Sunday, March 13, 2005


I read more sci-fi/fantasy than is good for me. But it is a good way to wind down in the evenings.

Stephen Donaldson is back with more Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. The first of a new series is "The Runes of the Earth". It is a familiar world with now familiar rules, nevertheless Donaldson manages to produce a few surprises.

Peter F. Hamilton I've never read before, but his Pandora's Star is quite entertaining. This book would classify towards the harder end of sci-fi, where increasing hardness means increasing scientific plausibility. Interstellar travel is provided for by wormholes. There is no single element in the book that I haven't encountered before; and the society depicted seems very Southern California to me; but I hope that the story completes as satisfyingly (and is published soon) in Judas Unchained

Other light reading I had was by Simon Green, the adventures of the Haven city guardsmen Hawk and Fisher. Murder mysteries in a fantasy landscape are difficult to do; because the reader needs some grasp of the rules of the universe. These are fun enough to waste a few hours over.


Non-light book - "The Fifth Discipline - The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization" by Peter Senge. This is an old book (from 1990), recommended to me by my father, when he heard from me some of my frustrations at work. I've just dipped into the book here and there. With these management-type books, the contents always seem like fluff, until one has experienced some situation like described in the book. To extend an analogy from the book, and to explain what I'm witnessing: suppose one has a headache, and one takes a couple of aspirin. Now the headache doesn't go away in five minutes. Taking two more aspirin every five minutes until the headache goes away; or declaring aspirin to be useless and searching for another cure - these seem to be the two common strategies in the organization where I am. Now, I'm not in a position to change this, but being aware of what is going on helps me deal with it.