Hope Everlasting — J. N. Chaney

The third book of this, so far, very enjoyable tetralogy.

We left book two after the story split into two stories on two worlds, Earth and Kant, and enter book three where the story moves onto Kant almost in its entirety.

One would have expected a little slowing down in the story by now, but no, in fact the story starts going more, especially towards the last quarter of this book.

More characters are added to the cast, more ingredients are stirred to the mix, more clues are added to the puzzle, but still very little is being revealed as to what is really going on.   And it works really well, you just want more of it.

And so wanting more i dive straight into the fourth and final book, where, hopefully, all will be revealed and we will find all the answers to this puzzle.

J. N. Chaney’s Page

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Transient Echoes — J. N. Chaney

I really enjoyed book one of this tetralogy, so i dived straight into book two, and really enjoyed this as well.

Not as flowing as the first book as its essentially two separate stories set on two separate worlds, but it still flows as well as it can be.

As with the first book, there’s no words wasted on pointlessness.   Everything keeps the story moving forward, which is what we like.

More clues are added to the puzzle of what caused the Variant in the first place, yet i’m not left hoping for the answer any time soon as i’m quite enjoying putting the pieces together in my own head.   Yes, it’s definitely one of those, ‘Can-you-guess-yet?’ stories.

And because you’re always eager for more clues to the puzzle you just have to keep reading.   And so it’s straight onto book three.

J. N. Chaney’s Page

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The Amber Project — J. N. Chaney

A gas called ‘Variant’ has engulfed the Earth and only a small pocket of humans cling to life in an underground city.   Procreation is strictly controlled, resources are limited, and time is running out to find a solution to humanity’s future as the city is slowly failing from age.

The solution this book deals with is to genetically engineer the children to be able to exist breathing Variant, thus allowing future generations to return to the surface, and this is the story of one of those groups.   And, i have to say, it’s a rather good story too.

It certainly keeps moving along at a good pace as there’s a lot going on in the city with the various competing groups and their agendas.

It’s well written with good characters throughout.

All in all, a very good start to this post apocalyptic, dystopian future, tetralogy — and i’m happily diving straight into the next book for more of it.

J. N. Chaney’s Page

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Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? — Philip K. Dick

The book that inspired the film ‘Blade Runner’.

Click here for previous comments on this book.

So my umpteenth time of reading this book, and each time it’s always a little different.   My previous reading covered the ‘what is real’  thing, this time my focus was more on the Mercer thing with the ‘Empathy Box’.   How Philip describes the continuous Sisyphean ritual of the followers of Mercer — which seems to be all of mankind.

The thing with Philip, at least for me, is that he didn’t write anything without a reason to it, and the Mercer thing is a large part of this story.   Why?   What’s the point he’s trying to make, what’s he want us to think about?

I feel that the ‘Empathy Box’ experience would be similar to what Philip experienced with his meth use.   To achieve the creative heights, bringing life, through empathy, to all his characters, that he would have gained using meth, only to crash down to the bottom afterwards with no way back up but to use more meth.

But Philip makes clear that all of mankind are in this ritual.   That of climbing to tops of hills only to find themselves at the bottom again.   And we see it everywhere.   The guy who buys the fast car, but once he’s got it he’s just as unhappy as he ever was and now wants a faster car, or a yacht, or some other symbol of wealth to show to the rest of mankind.

And yet again, even in the ‘Empathy Box’, Philip brings us back to the main point of the story that i mentioned in my previous comments: that of what is real.   Everyone is so convinced that the ‘Empathy Box’ gives them a real genuine experience with Mercer, only at the end to be told that its all a hoax.   But people won’t believe that its a hoax because they’ve invested too much into it and their lives are shaped by it, they’ve become addicted and to quit now would only leave them at the bottom of the hill with no way — that they know of — of getting back up the hill again without Mercer.

And so it was for Philip and his drug use.   He was caught in the addiction and knew only how to create from within it.   To quit his only known means to creativity, even when he realises that it’s all a hoax and none of it is really true, or real, is a step he couldn’t take.

So that’s my take on this reading.   There’s definitely a lot of food for thought in the ‘Empathy Box’ for all of us.   Even if it’s just that morning coffee, you’re still a drug addict who can’t function without your cup of ‘Empathy Box’.   But what you’re experiencing after drinking it cannot ever be real.   Life becomes a corruption experienced through the over stimulated brain cells of a caffeine addict.   But you need that coffee to climb your hill because you know of no other way — you have to keep up and share with everyone else, you all need to grab onto the handles of your morning coffee cups else you can’t be part of society, a society that is as sick, unwell and addicted to climbing that hill as you are.   And even though there is no hill to climb, you all create one from your collective experience, it must be real if everyone’s doing it, right?

Philip’s Page

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Priceless — Zygmunt Miłoszewski

I only bought this because it was £1, it had good reviews, and i couldn’t remember having read any Polish literature before and so i decided that that was something needing to be explored.   And i have to say i’m glad i did explore it.

Yes, admittedly, there’s an element of the James Bond fantasy to it, and one does have to suspend a little belief in places, but it’s fiction, it isn’t supposed to be 100% real.

And if you do bear with it, it does repay you with what turns out to be a great little romp through the art world, albeit, mostly a fantasy art world, a fantasy art world that the nazi’s stole and hid away that contains a big secret that some people don’t want to be found.

And Zigmunt does have a good dig at the USA along the way — which one could say, mostly isn’t fantasy.

All in all, well written and well worth £1, and i’ll definitely be trying some more Polish writers when i find some.

Zygmunt’s Page

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