currently reading


I took the plunge today and purchased a few titles from eReader.com to test out my iPod touch as an ebook reader.  I’m hoping that in a small way the touch might help me out in reducing the number of physical books I own.

As a sample I purchased the January and February issues of Asimov’s Science Fiction as well as the January – Febrauary 2009 edition of Analog Science Fiction and Fact.  It’s been a while since I’ve picked up either of these titles at my local newsagent so I thought they would be good titles to test out the device.

Asimov's Science Fiction January 2009 Asimov's Science Fiction February 2009 Analog Science Fiction and Fact, January / February 2009

Also, in keeping with my 100 Books… project, I purchased a copy of the first book in the Christian Jacq ‘Ramses’ series, The Son of the Light.

Son of the Light

If your already an iPhone or iPod touch owner you may have noticed a plethora of ebook applications (including those only including stand alone titles) in the App Store.  Over the coming weeks I’ll be testing a few of these out.

In order to read these titles on the iPhone you need to download a copy of the free eReader application.  Once downloaded they can only be viewed with this reader – either on the iPhone itself or on your computer of choice.

Downloading the titles to your iPhone can be done directly through the application…or you can purchase titles while browsing on your computer and download them directly from your iPhone at a later time.

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A few weeks before Christmas I was lucky enough to win an auction on eBay for 400 second-hand Science-Fiction and Fantasy paperbacks…all for the magic price of AU$50.

At the time I thought it was a bargain, however on getting the books home I soon realised that the collection had previously shared a residence with a smoker, with the second hand smoke of many a cigarette strongly evident as I unpacked my winnings from their boxes.

I’m fairly particular with how I keep my books and I absolutely hate getting them soiled or damaged in any way. Many people who see my shelves ask me if I’ve even read half the titles as they still look new, with no dog ears, no cracked spines, no pen / pencil marks and definitely no greasy fingerprints on the covers. So you can probably imagine my disappointment being confronted with the strong smell of spent tobacco on each and every book.

Despite the fact that they are aflicted with a condition that will prevent them from ever joining my library as part of the permanent collection, they should certainly give me a good year or two of disposable reading with the auction containing a majority of titles I have never read before.

All in all, at 13 cents a book I suppose I shouldn’t really worry or complain about it too much.

Over the Christmas / New Year period I’ve set myself the challenge of reading the following books on Napoleon Bonaparte.

The Rise The Fall

“My master has no feelings and that master is the nature of things.”

Napoleon to Josephine, 3 December 1806

The Song of Departure The Sun of Austerlitz The Emperor of Kings

 

While I have read the fiction trilogy on Napoleon some time ago I though it might be an interesting idea to pair them up with the two part biography which has been sitting on my desk for nearly 12 months now unread.

You may be interested to note the author of the Napoleon historical fiction series is also a well published French academic, much like Christian Jacq the author of the ‘Ramses’ series which I blogged about yesterday.

As you may have established from some of my earlier posts, I tend to read a lot of historical fiction (and non-fiction).

Thanks to a post by Thor on his blog mind? what mind?, I was directed over to LibraryThing to check out their social cataloging site for books.

Having the addictive personality that I do, it didn’t take much convincing for me to sign up and start adding some of my collection onto the site. If you’d like a sneak peak at some of the titles in my collection (other than just my 100 Books… list) why not head on over to my new LibraryThing library and take a look around.

Update: 21 December 2007

I can’t believe how useful this site will be for me. I spent some time yesterday adding around 50 of my books to my library page and soon realised that it may have to subscribe to the site to gain the full benefit of it’s wealth of information.

The LibraryThing service is free to for the first 100 titles you enter after that they have a tiered membership system, somewhat based on how much you think the service is worth, with a suggested annual fee of $10 or a once off lifetime subscription of $25. In my opinion the service is definitely worth the the cost. I also like the fact that if you do not renew the following year…all the information you entered while still subscriber will still be available to you in the system, you just can’t add any more titles.

I noted in an earlier entry on ‘cultnation’ that I had started reading the classic Science Fiction trilogy ‘Deathworld’ by Harry Harrison. I’ve now finished the three books and I have to say they were an enjoyable read despite the fact that I normally prefer a heavier science to fiction ratio in my Sci-Fi. Perhaps it was Harry Harrison’s ability to describe the concepts under discussion in such a clear way that had this effect on me. In saying this, I’d suggest that if you not into ‘heavy’ Sci-Fi then this is probably a series you’ll enjoy

Deathworld 1, Harry Harrison Deathworld 2, Harry Harrison Deathworld 3, Harry Harrison

I won’t get into the storyline of these novels other than to say that ‘Deathworld’ is about a hero who through a series of events finds himself on planets that are hostile (in an extreme sense) to the human race. If you’d like further information on the series, which interestingly continues after these 3 titles but only in Russian, you will probably find the following links helpful.

If you’ve read through some of my posts recently you will have noticed that I collect old Pulp Magazines, specifically those containing stories that belong in the Science Fiction genre.

Well recently I was able to find the following books on the subject, edited by Michael Ashley, which have helped me a lot in understanding the breadth and scope of these magazines. Not only do the books delve into the history of these magazines but they also contain a number of examples of ‘the best stories’ from each period under discussion.

A quick search on the net has led me to discover that there is a fourth title in this series which I’ll have to pick up. For those interested you can still pick up copies of these titles on amazon.com.

Here are the covers for Volume 1 through 3.

The History of the Science Fiction Magazine Vol. 1, 1926-1935

Click to enlarge the following.

The History of the Science Fiction Magazine Vol. 2, 1936-1945

The History of the Science Fiction Magazine Vol. 3, 1946-1955

Deathworld 1 - Harry HarrisonMy friends are often asking me what it is that I’m currently reading, so I thought here is a good a place as any to keep record of what has been going through my reading pile.

I don’t know why, but I’ve got a thing for the hand drawn Sci Fi covers of the 60’s and 70’s.  This is volume one in Harry Harrison’s ‘Deathworld’ trilogy.