Inherit The Stars

As far as archaic sci-fi goes, this book is awesome. Sure, it has its fair amount of scientists smoking cigars and saying "you know very well that. . ." etc. while flying around in their rocket ships, but when you move past that, you end up with a novel that has a real solid concept and story at its core that you unearth while the scientists piece together humanity's forgotten past. It's very Chariots of the Gods and may have been inspired by that work, but it's also a compelling read. Definitely a book that I would recommend to anyone who is into sci-fi or enjoys a little conspiracy tantalizing here and there. James P. Hogan earns a solid five out of five stars with this piece and has left me interested enough to seek out the rest of the trilogy.

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I read this? Ugh.

An old book lover I used to know once said "there are no bad books" but David Ward has proven that wrong in a single installment. How this mess ever became a series, I'll never know.

Okay, let me say in my own defense that I was forced to read this one in college for a juvenile lit class and it immediately left a sour taste in my mouth. It's like a poorly written Mormon tract set in a bizarre future full of cliche villains and space stations with secret corridors that even the people working there don't know about. Want to learn how to convert people in space while bad guys twist their black mustaches and cackle like morons over their vengeful plans to gain power and fame? If you answered yes, then this book is for you. Otherwise, trust my rating of half a star out of five. That's as low as it goes for me. Toilet paper and Twilight have more literary merit than this waste of trees.

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All Tomorrow's Parties

Gibson is either a genius, or he has us all snowed. I tend to hold with the former, but I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out someday to be the latter. Maybe I just don't read close enough, but the older he gets, the less comprehensible his work is to me. I know there's some point besides the minimal action (there has to be, right?) but I honestly couldn't tell you what it is. His work just seems kind of brilliantly lost to me.

One thing this book definitely has going for it is that it goes down smooth. Gibson tells a story that slides in as easily as it slides out-- like a vivid dream, you just kind of live through it and are haunted by the patterns that linger afterward. Do I recommend it? Yeah, definitely. Maybe you'll have better luck figuring out what is going on than I did. Four out of five stars (because he's done better work in the past, like Count Zero.)

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Space 1889

Martian liftwood groves, Venusian dinosaurs and swarms of intelligent insect colonies hiding beneath the lunar surface, Space 1889 has it all! Following the vien of the subgenre known in literary circles as Steampunk, Space 1889 takes the technology and ideas of the industrial revolution that much farther with solar-powered boilerships that plow through the heavens and send the people of an increasingly expansionist British Empire, their allies and their enemies into the untapped depths of the solar system. The stakes? . . .

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Altered Carbon

Imagine a world where the mind has been digitized,

where every man, woman and child in the universe has been downloaded into a "cortical stack" that sits in the spine and runs whatever body it's attached to, whether it be the body a person was born in, a genetically-engineered and boosted custom form-- or someone else's body entirely.

In the world of Richard K. Morgan's "Altered Carbon", Takeshi Kovacs is an ex-envoy (think well respected super-soldier) that ends up caught in the web of a massive conspiracy. . .

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Space suit

I'm just going to come out and say it: This book was juvenile. Maybe I've been spoiled by the power and depth of Starship Troopers and Stranger in a Strange Land, but dang. I have to say that I was expecting more.

Okay, so it wasn't bad, not really. It was. . . unimpressive enough that I put it down a few times and almost didn't pick it up again, but I still got through it and got something out of it, didn't I? I like to think so.

Heinlein writes a firm story, but this one drags and drags and embraces a ton of cliches. There's also the introduction of strange characters who you get the feeling were important to the author but in fact do very little for the story. Even the ending is cliche. Maybe I'm just being hard on this piece because, as far as sci-fi goes, it's archaic. (1956). It reads like something written for teenagers of the Flash Gordon era, only the starships are saucers instead of rockets (holy cow!)

Rating-wise, I give it a wishy-washy two point five stars out of five. Just short of average.

Scar Night

A truly vivid and well illustrated read, Alan Campbell's Scar Night is full of gorgeous and competently fleshed-out imagery, making it the kind of visually staggering read that would lend itself well to film. Set in the city of Deepgate, a massive steampunk-esque metropolis suspended over an equally massive abyss by a network of gigantic chains, Scar Night is the tale of a young man named Dill who isn't a man at all-- he is the last of the angels who serve Ulcis, or so it is said. Only one other angel remains in Deepgate, a sadistic and scar-covered female named "Carnival" that hunts the streets at night, snapping up unsuspecting victims. . .

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Invictus & Veritas

Just added some new pieces to the site at Von Singer Aether & Steamworks ltd. Check it out, enjoy, and get to know my alter ego, the adventurous inventor Cirrus Oppenheimer Von Singer!

The world of steam and phlogiston awaits!

Team Edward

Just got my shirt in today and had to take a trendy girl photo complete with lip pout. Enjoy! Kudos go out to my baby for this one! ♥ ♥ ♥

Catcher in the Rye

Published in 1959, this novel, which is considered by many to be a classic and important piece of American literature, has got to be one of the most hated novels from that list of books you're forced to read in highschool. It's like "Lord of the Flies"-- you read it because you have to, because the school says you have to, and there's going to be a test on it. It's famous, everybody knows it, and some board of dried-up arcane magi that lord over the fate of the literary world have decreed year after year that you must read it, or else your education just wouldn't be complete. Luckily (unluckily?) I bounced around enough in high school and the end of gradeschool that I managed to dodge all the infamous literary bullets. . .

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Stars My Destination

I have a certain soft place somewhere in my heart for classic sci-fi. You know the kind I mean, the kind where people fly around in rocket ships, the people with the real power have highly advanced minds capable of all sorts of feats of telepathy, and sex is always just around the corner. In "The Stars My Destination," Bester provides all that and more.

Where do I stand on it? Well, it's a fun book, definitely one that will hook you, if only enough to keep you turning the page to find out just how bad (or campy) things can get. I have to admit, I enjoyed it! Bester spins a fun yarn, something somewhere between Heinlein and Haldeman for content, but less serious than either. His stories start solid and end solid-- definitely something impressive to be sought in a writer. Four and a half stars out of five.

Five Fists of Science

The year is 1899, and the only thing standing between J.P. Morgan's demonic hordes and their goal of world domination is the dynamic duo of scientist Nikolai Tesla and famous American novelist Mark Twain. Be there as Nikolai Tesla (AKA, the Master of Lightning, the Millionaire Playboy, etc.) battles ferocious beasts of light and energy with his towering "Tesla-Tronic Dynamo" and finally takes the fight to Morgan himself in a battle to prevent the end of the world itself! It's a thrill ride of unique proportions. . .

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Joe Haldeman's Mindbridge is both interesting and strange, which seems to be pretty typical when it comes to this particular author. Like many of his other books, it deals with interesting quasi-science topics (like telepathy) and approaches sex in a very simple, practical, almost hyper-real kind of way, making an expose' of the needs and processes of the human animal.

Like many of Haldeman's other works that I've read, Mindbridge also follows the author's pattern of giving the reader a bizarre premise, playing with it, creating a solid foundation out of it and then following it to the very tip-edge end of it before jumping headfirst into bizarrity. I won't give away the ending, but once you get there, you'll see what I mean.

All in all, I love Haldeman's work because he has a strong narrative style that sticks with the reader and leaves a firm impression long after the reading is over. Mindbridge also has an added level of depth that comes from assorted memos, advertisements and the like which pepper the story. Very experimental and very cool.

All in all, I'd say a solid four out of five stars.

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Starship Troopers

When people say the name "Starship Troopers," the first thing that often comes to mind is the 1997 B movie directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring Casper Van Dein as the intrepid hero Johnny Rico. It's one of those films, you either love it or you hate it-- I can't speak for everyone, but I think you have to be in a certain mood (or mindset) to enjoy a movie filled with angry, yelling soldiers and drill instructors.

The book, however. . .

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TRP Gameworks!

Thunderune Publishing, the company that brought you "The Cygnus War: Immersive Tactical Simulation Game (ITSG)" now has an official gameworks department! Check it out, download some of their free resources and see where it all takes you!


My latest project has finally come to fruition-- I call it Cirrus Von Singer's Aether & Steamworks. It's a fun foray into the aesthetics of steampunk and definitely worth checking out. (What is steampunk? Check out this link)

From the site:
Look around; here you will find marvels reverse-engineered from ancient Atlantian technology, machines used to traverse time (as well as space,) and weapons capable of putting to rest even the most fearsome of horrors to inhabit the phlogistonic aethers which cloak our worlds. As both an inventor and a man of adventure, I not only build, but also personally test a number of fine arms and devices built in the steampunk style, so you know that each and every invention herein has been rigorously field tested!


Von Singer Aether and Steamworks.


A free stock photography resource for writers and designers, Wynnstock features a wide variety of pictures taken in an equally wide variety of settings! Check it out today! You're sure to find something perfect to use for your next project!


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