Saturday, June 23, 2007

I finished The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril by Paul Malmont this morning.

This is a pastiche of the pulp style that flourished in the 1920s/1930s with a twist - a lot of the characters are famous pulp authors. Some of the authors who appear are Walter Gibson (aka Maxwell Grant, author of The Shadow stories), Lester Dent (aka Kenneth Robeson, author of the Doc Savage stories), L. Ron Hubbard and H.P. Lovecraft.

Part of the book involves the publishing industry in New York but eventually branches off into a mystery in Chinatown involving opium, nerve gas and mysterious refugee from the Japanese invasion of China.

I've read some of the original pulps and though this book is a tribute to them in some ways, it is better written than most of them. I quite enjoyed it.

Amazon Link: The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I just finished The Canon by Natalie Angier. The Canon is a summation of current basic scientific knowledge, wrapped in a well written package. I originally picked this up for my girlfriend - she has complained for years about the poor job her high school science teachers did and how she would like to know more about basic science.

If you're interested in a particular topic, I'd look for more focused books but if you want an over-view, this is one of the best I've seen. I found the biology section particularly interesting since I took only the most basic biology classes in school and didn't pay attention very much in those. This book fleshed out what I know a little.

Amazon Link: The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science

Monday, June 18, 2007

During my trip I was busy enough that I didn't get a lot of reading done but I did finish one book after I got home - The Ionian Mission by Patrick O'Brien. This is the eight in the Aubrey-Maturin series which I wrote about here. This one finds them taking part in a blockade in the Mediterranean as well as running a few side missions. Typical enjoyable entry in this series.

Amazon Link: The Ionian Mission