Criss Cross by James Patterson My rating: 2 of 5 stars “The past will hunt you down” it says right there on the cover and I wish it was sarcasm by Patterson to put it there. Because the past hunts only him down. Let’s start at the beginning, though: In typical Patterson redneck manner, he lets Cross witness the state-sponsored murder of a killer he put away – right after Cross framed the guy… Cross himself about the framing part: ...

“(Confession time: that moment, when the humans or augmented humans realize you’re really here to help them. I don’t hate that moment.)” It doesn’t happen often but I’m running out of words. So, go and read my previous reviews first, I’ll be waiting here for you. Everything I stated before still holds true for this book. This first full-length Murderbot Diaries novel proves that Wells can obviously write at any length without ever b...

Home: Habitat, Range, Niche, Territory (The Murderbot Diaries #4.5), by Martha Wells My rating: 4 of 5 stars This short story primarily focuses on Mensah (irritatingly called by her first name Ayda here) is nice enough but doesn’t live up to the standards of the rest of the series. Most disappointingly, Murderbot itself is hardly ever present and just at the moment when it got interesting, the story was at its end....

Exit Strategy by Martha Wells My rating: 5 of 5 stars “I had options, and I didn’t have to decide right away. Which was good, because I still didn’t know what I wanted. But maybe I had a place to be while I figured it out.” So, four novellas and I’ve devoured them. One short story and one novel (so far) to go. I haven’t had this much fun with a book series since… Hitchhiker’s Guide, I guess. Whereas the latter is (almost) purely h...

Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells My rating: 5 of 5 stars Well, here’s yet another great instalment in the “Murderbot Diaries” series. It starts exactly where the previous novella left off and this leads us to yet another exciting adventure. While it’s, again, more of the same in a good way, this time we get to know even more about Murderbot’s ethics and morality because he has to deal with a human-form or pet robot. Miki, the “pet”, i...

Artificial Condition by Martha Wells My rating: 5 of 5 stars The Murderbot Diaries strangely appeal to me. As I’m still on my way to the full length novel, recently published, I’m wondering at the simple elegance and straightforwardness of the novellas. This second instalment in the series is, thankfully, pretty much more of the same in a very good way. We still get a good view of a “construct” that’s basically a robot with human parts ...

All Systems Red by Martha Wells My rating: 5 of 5 stars “And in their corner all they had was Murderbot, who just wanted everyone to shut up and leave it alone so it could watch the entertainment feed all day.” I’m not a Science Fiction fan. I’m not especially fond of novellas. This one, though… I can’t even really explain what appealed to me about this novella: Murderbot neither really feels like a robot nor like a person but still s...

Beach Read, by Emily Henry My rating: 3 of 5 stars When I decided to read this book, I was expecting a light, funny romance before going back to more “serious” books. I basically wanted what the title promised – an early “Beach Read”. Unfortunately, this was obviously not to be. First of all, January, our heroine, is annoyingly insecure. Her mother got cheated on by her late father and both the cheating and the dying entirely shatte...

Warden’s Fate A Sci Fi Adventure by Tony James Slater My rating: 5 of 5 stars I really didn’t expect this. The previous book, “Warden’s Vengeance” in the “Ancient Guardians” series wasn’t very good – the pacing was problematic, typos all over the place and the characters didn’t develop at all. Along came “Warden’s Fate” and with it, the final instalment in the series, Tony is back! Gone are (most of) the typo...

Age of Empyre by Michael J. Sullivan My rating: 5 of 5 stars “The stories I write might be fantasy, but the depiction of the feelings people share for each other is real.” I’m cheating. The above quote is not from the actual content but from Michael’s afterword. I chose it for the simple fact that, to me at least, this is what makes Michael’s books “work” for me. But we’ll come to that yet… First, I have to admit that I was actu...

The Third Day by Mark Graham
Advance Review Copy (ARC) , Book Review / November 27, 2012

The Third Day by Mark Graham My rating: 2 of 5 stars Unfortunately, this is another book I finished for two reasons only: a) I always finish a book. b) I felt a moral obligation to do so. The problem with “The Third Day” is that it tries to do/show a lot of things in parallel and doesn’t succeed in any. Take two people dissatisfied with their lives; a depressed agnostic widow and a faithful scholar. Their lives basical...

And They Called Her Spider by Michael Coorlim
Advance Review Copy (ARC) , Book Review / November 20, 2012

And They Called Her Spider by Michael Coorlim My rating: 3 of 5 stars This is a nice, quick read and serves well as a (very short) introduction to the two protagonists, an engineer and a slightly flippant, well, whatever Bartleby is. Of course, this is a short story at best and I would have wished it to be a bit longer but it’s certainly entertaining even though it felt a bit like fast food – good but it leaves a tad bit to ...

Murder at the Ocean Forest by ROBERT ”DIGGER” CARTWRIGHT
Advance Review Copy (ARC) , Book Review / November 20, 2012

Murder at the Ocean Forest by ROBERT ”DIGGER” CARTWRIGHT My rating: 1 of 5 stars I really hoped to like this book because the author gave me the ebook for free. This was nice, Robert, and thanks for that again. Unfortunately, I really didn’t like this book for quite a few reasons. First of all, it starts extremely slowly – the entire first third mainly consists of annoying quarrelling between stereotyped characte...

Der Kindle Killer by Liv Olson
Book Review / November 1, 2012

Der Kindle Killer by Liv Olson My rating: 1 of 5 stars Schwacher Inhalt, schlechter Stil, vorhersehbar Vorab: Obschon ich zumeist eher Romane oder auch eine gute Novelle schätze, mag ich auch gute Kurzgeschichten. Jedoch ist es wichtig, daß letzteres Format sich wirklich auf das Essentielle beschränkt. Das ist im vorliegenden Fall leider nicht gut umgesetzt. Inhaltlich ist der “Kindle Killer” eher schwach – die Gesc...

Exherbo’s Patch Queue
Exherbo / May 5, 2012

Today, on May, 5th 2012, our patch queue on Zebrapig the Ugly did the impossible; it achieved re-floration! 😉   [05.05.2012 21:57:36] <Philantrop> !pl [05.05.2012 21:57:37] [Notice] -zebrapig to #exherbo- 0 patches in queue:  ...

paste.pocoo.org is gone for good. Please re-submit your patches.
Exherbo / April 28, 2012

paste.pocoo.org is gone for good. Please re-submit your patches. Here’s the list of affected patches: [28.04.2012 17:24:28] [Notice] -zebrapig- 13 matching patches in queue: [28.04.2012 17:24:28] [Notice] -zebrapig- http://paste.pocoo.org/raw/510003/ ::sydbox (submitted by worr 161 days and 17 hours ago): [PATCH] Fixed race condition in sydbox [28.04.2012 17:24:28] [Notice] -zebrapig- http://paste.pocoo.org/raw/579419/ ::kde (subm...

Die Insel by Richard Laymon
Book Review / February 27, 2012

Die Insel by Richard Laymon My rating: 1 of 5 stars Widerlicher Schund Lange habe ich nicht mehr ein solch widerwärtiges Buch gelesen. Ich hatte nur den Klappentext gelesen, der ganz nett klang, aber was dann kam… Brutalität – nun gut, wem’s gefällt.Sexismus – wer’s nötig hat…Humor – der Humor eines Pubertierenden ist intelligenter, aber gut, auch hier mögen sich die Geister scheiden. Sexuelle Gewa...

Version bump to systemd-43 / Move to /usr
Exherbo / February 19, 2012

(This is the same as the news item but I want this to get maximum exposure.) Read ALL of this, it’s important to everyone using systemd. Up to systemd[=42] we installed boot-critical components to / and others to /usr. This split was causing issues with respect to tmpfiles, intrinsic dependencies and dependencies on stuff on /usr. systemd[=43] finally removes this split and installs everything but udev and pam stuff to /usr. This ...

Multilib migration after The Great Merge (optional)
Exherbo / January 5, 2012

Disclaimer: The entire migration procedure as described below is completely optional. If you don’t need or want multilib/multibuild/multiple C targets support, you can ignore this email. We won’t force anyone to use it. I’m only going to use it on my desktop myself. 🙂   We’ve now merged all multilib branches into master (this will go down into history books as “The Great Merge”!). Thus, we don...

Exherbo – my goals for the remainder of 2011 & 2012
Exherbo / October 1, 2011

(Disclaimer: The following is just my personal opinion and what *I* want to achieve for Exherbo. It’s fairly likely not everyone will agree with everything I’m going to state. 🙂 ) We’ve come a long way with Exherbo since we started: – We have a pretty much complete set of packages to use Exherbo on desktop, notebook and server systems. – With exheres-0, we have a very powerful and useful EAPI. – We...