Amongst Our Weapons by Ben Aaronovitch My rating: 2 of 5 stars Finally! I’m free of this book! I used to really like this world and its rather unique inhabitants as well as the stories Ben Aaronovitch so expertly told us.This time around, though, I was bored by the lacklustre story at the centre of “Amongst Our Weapons”: An “Angel of Death” is killing the owners of some obscure rings with Lesley being on the hunt for said rings. Peter d...

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune My rating: 5 of 5 stars »We are who we are not because of our birthright, but because of what we choose to do in this life. It cannot be boiled down to black and white. Not when there is so much in between. You cannot say something is moral or immoral without understanding the nuances behind it.”« From a world obviously different from ours (magic and magical beings exist there!) but closely related ...

Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman My rating: 5 of 5 stars »I am the daughter of Black writers. I am descended from freedom fighters who broke their chains and changed the world. They call me. I carry them always.«(From “Gratitude”) I’m not sure what to say or write about this collection of Amanda Gorman’s poetry. Any words I could find would still fall short to describe how amazing and emotionally moving, intellectually brilliant, ...

When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamín Labatut My rating: 1 of 5 stars This is one of the very few books I’m not finishing. Let me explain why: The problem with this one is that Benjamín Labatut introduces the history of an invention to us. Let’s take the first story on “Prussian Blue” as an example: Labatut starts by shortly describing the invention itself and what lead to it. He then proceeds to tell us about the inventor(s...

Worms by Paul Auster My rating: 3 of 5 stars A highly metaphorical short story in which an elderly guy is being kind, is being treated kindly himself, gets hurt nevertheless, falls to his knees but gets up once more to reflect on his past and – my first and only guess – is sinking into dementia while considering how the eponymous worms may taste (when he’s gone to his grave), effectively contemplating death. This is so short, devoid...

Planetside by Michael Mammay My rating: 2 of 5 stars This is going to be yet another difficult review. There’s no doubt: “Planetside” is suspenseful and exciting military science fiction. There’s also no doubt there are plot holes, loose ends and an ending that’s extremely problematic. Let’s start at the beginning, though, at which Colonel Carl Butler, semi-retired of Space Command, is sent to the Cappa system by his superior and old ...

Bruno’s Challenge & Other Dordogne Tales by Martin Walker My rating: 3 of 5 stars “Bruno’s Challenge & Other Dordogne Tales” consists of 14 short stories featuring rural French cop Bruno who has already “starred” in 14 previous books.The full-size novels (that I prefer) went on a downward spiral around book 10 and mostly picked up at book 14. So I was curious to see how this short story collection would hold up.This wa...

The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi My rating: 5 of 5 stars This was great escapist fun! This book read like the happy child of Douglas Adams’ “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and Martha Wells’ “Murderbot” (in tone more than in spirit!) with a bit of Ernest Cline’s “Ready Player One” mixed in for good measure! After so many “mixed reading results” so far this year, this was a much needed blast of fresh, con...

Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir by Natasha Trethewey My rating: 4 of 5 stars »All those years I thought that I had been running away from my past I had, in fact, been working my way steadily back to it.« This was not easy to read and even less so to review. In “Memorial Drive” Trethewey remembers her childhood, born 1966, in a still very much segregated Gulfport, Mississippi, USA. Her mother black and her father white this clearly...

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett My rating: 1 of 5 stars We all know them: Those relatives at family reunions who insist on telling “terrific jokes” that make us cringe. If you don’t, let me put you into the right mood: »When asked if they would have sex with Bill Clinton, 86% of women in D.C. said, “Not again.”« Or this one: »3 men are stranded in a boat with 4 cigarettes...

systemd in Exherbo – what’s happened so far…
Exherbo/ 12. September 2010

It has been quite a while since I last wrote something about my work on systemd in Exherbo, so here’s an update: What has been accomplished so far: The Exherbo patches are done. Do NOT try to submit them upstream yet, though. I’ll take care of that when the time is ripe. Lots of services are done. You can boot and run most systems using systemd now. I’ve built new amd64 and x86 stages without any init system so you can...

systemd in Exherbo – Rules of Engagement
Exherbo/ 9. June 2010

As you may have noticed, I’ve recently added systemd to ::philantrop for use in Exherbo. I’m writing this to warn you that I will break systemd (and consequently your boot process) until further notice recklessly, repeatedly and without prior warning to anyone make clear what I intend to do with systemd in Exherbo make a plan for myself. What I want to do first is get a feeling for systemd and see if it might have the potent...

Exherbo – what we’re good at, what we should improve
Exherbo/ 17. April 2010

Exherbo has developed nicely since we went public about it two years ago and even though we haven’t yet accomplished all of our major goals yet, I think we’re doing well. In this post, I’d like to comment on a few things that we’ve accomplished, some we’re still working on and some which we yet have to deal with. This is, of course, just my personal point of view and not necessarily shared by any other Exhe...

Gentoo packs it up – joins Exherbo
Exherbo/ 1. April 2010

In an unexpected move, the Gentoo trustees have contacted us, Exherbo, recently with a suggestion. Disappointed with the intense internal quarreling among Gentoo developers (which Gentoo has been famous for anyway), the general inability of the current Gentoo council to provide the necessary vision and strategic governance for Gentoo as a whole as well as the lack of implementation of newer EAPIs in Portage, the trustees deemed it neces...

Recognition
Exherbo/ 10. January 2010

What keeps me doing things in my life are primarily two factors: Money and recognition. Not necessarily in that order. In my job, I’m being paid to do what I do but I couldn’t ever be satisfied with just that. What really thrills me is being recognised for the professional I am. Receiving an email from a customer that simply said “Thank you. You’re one of the few persons I can always rely on.” made my day. ...

Crossroads of Twilight by Robert Jordan
Book Review/ 26. January 2003

Crossroads of Twilight by Robert Jordan My rating: 1 of 5 stars So nicht, Mr. Jordan Auch bei mir der Eindruck, daß Jordan schlicht nur noch Geld machen möchte. Um seine Figuren, die er lieblos und farblos beläßt, geht es ihm nicht mehr. Den Inhalt dieses Bandes könnte man problemlos auf einer DIN-A4 zusammenfassen.Ich hatte nicht viel mehr erwartet – wohl aber erhofft. Ich werde auch den nächsten Band kaufen, aber ich kann ...