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August 2017
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Quickening

Wow. August already, well into the year and rapidly heading for the next one; with the weather seeming to change from hot and summery to cold and wintry.

I can’t say the year has gone by quickly. It has been reasonably eventful and full, and hasn’t seemed to fly by like some years; years where you are celebrating New Year and the next thing it’s December.

But it is near the end of summer now. I can see leaves on the ground already, colder days and more rain. It’s a lot cooler in the evenings now, more even that it was just a few weeks ago.

Gotta ask where the time goes, but never get an answer.

Clean Up

Hmm, the first thing I need to do is clean everything up here. I’ve just clicked on some of the links in the BlogRoll and a few of them are either stale with no posts or gone altogether – one has turned into a hotel!

So I’ll look to updating the blogroll over the next few days, as things and I have changed over the years. Although I’d like to have the links as a varied lot and don’t want to link to a lot of political blogs etc., but I have become more political in the last few years. Mainly through Indyref in 2014 where I campaigned for Yes, was part of my local Yes group and did other things including knocking doors, helping out with public meetings  recording said meetings, editing them and putting them online for all to see.

I learned a lot during that period and became more active after the referendum, including becoming a local Community Councillor.

 

Boo

I haven’t posted here for yonks. But I have just changed servers and hosts and spent a couple of days fiddling about with ftp and WordPress backups, and finally, today, thanks to help from  my new hosting provider, I have successfully managed to update the transferred sites to how they were about five years ago.

Seriously, five years since I last blogged here, and a year or so since I last blogged on the other blog that shares this site. I need to stop lazing around.

Notes on my books

The books have been entered and the database tidied up. It is ninety nine percent done and there are 882 books. It has brought up a few questions too as there are some books I know I have but they aren’t in the database because I haven’t come across them to put them in.

The program connects to an online database and it – I’m thinking – is just a collection of the details entered by the users of the program: which would explain the wrong book covers on some books. I don’t think there is an official database of all the books published, but I could be wrong.

I have 5 Sol Yurick books, a great writer. The Warriors is obviously his best in my opinion but he wrote some cracking short stories too.

There are also 5 John Wyndham paperbacks, all Penguin editions from the early to mid eighties. I was put off Wyndham by school but found The Web in particular to be a very good read. His short stories I found a little so-so but they were interesting.

There are a lot of Star Trek novels and a few Star Trek related books; including the making of the TV series where it is noted that the Romulans are the fierce warriors and the Klingons the sly ones: a total reverse of what came after. I bought a lot of the spin off novels during the nineties, mainly at second hand shops for pennies (and don’t some of them show it; a couple are hanging together by threads) and read and enjoyed most of them. They were fun little romps but I stuck to the various TV series and didn’t particularly enjoy the original book series that were not connected to the TV shows (I like DS9 above the other Star Trek series but will always have a soft spot for Kirk).

Also TV related are two Babylon 5 books, two Highlander books, three Buffy novelisations, three Angel novelisations and three X-files books.

There were a lot more A E Van Vogt books than I thought, and it’s split roughly fifty-fifty between novels and short story collections. Again a lot of them look second hand.

My copy of Lord of The Rings dates back to paperbacks printed in 1981 and bought three or four years later. They were bought new and are well read, although I think it was the extra material after the books that I read more than once.

A nice paperback copy of Great Crime of Grapplewick by Eric Sykes, who I loved when I was growing up. Nice and well written but not laugh out loud funny.

There’s quite a lot of nonfiction; most of it computer related.

Three books by John Sladek, New Apocrypha, Maps and Roderick at Random. I definitely bought Roderick but can’t seem to find it. I do know that I read Roderick at Random, and enjoyed it so much I then went out and bought Roderick.

Half a dozen Clifford D Simak books but no City, which was his most memorable work for me.

Only 9 James Herbert books. I think I gave away or sold off the ones I bought in the eighties: most of them were bought new too.

Two books by Benford and Ecklund; If The Stars Are Gods and Find The Changeling. Paperbacks from 1979 and 1980. Both enjoyable reads with If The Stars Are Gods having some of the best aliens I’ve ever read about.

Four Harlan Ellison books, all short story collections. I enjoyed Web Of The City but didn’t really get into his longer works. I think the short story is where Harlan rules supreme.

Only 3 Stainless Steel Rat books, two paperbacks and a hardback. Again they must have been given away or sold.

Only two Stephen King books. Something seriously wrong there as I was flipping through a paperback copy of The Stand a few months ago and also have short story collections from the eighties and nineties.

Three Peter Macey novels, Alien Culture (his best), Distant Relations and Stationary Orbit. A much under rated writer and a couple of book dealers – when I was searching for other books by him -  went Who? I doubt if there’s anything on the net about him but he wrote three great SF books in my eyes.

Final top ten:

1  Bob Shaw, 52

2  Robert E Howard, 51

3  Philip K Dick, 36

4  Philip Jose Farmer, 28

5  Theodore Sturgeon, 25

6  Kenneth Robeson, 24

7  Robert A Heinlein, 14

    Robert Silverberg, 14

    Neal Asher, 14

10 A E Van Vogt, 13

Top Ten

Almost there with inputting my book collection into the program Book Collector Pro. There are 709 books in the program now. There’s a pile of hardbacks to be entered and around about 50 books that will have to be entered by hand as they have no ISBN numbers – including to my surprise a double by Robert Silverberg; Those Who Watch/Thorns. It turns out I don’t have many Robert Silverberg books, which is really weird as I love Robert Silverberg and bought lots of his books during the eighties, but there are only 12 (plus the one to be entered, making a grand total of 13).

2012-04-21 13.46.28

I took a picture of a couple of books. Silverberg’s Stochastic Man, one of his very best in my opinion. The Mote in God’s Eye by Niven and Pournelle, my introduction to them which made sure I bought their other books. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury an edition from the early eighties and Taller Than Trees by John Gordon Davies, a mainstream novel which I thought was brilliant. I can still remember quite a bit of the book today.

Coincidentally only ten writers managed to reach double figures. I don’t think this will change much with about 100 or so books to be put into the database.

Bob Shaw still tops the chart but only just.

Bob Shaw; 52

Robert E Howard; 50

Philip K Dick; 35 (Less than I thought I had)

Philip Jose Farmer;  28

Kenneth Robeson; 24 (Would have been a lot more if I didn’t get rid of a lot of Doc Savages years ago)

Theodore Sturgeon; 22

Neal Asher; 14 (Pretty impressive considering I only discovered him about a year and a half ago.)

A.E. Van Vogt; 13

Robert Silverberg; 12 (I have no idea what happened to most of his books I had.)

Robert A Heinlein; 10

I also brought out a few books to stick atop my to be read pile, and hope to get around to re reading them in the near future.