Thursday, February 23, 2017

Burning Midnight - Book Review

Burning Midnight is a SF/Fantasy book by Will McIntosh.

Sully is a poor 17 year old who sells spheres at a flea market. Spheres - which sound a lot like Pokemons in many ways - just appeared hidden over all Earth, and each color gives the one who burns a pair of them (just place them in your forehead) a power.

McIntosh didn't go the easy way and just gave everyone superpowers - you just get enhanced vision, hearing, strength, speed, looks, smarts, even singing ability or whiter teeth. Nothing superhuman.

He meets with a homeless sphere Hunter called Hunter (this did seem a little lazy...). Together they start hunting for spheres, but find much more than they expected, which will change the world and somewhat explain the nature of the spheres...

Overall, pretty good, specially the beginning. I was a little let down by the ending as there were no real explanations of what happened... Still recommended.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Hardwired - Book Review

Hardwired is a very old book by Walter Jon Williams - first published in 1986. It is considered one of the books that established the Cyberpunk genre, together with Neuromancer. It is one of my favorite genres, (and I've already read several books by the author), so I immediately got it upon learning this.

The book is pretty good, and it only shows its age mildly here and there.

I'm not sure how much it is the style of the book, and how much is the author improving with time, but the prose doesn't flow as well as on his other books.

The tech is quite entertaining and certainly impressive for 1986. Some bits (such as what happened to Reno) were pretty unsurprising now, but I think they must have been pretty cool at the time.

Overall, strongly recommended for fans of Cyberpunk.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Particle Fleet: Emergence - PC Game Review

Particle Fleet: Emergence is an off-shoot from the Creeper World tower defense series, which I loved.

So when I noticed it on Steam I immediately got it.

I have now finished the story levels about 12 hours), and I mostly liked it. What bothered the most, and which I read about in reviews before buying, is that there was a lot of stuff about each unit and game mechanic unexplained, and that you had to either guess or read about elsewhere. It could have been much, much clearer.

Also, several things were introduced per level at times, which made things more confusing.

Gameplay is a mix of tower defense with a ship RTS. So you have energy points you need to acquire to power your ships and towers, so that you can destroy the particulate - much like Creeper World.

I felt that it worked well. I really like how ships are partially destroyable, so that elements in their hull, weapons, etc can be destroyed by particulate one by one.

Graphics and sounds are OK, and to me they worked well with the theme.

Overall, entertaining but a little too complicated/poorly explained, to the point that I think it could have been much better.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Impersonations - Book Review

Impersonations: A Story of the Praxis is an SF novel by Walter Jon Williams.

It covers the story of Captain Caroline Sula - posted to a backward planet - Earth - for daring to win a battle for the empire without permission.

From that, she naturally gets into a lot of trouble.

The book is kind of short, but I liked the pacing and the action was OK, as was the conclusion.

Overall, a pleasant read, just like "This is not a game" and "Deep State", from the same author, which I read before and enjoyed.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Alien Morning - Book Review

Alien Morning, by Rick Wilber, is a SF novel that covers the first contact with an alien race, through the eyes of Peter Holman.

Peter Holman is an ex-pro player who now does "sweeping" - recording content to what sounds a lot like a VR platform. He just happens to catch the first footage of the alien ships, and so gets drafted to be their PR guys.

But the aliens are not as peaceful as they seem (duh).

Overall, pretty good. I was a little disappointed by how little of the alien tech is featured, and how little detail it seems to have.