't support add-ons to allow searching via Google or Norton Safe Search. Instead, I would recommend that users try to retain Internet Explorer 11 as their default browser so they can use online security software like Norton's easily. However, despite my strong misgivings with respect to Microsoft Edge, I think overall, Microsoft has released a superior operating system that looks to be better than Apple's.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 21, 2015 6:13 PM PDT


California: A Novel
California: A Novel
by Edan Lepucki
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.79
236 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Debut Novel About A Young Couple In Crisis, July 31, 2015
This review is from: California: A Novel (Hardcover)
One of the more notable debut novels of 2014, "California" is recommendable as a compelling saga of a young couple forced to survive in the wilderness and live by their wits, after fleeing a decaying Los Angeles sometime in the near future. Debut novelist Edan Lepucki deserves praise in writing compellingly about the young couple Cal and Frida, and how they must contend with the internal political dynamics of a survivalist New Ageish commune and its charismatic leader, while also coping with Frida's unexpected pregnancy. As a work of near future apocalyptic/dystopian speculative fiction, "California" is far more realistic than either Alena Graedon's "The Word Exchange" or Emily St. John Mandel's "Station Eleven" - two of the highly touted dystopian speculative fiction novels from mainstream literary fiction writers also published for the first time last year - but, like them, it has its own problems in speculative fictional world-building - starting with a plausible explanation for Los Angeles' decay that would result in thousands fleeing it - that render it as a far less compelling work of near future dystopian speculative fiction than Peter Heller's "The Dog Stars", Davide Longo's "The Last Man Standing", and Paolo Bacigalupi's "The Water Knife". Lepucki does deserve praise for the quality of her prose and storytelling in "California"; those who treat it more as a very good debut novel about a young couple in crisis than as near future dystopian speculative fiction will find much worth reading from a writer who warrants ample attention as one of the noteworthy young American writers of her generation.


KingCamp Free Space Cotton Flannel, Easier Movements Super Big Sleeping Bag for Camping,Green/ Blue (BLUE)
KingCamp Free Space Cotton Flannel, Easier Movements Super Big Sleeping Bag for Camping,Green/ Blue (BLUE)
Offered by E2E
Price: $53.60

5.0 out of 5 stars Fine Cotton Flannel Sleeping Bag, July 31, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This may be the most comfortable sleeping bag I have used, and one that screams quality from its superb waterproof bag to the finely woven cotton flannel textile from which the bag is made of. I highly recommend it, not least because I think other purchasers may agree that it is the perfect sleeping for sleeping outdoors or inside.


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