Category Archives: Books

Books I’m reading, audiobooks I’m listening to.

Best of Podiobooks, Part 1

Podiobooks are free serialized audiobooks distributed as podcasts.  For more information on exactly what they are and how they work you should check out their FAQ.

I’m calling this “Part 1” because I’m only listing Completed books, I haven’t listened to all of the Podiobooks, and because they add new content every day.  I’ve mentioned most of these before but I wanted to get them all together in one place.

Singularity by Bill DeSmedt – Science Fiction
One of my all-time favorite books, a fictional exploration of the Tunguska explosion of 1908.  Great physics, great story.  This book has it all, and it’s a excellent production.

Doctor Jack’s Soapbox Seminars by John C. Adler, Ph.D., as told to Bill DeSmedt – Non-Fiction
If you enjoy Singularity you should listen to this, too.  It will help you understand some of the physics of Singularity, and kill some time while you wait for Bill DeSmedt to finish Dualism.

7th Son: Book One – Descent by J.C. Hutchins – Science Fiction
7th Son: Book Two – Deceit by J.C. Hutchins – Science Fiction
7th Son: Book Three – Destruction by J. C. Hutchins – Science Fiction
This is one amazing trilogy. I’ve ranted before about how great it is, so I won’t go on and on again.  Just listen to it.  It moves at a frantic pace.

Infected by Scott Sigler – Horror/Dark Fantasy
Contagious by Scott Sigler – Horror/Dark Fantasy
This is a really cool story. I listen to or read everything by Scott Sigler, which is pretty amazing because horror is not my thing.  I can’t wait for Pandemic!

BloodCast, Season 1 by Scott Sigler – Horror/Dark Fantasy
BloodCast, Season 2 by Scott Sigler – Horror/Dark Fantasy
Two collections of short stories by Scott Sigler.  Be sure to check out “Chuckles Mulrooney, Attorney for the Damned.”

The Rookie by Scott Sigler – Science Fiction
I’m sorry to keep recommending books with forthcoming sequels, but after you listen to this story about football 700 years in the future you’re going to find yourself waiting for Sigler to release The Starter.

Earthcore by Scott Sigler – Science Fiction
Mark your calendar for February of 2012, when Mt. Fitzroy, the follow-up to Earthcore comes out.  Okay, sorry, that’s the last time I’ll do that in this post.

Kronos by Jeremy Robinson – Science Fiction
I thought I blogged about this but I can’t find an entry.  Any way, it’s a good story, even if a bit odd.

Number One with a Bullet by Mark Yoshimoto Nemcoff – Fiction
A sort of modern-day Highlander story that I had a hard time taking seriously, but plenty of violence and a fairly interesting story kept me in it until the end.

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom – by Cory Doctorow – Science Fiction
If you like this (I did) you might want to check out Little Brother.  You can read it free in a bunch of different formats. The unabridged audio edition is $20.

Hunting Elf by Dave Donelson – Humor
I mentioned this one here recently.

Skeptoid: Critical Analysis of Pop Phenomena by Brian Dunning – Non-Fiction
podcaster Brian Dunning explores topics from Bigfoot to bible codes.

The Silk Code by Paul Levinson – Science Fiction
This is quite a ride. It treats DNA the way Singularity handled physics.  Several interesting stories weave together. I’d like to see more from Paul Levinson.

If you enjoy these books support the author and keep a good thing going by donating through the Podiobooks page. The author gets 75%.

For more see Best of Podiobooks, Part 2.

Small Mistakes

I’m listening to a free audiobook called Beautiful Red by M. Darusha Wehm.   It’s too early for me to say if I like it or not, although I suspect this is one of those cases where an author had one small but clever idea and forced a story around it. We’ll see.

There was a scene in the book where the main character, a woman named Jack (not to be confused with her male counterpart, Gilles – clever!) spends 10 minutes smoking a cigarette and feels sleepy.

Clearly M. has never smoked a cigarette. Good for her. 10 minutes is a long time to smoke one cigarette, and nicotine is a stimulant.  Okay, small mistake, and how dare I complain about such a petty thing in a free book, I know.

I think John McClane’s record from Die Hard 2 is safe.  “That punk pulled a glock seven on me. Know what that is? It’s a porcelain gun, made in Germany. Doesn’t show up in your airport X-ray machines here, and cost more than you make in a month.”  There are at least five mistakes in those four sentences.  It’s got to be some sort of record.

So why bring it up?  Two reasons – first, it yanked me out of the of the story, which was probably a good thing, since I was driving.  But even more importantly it reminded me of two different blog entries about “experts” I’ve been meaning to write.  Other things keep coming up and I write about those instead.  Seems to have happened again today.

The universe is so very complicated

Call me lazy, I’m okay with that. I’m stealing a few lines from C.S. Lewis’ That Hideous Strength once again.

“The universe is so very complicated,” said Dr. Dimble.

“So you have said rather often before, dear,” replied Mrs. Dimble.

“Have I? he said with a smile. “How often, I wonder? As often as you’ve told the story of the pony and trap at Dawlish?”

“Cecil! I haven’t told it for years.”

“My dear, I heard you telling it to Camilla the night before last.”

“Oh, Camilla. That was quite different. She’d never heard it before.”

“I don’t know that we can be certain even about that… the universe being so complicated and all.” For a few minutes there was silence between them.

Men are from Malacandra

“The cardinal difficulty,” said MacPhee, “in collaboration between the sexes is that women speak a language without nouns. If two men are doing a bit of work, one will say to the other, ‘Put this bowl inside the bigger bowl which you’ll find on the top shelf of the green cupboard.’ The female for this is, ‘Put this in the other one in there.’ And then if you ask them, ‘in where?’ they say, ‘in there, of course.’ There is consequently a phatic hiatus.” He pronounced this so as to rhyme with “get at us.”

From That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis