Books I've read (old posts, page 2)

The Fifth Elephant (Discworld, #24)

Everyone knows that the world is flat, and supported on the backs of four elephants. But weren't there supposed to be five? Indeed there were. So where is it?...

When duty calls. Commander Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork constabulary answers. Even when he doesn't want to. He's been "invited" to attend a royal function as both detective and diplomat. The one role he relishes; the other requires, well, ruby tights. Of course where cops (even those clad in tights) go, alas, crime follows. An attempted assassination and a theft soon lead to a desperate chase from the low halls of Discworld royalty to the legendary fat mines of Uberwald, where lard is found in underground seams along with tusks and teeth and other precious ivory artifacts. It's up to the dauntless Vimes -- bothered as usual by a familiar cast of Discworld inhabitants (you know, trolls, dwarfs, werewolves, vampires and such) -- to solve the puzzle of the missing pachyderm. Which of course he does. After all, solving mysteries is his job.

Broken Angels (Takeshi Kovacs, #2)

Fifty years after the events of ALTERED CARBON, Takeshi Kovacs is serving as a mercenary in the Procterate-sponsored war to put down Joshuah Kemp's revolution on the planet Sanction IV. He is offered the chance to join a covert team chasing a prize whose value is limitless -- and whose dangers are endless. Here is a novel that takes mankind to the brink.

A breakneck-paced crime thriller, ALTERED CARBON took its readers deep into the universe Morgan had so compellingly realised without ever letting them escape the onward rush of the plot. BROKEN ANGELS melds SF, the war novel and the spy thriller to take the reader below the surface of this future and lay bare the treacheries, betrayals and follies that leave man so ill-prepared for the legacy he has been given: the stars. This is SF at its dizzying best: superb, yet subtle, world-building; strong yet sensitive characterisation; awesome yet believable technology, thilling yet profound writing. Richard Morgan is set to join the genre's world-wide elite.

Assholes Finish First (Tucker Max, #2)

From the Tucker Max website:

What do you do when you've become rich and famous for writing a #1 best- selling book about your drunken, sexual misadventures? I'll tell you what I do: I write another fucking book.

This is that book. Assholes Finish First is hilarious in ways you will recognize from I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell, and in other, newer ways you won't. Of course it has all the sex and debauchery you expect from my writing, but with a twist. You already know how I deal with women when I am poor and anonymous. You have no idea how I do it when I have money and fame.

It also answers the hard questions you've never thought of asking. What's it like to have sex with a midget? How about two of 'em? What happens when you eat too much beef jerky and then drink a gallon of vegetable juice? Or get head in an X-ray machine? The answers are inside, they are absurd, and they are the product of one man's experiences:

My name is still Tucker Max, and I am still an asshole.

The Dharma Bums

Two ebullient young men search for Truth the Zen way: from marathon wine- drinking bouts, poetry jam sessions, and "yabyum" in San Francisco's Bohemia to solitude in the high Sierras and a vigil atop Desolation Peak in Washington State. Published just a year after On the Road put the Beat Generation on the map, The Dharma Bums is sparked by Kerouac's expansiveness, humor, and a contagious zest for life.

Starship Troopers

Starship Troopers is a science fiction novel by Robert A. Heinlein, 1st published in abridged form as a serial in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (10-11/59 as "Starship Soldier") & published hardcover in 1959.
The 1st-person narrative is about a young soldier named Juan "Johnnie" Rico & his exploits in the Mobile Infantry, a futuristic military unit equipped with powered armor. His military career progresses from recruit to noncommissioned officer & finally to officer against the backdrop of an interstellar war between humans & an arachnoid species known as the Bugs. Thru Rico's eyes, Heinlein examines moral & philosophical aspects of suffrage, civic virtue, the necessities of war & capital punishment & the nature of juvenile delinquency.
Starship Troopers won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in '60. The novel has attracted controversy & criticism for its social & political themes, which some critics claim promote militarism. Starship Troopers has been adapted into several films & games, with the most widely known—as well as the most controversial & criticized—being the '97 film by Paul Verhoeven.

Live and Let Die (James Bond #2)

"Her hair was black and fell to her shoulders. She had high cheekbones and a sensual mouth, and wore a dress of white silk. Her eyes were blue, alight and disdainful, but, as they gazed into his with a touch of humour, Bond realized that they contained a message. Solitaire watched his eyes on her and nonchalantly drew her forearms together so that the valley between her breasts deepened. The message was unmistakable."

Beautiful, fortune-telling Solitaire is the prisoner (and tool) of Mr Big—master of fear, artist in crime and Voodoo Baron of Death. James Bond has no time for superstition—he knows that this criminal heavy hitter is also a top SMERSH operative and a real threat. More than that, after tracking him through the jazz joints of Harlem, to the everglades and on to the Caribbean, 007 has realized that Big is one of the most dangerous men that he has ever faced. And no-one, not even the mysterious Solitaire, can be sure how their battle of wills is going to end…

Dune Messiah (Dune Chronicles, #2)

**

With millions of copies sold worldwide, Frank Herbert's magnificent Dune novels stand among the major achievements of the human imagination as one of the most significant sagas in the history of literary science fiction.

**Dune Messiah continues the story of Paul Atreides, better known-and feared-as the man christened Muad'Dib. As Emperor of the Known Universe, he possesses more power than a single man was ever meant to wield. Worshipped as a religious icon by the fanatical Fremens, Paul faces the enmity of the political houses he displaced when he assumed the throne-and a conspiracy conducted within his own sphere of influence.

And even as House Atreides begins to crumble around him from the machinations of his enemies, the true threat to Paul comes to his lover, Chani, and the unborn heir to his family's dynasty.

Gridlinked (Agent Cormac #1, Polity Universe #3)

Gridlinked is a science fiction adventure in the classic, fast-paced, action-packed tradition of Harry Harrison and Poul Anderson, with a dash of cyberpunk and a splash of Ian Fleming added to spice the mix.

Cormac is a legendary Earth Central Security agent, the James Bond of a wealthy future where "runcibles" (matter transmitters controlled by AIs) allow interstellar travel in an eye blink throughout the settled worlds of the Polity. Unfortunately Cormac is nearly burnt out, "gridlinked" to the AI net so long that his humanity has begun to drain away. He has to take the cold- turkey cure and shake his addiction to having his brain on the net.

Now he must do without just as he's sent to investigate the unique runcible disaster that's wiped out the entire human colony on planet Samarkand in a thirty-megaton explosion. With the runcible out, Cormac must get there by ship, but he has incurred the wrath of a vicious psychopath called Arian Pelter, who now follows him across the galaxy with a terrifying psychotic killer android in tow. And deep beneath Samarkand's surface there are buried mysteries, fiercely guarded.

This is fast-moving, edge-of-the-seat entertainment, and a great introduction to the work of one of the most exciting new SF talents in years.

Moby Dick

Killing a sixty-ton sperm whale that could destroy a boat with a flick of its massive tail was no easy task. Whalemen of the early nineteenth century were not just hunters, they were also explorers—sailing on the uncharted sea in search of some of the largest creatures on earth. The most famous whale of all? Moby Dick.
Here are Ishmael, Queequeq, Ahab, and of course, Moby Dick, rendered anew in a dynamic comic book adaptation of one of the greatest American novels ever written. The book also includes information about Herman Melville, facts about whales, and the history of the whaling industry. With all the flare and blaze of Melville’s original story, Moby Dick is sure to intrigue a new generation of readers with this fast-paced and electric portrayal of the famous battle between man and beast.