Stormblood - Book Review

 Stormblood, by Jeremy Szal, is a SF thriller, and first in a series. I actually got it because Neal Asher recommended it in a tweet. There are some very interesting ideas, which do remind me of Asher's book - the lead guy has alien "tech" inside him, humanity has spread to many planets and is in contact with many alien races. It was just ok for me, however. Feels like more could have been done with the alien tech (which mostly just heals, makes people stronger and faster, and pretty much crazy). Not sure exactly how it gets used as a drug (might have forgotten, was it supposed to feel good? the main character doesn't seem to think so). Also he gets captured by the bad guys several times, and escape every time - felt very repetitive. Several typos and grammar errors, too... Overall, ok, but I will not be following the series.

Book "Reviews"

 I just realized that I haven't posted a book review in months. Now that the books are nowhere near as fresh in my mind, posting reviews seems even more pointless than usual. Thus I will be only listing what I read and how much I liked them from 1-10... This is how you lose the time wars 8.5 Red team blues 8.5 The name of the world is forest 7.5 Upgrade 8.5 Antimatter Blues 7.5 Critical mass 8

Season of Skulls - Book Review

Season of Skulls, by Charles Stross, is his latest book in the Laundry-adjacent fantasy series that covers Eve (mostly her, in this case), her brother and friends (all of which have magical powers) and her "husband". This was a very different book from the rest of the series, as it mostly takes place in a made-up dream reality created by magic, a couple of centuries ago from the present, where Eve goes to try to stop her husband from getting a powerful book and trying to raise a dangerous god. Overall, really enjoyable.  

Lockdown Tales 2 - Book Review

Lockdown Tales 2, by Neal Asher is a collection of shorter SF stories, which (all?) take place in his Polity universe. I was struck by how good these were, although I shouldn't be surprised - Lockdown Tales was also excellent. Naturally many stories cover a smaller situation than his books (specially given the latest trilogy format he used), and are still very compelling. I particularly liked that the Quiet War finally got a story, as well as the anti-aging bits of the universe (of course, that might seem quaint given the golem style mind transfers). Mildly entertaining for me was seeing the several ways SuperIntelligence is possible while reading Nick Bostrom's book, as well as the Prisoner reference, which is a series I never saw but got a lot of references while reading Season of Skulls, just before this one. Overall, excellent.

The Shotgun King - PC Game Review

 The Shotgun King is a roguelike strategy PC game rooted in chess. What that means is that you get (mostly) chess pieces, moving in the usual way and in the usual board, but with the king you command with a shotgun, and rules being modified by cards, which can change the game completely. Cards change rules - completely - some pieces may move in another way, kings might be replaced with a set of bishops you must kill, the king might have a hidden pawn heir (that only appears after he is dead), they can add/remove/change pieces, bishops may be able to heal other pieces, etc. This is roguelike part of the game. You also get some unlockable guns and modes. This gets quite clever, as the game you are playing can change completely as new cards are added, and so must your strategy. Graphics are good, for what they propose, which is a retro CGA look (which works pretty well). What feels retro too is the lack of pretty much any tutorial in the game rules. I'd say that was the weakest part o

Introdução aos Investimentos Alternativos - Curso

Introdução aos Investimentos Alternativos , com o prof. Humberto Gallucci , é um curso do LIT - plataforma online do Saint Paul. Sinceramente, quando vi que esse curso era novidade, pensei em dar uma olhada, sem grandes expectativas. Mas gostei muito. Tem uma breve introdução de cada categoria, e uma boa explicação dos riscos e estratégias de cada um. Na verdade já tinha investido em várias dessas categorias, mas mesmo assim aprendi bastante. Tempo: 4h Boa apresentação em PDF (também tem uma apostila), mas ainda teve várias coisas interessantes nas aulas em vídeo. Categorias cobertas: - Private Equity - Venture Capital - Infraestrutura - Real Estate - Crédito Privado - Ativos Jurídicos - Commodities - Hedge Funds

The Institute - Book Review

 The Institute is an horror (?) book by Stephen King. The main hero is an off-the-charts genius, who just happen to have telekinetic powers. Because of his minor powers, he is kidnapped, and taken to the institute, where they do research on kids with powers, and also a lot more (mentioning what would be a spoiler). As you might expect, getting a genius there does not go well for them (as is required for this type of book, if you don't want the ending to be super frustrating). Typical SK, not really "monster" horror, but that isn't uncommon for him either. Ending is quite satisfying.