Friday, January 22, 2010

Daily Thoughts 1/22/2010

Library of Wat Tung Sri Muang, Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand library; picture taken by User:Markalexander100, Gnu Free Documentation License (GFDL) I found the image interesting. It was on Wikipedia. I think the license is correct.

Daily Thoughts 1/22/2010

I have been planning what conferences I intend to go to during the next six months or so. I have a list of things which I hope to attend.

FASTforward Enterprise Search Strategy Summit: Reflecting User Thinking - Controlling Business Outcomes, March 11, 2010, New York (By Invitation) -- This is by Microsoft

Web 2.0, Social Networking and Libraries Conference 2010, March 16, 2010. This conference is presented by ILIAC which is an international association of librarians. There usually are a number of Russian librarians attending.

Westchester Library Association Conference, May 7, 2010, The conference for Westchester County, New York Libraries,

New York Is Book Country, Sunday, May 16, 2010 This is a book festival done in New York. They are restarting this year.

Book Expo America May 25-27, 2010 Jacob Javits Center, This is the largest publishing and bookseller trade fair in the United States.

Book Blogger Convention, May 28, 2010 This should be an interesting convention of book blogs. Many are going to be at Book Expo America as well.

Web Bits

I was looking around the web and found the site for the Westchester Journal News books section. It lists a lot of events with local authors.

I read James Mankelow's book, Manage Stress. I am not sure that I want to recommend it. It is the kind of book that is a long series of self revelatory exercises. You will get exactly what you put into it out of it. There are dozens of self reflective checklists, questionnaires, charts, and other tools.

If you like to question yourself and what you think, you might like the book. It is perfectly in line with his website, Mindtools. This site is basically a skill building site focused on mental tools; speed reading, filing, goal setting, memorization, time management, mind mapping, brainstorming, leadership skills and other career oriented mental tasks.

Terminator Salvation, Cold War by Greg Cox

Right now, I am reading Terminator Salvation, Cold War by Greg Cox. He writes series books having written for Alien, C.S.I., DC Comics, Ironman, Star Trek, Superman, Underworld, and now Terminator. I remember the first book which I remember him editing was Tomorrow Sucks, an anthology of vampire science fiction. It was pretty silly. The book is no longer in print. It was printed in 1994.

He certainly seems to have gotten formula writing down pat. I didn't even know there was an International Association of Media Tie In Writers until I looked at his website. The author list is kind of interesting, This makes him a working writer. This is his list of publications. Basically entertaining, a bit silly, and fun.

This book occurs just before the movie, Terminator Salvation. This is the third movie in Terminator series. It is part that setting. There are a whole new series of books in that setting done by Titan Books. They appear decent starting line up of writers; Alan Dean Foster, Timothy Zahn, and Greg Cox all have a solid track record writing science fiction.

There is a certain appeal to series books. They are predictable and the good guys always win. The bad guys never disappear of course. That is the strength of these kinds of books.

Terminator Salvation, Cold War, is the story of the beginning of Skynet. The artificial intelligence, Skynet launches nuclear missiles in the beginning of the story. Then the machines start attempting to kill all of humanity. I rather like that in the beginning people are not sure who started nuclear war.

The nuclear launch is during 2003, so it is definitely an alternate history setting. The story jumps between 2003 and 2018. This adds to the setting of not being quite the same as our time.

John Connor is not that prominent in this story. The heros of the story are Molly Kookesh an Alaskan survivor, and a Russian submariner named Lusenko. The machines are the ultimate enemy so we can look at most people as heros.

What surprised me is that at the end of the book, there is a brief bibliography of nonfiction works that the author used to write the book. It includes Tom Clancy with John Gresham Submarine: A Guided Tour Inside A Nuclear Submarine. Tom Clancy wrote a whole series of nonfiction books on the military.

The writing is solid, smoothly written and easy to read. It shows a practical workman like craft which makes for a good story. I like to occassionally read series.

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