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Reviews Written by
Jason M. Diller "Nerd" (North Street, MI USA)
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Stand
Stand
Offered by Wits End
Price: CDN$ 18.95
9 used & new from CDN$ 11.65

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent CD, can't wait to hear more, May 21 2004
This review is from: Stand (Audio CD)
I was pleasantly surprised when I gave this CD a shot and found it to be a big hit for me. There isn't a song on here that I don't enjoy, which is a genuine accomplishment! The sound is catchy, the lyrics are interesting and the vocals are great as well. This has easily been the CD I've listened to the most in the last year and look forward to future efforts from Everyday Sunday.
(...)

Beginning JavaScript
Beginning JavaScript
by Paul Wilton
Edition: Paperback
27 used & new from CDN$ 0.82

5.0 out of 5 stars I cannot rate this highly enough, May 25 2001
This review is from: Beginning JavaScript (Paperback)
As an amateur(just for fun) Visual Basic programmer, I have little experience with C++ and Javascript(which are similar in syntax). I am decent enough with HTML, but was looking for the ability to do more. I AM SO GLAD I GOT THIS BOOK! I am now writing .asp pages right and left, I am accessing databases through the web, getting data from user forms using server side scripts. I am overwhelmed at how much my knowledge has increased in just two weeks with this book. I haven't even studied it really, I just look up the chapter that has what I want to do and there are examples at my fingertips. I am sure I will learn much more before I put this thing down. If you want to go the next level in your web design abilites, you cannot go wrong with this book.

Jupiter: A Novel Of A Planet Stranger Than We Can Imagine
Jupiter: A Novel Of A Planet Stranger Than We Can Imagine
by Ben Bova
Edition: Hardcover
22 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Continuing our tour of the solar system..., May 10 2001
Bova has written about Mars and Venus and now he gives us a tour of Jupiter. I hope he continues this pattern as long as the books are written as well as these three (I haven't read "Return to Mars" yet). The format for Venus and Jupiter has been fairly simple- take a fairly generic suspense tale (will the explorers all die?) and wrap it in some hard sci-fi as well as some scientific speculation. The result is very enjoyable. I learned a great deal about Jupiter and comprehending the difficulties in trying to travel and (land?) there. In addition I got a good SF story, what more could I ask for? What's next for Bova? "Saturn" seems obvious, but my guess for some reason is "Neptune".

Venus
Venus
by Ben Bova
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
35 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Makes you really think about being there, May 10 2001
This review is from: Venus (Mass Market Paperback)
I've never considered Ben Bova to be the equal of Clarke and Asimov, but now that I am actually reading his works, I am strongly reconsidering that notion. He certainly writes a better tale that Asimov (although I guess I've always preferring Asimov's short stories and non-fiction anyway), and manages to finish his stories better than Clarke. I picked out Venus because the cover caught my eye and I'm glad I gave it a read. Bova writes for the most part in what I call "believable sci-fi". Oh sure, there are some items here that are definately not grounded in reality (sorry, no spoilers), but most of the book makes me think about local space travel and Venus the way that they probably really exist. Venus is a nasty hot place, we all know that, but to really explore in depth the degree of nastiness is thrilling. Although Venus has a rock surface like our own, it isn't as simple as just landing there, climbing out and enduring the hot temperatures. There are other factors to consider and that's what I enjoyed as well. As far as the actual plot and story, there really isn't anything in here I haven't seen before, but that doesn't mean it isn't enjoyable. I guess you have a pretty good idea how things will all work out eventually, but enjoying the ride to get there and learning some things about our sister planet makes this a very fun read.

Golden Fleece
Golden Fleece
by Robert J. Sawyer
Edition: Paperback
10 used & new from CDN$ 3.07

4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good, May 10 2001
This review is from: Golden Fleece (Paperback)
I am a big fan of Sawyer, having read pretty much all his novels now. I started with the more recent stuff(the fantastic FlashForward for one!) and worked my way back. I didn't have great expectations for this book since it is one of his oldest sci-fi books. Actually, I think its his oldest book still in print. Anyhow, the book itself is very, very good. It takes the tired theme of space travel and manages to make it enjoyable. There are some definate parallels to 2001: A Space Odyssey, but Sawyer manages to keep the pace quick and the storyline gripping. It's hard to explain exactly why I like it so much except to say that I could not put it down when it hit the stretch run. I HAD to finish it. Unfortuantely, that is not something that I can always say about books I've read.

Abandon In Place
Abandon In Place
by Jerry Oltion
Edition: Hardcover
11 used & new from CDN$ 3.01

2.0 out of 5 stars Starts great, limps to finish line, Jan. 20 2001
This review is from: Abandon In Place (Hardcover)
This book is based off a short story that was rewritten as a novella and then finally a novel. It seems obvious to me where the original idea ended and the extra stuff was added to make this novel length. It's this extra atuff that makes this book so bad though. The premise is great- a mysterious Apollo rocket launches itself monthly from Florida soon after Neil Armostrong dies. The main characters of the story investigate this and I am finding myself enjoying this book very much. I am thinking, "Heh-heh, I have found myself a new author!" But then the sci-fi ends and we are treated to 200 pages of crap about psychic phenomenon. I should have seen it coming- the first 100 pages were too good; I wondered "What will happen now, all the good stuff happened?". Because of those great early pages, I forced myself to finish the book and was very unimpressed with the results. I would steer clear of this book, there's a lot better out there.

Internet Programming with Visual Basic
Internet Programming with Visual Basic
by Budi Kurniawan
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 33.71
22 used & new from CDN$ 5.88

4.0 out of 5 stars Plenty of information!, Jan. 20 2001
As an intermediate programmer with no knowledge whatsoever of IIS, I was intrigued by the possibilities of this book. I was not disappointed. There is a lot to learn here and I found it quite interesting. There's good info about how servers work(I never really knew how), using VB to generate WebClasses, email, databases, SQL...the works! Maybe an advanced programmer would have some gripes, but for a beginner in this area, I really enjoyed it.

2010: Odyssey Two
2010: Odyssey Two
by Arthur C. Clarke
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.89
119 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A tremendous tale- superior to 2001, May 9 2000
I reread this novel for the third time recently and enjoyed it every bit as much as I had the first two times. 2001 is more famous and the movie is far better known, but 2010 is my favorite sci-fi book outside Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama.
My interest in learning about our solar system exploded after reading this novel. It is incredibly intriguing, you can visualize Jupiter and its moons up close, but you really are just dying to see them yourself. I feel like its such a tease, this is as close as I will ever get to experiencing the king of our solar system.
The descriptions of Europa are still highly accurate and you can't help but wonder how true the novel might really be. The ending was fantastic and quite unexpected, I really didn't see it coming.
What makes 2010 great I guess is the pacing. If there is any semblance of a "slow" part, it would be the beginning. After that the novel takes off and cannot be put down.
Best of all, 2010 does not have any of the mindbending trippy stuff that was at the end of 2001. I was quite thankful for that.
2061 and 3001 are also good reads, but it is 2010 that stands above the rest in Clarke's spectacular four part odyssey. I doubt that you'll be disappointed, and if you liked 2001, I guarantee that you won't be disappointed.

I.Asimov: A Memoir
I.Asimov: A Memoir
by Isaac Asimov
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 10.79
37 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars All you'd want to know about a tremendous author, May 3 2000
This review is from: I.Asimov: A Memoir (Paperback)
Issac Asimov was a tremendous writer in my eyes. It was the discovery of his works that transformed me from a casual reader to a very avid reader. I feel I have learned SO much from his non-fiction works and I have enjoyed the ideas in many of his works of fiction. His autobiography sheds much detail about his life(as it should) but I felt I already knew who Mr. Asinov was anyway by reading many of his essays. What made this book so enjoyable for me was that it shed a lot of light on the beginnings of science fiction. It was an exciting time when the SF mags were in their infancy! I wish I had been a writer back then. Also, I appreciated Asimov's insights on some of the other people in SF and even some of the simple details of dealings with publishers, conventions and fans. If you really like Asimov, I don't see how you won't find this book quite interesting.

Something Wicked This Way Comes
Something Wicked This Way Comes
by R Bradbury
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 17.32
32 used & new from CDN$ 4.77

5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic piece of work, May 3 2000
I have to start by saying that I am an avid reader, but it usually takes me about a week to read a novel. On rare occasions, though, a book hooks me so thoroughly that I drop everything and read it constantly. This is what happened with Something Wicked... I am not one for heavy, thick, flowering language in my fiction, but I tolerate it fully with Bradbury. He never just says plain in simple terms what something is or what something is doing. He uses metaphors constantly and they work so well. Yeah, I know that's what good writing should be, but I've read lots of books that use lots of metaphors and it just doesn't work for me. I choke on it and can't see it and can't keep up with it. Bradbury does it masterfully in my opinion. As for the story, it is creepy and it is scary and it is wonderful! No, it won't freak you out or give you nightmares, but it will give you a chill if you let it. Let yourself visualize the characters and hear the calliope and you will be immersed and I bet you'll love it!

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