The Lost City of Faar

In the continuing stories of Bobby Pendragon, this time around he has to save the ocean Territory of Cloral. It’s a fascinating world, where at some point in the long past, the world flooded such that everyone now lives in floating cities. They have all sorts of neat water based technology and what seems like a pretty peaceful, fun loving society. Of course things are about to go wrong.

Plotwise, things seem mostly straightforward. There’s a lost city (Farr; which of course turns out to be real ), pirates, and an ‘accidental’ plague (oh! the horrors of GMO foods!). Nothing super surprising, but still enough tension to pull you through the book.


Making Money

It was sad, like those businessmen who came to work in serious clothes but wore colorful ties in a mad, desperate attempt to show there was a free spirit in there somewhere.

In Going Postal, ‘former’ conman Moist von Lipwig rebuilt Ankh-Morpork post from the ground up… but now he’s bored. Everything is running as it should; there’s nothing left to fix. So when Vetinari offers him the chance to do the same to the bank… of course he runs the other way. One thing leads to another though and eventually the Moist ends up with a new dog who just so happens to own the majority share in the bank. Good times.


The Merchant of Death

I know I’ve read The Merchant of Death / the Pendragon books before, but it’s been long enough that I couldn’t even say for sure when. It might have even been back when I was the same age as the eponymous protagonist Bobby Pendragon rather than more than twice that. I think I enjoyed it quite a bit though, so worth giving it a chance to reread.

On the plus side, the main characters were well enough done for the most part. They all felt distinct and for the most part felt real. The main counterpoints to that is the ‘big bad’ of the book Saint Dane–you can almost hear the mustache twirling and mwahahaing–and the ‘little* bad’–an overweight caricature of the ‘corrupt queen’, constantly eating and laughing at the slaughter


Going Postal

At the time of writing this, Going Postal is tied for the second highest rated Discworld book on Goodreads (tied with Men at Arms at 4.37, behind Night Watch at 4.48). There’s a reason for this…

Essentially, Going Postal takes a small pile of topics–technical innovation and traditional technology versus the new hotness; conmen and businessmen; the postal service itself–and squishes them together with the wonderful latter book Discworld flair Pratchett is so known for.


Monstrous Regiment

Do you think it’s possible for an entire nation to be insane?

Well…


Warbound

We become Grimnoir in order to become heroes, to sacrifice our lives in the pursuit of a higher cause, to defend the defenseless … I’ve found that means attending a lot of funerals.

Hard Magic was a magical detective / spy story. It was a lot of fun, but there were only a few hints of the bigger story behind the story.


Deep Dreams with Fish and Docker

DeepDream is a research project originally from Google that gives you a look into how neural networks see the world. They’re fascinating, bizarre, and a lot of fun to play with. A bit of work getting them to work on your own machine though.

Luckily, GitHub user saturnism has put together a lovely Docker-based tool that will do just that for us: deepdream-cli-docker. Unfortunately, the commands are still a bit long. Let’s clean it up a bit and add the ability to dream about non-JPGs (animated GIFs especially!).


The Blinding Knife

The Blinding Knife is what a sequel should be. It takes the action and magic that made The Black Prism good and made it better while toning down a lot of the exposition and over-characterization that made it a bit of a drag at times.

On the plus side, the magic system has a lot more depth than it did in the first book while at the same time not spending quite as much time hitting us over the head with terms we don’t quite understand yet. Even if I don’t necessarily like some of the choices (like why you can’t draft green from white light by default), it’s still a well done system. Otherwise, the worldbuilding has gotten bigger. Magical trading cards. Seers. Old Gods.


Spellbound

Spellbound takes the straightforward noir/spy/magic Hard Magic and makes it bigger.

This is America. The government doesn’t own the people. The people own the government.


Eagle Creek

Wonderful day for an outing. Almost like Spring… Soon. Flickr Galleries require JavaScript to view View on Flickr