Here’s the setup — the ants have had enough of humans. Over thousands of years, one particular colony has grown in size and intelligence, and the Queen has finally decided to take back the Earth. I know just enough about ants to understand how they communicate and I’ve read here and there (and watched a few video snippets) about their hierarchy and how they declare war on other colonies. This Queen is very intelligent, and she has managed to gain sufficient knowledge of chemistry to grow car-sized Alphas to act as soldier. Oh, and she’s also figured out how to grant intelligence and self-awareness in most every animal type on the planet including pig, dog, bear, raccoon, and cat. Continue reading
So, did you sign up to teach a bunch of summer science and tech summer camps without knowing what to write about, like me? Lucky this cool book showed up! Continue reading
The surge in interest for Sherlock Holmes stories isn’t slowing down, and a peek at upcoming books has me a bit depressed as there simply isn’t enough time in my life to read everything that grabs my attention. But I do try… Continue reading
Now that summer has ended, I’m staring at a stack of books that I’ve finished at various times and need to share with GeekDad readers. I read a LOT more books this summer, but not all of them grabbed my attention or were even finished. One of the problems I have reviewing books for GeekDad is the sheer volume of books that show up in my box. I wish I had time to read them all. I wish all of them appealed to me. And I certainly wish I could devote lengthier discussions to all of them. But I’m a geek dad… meaning I have two boys who are now putting a much higher demand on my time. This means less time for me to read MY books, and even less time to write them up in a timely fashion. Continue reading
With the Fourth of July holiday coming up, I wanted to give GeekDad readers a few book possibilities to entertain them before the fireworks and afterwards. These four are in no particular order — I enjoyed each and every one of them. Have a safe and fun Fourth of July to those celebrating this coming weekend! Continue reading
If this post’s title doesn’t quite make sense, then you’re probably unfamiliar with the Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) book series that started a phenomenon back in the 80s for young readers. Other book series that follow its format exist (or have come and gone), but the CYOA brand, now over 30 years old, continues to find new young readers as parents discover not just reprints of the older titles on bookstore shelves but new titles as well. Continue reading
Robogenesis, while a sequel, is both a retelling of the events in Robopocalypse as well as the fallout. The entire novel is broken into three parts, with each part focusing primarily on one of the major characters from the first book. I have to be careful here, because there’s a huge spoiler opportunity that looms… just know that the New War may be over, but there’s a True War that has also been raging in the background, with two parties vying for control of planet Earth. Continue reading
Cibola Burn, the fourth book (of six) in The Expanse series from James S.A. Corey (pen name for authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) is out.
Scale of 1 to 10? That dial needs to be upgraded to 11.
(Haven’t read the first trilogy? Congrats — you’ve now got four books, averaging about 600 pages each, to add to your reading list.)
One-more-chapter, nail biting tension.
Scoundrel heroes versus law-abiding villains.
Political intrigue that’s not annoying.
Space-travel discussions that don’t bog you down.
Technology that you’ll believe will be available (and needed) in a few hundred years. Continue reading
My oldest son turns 7 in two weeks. Where did the time go? And my youngest is just a few weeks after that, with him approaching the big 4. As birthday parties are being planned and requests for birthday gift ideas are made, I find myself sitting alone in my office, contemplating the job I’ve done as a dad and what waits for me in the years ahead. The reason for this contemplation is that I’ve been enjoying reading a series of 22 essays from a number of popular dad writers, all collected in a new book titled When I First Held You, and edited by Brian Gresko. Continue reading
We GeekDad writers often find ourselves buried in piles of books and games and software/apps – sometimes all three (looking at you, Jonathan Liu). Between the stuff we buy and the stuff we request for review and the stuff we did NOT request but absolutely love anyway, we sometimes get a bit behind in what we want to share with our readers.
Below you’ll find some books that one of our staff has finished or is close to finishing and needs to clear off the TO REVIEW list. Continue reading
Imagine two universes: one where British sailing ships in 1798 are able to leave Earth using the wonders of alchemy to sail between the planets, and another where astronauts in the year 2134 hitch rides on fusion-powered spaceships to explore the moons of Saturn. Got it? Now toss in an ancient alien warlord attempting to open a doorway to conquer both worlds and you’ve got the general idea of Michael J. Martinez’s follow-up novel, The Enceladus Crisis, in his Daedalus series of novels. Continue reading
I’m not a sky-is-falling kind of guy. I don’t have a bunker behind my house and a decade’s worth of food stocked away for my family (although I do sometimes think about it). Every generation has had its concerns about the world ending, but I’m one of those optimists that hopes we’ll be able to solve our problems — water shortages, global warming, pandemics — and not be despised by our great-great-grandkids.
But who really knows? Asteroids are flying around our universe with sufficient mass and speed. New and scarier viruses seem to pop up every few years. So many countries seem to want their own nuclear bombs these days. Experts seem to think a major financial collapse lurks around the corner. Just how prepared are we if the world we know it stopped functioning normally for an extended period of time? How long would we last without the modern conveniences of electricity, medicine, clothing, food, and clean water? Continue reading
I’m very nostalgic when it comes to my inner-geek. At least once a year I read Neuromancer. I enjoy playing the original Infocom games on my iPad. I still get a wide grin on my face when I pull my copy of Tomb of Horrors (S1) off the shelf to occasionally read it through and remember the first time I ran this most hated module as a DM. I never tire of trying to get my almost-7-year-old to sit down and play a few of the Atari 2600 games with me (and he does actually enjoy both Adventure and Yars Revenge — he flipped out when I showed him the Easter Egg in Adventure, something I discovered all on my own before there were ever walkthroughs or bulletin boards to share the info.) Continue reading
I distinctly remember the day back in 2009 when I was wandering through Barnes & Noble and my eyes caught the title of a new hardback sitting in the New Arrivals section. Fresh from leaving the world of networking, servers, and operating systems, the distinct spelling of the title was still familiar to me as I picked up Daemon and read the blurb. It sounded interesting enough, so I purchased it and took it home. Little did I know that I was about to discover a new writer who would immediately be added to my Must Read List. Continue reading
Do you remember that scene in Apollo 13 when the engineer dumps a bunch of parts on the table and tells the other engineers in the room they need to create a carbon dioxide filter using nothing but that pile of parts? Did that scene totally make you smile? Yes? Then grab a copy of The Martian before anyone ruins it for you and read it. Seriously Read it. You won’t regret it. Continue reading
Robots. Say that word to kids and watch their eyes light up. Mine still do! I’ve had a fascination with robots since 1977 when I decided in the first five minutes of Star Wars that I wanted my own R2 unit. Now my workshop is full of them, and I’m even getting to teach a camp this summer for 20 lucky kids who are going to learn to build, program, and take home their own robot. My camp does have an age limit, however — we’ll be using breadboards, lots of small electronics components, and some coding will be necessary. I have an almost-7 year old son who is a bit upset that he can’t take the class, but I’ve got some other ideas in store for him this summer, and one of those includes reading through the latest book in the Nick and Tesla series from “Science Bob” Pflugfelder and Steven Hockensmith. Continue reading
Ripley is Ripley, and we’re not happy if she’s not blasting aliens out of airlocks, going ten rounds in a Powerloader suit, and nuking entire sites from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure, right? So, when Titan Books asked me if I’d like to give a read of their new official trilogy that takes place between the events of Alien and Aliens, I was a bit hesitant. I mean, we all know that Ripley floated peacefully along (with Jones) for 57 years before the salvage crew found the Narcissus. End of story, right? Well, apparently 20th Century Fox knows otherwise, and has contracted three authors, Tim Lebbon, James A. Moore, and Christopher Golden, to fill in the details. Continue reading
Sherlock’s “official” birthday is observed every January 6, so on this momentous day (Happy 160th, Sherlock!) here are some new Sherlock-related gifts for fellow fans that may or may not have been missed, in no particular order. Well, not completely true… the first episode of BBC One’s Sherlock is fresh on my mind from two same-day viewings, so here goes… Continue reading
Back in October I stated in a book review that I had two favorite authors I tended to recommend — George Mann and Mark Hodder. Between these two gentleman, I’ve got three different steampunk series that I’ve absolutely enjoyed over the years — and there are more books to come. (I’ll put some links at the end of this review to my previous reviews of their works.) Right now, Mark Hodder has just launched his latest trilogy, a follow-up series to his original Burton & Swinburne trilogy that began with The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack, got deeper and darker with The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man, and wrapped up with Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon. Continue reading
I was very fortunate to grow up in a house where both parents were the hands-on, DIYer-types. My dad taught me a good bit of woodworking and some home repair, and my mom was more of a crafter, always having a project or two for us kids to do side-by-side with her as she sewed or glued or painted. I think it was inevitable that I would also develop that desire to tinker, fix, and create. Continue reading
Last year I went on the hunt for the Season 1 DVD set of Adventure Time for my son. One of his friends had introduced him to it (even though much of it went over his head) and he just really enjoyed it. The episodes on television were the newer season and he hadn’t watched the earlier episodes, so I figured I’d grab it for him and sit down and see what all the fuss was about… Continue reading
When it comes to self-published science fiction, I’ve downloaded and started a number of non-traditionally published books. Key word — started. As in… not finished. There are definitely a number of gems to be found in the growing number of indie books out there, but in my experience the ratio of bad to good for self-publishing seems to be about 100:1. That’s not to say that the traditional publishing world doesn’t produce some bad stories, but I’ve found the ratio to be completely opposite… about 1 bad book in every 100 that has made it through the gauntlet of editors (and possibly an agent or two). Continue reading
I have a confession to make: I’m really not into MMOs. I’ve played World of Warcraft, City of Heroes, and even The Matrix, but these kinds of games have never managed to hold my interest for long — level 17 for WoW, 21 for CoH, and only 11 for Matrix. But even though MMOs aren’t for me, I do have one MMO-related addiction. And I’ve had it for over 5 years. It’s The Guild. Continue reading
So few science fiction stories these days attempt to provide a story in a single volume — everything’s gotta be a trilogy. Why? The Silver Sickle not only provides a stand-alone science fiction story, but it mixes together three great themes — aliens, steampunk, and a love story. It’s well done and deserving of applause. Continue reading
have generally found that novelizations are the exception to the general rule that novels are better than movies. Where a movie screenplay is the original source material, the novel can feel thin and hurried–lacking in the depth of thought and characterization that goes into good original novels. Thus when I was asked to review the Man of Steel novelization, I agreed with low expectations. I was pleasantly surprised. Continue reading
After paging through Keri Smith’s latest journal offering, The Pocket Scavenger, my kids and their friends conducted an alphabet scavenger hunt. You have a chance to win a copy of Smith’s book and matching smartphone app by conducting a scavenger hunt of your own. Continue reading
Interested in two superhero/super-villain books, going head-to-head, in a fight to the death? It’s twenty-two villainous short stories taking on sixteen heroic short tales where the reader is the real winner. Continue reading
If you are a fan of good science fiction, world building, airships, and reading stories with something unique to contribute, I would like to draw your attention to the standalone novel Terminal World by Alastair Reynolds. Continue reading
I’ve recently spent some time catching up on a number of new Holmes/Watson books… as well as some older ones that have been sitting idle, waiting for some down time. If you’re a fan like me, I’ve got a short … Continue reading
The end of 2012 is fast approaching, and I’m doing my best to clear my desk, so to speak. I can’t speak for the other GeekDad writers, but it’s always the end of the year when my To Review List … Continue reading
Review of Alexander Outland: Space Pirate, a new book from G. J. Koch. The crew of the Sixty-Nine find themselves under fire from a mysterious fleet of ships that chase them to Herion, a dangerous planet that may make them … Continue reading
You already know what this book’s about, right? I mean, it’s called Redshirts. And if you know why that’s funny, and you’re a fan of the genre that made it so, John Scalzi’s new novel will make your day. In … Continue reading