Spam wars update

I bet you’re all wondering what’s happening about the intellimailer spam? Well, having ignored my requests that they stop spamming me, they are now ignoring the requests of the Information Commissioner. They did at least respond to the ICO to say they would remove my from the database, except they didnt remove me and continue to send the spam.

The ICO has all the evidence, I’m waiting to hear from them what their next step will be – I’ll post here when I’ve heard and have time.

Sharpe's Battle (Bernard Cornwell)

One day, I’m going to be writing my last review of a Sharpe book. Until then, I’ve got more great reading to look forward to! Sharpe begins the story being a very naughty boy (executing enemy prisoners) and spends the rest of it trying to prove himself worthy in battle. I’m not spoiling anything by saying he manages to do this (after all, we already know he survives post Waterloo) but as always he does this in a very innovative way despite being attacked on all sides by the enemy (French) and the enemy within (French agents behind the Allied lines). My favourite part is the end as always, because then I get to read Bernard Cornwell’s comments on how the story differed from history and the liberties he was able to take as an author of fiction. You can’t help but have both respect and sympathy for any solider when you realise the hell they all went through.

Iron Sunrise (Charles Stross) and Singularity Sky (Charles Stross)

I count my blessings when I find all the books of a series in one go in the second hand bookshop. Even more so because I had already looked for more Charles Stross books and decided there weren’t any in the shop. It was only another bookish customer remarking to the shopkeeper how unusual it is to see Charles Stross on the shelves that I realised I’d been looking in the wrong place!

The first book of the pair is Singularity Sky. We join an engineer and an Agent of the UN as they meet and try to save a planet in their own way. The planet is under attack, but quite how it is under attack is the weird Sci Fi bit. Very clever story although for some reason I found it quite hard to get into at first.

Scroll on one week to the second book, Iron Sunrise. This has our same two heroes and introduces a third unlikely teenage heroine. An tragedy (unrelated to the first book) has befallen her home world and another tragedy will follow it unless all the good guys figure out how to beat the bad guys. Bad guys aren’t so bad, just misguided in a brainwashed sort of way. Very Sci Fi technology but remaining believable, these books are worth a read though if pushed I’d put Glasshouse a peg above in your wish list.

The Robots of Dawn (Isaac Asmiov)

I’ve come to the conclusion that Sci-Fi really means “any other genre but it just happens to be set in a different reality”. Robots of Dawn is a great detective story that just happens to be set in another world. The politics and technology are all relevant to our problem – a murder – that our Earthman detective has to solve on this distant world. Despite all the clues throughout the book I had no idea who the “murderer” of the machine was until it was revealed at the end. Well written and great reading just like all the other work of his that I have read.

False Impression (Jeffrey Archer)

I have no opinion on the author as a person (I never followed the politics) but I’m certain he writes great stories. This book reminded me of reading his work when I was growing up. You think you know what’s going to happen but somehow there’s a twist at every stage. Personally I thought this book took a bold starting point, it starts with the destruction of the World Trade Centre within which several key characters were working. My first thought was this was going to be there purely to grab the headlines when the book was launched and it would have no real bearing or impact on the story. The event actually fitted very well within the story line.