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Display Name: Planxty
About me: Sporadically employed scientist/musician; Victorian era style scholar with touch of renaissance.
Reading Interests: Science-fiction, mystery.

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Planxty's Comments    
Cover ArtThe illusionist [videorecording]
Don’t confuse this with The Prestige which appeared about the same time. The Prestige is the one with the two brothers. This is a good movie with the story about a late 1800s magician from humble origins reconnecting with his childhood gentry sweetheart who is engaged to a malevolent Austrian prince. The main character is, in fact, the chief of police who has to straddle the line between following orders to rein in the magician, and a grudging admiration for the magician and dislike for the prince. A good film for those who like magic, plots with historical references and settings, surprise endings, interesting filming styles, but everything being plausible to reality in the end. It’s interesting it seems to be mostly an eastern European production but you don’t realize that until you come to the credits.   posted Apr 24, 2014 at 1:38PM

Cover ArtIron man 3 [videorecording]
Not too bad a movie. Standard action movie superhero stuff but Stark/Downey Jr.’s slightly edgy phrasing is refreshing.   posted Jan 25, 2014 at 11:55AM

Cover ArtStorm Front
by John Sandford
I am disappointed and annoyed by what seems to be product placement (for which I presume the author is getting paid). Okay, slip one or two in a book but there’s at least 9 products specified by brand name (if you include repetition of one 3x in one paragraph) by page 16 and at least another 2 by page 28. Yes, very occasionally mentioning an item’s brand may help illustrate a character’s persona, but in this case the items could equally have been called by their generic names (a soft drink, 2 restaurant chains, a new car, an electronic tablet, 3 large store chains, etc.) Our library books were a last bastion for fiction escapism but are being contaminated with crass commercialism. Other than that the book is kind of refreshing for his Prey series. Just about all the books in this series are gruesome with body counts and detailed descriptions of unpleasant acts. This one takes a break from that pattern and lets you just enjoy the writing which is kind of lighthearted.   posted Nov 12, 2013 at 1:46PM

Cover ArtDragon’s time
by Anne McCaffrey and Todd McCaffrey
The summary section says, "Lorana plans a complicated time-travel journey." "Complicated" is the word. I found this book incredibly hard to follow. I read the whole thing but only small sections seemed to hold together, with no overall flow to the story. There’s also a large number of characters and after a dozen or so I can’t remember who all these minor but periodically recurring people are. It isn’t even the time jumping that makes it confusing, it’s the bad structuring of the book. Subject-wise most of it seems to be angst about the various females of Pern having babies. I guess the story was in there somewhere but it was so obscured by this background stuff I frankly don’t even know what the story really was, apart from something to do with shifting dragonriders back and forth in time in order to make sure there’s enough ready at the time when needed. This is one of the few books in this series where I would also say you must read the previous book (Dragon’s Blood). Most dragon books can be read in almost any order, but with this one it really helps to have read the other one first. Or just do as I recommend and don’t bother with this one at all.   posted Sep 29, 2013 at 11:32PM

Cover ArtDragonsblood
by McCaffrey, Todd
Todd McCaffrey’s style is very similar to his mother’s and if you didn’t read the cover you’d think it was Anne still writing the books. There’s so many of the dragonriders of Pern books that unless you are religious about keeping a list of read books it is hard to keep track of which ones you have read. Fortunately the set of dragon stories appearing in the past decade or so since Anne McCaffery’s son took over do not have to be read in strict chronological order. This is one that is set in two times, both relatively early in Pern human occupation, but it is a stand-alone story. I am writing this while the book is still on my borrowed list because I know in 6 months I’ll look at the library’s collection of dragonrider books and won’t be able to remember which ones I have read. I suppose in a way that’s saying they are good enough for me to keep reading them, but individual books are not so stand-out that they won’t ultimately get lost in a crowd of their own making.   posted Sep 6, 2013 at 4:06PM

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