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Category: Media

Fertig gelesen: How to Make a Zombie

Frank Swain takes us on a tour of the myths, stories and historic reports of the undead corpse throughout the history of humanity. Referencing sources and quoting people, he shows us the various aspects of the mindless physical body shuffling around after the soul departed, and how that as a theme has been following us around throughout our history.

The first chapter deals with the “original” haitian zombies, later chapter take us to victorian experimentation with corpses of the executed, soviet experiments and many other encounters between humans and the living undead.

How to Make a Zombie
Frank Swain
EUR 11.66 (Kindle)

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Fertig gelesen: The Zombie Survival Guide

Max Brooks, author of World War Z, delivers a straight on, zero tongue in cheek, nitty-gritty survival guide for the coming Zombie Apocalypse.

The book delivers exactly what is promised in the table of contents: The Solanum Virus and how it works and does not work, Weapons and Combat Techniques that work, defending your home, public spaces or other places, how to organise a breakout or run, useful equipment to have or to loot, and then fighting back and finally containing the outbreak. The book concludes with a list of documented outbreaks in the past, and their handling.

The book is written completely straight and is full of useful advice for fighting a Zombie Apocalypse or containing an outbreak, but also a useful source book for roleplaying and storytelling games.

The Zombie Survival Guide
Max Brooks
EUR 4.99 (Kindle)

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Fertig gelesen: The Collapsing Empire

»The mutineers would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for the collapse of the Flow.

There is, of course, a legal, standard way within the guilds for a crew to mutiny, a protocol that has lasted for centuries. A senior crew member, preferably the executive officer/first mate, but possibly the chief engineer, chief technician, chief physician or, in genuinely bizarre circumstances, the owner’s representative, would offer the ship’s imperial adjunct a formal Bill of Grievances Pursuant to a Mutiny, consistent with guild protocol. The imperial adjunct would confer with the ship’s chief chaplain, calling for witnesses and testimony if required, and the two would, in no later than a month, either offer up with a Finding for Mutiny, or issue a Denial of Mutiny. […]
Obviously no one was going to do any of that.«

The glorious Empire of the Interdependency is completely constructed: Its worlds, or rather mostly space habitats circling uninhabitable planets, cannot live alone by design: each requires some thing or the other from another world of the Interdependency. All are bound together by the ‘Flow’, extradimensional rivers connecting star systems Diaspora style. Its religion promotes values that guarantee stability and peace. Its component social structures, the great houses, are carefully balanced for stability and longevity.

The Interdependency stagnates.

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Fertig gelesen: All Systems Red

»I COULD HAVE BECOME a mass murderer after I hacked my governor module, but then I realized I could access the combined feed of entertainment channels carried on the company satellites.« This is how »All Systems Red« begins.

The protagonist in this book is a robot mercenary android, or Murderbot, as it refers to itself. In a universe of corporations and contracts, Expeditions and Exploration teams are taking these company supplied machines with the for their own safety, and for compliance reasons.

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Fertig gelesen: River of Teeth

»In the early twentieth century, the Congress of our great nation debated a glorious plan to resolve the meat shortage in America. The idea was this: import hippos and raise them in Louisiana’s bayous. The hippos would eat the ruinously invasive water hyacinth; the American people would eat the hippos; everyone would go home happy. Well, except the hippo’s. They’d go home eaten.«

This plan, on which Congress did not follow through in our timeline, is the premise and the setting for Sarah Gailey’s alternate universe story “River of Teeth”.

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Fertig gelesen: Children of Time

The people of Earth are on the verge of transcendence: They almost managed to create mind uploads, they are on the verge of creating true synthetic AI, they have been traveling to remote stars and are beginning to terraform worlds, on which they will seed Earth lifeforms and uplift them.

All this progress, though, draws the ire of militant terrorists from the “Non Ultra Nature” radicals, which culminates into the sabotage of Brin 2 lab while seeding a terraformed world, and at the same time the complete destruction of humanity and its in-system colonies back home.

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Fertig gelesen: Sourdough

Lori Clary is a software engineer and silicon valley geek, programming embedded systems and robot arms at General Dexterity for a living. She’s living the silicon valley lifestyle – basically coding all day, collapsing in her hole of a non-appartment, and not having contact with real people at all.

With one exception: She’s ordering dinner from a delivery service that is run by two mysterious brothers, who make a mean spicy soup and crusty bread.

The brothers have to leave, due to visa issues, but they leave her with the sourdough culture. She’s learning to feed it, and to bake it, and soon she does not know what do with all the bread. Turns out people love her bread, and she needs to mass-produce it. Good thing that she’s working for a robot arm factory… Soon she’s joining a geeky underground farmers market with a techno-gothic flair.

Robin Sloan is the author of Mr Penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore, und Sloan manages to keep the writing style and the “Silcon Valley Geeks meet the real world” feel, transplanting it successfully into a new story.

Sourdough
Robin Sloan
EUR 5.49 (Kindle)

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Fertig gelesen: All these worlds

All these worlds is the third and final part of the adventures of Bob, conqueror of the universe and saviour of humanity.

Bob started out in part 1 as a dead computer programmer, uploaded as a control AI into the core of a von Neumann probe and spaceship. In part 2 he went forth and multiplied, mostly because he needed more of himself to cover up first his own fuckups and then to clean up the mess all of humanity made of his homeworld during his departure.

The book wraps up nicely with finding a homeworld for the survivors from earth, defeating the Others, his romance with Bridget, and his role as the Bawbe for the Deltans. So finally, after hundreds of years, the original Bob can finally point his bow to the stars and go out, truly exploring.

All in all a satisfying conclusion to a series that ties up all the lose ends.

All These Worlds (Bobiverse 3)
Dennis E. Taylor
EUR 4.47 (Kindle, also unlimited)

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Fertig gelesen: Edgedancer

Edgedancer

Right now, one month before we get Oathbringer, the third part of The Stormlight Archive, we get Edgedancer. This is a Novella that previously was part of Arcanum Unbounded, a collection of short stories playing in the Cosmere. As a standalone Novella is has been expanded and is now 40k words long.

Edgedancer picks up the story of Lift, a scrappy Reshi thief that happens to bond with a Spren to follow the path of the Edgedancer. Because Lift also had contact with the Nightwatcher, she has interesting additional capabilities, among them to touch Spren and to turn food into Stormlight.

Lift is a vagabond and has no desire to attach herself to anybody or anything, she sees connection as a liability. This is aligned with the Agent-of-Change aspect of the Edgedancer path, but in conflict with the caring and healing aspects of the Edgedancer, and the story explores that in the casual way that is typical for Sandersons storytelling.

Lift gets into a conflict with Nale, the damaged Herald of Justice, and manages to bring this story arc to conclusion as well.

Edgedancer“,  Brandon Sanderson, EUR 5.49

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Fertig gelesen: Asperger’s on the Job

Asperger’s on the Job

These weird people with headphones on, working strange hours, not wanting to stand in front of the group in Standups and for talks – what are they, where to they come from and how do you handle them at work?

The book is structured as a self-help book, assessing various aspects of Asperger Syndrome, how they manifest and what that might mean in the workplace. It also discusses personal and environmental mitigations.

Each chapter concludes with a list of things that the Aspie and their employer could do, and leaves a number of questions that can help to develop a personal or environmental programme.

Useful for people that live with a geek population, where the number of Aspies is supposedly higher than average, and for geek herders as well. Fast read, but not everything is useful. Still worthwhile.

Asperger’s on the Job“, Rudy Simone, EUR 13.45

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