Books I've read (old posts, page 7)

The Last Dragonslayer (The Chronicles of Kazam, #1)

In the good old days, magic was indispensable—it could both save a kingdom and clear a clogged drain. But now magic is fading: drain cleaner is cheaper than a spell, and magic carpets are used for pizza delivery. Fifteen-year-old foundling Jennifer Strange runs Kazam, an employment agency for magicians—but it’s hard to stay in business when magic is drying up. And then the visions start, predicting the death of the world’s last dragon at the hands of an unnamed Dragonslayer. If the visions are true, everything will change for Kazam—and for Jennifer. Because something is coming. Something known as . . . Big Magic.

Year Zero

_An alien advance party was suddenly nosing around my planet. _
Worse, they were lawyering up. . . .
_ _
In the hilarious tradition of _The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, _Rob Reid takes you on a headlong journey through the outer reaches of the universe—and the inner workings of our absurdly dysfunctional music industry.

Low-level entertainment lawyer Nick Carter thinks it’s a prank, not an alien encounter, when a redheaded mullah and a curvaceous nun show up at his office. But Frampton and Carly are highly advanced (if bumbling) extraterrestrials. And boy, do they have news.

The entire cosmos, they tell him, has been hopelessly hooked on humanity’s music ever since “Year Zero” (1977 to us), when American pop songs first reached alien ears. This addiction has driven a vast intergalactic society to commit the biggest copyright violation since the Big Bang. The resulting fines and penalties have bankrupted the whole universe. We humans suddenly own everything—and the aliens are not amused.

Nick Carter has just been tapped to clean up this mess before things get ugly, and he’s an unlikely galaxy-hopping hero: He’s scared of heights. He’s also about to be fired. And he happens to have the same name as a Backstreet Boy. But he does know a thing or two about copyright law. And he’s packing a couple of other pencil-pushing superpowers that could come in handy.

Soon he’s on the run from a sinister parrot and a highly combustible vacuum cleaner. With Carly and Frampton as his guides, Nick now has forty-eight hours to save humanity, while hopefully wowing the hot girl who lives down the hall from him.

“Hilarious, provocative, and supersmart, Year Zero _is a brilliant novel to be enjoyed in perpetuity in the known universe and in all unknown universes yet to be discovered.”—John Hodgman, resident expert, _The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth

In this essay on man Mr. Fuller expresses what may well be his penultimate view of the human condition. Here, in a mood at once philosophical and involved, Mr. Fuller traces man s intellectual evolution and weighs his capability for survival on this magnificent craft, this Spaceship Earth, this superbly designed sphere of almost negligible dimension in the great vastness of space.
Mr. Fuller is optimistic that man will survive and, through research and development and increased industrialization, generate wealth so rapidly that he can do very great things. But, he notes, there must be an enormous educational task successfully accomplished right now to convert man's tendency toward oblivion into a realization of his potential, to a universe-exploring advantage from this Spaceship Earth.
It has been noted that Mr. Fuller spins ideas in clusters, and clusters of his ideas generate still other clusters. The concept spaceship earth is Mr. Fuller's, and though used by Barbara Ward as the title of a work of her own the idea was acknowledged by her there as deriving from Mr. Fuller. The brilliant syntheses of some fundamental Fuller principles given here makes of this book a microcosm of the Fuller system.

The Naked God (Night's Dawn, #3)

The Confederation is starting to collapse politically and economically, allowing the `possessed' to infiltrate more worlds.

Quinn Dexter is loose on Earth, destroying the giant arcologies one at a time. As Louise Kavanagh tries to track him down, she manages to acquire some strange and powerful allies whose goal doesn't quite match her own. The campaign to liberate Mortonridge from the possessed degenerates into a horrendous land battle, the kind which hasn't been seen by humankind for six hundred years; then some of the protagonists escape in a very unexpected direction. Joshua Calvert and Syrinx fly their starships on a mission to find the Sleeping God -- which an alien race believes holds the key to overthrowing the possessed.

THE NAKED GOD is the brilliant climax to Peter F. Hamilton's awe-inspiring Night's Dawn Trilogy.

The Neutronium Alchemist (Night's Dawn, #2)

The ancient menace has finally escaped from Lalonde, shattering the Confederation's peaceful existence. Those who succumbed to it have acquired godlike powers, but now follow a far from divine gospel as they advance inexorably from world to world.

On planets and asteroids, individuals battle for survival against the strange and brutal forces unleashed upon the universe. Governments teeter on the brink of anarchy, the Confederation Navy is dangerously over-stretched, and a dark messiah prepares to invoke his own version of the final Night.

In such desperate times the last thing the galaxy needs is a new and terrifyingly powerful weapon. Yet Dr. Alkad Mzu is determined to retrieve the Alchemist -- so she can complete her thirty-year-old vendetta to slay a star. Which means Joshua Calvert has to find Dr Mzu and bring her back before the Alchemist can be reactivated.

But he's not alone in the chase, and there are people on both sides who have their own ideas about how to use the ultimate doomsday device.

THE NEUTRONIUM ALCHEMIST is the second novel in the Night's Dawn Trilogy, an extraordinary feat of storytelling on a truly epic scale.

The Reality Dysfunction (Night's Dawn, #1)

Space is not the only void...

In AD 2600 the human race is finally beginning to realize its full potential. Hundreds of colonized planets scattered across the galaxy host a multitude of prosperous and wildly diverse cultures. Genetic engineering has pushed evolution far beyond nature's boundaries, defeating disease and producing extraordinary spaceborn creatures. Huge fleets of sentient trader starships thrive on the wealth created by the industrialization of entire star systems. And throughout inhabited space the Confederation Navy keeps the peace. A true golden age is within our grasp.

But now something has gone catastrophically wrong. On a primitive colony planet a renegade criminal's chance encounter with an utterly alien entity unleashes the most primal of all our fears. An extinct race which inhabited the galaxy aeons ago called it "The Reality Dysfunction." It is the nightmare which has prowled beside us since the beginning of history.

THE REALITY DYSFUNCTION is a modern classic of science fiction, an extraordinary feat of storytelling on a truly epic scale.

Fear and Loathing in America: The Brutal Odyssey of an Outlaw Journalist, 1968-1976

From the king of “Gonzo” journalism and bestselling author who brought you Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas comes another astonishing volume of letters by Hunter S. Thompson.

Brazen, incisive, and outrageous as ever, this second volume of Thompson’s private correspondence is the highly anticipated follow-up to The Proud Highway. When that first book of letters appeared in 1997, Time pronounced it "deliriously entertaining"; Rolling Stone called it "brilliant beyond description"; and The New York Times celebrated its "wicked humor and bracing political conviction."

Spanning the years between 1968 and 1976, these never-before-published letters show Thompson building his legend: running for sheriff in Aspen, Colorado; creating the seminal road book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; twisting political reporting to new heights for Rolling Stone; and making sense of it all in the landmark Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72. To read Thompson's dispatches from these years—addressed to the author's friends, enemies, editors, and creditors, and such notables as Jimmy Carter, Tom Wolfe, and Kurt Vonnegut—is to read a raw, revolutionary eyewitness account of one of the most exciting and pivotal eras in American history.

Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72

Hilarious, terrifying, insightful, and compulsively readable, these are the articles that Hunter S. Thompson wrote for Rolling Stone magazine while covering the 1972 election campaign of President Richard M. Nixon and his unsuccessful opponent, Senator George S. McGovern. Hunter focuses largely on the Democratic Party's primaries and the breakdown of the national party as it splits between the different candidates.

With drug-addled alacrity and incisive wit, Thompson turned his jaundiced eye and gonzo heart to the repellent and seductive race for president, deconstructed the campaigns, and ended up with a political vision that is eerily prophetic

Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga

"California, Labor Day weekend...early, with ocean fog still in the streets, outlaw motorcyclists wearing chains, shades & greasy Levis roll out from damp garages, all-night diners & cast-off one-night pads in Frisco, Hollywood, Berdoo & East Oakland, heading for the Monterey peninsula, north of Big Sur...The Menace is loose again." Thus begins Hunter S. Thompson's vivid account of his experiences with California's most notorious motorcycle gang, the Hell's Angels.

In the mid-60s, Thompson spent almost two years living with the controversial Angels, cycling up & down the coast, reveling in the anarchic spirit of their clan, and, as befits their name, raising hell. His book successfully captures a singular moment in American history, when the biker lifestyle was 1st defined, & when such countercultural movements were electrifying & horrifying America. Thompson, the creator of Gonzo journalism, writes with his usual bravado, energy & brutal honesty, & with a nuanced & incisive eye; as The New Yorker pointed out, "For all its uninhibited & sardonic humor, Thompson's book is a thoughtful piece of work." As illuminating now as when originally published in '67, Hell's Angels is a gripping portrait, the best account we have of the truth behind an American legend.

The Rum Diary

Made into a major motion picture starring Johnny Depp, The Rum Diary—a national bestseller and _New York Times _Notable Book—is Hunter S. Thompson’s brilliant love story of jealousy, treachery, and violent lust in the Caribbean.

Begun in 1959 by a twenty-two-year-old Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Diary is a brilliantly tangled love story of jealousy, treachery, and violent alcoholic lust in the Caribbean boomtown that was San Juan, Puerto Rico, in the late 1950s. The narrator, freelance journalist Paul Kemp, irresistibly drawn to a sexy, mysterious woman, is soon thrust into a world where corruption and get- rich-quick schemes rule and anything (including murder) is permissible. Exuberant and mad, youthful and energetic, this dazzling comedic romp provides a fictional excursion as riveting and outrageous as Thompson’s Fear and Loathing books.