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Joined 8 months, 3 weeks ago

The BookWyrm Edition of PromptedInk on the Fediverse (and the web at large! Started out properly loving literature with Douglas Adams and ended up reading almost anything from literary classics and non-fiction, to science fiction, fantasy, memoir, and comedy.

Updates might be sporadic...

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Bobby Fischer Comes Home : The Final Years in Iceland, a Saga of Friendship and Lost Illusions (Dutch language, 2012) 3 stars

Review of 'Bobby Fischer Comes Home : The Final Years in Iceland, a Saga of Friendship and Lost Illusions' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I feel like if I was a huge chess player, this would have been on of my favorite reads. Even if I'm not, Helgi Olafsson made me care for Bobby Fischer with this biography. From Fischer's win in Iceland in 1972 to his time in detention in Japan followed by his permanent move to the country which made him famous, Olafsson leaves no stone unturned. Even as a short read, he reminisces about his time with Fischer in extensive detail—providing both a detailed history and an in-depth look at Fischer's personality.

The only time I felt lost was when Olafsson went into Fischer's chess plays alongside his comments to related publications and chess associations. If you're a chess enthusiast, or are just interested in reading about the game's competitive side, Bobby Fischer Comes Home is a good place to start.

Review of 'Existentially Challenged' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Crowshaw's second outing with the Department of Extra-Dimensional Affairs (DEDA) is a nice sequel to Differently Morphous, in which an arcane organization's entanglement with modern bureaucracy and political correctness goes even deeper. Last time, it was the existence of slime hive minds (fluidics who collectively call themselves Shgshthx) and humans bonded to or possessed by an ancient (dual-consciousness persons), which put the department at odds with the government itself. This time, with legislation passing to ensure extra-dimensional rights and the criminalization of fake magic, its a homeopathic healing cult led by a man in Worcester who's daughter, the sole healer, is a dual-conscious person that can somehow make miracles happen. These miracles result in, say, having a cut on your leg sew itself back up or reversing a debilitating disease, but how does the daughter manage to carry them out?

This is where DEDA's newly formed Office of Skepticism …

The God Delusion (AudiobookFormat, 2007, Tantor Media) 4 stars

A preeminent scientist—and the world's most prominent atheist—asserts the irrationality of belief in God and …

Review of 'The God Delusion' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

This is another one that I'll need to re-listen to in order to give a proper review. I had a print copy of this book once that I sold back to the Book Barn in Niantic, thinking that I would never get around to reading it—I was looking for a print copy of The Selfish Gene when I first bought it.

I remembered that I used an Audible credit on this and decided to listen to it on a whim. It always nice that Lalla Ward helped in narrating the audiobooks—Selfish Gene was an example of that—and The God Delusion was no different. It went from an audiobook to fall asleep with to one that I spent some of my waking hours trying to understand where Dawkins was coming from.

The review may change once I do a second listen...or read—I might try to hunt down a print copy …

Axiom's End (Paperback, 2021, St. Martin's Griffin) 4 stars

It’s fall 2007. A well-timed leak has revealed that the US government might have engaged …

Review of "Axiom's End" on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Lindsay Ellis’s debut novel, Axiom’s End, is my first encounter with a science fiction novel that is all about first contact with extraterrestrial beings. I must confess that, while most of the typical first contact tropes are present—Area 51’s presence being a huge one—I thoroughly enjoyed the audiobooks narration. Stephanie Willis does a solid job of conveying Cora’s emotions in dealing with Ampersand, government officials, and even her own family who are knee-deep in concealing Ampersand’s existence alongside the other extraterrestrials (Similars). Oliver Thorn does the same for conspiracy theorist, Nils Ortega, by reading off excerpts from the Broken Seal between chapters.

Between the both of them, they made Ellis science fiction novel feel more like a thriller from the word “go” to its conclusion. I would sometimes listen to it for a couple of hours—almost non-stop, because I did not want to be left in the lurch as …

Review of 'Silent Hill 2' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

This was a book I initially doubted in a Twitter conversation with one of the Limited Run founders—who was asking for suggestions regarding Boss Fight books after a bad experience with their analysis of Earthbound. There was someone in my undergrad who did their senior paper on the series, plus the game itself has been analyzed to death by many others so I started the book with a "been there, done that" mentality.

I ended up regretting my dismissive attitude by the end. Mike Drucker deconstructs the game and its psychological horror elements for an audience beyond academia—sometimes bringing humor into the mix. Much like with Red Dead Redemption, I have never played Silent Hill 2 in any way so I can't vouch for anything. However, I respect the way that he brings his research together—not just in breaking down the game's narrative and mechanics, but in discussing the advertising …

Doctor Who (Hardcover, 2019, Penguin Group UK) 3 stars

Doctor who- the time dilemma (6th doctor target publication)

The doctor has regenerated, having sacrificed …

Review of 'Doctor Who' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

A late novelization of a classic Doctor Who's story that pits the 6th Doctor (Colin Baker) and Peri (Nicola Bryant) against the Daleks. Eventually.

Eric Saward is not my favorite writer for the show, especially after watching one of the DVD documentaries—in the "Trial of a Time Lord" collection—which highlighted Saward's apathy towards Colin Baker's casting. The idea behind Tranquil Repose—a funeral home of sorts—and what lies beneath it tries to act as both a vehicle of dark humor and and a driving force for Daleks. Even in novel form, the world building is much more intriguing than the Doctor's journey with some of the players also trying to infiltrate the complex or even attempting to assassinate the dalek progenitor—Davros.

The ending turns all that into a flop as the conclusion wraps up a bit too quickly—like in the televised serial. I'm not familiar with the Target Novelizations of the …

Stim (Paperback, Unbound) 5 stars

Around one in a hundred people in the UK are autistic, and the saying goes …

Review of 'Stim' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

This one of the first books I backed on Unbound—the very first being Larry Bundy Jr's Fact Hunt—and Stim: An Autistic Anthology was worth every penny.

Lizzie Huxley-Jones does a wonderful job in curating these stories and memoirs from autistic individuals who all have different experiences on the spectrum. Many, if not all of these narratives and accounts, are well written and seamlessly allow the reader a glimpse into what having autism is like. There's a section at the end of the book where Huxley-Jones summarizes what autism, quoting the saying, "If you've met one Autistic person, you've met one autistic person," which is another way of saying that not all autistic people are the same. In should go without saying that every story here, much like a short story in a creative writing anthology, is the experience and narrative of one person out of many. The more clever …

Review of 'Red Dead Redemption' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

I need to preface this by saying that I have never played Red Dead Redemption or its second iteration.

This, of course, did not stop me from enjoying this literary analysis of an open-world, sandbox game from Rockstar—a company that helped cement the genre with Grand Theft Auto. Even if you have little or no idea about open-world style games or resent GTA because of its emphasis on crime and debauchery, Matt Margini has you covered.

He makes a strong case about the influence of the American Western on Red Dead Redemption and how the game both reinforces the genre's themes and political undertones while also challenging them. The only game that I personally played that is similar thematically is West of Loathing, but even so, if you have ever read or watched a Western, you'll appreciate the attention to detail that Margini brings to his analysis.