Friday, December 30, 2016

Bookworming: 2016 Summary

Bolstered by some shorter reads, my total for the year stands at twenty. No fives or ones this year, but the only non-fiction title I read managed a four. What I didn't list are a bunch of game books which I don't rate because I don't currently have a group to try them out with. So it has been the best reading year since the start of the bookworming category.

My rating scale:
* I didn't care for it.
** Meh
*** Good for those who like that sort of thing.
**** Just plain good, likely to be read again some time.
***** Destined to be a personal favorite, likely to be read over and over again.

*****
none

****
Locke & Key Vol. 4: Keys to the Kingdom, Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez
Locke & Key Vol. 5: Clockworks, Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodríguez
Locke & Key Vol. 6: Alpha & Omega, Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodríguez
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, Susan Cain
The Time Machine, H. G. Wells
Virtual Light, William Gibson
The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive #1), Brandon Sanderson

***
Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie
Dark Force Rising, Timothy Zahn
An Ember in the Ashes, Sabaa Tahir
Envy of Angels, Matt Wallace
The Island of Dr. Moreau, H. G. Wells
Farwell My Lovely, Raymond Chandler
The Last Command, Timothy Zahn
Wytches Vol. 1, Scott Snyder, Jock, Matt Hollingsworth, Clem Robbins

**
The Aeronaut's Windlass, Jim Butcher
East of West Vol. 1 The Promise, Jonathan Hickman, Nick Dragotta, and Frank Martin
East of West Vol. 2: We Are All One, Jonathan Hickman, Nick Dragotta, and Frank Martin
Specter of the Past, Timothy Zahn
Spook Country, William Gibson

*
none

Bookworming: Specter of the Past

Specter of the Past, Timothy Zahn, **
The first in a two-book follow up to the Thrawn trilogy, Specter of the Past makes many of the same mistakes the Lucas prequels did when compared to its parent trilogy. It has relatively uninteresting villains, and the primary movers are politics and some deus ex Force. It is steeped in the continuity of the Expanded Universe, which is jarring for someone not familiar with it. Also unlike the Thrawn trilogy, this book does not have a self-contained conclusion. It is entirely setup for the next book. While the writing itself is as good as you would expect from Zahn, the book commits the cardinal sin of not resolving anything it sets up.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Renewables Rising

Solar and wind power together surpassed all other forms of power generation for new installations last year, according to the International Energy Agency.

Google announces they will be powered solely by renewable sources by the end of next year.

Over 50% of Sweden's energy comes from renewable sources, and Costa Rica is up to 99%.

Solar City promotes glass roofing shingles with embedded solar cells saying, "Would you like a roof that looks better than a normal roof, lasts twice as long, costs less and  by the way  generates electricity?" If those promises hold, they have the potential to make a real impact.

So while the energy politics of this country are regressing to the previous century, the world at large and technology at home are relatively quietly seeing some real movement on the power generation front.

Saturday, December 3, 2016