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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Book Reviews

Star Wars: The Essential Atlas

by Ken Newquist / March 31, 2013

Star Wars: The Essential Atlas is the best source book never released for any edition of the Star Wars RPG. While Del Rey is publishing the Atlas as a general interest reference book, it's beautiful maps, graphical timelines, and planetary write-ups make the book an excellent for gamers, regardless of whether they're playing d6, Saga Edition, or a homebrew of their own design.

Off the Bookshelf: A Memory of Light, The Bowl of Heaven, The Way of Kings

by Ken Newquist / March 19, 2013

It's spring and I've been trying to get back in shape in anticipation of three months spent coaching my daughter's softball team. This in turn has led to a resurgence of book reading as I download new audio books to listen to while working out at the gym or taking the dog for 45-minute walks.

Off the Shelf: Revelation Space, Force Unleashed, The Last Colony

by Ken Newquist / January 27, 2009

My Chrismas Reading List for 2008 went well; I finished two novels (Revelation Space, The Last Colony) on the list and made a serious dent in the third (The Amber Spyglass), while also finishing a hefty graphic novel (Star Wars Omnibus: Tales of the Jedi, Vol. 1)

Off the Shelf: Moon of Skulls, Quicksilver, Analog: Sept. 2008

by Ken Newquist / November 15, 2008

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I got off to a great start to my summer reading list, but it slowed down significantly after July, when my spring-summer run of work conferences ended (which had given me plenty of time to read on cross-country plane trips), and I had to double-down on my projects to meet start-of-semester deadlines.

The other problem? I ran into Moon of Skulls, a collection of short stories by Robert E. Howard.

Bookshelf for December 2006: Learning the World, Difference Engine, Wizard's First Rule

by Ken Newquist / December 30, 2006

Learning the World Book Cover For my birthday this year I headed out to Barnes & Noble with my son Lucas for an afternoon of browsing books and drinking coffee. Lucas, being about 5 months old at the time, was enthusiastic about the outing, as only a baby can be, smiling, gurgling and generally looking forward to flirting with every woman he could see at the bookstore.

Bookshelf for April 2006: Analog's June Issue, King's Cell, Hard SF Renaissance, Google Hacks

by Ken Newquist / April 28, 2006

Cell Book Cover My resurrected reading habit picked up in April, allowing me to tear through Analog's June issue and make another serious dent in the Hard SF Renaissance anthology, while a trip to New Hampshire to visit my sister for Easter gave me time to listen to the unabridged audio of Stephen King's new horror novel Cell.

Explore New Aspects of Firefly With Finding Serenity

by Ken Newquist / October 10, 2005

Finding Serenity Book Cover For a TV series that died an unspectacular, mostly-unnoticed death at the hands of brain-dead Fox TV executives, Firefly is proving to have a remarkably lively corpse. First it sold millions of copies as a 13-episode DVD collection, then this show of interest prompted Universal to back a movie based on the series. The latest sign of Firefly's undeath is Finding Serenity, a collection of essays deconstructing the series' complex heroes, intriguing plot lines and philosophical foundation.

Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town

by Ken Newquist / August 2, 2005

... and someone gets confused. Ok, I'm not really confused: more like mystified. Boing-Boing blogger-turned-science fiction writer Cory Doctorow's new book Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town is a weird mix of geek-centric technology and post-modern mythology that is either brilliant or moronic.

I'll need to read more before I know for sure, but either way the novel's disconcerting. The book's about a man named Alan. Or Albert. Or Alfred. Or whatever -- the main character's name changes constantly based on whom he's talking to.

The Wheel of Time Reveals a New Spring

by Ken Newquist / February 21, 2005

Book CoverWith the prequel New Spring, Robert Jordan returns to the very beginning of the Wheel of Time saga, with the impending birth of the Dragon Reborn on the slopes of Dragonmount.

The Dragon Reborn is a messiah of sorts, prophesied to fight Jordan's version of the devil in a "final battle" when that dark demon finally escapes his prison. New Spring tells of the search for the Dragon by two women who will come to play major roles in the main series: Moiraine and Siuan Sanche. These women are able to wield a magical energy known as the "One Power", and are part of an order known as the Aes Sedai. While they are full sisters of this order in the original books, in this one they start off as mere Accepted -- trainees still learning to use their powers.

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