The Identity Matrix by Jack L. Chalker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I had a considerable stack of Jack Chalker that I never seemed to find the time for before I lost them all five years ago – I always fall back on his Well World and Four Lords of the Diamonds series as comfort books rather than dig into his other series or standalones. So this belongs in Books I Should Have Read Already – not the “literature” that I may or may not ever decide to read, but books/series by authors I’ve wanted to get to, but never have.
Odd beginning, and odd execution, I liked this well enough but Chalker was uneven with his pacing – drawn out too much, and jarringly accelerated, also too much. The story seems cliché now and was back in 1982, but Chalker tells a good story regardless. I liked how he sliding a couple of ferry references, as his other passion was ferries. The twist ending was mildly surprising – I hadn’t engaged enough to think there would be one – but interesting nonetheless.
As Chalker is a preferred author, when I need/want a side read to balance the heavies, I’ll try to hit some of his other series that I’ve read one of long ago…
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Eight years ago, there was a Facebook thing going around about 15 Books in 15 Minutes – write down within 15 minutes 15 books that have stuck with you. I saw it pass through my Memories and started thinking (I didn’t look at what I wrote back then…perhaps I’ll visit after I write this and see…) about what books I would choose, 2017 version. But I’m not playing the time limit, nor, apparently, the 15 limit. Here are books that have stuck with me – mostly fiction, and some background as to why. The first five are in preference order, the rest are sort of fungible…and this has been a chore to format…Wordpress seems to have a hard time with a lot of images, links and whatever… Continue reading
Posted in Books, Personal thoughts
Tagged Andy Weir, Christopher Stasheff, David Marquet, Dumbing Us Down, Fads and Fallacies, Four Lords of the Diamond, George Simpson, Ghost Boat, Harry Potter, Isaac Asimov, Ivanhoe Gambit, J.K. Rowling, Jack Chalker, James Loewen, James Morrow, John taylor Gatto, Lies My teacher Told Me, Lord Foul's Bane, Lord of the Rings, Magician, Martin Gardner, Maxwell Anderson, Midnight at the Well of Souls, Neil Burger, Only Begotten Daughter, Raymond Feist, Reluctant Sorceror, Simon Hawke, Stephen Donaldson, The Foundation, The Martian, The Quality Instinct, The Warlock in Spite of Himself, Thin Air, Thomas Covenant, time Wars, Tolkien, Turn the Ship Around, Well World, Wizard of 4th Street
I started the year with another ambitious goal of 100 books (using the Goodreads site to log and track), as last year I read 119.
As in my recap of the first half of 2013, I’m grouping the books as I did in last year’s recap by the month in which I finished them (and fiction/nonfiction subgroups.)
Some quick full year stats for the BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front): overwhelmingly heavy on the nonfiction this year, but then a lot of the fiction was quite long (Ms. Rowling…please stand up):
- 55 nonfiction
- 45 fiction
- 14 of the fiction were Arthur C. Clarke novels, who rounded out the last of the Big Three
- I’ve rated 19 on Goodreads as five-star. Not all are must-reads, but these are ones I thought were excellent…and maybe read-agains.
- I gave a two books a one-star not-only-no-but-really-no UNrecommendation
Anyway, now to the books (five-star ratings are marked with asterisks)…
Posted in Books
Tagged 2010: Odyssey Two, 2061: Odyssey Three, 3001: Odyssey Four, 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology, 50 Mathematical Ideas You Really Need to Know, Alan Sokal, Amy Runyen, Arthur C. Clarke, Barry L. Beyerstein, Bill O'Reilly, Charles Bukowski, Christopher Stasheff, Chuck Palahniuk, Colin Gilbert, David Mitchell, David Rock, David Schmidt, Drifting Democracy, Dylan Gilbert, Edge.org, Elizabeth T. Gilbert, Ender's Game, Esther Forbes, Fight Club, Gabriel Guzman, Ghost of the Well of Souls, Gina Smith, Graham Nash, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed, Imperial Earth, Intellectual Impostures, iWoz, J.K. Rowling, Jack Chalker, Jacob Bronowski, Jean Bricmont, Jesse Walker, John Brockman, John Ruscio, Johnny Tremain, K.A. Yoshida, Killing Jesus, Martin Dugard, Martin Gardner, Neurodiversity, New Media for Designers + Builders, Omnivore, Orson Scott Card, Oscar Wilde, Paul J. Nahin, Piers Anthony, Post Office, Pravin Boddu, Quiet, Rama Revealed, Ray Kurzweil, Rebecca J Razo, Robert Anton Wilson, Robert Louis Stevenson, Scott O. Lilienfeld, Sharon Robinson, Stephen A. Mouzon, Steve Wozniak, Steven Jay Lynn, Steven Pinker, Susan Cain, The Age of Spiritual Machines, The Ascent of man, The Daily Book of Art, The Incredible Dr. Matrix, The Language Instinct, The Logician and the Engineer, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Reason I Jump, The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with AutiNaoki Higashida, The Sea is Full of Stars, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The United States of Paranoia, The Warlock in Spite of Himself, This Explains Everything, Thomas Armstrong, Tony Crilly, Wild Tales, Your Brain at Work
I started the year with another ambitious goal of 100 books (using the Goodreads site to log and track), as last year I read 119. Through June, I’ve managed 58.
I’m grouping the books as I did in last year’s recap by the month in which I finished them (and fiction/nonfiction subgroups.) As the list is already quite long, and I’ve decided to tag all of the authors and titles, I’m publishing the first half of the year as a standalone.
Some quick stats for the BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front): heavier on the nonfiction (again) for the six months so far this year:
- 34 nonfiction
- 24 fiction
- 9 of the fiction were Arthur C. Clarke novels. The last of the Big Three (Asimov and Heinlein being the other two, though Heinlein doesn’t warrant the distinction…IMO), I think he did well with science fiction and not so well with things that involve people.
- I’ve rated 10 as five-star on Goodreads
- I gave 2 books a one-star rating (not-only-no-but-really-no)
- I’ve linked all of my Goodreads reviews (even if only one line) to each title, in case anyone is interested in what I thought.
And, now to the books of the first half of 2013…
Posted in Books
Tagged 2001: A Space Odyssey, 21st Century Dodos, A Fall of Moondust, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future, Andrew Keen, Arguing with Idiots, Arthur C. Clarke, Bernie Glassman, Calculating God, Childhood's End, Christina Perozzi, Daniel Coyle, Design, Easts Shoots and Leaves, Echoes of the Well of Souls, Edgar Allan Poe, Frd Collopy, Hallie Beaune, Islands in the Sky, J. G. Ballard, Jack Chalker, James C. Bradford, Jeff Bridges, Jen Campbell, Jim Holt, Jonathan Haidt, Jules Verne, Lynne Truss, Managing as Designing, Maria Konnikova, Marilyn Monroe, Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes, Max Brooks, Michael Avallone, Michael J. Fox, Mitch Alborn, My Story, Nate Silver, On a Pale Horse, Pierre Boulle, Piers Anthony, Planet of the Apes, Quarterdeck and Bridge, Rendezvous with Rama, Richard Boland, Right: A New Design Perspective for Business Innovation, Robert J. Sawyer, Scott Trent, Simon Zingerman, Steampunk Poe, Steve Sack, The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking, The Atrocity Exhibition, The Cult of the Amateur, The Deep Range, The Dude and the Zen Master, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, The Happiness Hypothesis, The Little Big Things: 163 Ways to Pursue EXCELLENCE, The Naked Brewer, The Signal and the Noise, The Songs of Distant Earth, The Talent Code, The Thousand Coffins Affair (The Man from U.N.C.L.E. #1), The Throwing Madonna, Tom Peters, We All Need Heroes, Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops, Why Does the World Exist?, William H. Calvin, World War Z