Lindsay Brambles

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Lindsay Brambles

Lindsay Brambles’s book reviews

Well, it's epic and it's weird. It stretches the imagination. At times I'm inclined to feel too much so, with the result that the reader is, in effect, distanced from the characters. It's difficult to have a passion about a story when you find none of the characters of a nature that you can relate to in any way. On top of this, the book is so far reaching in some of it's ideas that you feel rather lost in the chaos of what the author is trying to describe. Of course, the future probably will be as wonderfully strange and incomprehensible as the portrait Stross paints. One only has to imagine how bizarre our own time would seem to someone transplanted from the nineteenth century. What would they make of the plethora of technology we so take for granted? Imagine how stunned they'd probably be by Bluetooth-enabled phones, where people walk around the streets seemingly talking to themselves. Cars and even planes they might understand, but could they really make sense of computers and the Internet?

If you want to get a taste of what it might be like if you were suddenly shifted ahead in time a hundred or more years, try 'Accelerando'. Just remember this isn't your father's SF.

Lindsay Brambles (author of In Darkness Bound)
03/09/2007
'Plague Ship' is definitely a product of its time, and as such would not likely see publication in today's tough SF market. The plot is pretty basic and the characters rather typical of this sort of story. The tale lacks the intricacies and well-rounded characterizations of the best SF of today, but if all you're looking for is an easy, uncomplicated tale, then this may be your cup of tea.

Read some of the other Norton books from this period and you'll find them all remarkably similar in tone. In fact, if you read the work of other authors from around the same time you'll find that they were producing material that doesn't vary all that much from this.

An okay read, but it's no 'Dune'.

Lindsay Brambles (author of In Darkness Bound)
03/09/2007
Strange. Weird. Bizarre. These are words that could certainly be applied to this work. Certainly you're asked to go far in suspending your disbelief. But perhaps so far that you begin to accept the rather inane aspects of the novel. Mind you, if you're a diehard 'old school' SF fan you might find this totally outside your sphere of acceptability. This is not for those who put Bova, Niven, Asimov, and Clarke at the top of their list. There are moments, however, when I was reminded of the first time I read Heinlein's 'Stranger in a Strange Land,' which seemed such a departure from the Heinlein juveniles I had so enjoyed. 'Stranger in a Strange Land' was something of a cult classic among college students of the day, and one can imagine Doctorow's book perhaps gaining such a status.

It's one of those books that invites examination, much of it obviously not being meant for literal interpretation. I think, however, that it's a difficult novel to really get your head around. There's no question that some readers will be inclined to abandon it early or chuck it aside in disgust. But if you persist, as did I, you may find the reward sufficient to the effort.
(Lindsay Brambles, author of In Darkness Bound)
02/12/2007
Some will see it as simply a romance, but beneath that facade is a delightful, rather satiric examination of the mannered society of the period. Were you to distill it all down you might be inclined to see it as nothing more than a novel about the fevered concerns of young women to make 'agreeable' matches with worthy members of the opposite sex. But a paucity of plot belies the true charm of this novel: strong, well delineated characters -- most notably Elizabeth Bennet. You become so enamored of her that you find yourself compelled to read onward.

Of course, when reading this book I couldn't help recalling the scene in the movie 'You've Got Mail,' when Tom Hank's character rather breezily disparages the novel. As a man I have to confess that the natural inclination would be to dismiss this novel outright. There's certainly nothing 'macho' about it. Nothing 'manly.' And if action and adventure are more your standard, then by all means avoid this book. But don't dismiss it because it's considered 'chicklit' or because you believe it to be in the vein of a Harlequin Romance novel. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is as fine a portrait as any of the gentried society of the period. A great way to learn something of the past in a most entertaining manner.
(Lindsay H.F. Brambles, author of In Darkness Bound)
02/12/2007
Jeff Wade - Taking Readers on a fun and Psychologically Stimulating Journey
FEATURED AUTHOR - Jeff Wade began his career not with writing but with story telling. Though a jovial character in person, his stories tend toward the dark side, although always edged with a glimmer of hope. He teaches Aikido and Taekwondo at his dojo, South Miami Martial Arts. He is also a gunsmith. His stories well reflect his experience in guns and hand-to-hand combat. As our Author of the Day, Wade tells us all about his latest novel Drawer #7, a suspenseful psychological thriller with a touch of sci fi to… Read more