Archive for the 'Fiction' Category

Uncommon Type. Some stories. Tom Hanks. - HBO Post-Emmys Party, Pa...

Uncommon Type. Some stories. Tom Hanks. 2017. ISBN 9780735273832.  Who knew?  Tom Hanks can write and quite well too.  This is a motley collection of fictional stories, about writing, acting, New York living, and some fantasy.  The author maintains a clear concise , descriptive style.   I look forward to more from him.

The Store. The store is always watching. James Patterson & Richard DeLallo

The Store. James Patterson & Richard DeLallo. 2017. ISBN 0316395455. What if “Amazon” was not just a retailer , but became so much more in our lives?  Well “The Store” is that and more in a not so distant future.  A family decides to go undercover in a store managed town to discover the full story.  If you have a slightly dystopian view of the future, seasoned with conspiracy theories then you will really love or fear this book. A nice easy read yet it is pretty close to what could be truth if we get really lazy!

Use of Force. Brad Thor.

Use of Force. Brad Thor.  2017. ISBN 9780476789385, To the Cussler fans comes another author in the thriller, special forces genre. fast paced, recognizable characters and topical this is a decent book for your summer reading.  The research seems germane and the pace does not let up.

The Dead Zone. Stephen King

Cover of "The Dead Zone"

The Dead Zone. Stephen King. 1980.  This book is oddly prescient. It follows two characters. One is a young man who at times has a form of second sight when he touches some people and he can glimpse their future. The other is a career huckster , with  a vicious self importance who builds a business, then becomes sheriff,  mayor and the Congressman. At that time the young man gets to touch the Congressman and he sees a portent of the future that is terrible. The congressman bears an uncanny resemblance to Trump in his growth an actions.  This book is 37 years old.  Like other king novels, it is a galloping good read, but the story is often too close to home these days.  Soon to be a TV series.

The three-body problem. Cixin Liu

Inretial co-ordinates in 3-body system

The three-body problem. Cixin Liu. 2014  ISBN 19781466853447. This is part 1 of a sci fi trilogy by Cixin Liu, China’s most famous sci fi writer.  Much of the early chapters  revolve around the impacts/effects of  The Cultural Revolution on chinese scientists.   From this emerges a decision to reach out to the stars to find extraterrestrial life.   Unfortunately the first earth person to make contact has become disaffected by humanity and she starts a sequence  whereby an invasion force is sent to earth – and the journey will take 400 years.  This book ends with mankind realizing the terrible impact of  the future invasion and what may ensue (besides the elimination of humanity) .  The author takes you on a terrific journey in physics ( maths and computer science) that will really keep your attention. In this the author is refreshingly different  from American authors. He does not try to spoon feed the science and maths, nor over simplify the challenges.  Now I have to find the next two books (  The Dark Forest,  Death’s End)  to see how this comes out.

Avogadro Corp, A.I. Apocalypse, The Last Firewall, The Turing Exception. William Hertling.

Cover of "A.I. - Artificial Intelligence ...

Avogadro Corp, A.I. Apocalypse, The Last Firewall, The Turing Exception.  William Hertling. 2013. Four  interesting  scifi books on the future by this author.  Avogadro Corp  ( Loosely modeled on Google I suspect)  is the world’s largest Internet company , which in the work of making email more efficient, an AI  emerges.  A.I. Apocalypse is years after, when  a whole civilization of  A.I is created through an evolutionary computer virus.  The Last Firewall is years after that when A.I . is embedded into our society and a  rogue A. I  attempts to take over the World.  The Turing Exception pits the wworld against an AI group, with the US and China behaving ,like they always do.  Lots here to chew on in the three books. The author writes a fast easy to read book that is compelling as just enough predictable  human responses are there to make the premise believable.  Good for an escapist cross country read.  See more at

The Reluctant Jesus. Duncan Whitehead.

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

The Reluctant Jesus. Duncan Whitehead. 2014.   What if The Messiah was actually here?  But God had not told him for 30 years who he was, what he was going to do and what was involved?  That is the core of this tongue in cheek, amusing story.   Clearly written and fun  to read, this is a good “summer’ escape book.   It should be taken as a bit of fun and not more.

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms. George R.R. Martin

English: George R.R. Martin signing books in a...

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms. George  R.R. Martin. 2015.  ISBN 9780345533487.  Martin has placed this story about 100 years before A Game of Thrones.  So it has all the royal families and famous names the predate his bigger story. It revolved around the misadventures and adventures of a hedge knight Ser Duncan (Dunk ) and Egg (Prince Aegbert) his squire.  Full of tournaments, fighting, and various Lord s and Ladies, it is a tale well up to Martins skills.  We are   given a bit of a foreshadowing at the  end of perhaps many more tales to come of Ser Duncan and Egg.  Easy rollicking read.

C.J Sansom Books

Revelation (Sansom novel)

Dark Fire (Sansom novel)

Cover of "Sovereign (Matthew Shardlake My...


C.J Sansom Books

A prolific historical fiction writer I recently discovered.  C.J. Sansom has 6 titles detailing the Henry VIII period, The Matthiew Shardlake  series, (Dissolution, Dark Fire, Sovereign, Revelation, Heartstone, Lamentation).  One on the Spanish Civil War  (Winter in Madrid)  and one based on what would have happened if Britain had made a peace treaty with Germany in 1940 ( Dominion) .  I like his ability to drop you quickly into what it is like to live in this times, the sights, smells, daily activities and attitudes.  The writing is an easy style that keeps you very interested in the stories progress.   At the end is a fascinating history lesson/commentary from the author which is as good as the book.  Well worth it.

Cover of "Revelation"

Cover of "Winter in Madrid"

The Outlander series. Diana Gabaldon

Picture of the author Diana Gabaldon during a ...

The Outlander series. Diana Gabaldon.  2005 to 2014. This is an  eight part series  in  the romantic historical fiction genre.  These book s, if done well require an enormous amount of work to write to retain some form of historical accuracy.  This author also chooses to write huge books, with good character development.  So much development that she writes other novels that insert between the main novels in the series.

While playing in the Aegean Sea over the last 18 days I plowed through the main 8 part series,  thank you Kindle.  Despite being at first glance  chick books the author writes a damn good tale and drives to lots of suspense. However she does not kill off any of her main characters, which makes the stores less gripping as you know they will be saved.

Interested ? Google for more detail on the stories. If nothing else you will improve your Gaelic. The present TV series grabs parts from  a few of the books.  Reading the books will spoil any surprise in the TV series.