Current Non-Fiction Reading

My Twenty Years of Racing — Juan Manuel Fangio

Sometimes a book appears in a charity shop that one just can’t resist.

Yes, a real paper and card book, made out of trees and stuff, i actually own one, and it’s a hardback and everything!!!

Juan’s Page

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A Master of Djinn — P. Djèlí Clark

Carrying straight on from where The Haunting of Tram Car 015 left off, with all our favourite characters involved, this really is some great writing.

This trilogy has been my first taste of Djèlí’s writing and i’m very impressed.   His imagination is excellent and his ability to put that imagination into words for all us avid readers is simply marvellous.   I’m certainly going to be reading more of his work in the future: i’m hooked.

All in all, a wonderful blend of steampunk, fantasy and folklore all thrown into an alternative history in Cairo with lots of shenanigans mixed will in.   And it’s great to have main protagonists who are strong women, from different religions, who also happen to be in a same sex relationship.

P. Djèlí Clark’s Page

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The Haunting of Tram Car 015 — P. Djèlí Clark

Very similar to A Dead Djinn in Cairo, although with mostly different characters and a lot more pages to enjoy.

Once again, wonderfully written, keeps on a moving, interesting characters, great descriptions.

The only thing left to do is to read A Master of Djinn, which is a rather good length novel that i’m so looking forward to devouring.

P. Djèlí Clark’s Page

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A Dead Djinn in Cairo — P. Djèlí Clark

The first book in the Dead Djinn Universe, and what a good start it was.   While it’s only a short story, 36 pages, it’s a very good short story and is packed with great hints as to what the rest of the series is going to be like in this alternative fantasy/steampunk Cairo.

The title gives the beginning away in that a Dead Djinn is found in Cairo by its lover.   A special investigator from the “Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments, and Supernatural Entities” is brought in with a police inspector to investigate and then it’s just non stop until the end.

Then once you’re at the end of this i can’t imagine that any reader wouldn’t want to dive straight into The Haunting of Tram Car 015, which is the next book in the series.

Great writing, great characters and just plain good stuff for those who like their fantasy mixed up with steampunk elements.

P. Djèlí Clark’s Page

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Stability — Philip K. Dick

My aim is to read all of Philip’s books in order, not all at once, but occasionally when i feel the urge to have my head done in a little bit.   And this, my blog/review readers, is Philip’s very first.

While it’s only a little short story, it quite an entertaining one set in a dystopian future with a time machine screwing with people’s heads.

A great beginning to a great writer’s bibliography.

Available in The Collected Stories: Volume 1.

Philip’s Page

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Private Universe — Seth Rain

And so we finally come to the end of this rather enjoyable series.

It’s been pretty much full gas all the way and all the way through you really don’t get much of an idea who is on whose side and what their actual agendas really are until they suddenly reveal themselves and off we go again in a completely new direction.   It’s certainly been an interesting roller coaster ride.

And what a lovely ending, Seth isn’t afraid to kill lots of people that we like along with the ones we don’t: which we always like, don’t we?

I’m certainly looking forward to reading more from Seth in the future.   10 out of 10.

Seth’s Page

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Android State — Seth Rain

We begin immediately after the events of Messiah Online with Cardinal, having declared the UK an android state, telling all humans to leave the country or die.

Our protagonists, Blake (The Postman) and Lola, are determined to stop him, but how?   Has Cardinal become too powerful?

Once again, super good stuff and it’ll keep you reading until the end and, like me, you’ll go jumping straight into the last book in the tetralogy, Private Universe.

Seth’s Page

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Wabi Sabi — Sosuke Takahashi

It’s such a shame that a book that is telling us about the things that this book is telling us about could have been translated so poorly.

Or was Sosuke deliberately trying to make this book full of imperfection in some weird sense of ironic humour that i just don’t understand?   Maybe even that’s lost in the translation.

Seriously, if you are going to write books in a language, be sure to have a complete grasp of that language before doing so, if not, then write in your own language and get someone who has a complete grasp and understanding of the language you want the book in to translate it for you.

The content has a lot of good stuff for the reader to consider, but it’s presentation through the woeful English writing just ruins everything this book talks about and makes one think that this writer does no practice what he preaches.

Sosuke’s Page

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Messiah Online — Seth Rain

And so we continue where we left of with Spectrum Worlds, the pacing doesn’t slow down at all and The Postman still has no idea who to trust and, even as a reader with my god like view of things, i still have no idea who is being honest and what their real agendas are in these books: which is what makes them so good.   Eventually things will come out in the wash and we’ll find out who is really pulling whose strings.

If you enjoyed the first book, you’ll enjoy this just as much.

But, between this and the last book in the series, there’s the penultimate book, Android State, which begins with all humans being told that they’ve got about 3 weeks to all get out of the United Kingdom or they’ll be killed on sight: should be fun.

Seth’s Page

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Spectrum Worlds — Seth Rain

The first book in The Cyberpunk Uploads series.

Having just been put through the ultimate in tedious and pointless interruptions to story flow and action scenes when i read The Heartstrikers series, to sit and read this book was an absolute pleasure.   Yes folks, if you really like a high paced, non-stop, story line then this just might be what you’re looking for.

On top of the fast flowing story it’s also a rather good story.   We essentially have a battle royale going between three groups: androids who hate humans and want to eradicate and/or enslave them, humans who want to do the same to androids, and then there’s the odd-ball androids and humans out in left field who think we can all live peacefully and happily together ever after.   Centre it all in the London of the future, known as Lundun, and shove our main protagonist, The Postman, right in the middle of all this is.

The most astute reader will get to realise by the end of the book that there really isn’t anyone The Postman can trust, android or human, everyone seems to have agendas and secrets and i’m really looking forward to learning more in the next book, Messiah Online, which i dove straight into without any hesitation.

Seth’s Page

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