Showing posts with label Sci-fi fantasy.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sci-fi fantasy.. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Five Weeks in a Balloon - Jules Verne




Five Weeks in a Balloon
by Jules Verne

I've always enjoyed the Jules Verne favorites (Round the World in 80 days, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, and 20,000 Leagues under the Sea), but it's harder to find JV's other works, despite the fact that he's written over 50 books, so I snatched this one up when I saw it.

It's the story of 3 men crossing Africa (then not fully explored at the time) in a balloon (a novel method at the time). So it's basically fiction since no man had crossed that part of Africa and no one had succeed in taking a long trip in a balloon. As a result you have to take his geography and even his science in stride. It has been worked out by others that his balloon could never have made the trip and we now know that his description of that part of Africa was fanciful. So it's fiction, nevertheless it's good fiction. And we have to remember that this book was written over 100 years ago! So when I read this book, it is also an exercise in time travel for me, to read this book as it was written, in 1869, otherwise you will be offended at all the non-politically correct events that happen and the descriptions of the natives and the mind set at that time.

It's interesting to note that this book was supposed to be a forerunner to the much beloved Round the World in 80 days and I can imagine Mr. Verne testing out his ideas in this book. Jules Verne was the father of the explorer/adventure type novel and today's authors owe a lot to him. So sit back and travel back 100+ years and try this book!



Saturday, December 18, 2010

BREAKING DAWN by Stephenie Meyer



BREAKING DAWN 
by 
Stephenie Meyer

To be irrevocably in love with a vampire is both fantasy and nightmare woven into a dangerously heightened reality for Bella Swan. Pulled in one direction by her intense passion for Edward Cullen, and in another by her profound connection to werewolf Jacob Black, she has endured a tumultuous year of temptation, loss and strife to reach the ultimate turning point. Her imminent choice to either join the dark but seductive world of immortals or pursue a fully human life has become the thread from which the fate of two tribes hangs. Now that Bella has made her decision, a startling chain of unprecedented events is about to unfold with potentially devastating and unfathomable consequences. Just when the frayed strands of Bella's life - first discovered in Twilight, then scattered and torn in New Moon and Eclipse - seem ready to heal and knit together, could they be destroyed...forever? 

ECLIPSE by Stephenie Meyer


ECLIPSE 
by 
Stephenie Meyer

'Bella?' Edward's soft voice came from behind me. I turned to see him spring lightly up the porch steps, his hair windblown from running. He pulled me into his arms at once, and kissed me again. His kiss frightened me. There was too much tension, too strong an edge to the way his lips crushed mine - like he was afraid we had only so much time left to us. As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob - knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death. But which is which? Following the international bestsellers Twilight and New Moon, Eclipse is the much-anticipated third book in Stephenie Meyer's captivating saga of vampire romance. 

NEW MOON by Stephenie Meyer



NEW MOON 
by 
Stephenie Meyer


stuck my finger under the edge of the paper and jerked it under the tape. 'Shoot,' I muttered when the paper sliced my finger. A single drop of blood oozed from the tiny cut. It all happened very quickly then. 'No!' Edward roared ...Dazed and disorientated, I looked up from the bright red blood pulsing out of my arm - and into the fevered eyes of the six suddenly ravenous vampires. For Bella Swan, there is one thing more important than life itself: Edward Cullen. But being in love with a vampire is more dangerous than Bella ever could have imagined. Edward has already rescued Bella from the clutches of an evil vampire but now, as their daring relationship threatens all that is near and dear to them, they realise their troubles may just be beginning .

TWILIGHT by Stephenie Meyer



Twilight 
by 
Stephenie Meyer

When 17 year old Isabella Swan moves to Forks, Washington to live with her father she expects that her new life will be as dull as the town. But in spite of her awkward manner and low expectations, she finds that her new classmates are drawn to this pale, dark-haired new girl in town. But not, it seems, the Cullen family. These five adopted brothers and sisters obviously prefer their own company and will make no exception for Bella. Bella is convinced that Edward Cullen in particular hates her, but she feels a strange attraction to him, although his hostility makes her feel almost physically ill. He seems determined to push her away ? until, that is, he saves her life from an out of control car. Bella will soon discover that there is a very good reason for Edward's coldness. He, and his family, are vampires ? and he knows how dangerous it is for others to get too close. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

BLOOD and GOLD by Anne Rice



BLOOD and GOLD 
by 
Anne Rice

Time heals all wounds, unless, of course, you're a vampire. Cuts may heal, burns vanish, limbs reattach, but for the "blood god," the wounds of the heart sometimes stay open and raw for centuries. So it is for Marius, Anne Rice's oft-mentioned and beloved scholar. We've heard parts of his tale in past volumes of the Vampire Chronicles, but never so completely and never from his own lips. In Blood and Gold, Rice mostly (but not entirely) avoids the danger of treading worn ground as she fills out the life and character of Marius the Lonely, the Disenchanted, the Heartsick--a 2,000-year-old vampire "with all the conviction of a mortal man."

Plucked from his beloved Rome in the prime of his life and forced into solitude as keeper of the vampire queen and king, Marius has never forgiven the injustice of his mortal death. Thousands of years later, he still seethes over his losses. Immortality for Marius is both a blessing and a curse--he bears "witness to all splendid and beautiful things human," yet is unable to engage in relationships for fear of revealing his burden. New readers to the Chronicles may wish for a more fleshed-out, less introspective hero, but Rice's legions of devoted fans will recognize Blood and Gold for what it is: a love song to Marius the Wanderer, whose story reveals the complexities and limitations of eternal existence.


The VAMPIRE ARMAND by Anne Rice



The VAMPIRE ARMAND 
by 
Anne Rice

In The Vampire Armand, Anne Rice returns to her indomitable Vampire Chronicles and recaptures the gothic horror and delight she first explored in her classic tale Interview with the Vampire (in which Armand, played by Antonio Banderas in the film version, made his first appearance as director of the Théâtre des Vampires). The story begins in the aftermath of Memnoch the Devil. Vampires from all over the globe have gathered around Lestat, who lies prostrate on the floor of a cathedral. Dead? In a coma? As Armand reflects on Lestat's condition, he is drawn by David Talbot to tell the story of his own life. The narrative abruptly rushes back to 15th-century Constantinople, and the Armand of the present recounts the fragmented memories of his childhood abduction from Kiev. Eventually, he is sold to a Venetian artist (and vampire), Marius. Rice revels in descriptions of the sensual relationship between the young and still-mortal Armand and his vampiric mentor. But when Armand is finally transformed, the tone of the book dramatically shifts. Raw and sexually explicit scenes are displaced by Armand's introspective quest for a union of his Russian Orthodox childhood, his hedonistic life with Marius, and his newly acquired immortality. These final chapters remind one of the archetypal significance of Rice's vampires; at their best, Armand, Lestat, and Marius offer keen insights into the most human of concerns.
The Vampire Armand is richly intertextual; readers will relish the retelling of critical events from Lestat and Louis's narratives. Nevertheless, the novel is very much Armand's own tragic tale. Rice deftly integrates the necessary back-story for new readers to enter her epic series, and the introduction of a few new voices adds a fresh perspective--and the promise of provocative future installments.



MEMNOCH the DEVIL by Anne Rice



MEMNOCH the DEVIL 
by 
Anne Rice


The fifth volume of Rice's Vampire Chronicles is one of her most controversial books. The tale begins in New York, where Lestat, the coolest of Rice's vampire heroes, is stalking a big-time cocaine dealer and religious-art smuggler--this guy should get it in the neck. Lestat is also growing fascinated with the dealer's lovely daughter, a TV evangelist who's not a fraud.

Lestat is also being stalked himself, by some shadowy guy who turns out to be Memnoch, the devil, who spirits him away. From here on, the book might have been called Interview with the Devil (by a Vampire). It's a rousing story interrupted by a long debate with the devil. Memnoch isn't the devil as ordinarily conceived: he got the boot from God because he objected to God's heartless indifference to human misery. Memnoch takes Lestat to heaven, hell, and throughout history.

Some readers are appalled by the scene in which Lestat sinks his fangs into the throat of Christ on the cross, but the scene is not a mere shock tactic: Jesus is giving Lestat a bloody taste in order to win him over to God's side, and Rice is dead serious about the battle for his soul. Rice is really doing what she did as a devout young Catholic girl asked to imagine in detail what Christ's suffering felt like--it's just that her imagination ran away with her. If you like straight-ahead fanged adventure, you'll likely enjoy the first third; if you like Job-like arguments with God, you'll prefer the Memnoch chapters



The TALE of the BODY THIEF by Anne Rice



The TALE of the BODY THIEF
by 
Anne Rice


It's been said that Vladimir Nabokov's best novels are the ones he wrote after starting a failed novel. Anne Rice wrote The Body Thief, the fourth thrilling episode of her Vampire Chronicles, right after she spent a long time poring over that most romantic of horror novels, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, to research a novel Rice abandoned about an artificial man. Perhaps as a result of Shelley's influence, The Body Thief is far more psychologically penetrating than its predecessors, with a laser-like focus on a single tormented soul. Oh, we meet some wild new characters, and Rice's toothsome vampire-hero Lestat zooms around the globe--as is his magical habit--from Miami to the Gobi desert, but he's in such despair that he trades his immortal body to a con man named Raglan James, who offers him in return two days of strictly mortal bliss.

Lestat has always had a faulty impulse-control valve, and it gets him in truly intriguing trouble this time. On the plus side, he gets to experience romance with a nun and orange juice--"thick like blood, but full of sweetness." But Lestat is horrified by an uncommon cold, and his toilet training proves traumatic. He's also got to catch Raglan James, who has no intention of giving up his dishonestly acquired new superpowered body. Lestat enlists the help of David Talbot, a mortal in the Talamasca, a secret society of immortal watchers described in Queen of the Damned. The swapping of bodies and supernatural stories is choice, and there's even a moral: never give a bloodsucker an even break



The VAMPIRE LESTAT by Anne Rice



The VAMPIRE LESTAT 
by
Anne Rice

After the spectacular debut of Interview with the Vampire in 1976, Anne Rice put aside her vampires to explore other literary interests--Italian castrati in Cry to Heaven and the Free People of Color in The Feast of All Saints. But Lestat, the mischievous creator of Louis in Interview, finally emerged to tell his own story in the 1985 sequel, The Vampire Lestat.

As with the first book in the series, the novel begins with a frame narrative. After over a half century underground, Lestat awakens in the 1980s to the cacophony of electronic sounds and images that characterizes the MTV generation. Particularly, he is captivated by a fledgling rock band named Satan's Night Out. Determined both to achieve international fame and end the centuries of self-imposed vampire silence, Lestat takes command of the band (now renamed "The Vampire Lestat") and pens his own autobiography. The remainder of the novel purports to be that autobiography: the vampire traces his mortal youth as the son of a marquis in pre-Revolutionary France, his initiation into vampirism at the hands of Magnus, and his quest for the ultimate origins of his undead species. While very different from the first novel in the Vampire Chronicles, The Vampire Lestat has proved to be the foundation for a broader range of narratives than is possible from Louis's brooding, passive perspective. The character of Lestat is one of Rice's most complex and popular literary alter egos, and his Faustian strivings have a mythopoeic resonance that links the novel to a grand tradition of spiritual and supernatural fiction


QUEEN of the DAMNED by Anne Rice


QUEEN of the DAMNED 
by 
Anne Rice



Did you ever wonder where all those mischievous vampires roaming the globe in Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles came from? In this, the third book in the series, we find out. That raucous rock-star vampire Lestat interrupts the 6,000-year slumber of the mama of all bloodsuckers, Akasha, Queen of the Damned.

Akasha was once the queen of the Nile (she has a bit in common with the Egyptian goddess Isis), and it's unwise to rile her now that she's had 60 centuries of practice being undead. She is so peeved about male violence that she might just have to kill most of them. And she has her eye on handsome Lestat with other ideas as well. If you felt that the previous books in the series weren't gory and erotic enough, this one should quench your thirst (though it may cause you to omit organ meats from your diet). It also boasts God's plenty of absorbing lore that enriches the tale that went before, including the back-story of the boy in Interview with the Vampire and the ancient fellowship of the Talamasca, which snoops on paranormal phenomena. Mostly, the book spins the complex yarn of Akasha's eerie, brooding brood and her nemeses, the terrifying sisters Maharet and Mekare. In one sense, Queen of the Damned is the ultimate multigenerational saga.


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix By J.K. Rowling


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
By
J.K. Rowling



Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the fifth novel in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling. The novel features Harry Potter’s struggles through his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, including the surreptitious return of Harry’s nemesis Lord Voldemort, O.W.L. exams, and an obstructive Ministry of Magic.

It is the longest book in the series, and was published on 21 June 2003 by Bloomsbury in the United Kingdom, Scholastic in the United States, and Raincoast in Canada. The book has been made into a film, which was released in 2007, and has also been made into several video games by Electronic Arts. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix has won several awards, including being named an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults in 2003.

Throughout the four previous novels in the Harry Potter series, the main character, Harry Potter, has struggled with the difficulties that come with growing up and the added challenge of being a famous wizard. When Harry was a baby, Voldemort, the most powerful Dark wizard in history, killed Harry’s parents but mysteriously vanished after unsuccessfully trying to kill Harry. This results in Harry’s immediate fame and his being placed in the care of his muggle, or non-magical, Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon, who have a son named Dudley Dursley.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince By J.K. Rowling



Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
By
J.K. Rowling


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, released on 16 July 2005, is the sixth of seven novels from British author J. K. Rowling’s popular Harry Potter series. Set during Harry Potter’s sixth year at Hogwarts, the novel explores Lord Voldemort’s past, and Harry’s preparations for the final battle amidst emerging romantic relationships and the emotional confusions and conflict resolutions characteristic of mid-adolescence.

The book sold three million copies in the first 16 hours after its release, a record at the time which was eventually broken by its sequel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the sixth book in the Harry Potter series. The first book in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was first published by Bloomsbury in 1997 with an initial print-run of 500 copies in hardback, 300 of which were distributed to libraries. By the end of 1997 the UK edition won a National Book Award and a gold medal in the 9- to 11-year-olds category of the Nestlé Smarties Book Prize. The second book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, was originally published in the UK on 2 July 1998 and in the US on 2 June 1999. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was then published a year later in the UK on 8 July 1999 and in the US on 8 September 1999. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Firewas published on 8 July 2000 at the same time by Bloomsbury and Scholastic. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the longest novel in the Harry Potter series, was released 21 June 2003. After the publishing of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the seventh and final novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was released 21 July 2007. The book sold 11 million copies within 24 hours of its release: 2.7 million copies in the UK and 8.3 million in the US
 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 
by 
J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the seventh and final of the Harry Potter novels written by British author J. K. Rowling. The book was released on 21 July 2007, ending the series that began in 1997 with the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. This book chronicles the events directly following Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2005), and leads to the long-awaited final confrontation between Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort.



Harry Potter And the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling.


Harry Potter And the Goblet of Fire
by
J. K. Rowling.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the fourth novel in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling, published on 8 July 2000. The book attracted additional attention because of a pre-publication warning from J. K. Rowling that one of the characters would be murdered in the book.
The novel won a Hugo Award in 2001; it was the only Harry Potter novel to do so. The book was made into a film, which was released worldwide on 18 November 2005.
Throughout the three previous novels in the Harry Potter series, the main character, Harry Potter, has struggled with the difficulties that come with growing up and the added challenge of being a famous wizard. When Harry was a baby, Voldemort, the most powerful Dark wizard in history, killed Harry’s parents but mysteriously vanished after unsuccessfully trying to kill Harry. This results in Harry’s immediate fame and his being placed in the care of his muggle, or non-magical, Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon, who have a son named Dudley Dursley.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling.


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
by 
J. K. Rowling.

This 3rd book was published in July 1999 and won the 1999 Whitbread Book Award, the Bram Stoker Award and the 2000 Locus Award. In an interesting note, this is the only novel in the series that does not feature Lord Voldemort in some form.

Harry and his best friends, Ron and Hermione, are entering their 3rd year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. In the beginning, Harry runaway from the Dursleys after getting angry with Uncle Vernon's visiting sister and blowing her up like a hot air balloon; she blows away. He has his first encounter with the Knight Bus and eventually ends up at the Leaky Cauldron, where he learns that the murderous Sirrus Black has escaped from Azkaban Prison.

On the Hogwarts Express, the train is stopped and searched by the horrible Dementors, the evil creatures who guard Azkaban - they are looking for Sirrus Black. During the course of the book, Harry learns that Sirrus Black is actually his godfather and that it was he was was responsible for the death of Harry's parents.

HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS by J.K. Rowling


HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS 
by
J.K. Rowling



Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the second instalment in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling. The plot follows Harry’s second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, during which a series of messages on the walls on the school’s corridors warn that the “Chamber of Secrets” has been opened and that the “heir of Slytherin” will kill all pupils who do not come from all-magical families. These threats are followed by attacks which leave residents of the school “petrified” (that is, frozen). Throughout the year, Harry and his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger investigate the attacks, and Harry is confronted by Lord Voldemort, who is attempting to regain full power.

The book was published in the United Kingdom on 2 July 1998 by Bloomsbury and in the United States on 2 June 1999 by Scholastic Inc. Although Rowling found it difficult to finish the book, it won high praise and awards from critics, young readers and the book industry, although some critics thought the story was perhaps too frightening for younger children. Some religious authorities have condemned its use of magical themes, while others have praised its emphasis on self-sacrifice and on the way in which a person’s character is the result of the person’s choices.

J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
by
J.K. Rowling 



Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is the first novel in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling and featuring Harry Potter, a young wizard. It describes how Harry discovers he is a wizard, makes close friends and a few enemies at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and with the help of his friends thwarts an attempted comeback by the evil wizard Voldemort, who killed Harry’s parents and tried to kill Harry when he was one year old.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien


The Silmarillion 
by 
J.R.R. Tolkien


The Silmarillion is actually Tolkien's first book and also his last. In origin it precedes even The Hobbit, and is the story of the First Age of Tolkien's Middle Earth. It shows us the ancient history to which characters in The Lord of the Rings look back, talk, rhyme and sing about. Tolkien worked on it, changed it, and enlarged it throughout his entire life. It was edited and published posthumously by his son Christopher Tolkien, with the assistance of fantasy fiction writer Guy Gavriel Kay to reconstruct some major parts.
 

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien


The Hobbit 
by  
J.R.R. Tolkien

J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit is one of the best known and best loved fantasy books. First published by George Allen & Unwin in 1937, The Hobbit has been translated into 50 different languages and sold well over 100 million copies.
The Hobbit was written by Professor Tolkien for the reading pleasure of his own children, of whom Christopher became the editor of Tolkien's posthumous work such as The Silmarillion and The Book of Lost Tales.This is a far more light-hearted tale than the Lord of the Rings and introduces to the world's readers the unforgettable Bilbo, Gandalf and Gollum. A book that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike and authors such as J.K. Rowling and David Gemmell class this and The Lord of the Rings as inspirational in their own work.This is a truly wonderful book, full of adventure, heroism, song and laughter. The landscapes that Tolkien creates are quintessentially English and the Shore and the hobbits could easily be the English of yesteryear. The Shire is left behind soon enough as no adventure is worth reading in which nobody actually goes anywhere. Dwarves, Elves, Goblins, Eagles and Wizards all cross paths with our intrepid, although reluctant hero as the party passes through Rivendell, The Misty Mountains and Mirkwood on their way to the Lonely Mountain to take back the treasure stolen by the great dragon Smaug.
One of the most appealing aspects of this book is that we could all be hobbit with the comfortable life and comfortable living but there is something inside all of us that perks up at the thought of adventures and journeys into the unknown. I think that this is why The Hobbit is such a firm favourite and fondly remembered by all who read it.