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Martin Glassborow
Infrastructure Technical Architect, Support Manager and Geek Herder
Recent Activity
Well done Chad, long overdue...great move!
The 'Curse of the Pogo Stick' is the fifth in the 'Dr Siri Paiboun' series by Colin Cotterill. Set in late 70s Communist Laos; Dr Siri is the National Coroner of Laos, in his 70s, Dr Siri probably has things he'd rather be doing as opposed to being the National Coroner but as the only 'qualified' person available to the government, he seems to be doomed never to retire and compensates by going about his duties in as an eccentric and anarchistic way as the Communist regime lets him. And just to add to things, he is also the vessel... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2010 at Paging
Philip Pullman is generally known as a children's author but there has always been a serious side to his books and certainly a serious examination of religion and the nature of God/faith. It's interesting that he lives in Oxford and is carrying on a tradition started by the Inklings, especially C.S Lewis and to a lesser extent, Tolkien but Pullman is very much on the other side of the fence to them. Lewis and Tolkien were both practising Christians; Pullman is most definitely not. 'The Good Man Jesus and The Scoundrel Christ' is his latest book and there is no... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2010 at Paging
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Mar 15, 2010
When friends die before they should, it is times like this when they are often most missed. Discovering a 'new' series of books that Jill would have loved is such a bitter-sweet thing; I can imagine her devouring these because they just ticked the boxes and I can imagine the conversation with her when we discuss them. So for Jill, I'm just going to have to read them all and save those discussions for a later time. But just in case she's peering over my shoulder somewhere, here's a quick checklist * strong female lead - check * corsets -... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2010 at Paging
Bob Asprin's comic books are somewhat of an acquired taste, full of puns and whimsy. You either like them or you don't; I'm fairly fond of them. Style-wise, they are somewhat similar to Piers Anthony and nothing like Terry Pratchett. They are not going to make you think at all! Bob Asprin died in 2008 and probably neither really fulfilled his potential as a writer suffering from a number of personal issues and the attentions of the IRS in the early 90s; he ended up with writer's block and never really recovered. Certainly of all his later books never really... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2010 at Paging
This is the supposed premise of the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson, the first of which is the The Final Empire; I say supposed premise because it's not really a case of what if the Dark Lord won, more a case what if the Hero turned out to be a bad guy really. The so-called Hero in this case has turned out to be a tyrant and has ruled 'The Final Empire' for a thousand yeards. In this time, society has divided into Noblemen and the Skaa. The Skaa are the under-class and as such very much downtrodden. Also, the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2010 at Paging
I was going to write something very similar but not quite as comprehensive! Thanks for doing it!
1 reply
Relentless is the fifth book in the The Lost Fleet Series by Jack Campbell, this is hard science-based space opera with probably some of the most believable space battles you'll read. If you are fed-up with dog fights in space, this is the book for you; careful consideration of relativistic effects are taken. But that really does the book a dis-service, Jack Campbell has managed to write space-opera with characters; his military characters have developed over the series into real people and it is a lot less two dimensional than a lot of similar books. The previous books suffered at... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2010 at Paging
Now, I maybe an unashamed techie geek but this does not stop me appreciating design; in fact, I look for functional elegance in technology these days. It's not just a case of doing something useful but doing it in a manner which is both efficient but also shows a clarity of vision. (Obviously this is an attempted entry in the Private Eye Pseud's Corner) Basically I like things to look nice but being a geek, I want to understand what makes things look nice and how designers come to make things which are pleasing to look at/experience. So I've started... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2010 at Paging
The Dorsai novels by Gordon Dickson are a superlative example of military Science Fiction at it's best; this is no where near this standard, this being Peacekeeper by Laura E. Reeve but then again not much is. This falls into a pack of similar books with similar lead characters; there's bits of Weber's Honor Harrington books, bits of Shepherd's Kris Longknife books and a host of others all thrown into the mix. The lead character is a space-pilot with a deep, dark secret; she was part of a mission which appears to have destroyed an entire solar system. As the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2010 at Paging
The second in the Rogue Agent trilogy (the first being The Accidental Sorcerer) by K.E Mills (a pseudonym of Karen Miller); this is a light humorous fantasy novel based in a fairly standard fantasy world with a Victorian-level tech. Although it carries on from the previous novel, there is more focus on the female protagonists i.e the witches and their attempts to build a business which rapidly intertwines with the work of Gerald (the Accidental Sorcerer and Rogue Agent). Much of the book is devoted to the banter between the various protagonists and at times the plot seems to be... Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2010 at Paging
'Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art' is the book to read if you've felt that you've been wasting your time reading comics or just want to understand more about this story-telling medium. In the form of a comic book, Scott McCloud takes through the history of comics from Cave Art to the modern day; well 1992 as this is when this was published. Discussing how pictures and words (and sometimes just pictures) combine to tell a story in a way which is magical and special. I have always loved comics and this book both explains why but will also lead me... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2010 at Paging
I've just finished the Second Rumpole Omnibus; like PG Wodehouse, there is something wonderfully English about the writings of John Mortimer and arguably Rumpole embodies one of the great things of the English law system, the presumption of innocence. Rumpole is very rarely in any doubt of the guilt or innocence of the accused but simply seeks the best defence for the accused. And what is very refreshing about the books is that he doesn't always win, he sometimes loses leaving you with the feeling that Mortimer is getting revenge for miscarriages of justice he has seen in his practise.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2010 at Paging
Nigel Slater has been described as a National Treasure, a uniquely English food-writer with the tone and gentle voice of Alan Bennett; indeed, if Alan Bennett was a food-writer, Nigel Slater is who he would be. His recipe books are joy, I learnt much of my cooking repertoire from them whilst at college and to this day knocking up a quick tasty supper is often described as doing a Nigel in our house. Nigel Slater has an enthusiasm for food which is conveyed in this collection of writings on the British relationship with food; it is full of honesty and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2010 at Paging
I've come to Cory Doctorow quite late despite being aware of him for sometime. And then somehow I came across a description of 'Makers' before it was published and pre-ordered it, I think I read it in two sittings after it was delivered. Something about it reminded me of Neal Stephenson before he decided that being clever was more important than telling a good story. So I'm working my way through Cory's back catalogue and what's rather cool is that a fair amount of it is freely downloadable from his website. The latest of his that I've read is his... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2010 at Paging
This is a blog about books and like all good books it begins with a Dedication! This blog is dedicated to a great friend of mine, Jill Bradley; I always used to talk about her as the wife of my Best Man & Friend Phil but that does her a dis-service, she was a great friend in her own right. Jill died between Christmas and New Year after living with cancer for two and half years. Jill loved books, a librarian by training and arguably by calling; I'm convinced if you looked in a dictionary for the definition of librarian,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2010 at Paging
Would I back-up raw business data into the cloud? No! Would I backup business data with strong encryption, why not? It's probably more secure than those non-encrypted off-site tape backups. Personally, I'm using things like Dropbox more and more to keep my various machines in sync and it also gets it offsite as well.
Toggle Commented Jul 28, 2009 on New Poll: Cloud Backup? at The Backup Blog