Jonathan Diaz

Joined a year ago

Jonathan's Favorites
Java Cookbook: Problems and Solutions for Java Developers
Java Cookbook: Problems and Solutions for Java Developers
... you might want to keep your 3rd edition around since this new edition covers new topics such as data science at the expense of Java 8 recipes that were in the third edition. Those recipes are not null and void just because of an update.
Garth Brooks: Country King
Garth Brooks: Country King
After reading the mostly negative reviews on this documentary I have to disagree. Yes there are a few repeated interview scenes but the “information” as a whole was excellent.
Isn’t this why you watch a documentary? The person who fast forwarded missed a lot. It was a complete “catch up” on Garth’s career in music, his contributions to humanity and the industry, his achievements, and some of his personal struggles. Anyone who loves Garth Brooks will enjoy watching this video.
We’re talking about a country music career that is going into its 4th decade. So if you need a catch up on one of the most celebrated entertainers in history, this video will do it.
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
A sequel to 2005 box office winner, The Fantastic Four, "Rise Of The Silver Surfer" sees director Tim Story and the original cast principals return for more super hero schlocky fun. The story is based around the Marvel stories that featured the first appearance of said Silver Surfer in the comic book franchise. Silver Surfer (Doug Jones with Laurence Fishburne dubbing the voice) is acting as a herald for the planet devouring Galactus, their next target? Earth. Which is a bit untimely as Reed Richards/Mr Fantastic (Ioan Gruffudd) and Susan Storm / Invisible Woman (Jessica Alba) are trying to get married. Things are further problematic when after his first encounter with the Silver Surfer, Johnny Storm/Human Torch (Chris Evans) finds his powers a bit off-in fact when he touches any of the others their powers are exchanged, much to Ben Grimm / The Thing's (Michael Chiklis) amusement. Not only that but the military are starting to get heavy and annoyed with the four and who is this back on the scene? Doctor Doom! (Julian McMahon) Thought he was dead, and how come he's in league with the military now? All of this issues must be addressed or the Earth will suffer the direst of consequences.

Budgeted at $130 million, this sequel only just made its money back domestically, however, its Worldwide takings gave it an overall profit of nearly $160 million. Which when you consider that the first film (again raking the coin in) was met with very disdainful reviews (mostly warranted outside of Evans & Chiklis' efforts), it's somewhat surprising. Yet, and it's certainly no towering genre picture, "Silver Surfer" is a hugely enjoyable movie for fans of the source comics and the undemanding popcorn muncher. The fans, and I don't speak for all of them of course, should in the main be happy that the makers have been faithful to the origins of the story. There's also some nifty humour and both Alba and Gruffudd aren't as dull as they were in the first movie. Perhaps they are more comfortable now knowing that the paying public held sway over the critics? Evans is still the best thing in the franchise, and the appearance of Andre Braugher as General Hager is a welcome edition. While the effects are considerably better than the poor fodder served up in the first movie; granted it wouldn't have been hard to improve on that score.

With a lovely light hearted approach, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer does its job. In the pantheon of super hero movies it sits some where in the middle, neither great or bad, just honest wholesome family fun. 20th Century Fox have announced that a reboot of the franchise is to come, so while Chris Evans goes off to mouth wateringly play Captain America, the next lot of actors are charged with the not so easy task of winning over a tough comic book crowd, and, the critics too. 6.5/10
Eleven Minutes: A Novel (P.S.)
Eleven Minutes: A Novel (P.S.)
SYNOPSIS-
This book is a box full full of paradoxes. It begins with "Once upon a time there was a prostitute named Maria..."  It follows the life of a young girl named Maria from her first heartbreak to her discovery of sacred sex;  a perfect blend of true love , spirituality and pleasure of the body.  

Maria's life as she thinks is a series of mistake, her  pure innocence is shattered by bitternesses  in relationships in her childhood.  She seems adventure and denies to be a ordinary country girl from Brazil that she is . She believes  there's much more to life . She grabs her share of fortune and flys to  city of her dreams - Rio de jenerio ! Lured by an foreigner Roger, for money fame and adventure she lands up as a bar dancer in Europe.  

But soon the need for money and prevailing circumstances takes her in to the profession of body trade - Prostitution. She enrolls herself in one of the most top pick up bars of Geneva, Switzerland. Every day there's more clients, she takes it strong, only as a profession and continues . Soon she's the favourite of all . The "Special client's too.  

"I would like to believe that I am in love .with someone I don't know and who didn't figure in my plans at all. All these months of self control , of denying love ,have had  exactly the opposite results. I have let myself be swept away by the first person to treat me a little differently. "

           - From Maria's diary. 

Then enters a handsome painter Ralf Hart and in no time Mr.Hart steels Maria's heart.  They get into a mysterious relationship.  Not of love , not of friendship but of something even more than that.  And then begins her quest for the meaning of love , does that pleasure she wants she gets?  Will Ralf Hart stay with her?  What will be Maria's next mistake ? 

CHARACTERS
Paulo Coelho's books are mostly character driven. His lyricist side is shown by the words of his characters . The lead character or protagonist was weak , meare, clumsy in the beginning and grew up to be a confident , self satisfied woman . Maria who never got into proper relationships and always searched for love learnt to love without expecting a return , and learnt to love without conditions . Most importantly she learned to love herself . Maria's life was taken from a real life Prostitute. 

Apart from Maria there was one notable character . And that is Ralf Hart ! A successful 29 year old handsome painter with whom Maria secretly falls in love. Ralf was portrayed as a twice divorced melancholic man who has lost interest in everything except his passion for painting. 

The growth of the characters was quite appreciable.  The way the characters bloomed and discovered themselves caught me . I felt for the characters. And that's how characters should be.  They should touch your soul and imprint a mark on them.  A mark for the rest of your life

WRITING
I loved the writing style of the book . The chapters are written from a 3rd person's point of view.  But after each chapter there's a note from Maria's diary where she pours her heart out and writes what she feels . Through these little segments the author connects the readers to his characters.  There are quotable words and phrases all around the book . Also as expected we get to see Coelho's lyricist style of writing.  The writing of the book makes it a treat of read and hooks you up untill the last page . 

OVERALL
I liked this book alot.  And it's been a day I haven't started on a new book cause the book touched me so deep that I wanted to treasure the feeling of it . The reason behid me giving it a 4stars and not a complete 5starts is that , there are minor mistakes in the book . Like the confusion of places . If you are someone who is not familiar with different places it will be a little hard for you to grasp things . As there was many location changes in the book we expect to be transported to those exotic location with the words and feel the places (at least that's what I expect from a book) but the author failed in on that aspect. The places were not described vividly and I craved for details . The book is written apparently and focus is made on the development of characters so it lacked that narrative parts . There weren't much of an explanation to anything . And that's the reason I ended up giving it a 4star.

Go ahead read it.. am sure u will like it ..
If my review helped you in any way do mark it helpful.
Also there's a full review on my blog - Indian Bibliophile .
Dragon Ball, Vol. 1
Dragon Ball, Vol. 1
I have been a fan of the Dragon Ball Z anime since my days in 6th grade. I'm 24 now, and I've just unlocked every single character in Budokai Tenkaichi 2 (great game if you love the series by the way). However there has always been a part of me that really wanted to see what Goku was like in his youth, and I debated for a while on whether I should look into the show or the manga. I eventually settled on buying the first volume in order to experience Dragon Ball in a different manner, and I am so glad that I chose this medium.
First of all, the Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z manga tend to be a little less "filled" than the anime. The story keeps moving forward in a nice, timely fashion, and though the fights themselves are still fantastic, there's no period of stare-downs and pointless dialogue in between the explosive action. A great example of this is in DBZ when Goku dies the first time during the Saiyan Saga. In the anime I believe it takes almost 15 to 20 episodes before Goku finally reaches King Kai and trains for his upcoming battle with Vegeta and Nappa. In the comic, it's only about 20 pages. So if you're the type of person that likes a story told to the point, the manga is definitely for you. I still prefer the DBZ show to the comics overall, but I'm of the opinion that the story of little Goku and his friends is best told through the humorous panels that Akira Toriyama worked on so diligently nearly 25 years ago.
Second, the humor in Dragon Ball is laugh-out-loud hilarious. Master Roshi is a bit of a pervert (as always), the bickering between Bulma, Yamcha, Oolong, and Puar is still tongue-in-cheek goodness, and Goku's naive nature and willingless to become the strongest fighter ever blends together into a neat little tale of innocence lost (but any fan of DB knows that Goku never really loses that quality). I don't consider myself as a fan of comedy in general (I prefer bloody Samurai films and Tarantino/Chanwook noire), but Dragon Ball had me laughing so hard at some points that I had to stop reading momentarily.
All in all, I highly recommend this purchase for anyone who loves comics and/or Dragon Ball. If you're new to the series, this may be a great starting point, but don't expect any of the hardcore fight scenes that later appear in the stories of DBZ. Instead, expect some interesting characters, like a thief who lives in the desert with his best pal (a cat), a martial arts master who tends to come off too strong on the ladies, and a little boy with a monkey's tail who could probably eat the whole selection of a Las Vegas buffet and still demand seconds. Enjoy!
Fengshen Gates [Japanese Edition] (Volume # 1)
Fengshen Gates [Japanese Edition] (Volume # 1)
大坂の陣を目前にして、江戸方と大坂方とが一触即発の危機にある不穏な時代。主人公は伊賀の霧隠才蔵、そしてライバルの甲賀の猿飛佐助。まさに真田十勇士の世界である。後年の司馬史観に縛られた時代小説と比べると、設定も内容も自由闊達である。その象徴が才蔵であり、忠義者の佐助と好対照に描かれる。集団主義の甲賀、個人主義の伊賀と言う色分けも面白い。才蔵は技術は売っても己は売らぬ、独立独歩の男である。

だが、才蔵・佐助の組み合わせから、華麗な忍術合戦を期待すると上巻では裏切られる。作者は、幸村との主従関係を絡めて、風雲児たる才蔵の"人となり"を描く意図のようである。そのせいか、忍者小説としてはテンポが悪く、中盤、幸村が登場するまでは退屈である。大坂方の参謀大野治長の妹の隠岐殿、藤原家の姫青子、隠岐殿の侍女お国、そして甲賀の名家の息女小岩と女にモテまくる才蔵だが、色模様は物語のサスペンス性を盛り下げると言う原則が分かっていない。「女には惚れても男には惚れるな」と言う戒めを破って、幸村の器量に惚れる才蔵だが、幸村に対する書き込みが足らないため、孤高の才蔵が幸村に惚れ込んだ理由が判然としない。それでも、元々幸村の配下にあった佐助と組んで才蔵が江戸方に一泡吹かせようと決意する事で、これ以降の展開に期待を持たせる。上巻は、才蔵・佐助のコンビに三好晴海入道が加わって、家康暗殺のため駿府に向かうまで。

山田風太郎先生の忍者小説の面白さとは比べるべくもないが、書きたい対象が異なるのだろう。才蔵を中心として、時代の空気が描きたかったのかもしれない。そうは言っても、下巻では大坂の陣での合戦シーンがある筈である。幸村の才智、才蔵・佐助コンビの活躍に期待したい。
Clive Cussler Books in Order: Dirk Pitt series, NUMA Files series, Fargo Adventures, Isaac Bell series, Oregon Files, Sea Hunter, short stories, standalones, ... Clive Cussler Biograp (Series Order Book 5)
Clive Cussler Books in Order: Dirk Pitt series, NUMA Files series, Fargo Adventures, Isaac Bell series, Oregon Files, Sea Hunter, short stories, standalones, ... Clive Cussler Biograp (Series Order Book 5)
I ordered it on my Kindle based on this claim: "This is the most comprehensive Clive Cussler book order and checklist available." It is not comprehensive. It lists these Dirk Pitt books as available on Kindle - but they are NOT available on Kindle per my searches!:
Vixen 03 (1978) Hardcover Paperback Kindle
Pacific Vortex! (1983) Hardcover Paperback Kindle
Deep Six (1984) Hardcover Paperback Kindle
Cyclops (1986) Hardcover Paperback Kindle
Treasure (1988) Hardcover Paperback Kindle
Dragon (1990) Hardcover Paperback Kindle
Sahara (1992) Hardcover Paperback Kindle
Inca Gold (1994) Hardcover Paperback Kindle
Der Feuerkimono: Sano Ichirōs dreizehnter Fall: Historischer Kriminalroman (Ein Fall für Sano Ichirō 13) (German Edition)
Der Feuerkimono: Sano Ichirōs dreizehnter Fall: Historischer Kriminalroman (Ein Fall für Sano Ichirō 13) (German Edition)
Die Abenteuer von (Samurai) Sano Ichiro, jap. Polizeiermittler in der Tokugawa-Endphase sind einfach sehr unterhaltsam. Klar, Richter Di Kriminalfälle (chin.) sind "dünner" an Seiten und weniger Action. Bei Sano erlebt
man auch (er ist fiktiv, da geht ja alles) seine emotionalen Momente.

ich kann nur sagen, wer mal eine SI Abenteuer in deutsch las, sollte sich weitre Stories günstig besorgen.
Am Besten dann von Bd. 1 an: Kirschblütenmord."

Könnte ich mir auch als TV Serie vorstellen in z.B. BRD Fernseher in deutscher Sprache. Wäre super. Was ich mir zusätzlich wünsche? Daß die vorhandenen ca. noch 3 fehlenden Tb in English Exemplare der Autorin möglichst bald in deutsch übersetzt werden und sie die Reihe zu einem für die gierigen Leser befriedigenden Abschluss bringt! genauso wäre es sicher intressant, wenn "Der Wolf mit dem Kind" (ca. 76 TV Folgen in BRD, dt.) es auch
komplett als DVD Boxen und auch als (schmale) TB gäbe! Ito Okami, Sano Ichiro, Richter Di (16 Krimis!) verfilmt
oder im Umkehrschluß als TB! Das wäre ein gelungener Clou für Japan-, Kampfkunst-, Krimifreunde!
Eine Inhaltsangabe des obigen Titels mag bitte jemand andres verfassen. Meine Begeisterung fegt mich hinweg.
ich hoffe, daß Sano selbst auch noch was positives erlebt und für sich mitnehmen kann, bei seinen von Feinden
umzingelten Leben. Auch nette, anständige Frauen und anständige Kampfkunstfrauen mit Feuer freut sich
Leser/in! Habe alle bsiherigen Bde durcheinander gelesen bis auf die letzten 3, deren English ich auf baldiges deutsch erbete! Klar, es gibt auch schwächere Erlebnisse, welche die einer/einem nicht so gefallen, dennoch
wenn man erst mal "infiziert" ist, will man den Rest auch noch kennen (lernen). oder es geht nicht an einen,
dann muß man es eben mit einer andren Serie probieren. Auch kein Problem. Geschmäcker sind verschieden
und das ist auch gut so. Sonst würden alle ja nur eine Reihe sehen und alle nur: Modern Talking hören. ;)

SI-Reihe: Gesamtnote bisher: 2,5 (gut-befriedigend)
Crossroads
Crossroads
If you knew nothing about the Catholic church you might think it was all about soup kitchens. Though helping the poor is a key element Christianity so is prayer and, supposedly, a transcendent comprehension of God. What we get in 'Crossroads' are a few moments in which a 20 something seminarian, wrestling with romantic desires, spouts occasional formulaic acknowledgements of divine reality but never is seen to pray. After watching this desultory young man for an hour or so we get the sense that his interest in nature, as evidence by his fascination with a Gecko in his sleeping quarters, a young woman of wonderful sweetness, as well as the satellites spinning in heaven above, are far more real to him than a relationship with the divine. It is no wonder that the mentor priests in charge of his religious career are in doubt. The subject matter of the movie is of interest to those with spiritual aspirations as it presents the often difficult tension between ordinary life and one dedicated to faith. But this potential fails to satisfy as Peter, the priest 'to be or not to be,' seems only moderately interested in his own fate. If you want to see what it is like to have a serious conflict between the pull of religious dedication and secular life, check out Audrey Hepburn in 'The Nun's Story.'
Murder Makes the Wheels Go Round: Emma Lathen (Emma Lathen Mysteries Book 4)
Murder Makes the Wheels Go Round: Emma Lathen (Emma Lathen Mysteries Book 4)
I've always loved Emma Lathen's John Thatcher crime stories and read them over and over. There's something very satisfying about the understated and economical style of writing and Thatcher's sardonic and dispassionate view of the world around him. I was delighted that the series had made it to Kindle, having been reduced to searching for old, second hand copies of the books. I was less pleased with the rather hit-and-miss proof reading of the first few I read. This one however is truly appallingly edited and proof read. The editor seems uncomfortable with men being addressed by their surnames so has swapped these out unnecessarily and in an inconsistent, haphazard sort of fashion for first names. This gives a misleading impression of social intimacy for relative and total strangers who appear within the book and also over uses names to the point of repetitiveness. on the other hand a delicately ironic depiction of ladylike sniping at a tea party is shattered by the bizarre decision to identify the ladies by their surnames only. Words are omitted from sentences or randomly inserted in a way that makes it almost impossible in places to ascertain the meaning. here and there obvious points are belaboured and additional (and tautologous) adjectives are added. The original authors and the story are very badly served by this edition. I feel as if an old friend has been insulted in front of me and much as I'd like to I cannot recommend this edition to anyone. I've only marked as high as three stars because the original story still shines through the butchery.
Too many cooks: A Nero Wolfe mystery
Too many cooks: A Nero Wolfe mystery
One of the earlier Rex Stouts. Nero Wolfe is magnificent, and it is probably the first time he leaves his residence to travel to Chef Congregation. (He would do it again in the next book: the great Some Buried Caesar) More important is his obsession with the recipe of saucisse minuit, which forms the crux of the whole book. Surprisingly for it's time-published in 1938, is the treatment of the African American people-it would show up again in the much later: A Right To Die. The mystery is truly a triumph for Nero Wolfe, the characters fleshy and believable. Archie's charming 'love affair' and Wolfe's craving for the recipe make is a top drawer mystery novel. Later, especially after the war, Stout books became slimmer and the situations less fancied; the earlier books, this is the fourth, are like aged wine; one sips and relishes the delicious period aroma and appreciates the delicate nuances of the language. And the recipes at the end, don't miss them.
McFarlane Toys Harry Potter - Harry Action Figure
McFarlane Toys Harry Potter - Harry Action Figure
Though there are a few quality control issues you'll need to look past, this is the best looking Voldemort figure which will go well with any six inch figure collection.

Pros:
- Fantastic head sculpt of Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort from Deathly Hallows Pt 2
- Removable fabric cloak allows for increased articulation and realism
- Elastic ties connect the cloak to his wrists so it doesn't fall down if his arms are raised
- Long, pointed sleeves look great for action poses (almost as if the wind is causing his cloak to billow)
- Nagini and Elder Wand are awesome accessories which complete the look
- Included base looks nice and helps the figure stand
- Shoulder joints are double jointed and allowed for increased articulation (particularly lets Voldemort raise his wand high above his head as if about to cast a Killing Curse)

Cons:
- Mine came with a loose right elbow joint to the point where it completely broke off when I first tried to adjust the arm. I was able to snap it back on with a lot of effort, but that arm will be forever loose and hard to articulate unless I glue it
- Figure has a hard time standing on its own without the base, however he will stand fine in a specific position. Curling Nagini around his leg helps with stability
- Not a huge fan of the large "Harry Potter" written on the base, it's obvious which franchise it's from and I rather would have had it say Lord Voldemort or nothing at all
- Paint job is inconsistent from figure to figure, mine is very light grey around the eyes and mouth whereas some other figures I've seen have much darker paint which would make Voldemort more menacing
- Cloak is extremely difficult to take on and off, though there's not really a reason to remove it often
- Very neutral expression for a Dark Wizard who is pretty angry/menacing all the time
- Elder Wand is tough to squeeze into his hand and can fall out if it's not really jammed in there
- Left hand position is a little awkward, but it can be played off as if he's about to cast a spell or is petting Nagini
- I personally like how he comes without shoes as that's how he's mostly seen in the series, but this model is supposed to be from the Battle of Hogwarts so it's not really screen accurate to have him barefoot here

Overall there's a great figure here for less than $20, but a few quality control fixes and a bit more attention to detail in certain areas would make it 5 stars!
The Collected Works of Harry Harrison (Illustrated Edition): Deathworld, The Stainless Steel Rat, Planet of the Damned, The Misplaced Battleship
The Collected Works of Harry Harrison (Illustrated Edition): Deathworld, The Stainless Steel Rat, Planet of the Damned, The Misplaced Battleship
The stories are all fun, escapist science fiction, and a delightful read. Spoilerless summaries below:

Deathworld: Jason dinAlt arrives on a planet with a deadly hostile environment. This series is a tremendous representation of the struggle of man versus nature, a significant area for science fiction to thrive.

The Stainless Steel Rat: James diGriz is a super hero parody in the future, using his abilities to con people. This is a fun series that inspired actual comics.

Planet of the Damned: A planet must survive long harsh winters and short summers, as well as a deadly parasite. This novel feels the most “science fictiony” of the collected works here.

The Misplaced Battleship: Another short humorous story, where a thief must stop someone from taking over the galaxy.
One Step from Earth
One Step from Earth
Science fiction is a fertile ground for thematic anthologies, though they usually are organized by an editor with an idea who invites submissions from a collection of authors. In this case, the work is all Harry's and he posits a simple idea. Suppose you could build a matter transmitter? A black-seeming screen that you could step through like a doorway and emerge, without the passage of time, across the room -- or the planet -- or the galaxy. What could you do with such a device? What would aggressive governments do with it? What would be the popular reaction? The long-range consequences? Imagine a future in which an engineer working on a space station orbiting Saturn can commute home to San Diego every night. Imagine interstellar exploration in which you could step through from Earth to a robotic ship that has been traveling at near relativistic velocities for decades, check for habitable planets, then step back to Earth. There are all sorts of possibilities here and Harry makes excellent use of ten of them.

"In the Beginning" is the set-up, how the matter transmitter -- the MT or "transmatter" -- is invented and fails to be kept secret. "One Step from Earth" tells of its use to reach Mars and plant the first colony, which is much easier to manage when you're only a step from home base. "Pressure" is an Astounding-style tale of scientific exploration at the bottom of the Saturnian 20,000-mile-thick atmosphere. "No War, or Battle's Sound" moves us three thousand years or so into a future in which Earth is threaten by invasion via MT, and the style is almost Heinleinian. "Wife to the Lord" is a whimsically tongue-in-cheek yarn of the theological consequences of being the only person on a feudal planet with access to matter transmission. "Waiting Place" considers the use by civilized worlds of one-way matter transmission to rid themselves of criminals and other social undesirables. "The Life Preservers" takes on the problem of nearly instantaneous transmission of plagues and disease mutations between planets of disparate ecologies. "From Fanaticism, or for Reward" explores the use a political assassin might make of instantaneous matter-transmission in making his escape -- at least for awhile. "Heavy Duty" puts a contact specialist on a world that has been cut off for millennia from the rest of civilization, and considers the social price of re-establishing contact. And in the far, far future of "A Tale of the Ending" a man's home -- his very existence -- is incredibly diffuse, with each room or location he moves through being situated on, or beneath, a different world, all connected by Doors. How to you view the universe when every place in it is only a step from every other place? And what does such wide choice of location do to the natural human life-cycle? And how do you go about discovering where, among a near-infinity of worlds, Man started out? (Could we really once have been confined to a single planet -- as unnatural as that seems?)

Happily, Harry Harrison, while best known for his humorous adventures, is a lot deeper than that. All of these stories deal not just with speculative technology but with the effects of technology on people individually and on society collectively. (There are no alien life forms in this particular future, so the human angle is all there is.) Technology changes. People don't, not really. These stories are very well-written examples of the best sort of "what if" writing.
Best SF: 1967
Best SF: 1967
In a 'Credo' piece at the start of the book, this is part of what James Blish has to say about a Year's Best:-

"1. Its contents should be science fiction which means that at the worst, every story ought to contain some trace of some science, and at best they ought to depend on it. This means no fantasies, nothing put in solely because the author wrote a best-selling mainstream novel in 1920, no political parables and no what-is-its.

2. Its contents should be science fiction meaning no cartoons, psuedoscientific articles, how-to-write-it pieces or bad verse.

3. It ought to be reasonably honest about what it is offering. Just to begin with, no such volume can hope to include the best SF of its year, regardless of length. Furthermore, not even all the best short fiction is available; some of it gets tied up in exclusive contracts by other anthologies or collections, and occasionally some of it is even priced too high. Both these limitations ought to be made known to the reader.

4. It ought to be responsible. If the editor is actually being overruled by another editor, or the publisher, that ought to be made known, too, naming names.

I am carefully not adding that within these limits its "bests" ought really to be the best; it isn't humanly possible for any such volume to satisfy everybody on that count. But it ought at least to try."

The editors then go on to disagree with him a bit, and of course put stories in outside this selection.

There is also an afterword that at times is a bit of an unrelated to the book rant.

For a 40 year old volume, or close enough, this is pretty reasonable, with a 3.43 average.

Harrison Aldiss 01 : Hawksbill Station [short story] - Robert Silverberg
Harrison Aldiss 01 : Ultimate Construction - C. C. Shackleton
Harrison Aldiss 01 : 1937 A.D.! - John T. Sladek
Harrison Aldiss 01 : Fifteen Miles - Ben Bova
Harrison Aldiss 01 : Blackmail - Fred Hoyle
Harrison Aldiss 01 : The Vine - Kit Reed
Harrison Aldiss 01 : Interview with a Lemming - James Thurber
Harrison Aldiss 01 : The Wreck of the Ship John B. - Frank M. Robinson
Harrison Aldiss 01 : The Left-Hand Way - A. Bertram Chandler
Harrison Aldiss 01 : The Forest of Zil - Kris Neville
Harrison Aldiss 01 : The A55a55ination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy Considered as a Downhill Motor Race - J. G. Ballard
Harrison Aldiss 01 : Answering Service - Fritz Leiber
Harrison Aldiss 01 : The Last Command - Keith Laumer
Harrison Aldiss 01 : Mirror of Ice - Gary Wright
Harrison Aldiss 01 : Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes - Harlan Ellison

The authorities have come up with an unconventional but effective way of controlling dissidents. Send them back a billion or so years into the past. A bit hard to escape from there, really.

When a new prisoner is sent back, the current top dog, an aging main with a recent serious injury has to try and hang onto his life, and work out what is up with the new guy.

3 out of 5

Deserted planet boy. With spade and bucket, luckily.

3.5 out of 5

Time Engine to look yourself up.

3 out of 5

"Wonder how many Jesuits have been carried home on their shields?"

3.5 out of 5

Only a bunch of monkeys would watch a lot of tv.

3.5 out of 5

Grape growers are wroth.

3.5 out of 5

Surprised humans don't off themselves.

3.5 out of 5

Spacegoing slum.

4 out of 5

Contemplative metal monks.

4 out of 5

Tree history.

3.5 out of 5

Finishing gun.

2.5 out of 5

Old style phone convo.

4 out of 5

A Bolo is a cybernetic supertank, basically. In this story, an old inactive one comes to life.

3 out of 5

Possible sledicide.

3.5 out of 5

Maggie, I wish I had something to say to you. But you're dead.

3.5 out of 5

4 out of 5
King Solomon's Mines (Penguin Classics)
King Solomon's Mines (Penguin Classics)
A wealthy aristocrat (Sir Henry Curtis) seeks out legendary hunter, Allan Quatermain, to help him find a brother who went missing while in search of the diamond mines of King Solomon. That’s the premise that propels this story. Quatermain leads an expedition that will strike out into in the dark heart of Africa where the lives will be repeated put on the line.

This novel was written at a time when lost world stories seized the imagination. With exploration still in progress, it wasn’t fantastic beyond imagination that a new civilization would be stumbled into that was unlike any known. The stories of real life explorers (e.g. Livingston, Burton, Speke, and Stanley) engrossed the public, and people were captivated by the myriad ways to die in Africa. Haggard’s novel echoes the terrors of those real world works, but with emphasis on the more visceral (e.g. warring tribes and wild animals) and less emphasis on the more blasé paths to one’s demise (e.g. being abandoned by one’s porters / supply theft, or contracting a severe case of the s***s.)

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It’s readable, particularly for a work of the 19th century. It has enough adventure to maintain tension and keep one reading. That said, it’s not a flawless execution.

The biggest twist is toward the middle, and the ending resolves itself in a disappointing manner. [Remainder of paragraph is vaguely spoilery.] However, one may not notice this on the first read, if one becomes engrossed in the immediate details. To elaborate: the protagonists are put in a dire situation, and to get through it they have to pass through a scary environment. If you are caught up in the feeling of being in that environment, you may not notice the deus ex machina of being there in the first place. Also, the issue of Sir Curtis’s brother feels like it’s handled as an afterthought. If the book was written today, I’d suspect that the author had forgotten all about his inciting incident altogether until an editor told him it was too big of a loose-end to ignore.

I’d recommend this book for readers of adventure and lost world stories.
De'Longhi ECAM 23.420.SB Kaffeevollautomat mit Milchaufschäumdüse für Cappuccino, Espresso Direktwahltaste und Digitaldisplay mit Klartext, 2-Tassen-Funktion, 1,8 Liter Wassertank, silber/schwarz
De'Longhi ECAM 23.420.SB Kaffeevollautomat mit Milchaufschäumdüse für Cappuccino, Espresso Direktwahltaste und Digitaldisplay mit Klartext, 2-Tassen-Funktion, 1,8 Liter Wassertank, silber/schwarz
Wir habe die De'longhi ECAM23420SR seid gut 2 Jahren in Benutzung und sind eigentlich sehr zufrieden.
Vorteile:
- Kaffee ist sehr schmackhaft (subjektiv kräftiger und aromatischer als bei unsererm alten Vollautomaten Siemens S45)
- Kompakte Bauform
- Wasserbehälter wird von vorne in das Gerät geschoben
- Brühgruppe lässt sich leicht herausnehmen und reinigen

Nachteile:
- Der Kaffee Wahlschalter wird bei uns auch "Glücksrad" genannt da man nicht sicher sein kan was beim drehen angeboten wird.
- Kratzempfindliches Sieb
- augenscheinliche Defizite beim entkalken (s.u.)

Leider ist die Kaffeemaschine nach 2 Jahren und 4 Tagen kaputt gegangen. Die Pumpe schien defekt. Glücklicherweise habe ich mich registrieren lassen und somit 3 Jahre Garantie .. dachte ich zumindest.

Ich möchte nicht mit Details langweilen – letztendlich mussten wir nach einer Service Odyssee die Kosten der Reparatur übernehmen da die Maschine lt. Reparatur Service verkalkt war. Lt. System wurde die Maschine in den 2 Jahren 12 mal entkalkt und wir nutzen nur den originalen Entkalker für dieses System.

Natürlich ist Kalk für eine Kaffeemaschine kritisch nur haben wir wie auch bei unseren alten Vollautomaten einen Teststreifen für den Härtegrad Test verwendet und entsprechend das System eingestellt und immer entkalkt wenn es gefordert wurde. Somit liegt die Vermutung nahe das die Entkalken nicht korrekt funktioniert und man immer 1-2 Härtegrade mehr einstellen sollte.

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