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14 February 2011 @ 04:10 pm
Two book wins in one big post!  
I was a naughty nerd and bought a Kindle with part of my income tax return. I <3 it so, so much. And of course, in digging through the available e-books in search of free/reduced price stuff, I did purchase a couple of the more expensive ones to celebrate.

I have two books I want to sing the praises of right now, and one more that I'm partway through that is definitely a win for me. (That one I'll probably wait to review though.) So. On with the books. Note that both of them are the Kindle edition but as far as I know are available as regular books as well.

1) Metagame by Sam Landstrom.

This one I bought on sale after I read the reviews. Let me first say that I like science fiction in general but it has to be a special story in the "cyberpunk" genre to really hook me. This one, surprisingly, fit the bill.

It begins in the aftermath of a brutal murder, as a young man tries to reconcile his personal feelings about the woman he killed with the necessity of the game of life. In this world, life is a video game. People are constantly jacked in, playing "grinder" games (basically what we would call work), MMOs, etc. They are referred to as their online handles only. The world religion is an AI called the Oversoul, and church services are reminiscent of the "rave" in the second Matrix movie. Points are earned for every action (including name dropping products, so you'll see a lot of "tm" after different words in the text). The points are currency, and eventually if a player level is high enough, they can obtain immortality. Oh, and under certain circumstances, murder is not only sanctioned but encouraged.

Essentially, the murder at the beginning sets the stage for D_Light's story. Because of it he is invited to join a special type of game taking place in the real world for once. Only the nobility is invited to play, and if they win, their team gains immortality. And since D_Light still has a conscience buried in there, he has to decide how far he'll go to win.

Now, YMMV on whether you enjoy it or not; it's a very specific setup and a very specific type of novel. However, as a gamer and a sci-fi fan, I very much enjoyed it and recommend it to everyone I can. It took a little bit to become accustomed to the jargon of the universe Mr. Langstrom has created, but once I did, I could NOT put it down. Besides, you can't go wrong with excerpts of a religious text written by Minister A_Dude. :D

2) The Reel Stuff by Brian Thomsen & Martin H. Greenburg

Again, a small disclaimer. I absolutely LOVE short story collections. I am often willing to forgive one or two crappy stories if the overall collection is awesome. This particular anthology grabbed my attention because it is a collection of stories that became movies. Here is the list of contents:

1) Mimic by Donald A. Wolheim. (Mimic)
2) Second Variety by Philip K. Dick (Screamers)
3) Amanda & the Alien by Robert Silverburg. (Amanda & the Alien, 1996 cable TV movie.)
4) Sandkings by George R. R. Martin (Outer Limits or Twilight Zone episode)
5) We Can Remember It For You Wholesale by Philip K. Dick (Total Recall)
6) Air Raid by John Varley (Millennium)
7) The Forbidden by Clive Barker (Candyman)
8) Johnny Mnemonic by William Gibson (Johnny Mnemonic)
9) Enemy Mine by Barry Longyear (Enemy Mine)
10) Nightflyers by George R. R. Martin (Nightflyers, 1987)
11) Herbert West: Re-Animator by H.P. Lovecraft (Re-Animator)
12) Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell (The Thing)
13) The Minority Report by Philip K. Dick (Minority Report)

I put the movies they became in parenthesis next to the titles. Interestingly enough, I've read #10 in several different collections and NEVER realized they made it into a movie. Some of these I'd already read (I have Re-Animator in one of my other Lovecraft books, I think, and I've got the fleshed out version of Air Raid as well.) I never realized Enemy Mine was originally a short story. I've seen several, but not all, of the movies on this list and it was fascinating to me to see how the story evolved to screen. I am aware that there are some more famous ones missing, and some of them aren't as famous as others.. but the concept sucked me in and I loved every second of it. Worth a read if you're interested in seeing the origins of some classic (and not so classic) movies. :)

Also, curse this community. I've purchased at least three or four books in the last couple of days because of you guys. :P My poor Kindle, which I've had for less than a week (although I've been using the Kindle software on my phone for about a month) has over 90 books on it already. :P
 
 
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❤snotty on February 16th, 2011 05:00 am (UTC)