Book N Tech

Saturday, November 2, 2013


      Flotilla is a dystopian story in which a messed-up teen named Jim is thrown into the ocean, literally and figuratively, to become both a survivor and a hero. Jim leaves an addiction rehab center to join his father aboard an experimental colony off the Los Angeles coast raising fish through the process of mariculture (open-sea fish farming).  This floating city is also a dangerous ecosystem, filled with strange and dangerous characters.   Daily adventures reveal that the colony has become a conduit for drug-dealing, gambling and human trafficking.  Fortunes have been created that people will lie, cheat or kill to protect.  Jim is forced to accept that second chances can come with strings attached. 

     This was my only book I reviewed back on The Fireplace blog so this is kinda of a merge between the old and new. Book was good. Really good. So good it's been nominated for the upcoming Book N Tech Editor Choice award for best YA dystopian novel. One of the better things is the Main Character: Jim. He's a dynamic teen going through typical teen troubles like drugs, violence, and getting attacked by pirates (the struggle right?) The dialogue is rich and easy to understand and get down with. The story line is a bit slow for some young tastes but the rich tale is hard to put down. 

   5/5 A really good science fiction YA dystopian fantasy good for 13 and up. It features a real life kid (Jim Westerfield) facing problems in his home both on the sea and at home plus he has all the same most kids have. So if you like what I've talked about I heavily encourage you to go and grab you a copy. (BTW the sequel comes out on Black Friday!)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Computer History

The computer is in fact an astonishing  invention. When the computer was first made it was called the abacus which is used to perform basic tasks. Every computer supports some kind of input, processes, and outputs. When computers were starting to be made, there were different generations of the computer. In this article I'll take you through three, basic generations. 

First Generations computers- First electronic computers used vacuum tubes, were huge, and complex. The computer was programmed using plug boards and switches, supporting input from an IBM card reader, and output to an IBM card punch. The computer took 167 square meters, weighted 27 tons, and consumed 150 kilowatts of power.

Second Generation computers- They came a lot thanks to the invention of the transistor, which then started replacing vacuum tubes for the computers. Transistors consumed less power, produced less heat, and were much smaller compared to the first generation computers.  The second generation computers are obviously much bigger compared to today's computer's but were a vast improvement over the previous generation.

As you can tell there  are a lot of changes with the computers today then there were when computer has first came out. They have made the computers smaller so they could be more movable then the first and second generation computers. The computers today are a lot smaller  than some of the first computers ever made, but are so much more powerful it's mind boggling. So if you were to learn something new about computers, it's that technology has changed a lot  to get computers and laptops where they are today.

Monday, October 28, 2013

World, Incorporated

If your nation failed in its most desperate hour, who do you think would step into its place?

A solitary man approaches a farmhouse through a vast wheat field in the American Midwest. Few know his name or his past, not even his employer, the CEO of World, Incorporated, who barely understands or cares what drives him. The CEO has called him by the codename “Sliver” since they met, and for the last four years Agent Sliver has efficiently accomplished covert missions that might ultimately give the company an edge on its competitors. But this is no ordinary tale of corporate espionage:
World, Incorporated is one of five “supercorporations” which, having overthrown the world’s governments in the wake of decades of growing financial turmoil, spend their near-limitless resources competing with each other for global supremacy in the post-national society of 2058. They compete to accumulate the greatest share of loyalty from the world’s population, employing both great public works and clandestine sabotage of their rivals to do so. Sliver is an agent of the latter, and he is very good at his job.

This captivating action-thriller, a "1984" for the information age, follows a conflicted young man along his often violent path to revenge and redemption in a 21st century dystopia. Unknown to that man, the mission awaiting him in the farmhouse ahead will not go as planned. Nothing will be the same after.

Dreadful cover but I want you to relax Tom because you wrote an amazing story. First, let’s get the technical stuff out of the way. I care little about grammar, I’m always searching for a great plot first. But the author delivered on grammar for those out there who are concerned about that area.

The story is about an agent named Sliver who works for the corporate juggernaut World, Inc. He’s basically an assassin even though he runs away from that title as if it's a cross-eyed girl with no teeth. (I’m trying to be funny)

Does anybody like Dr. Who? Because I do and in a way this writer adopts the whole companion thing from that series. Throughout the story he’s accompanied by his talking ship, a young girl named Kelly and a cyborg named Rex. His group of friends who call themselves the Shredders also appear. Sliver and all the people I just mentioned are characters you want to hang out and play Mario Kart with. Nobody made you want to stop reading, they were all enjoyable characters.

Another cool character in the story was Shawn Chase. He’s kind of the John Stewart/Stephen Colbert type of “journalist”. Those two comedians play a big role in politics and the politics was heavily present in this story. I loved every bit of it, ranging from the news blog entry dedicated chapters, the corporate takeover, taxes, credits and nukes…oh my. As a political junkie that all made me happier than a Government Shutdown or State of the Union night.

Of course there’s the main plot, which focuses on Silver’s hate for a CEO named Carnegie. We eventually learn the disturbing reason behind his hatred for the man.

The story opened strong, even though we had to get through a bit of character description before the action. I loved how even though it was set in the future, it felt as if the story could take place today. I researched the author aka cyber stalked him and based on his profile it’s not surprising he managed to put together a story like this that makes politics seem “hip” and throw in some cool action scenes.

As for the ending, it didn’t catch me off guard but the lead in was entertaining.

I would recommend this book to my friends and enemies, 4 out of 5 stars. Tom, dude, give that cover a major face-lift. At least consider putting an awesome new world flag with some corporate logos all over it on the cover.

Amazon Link:

Hive Monkey

      In order to hide from his unwanted fame as the spitfire-pliot-monkey who emerged from a computer game to defeat the dangerous corporation who engineered him, the charismatic and dangerous Ack-Ack Macaque is working as a pilot on a world-circling nuclear powered Zeppelin. But when the cabin of one of his passengers is invaded by the passenger's own dying doppelganger, our hirsute hero finds himself thrust into another race to save the world - this time from an aggressive hive mind, time-hopping saboteurs, and an army of homicidal Neanderthal assassins!

      The main reason I got this book (requested from NetGalley) because the title reminded me of a comic book series called Hit Monkey. Well the book was pure awesome first off living up to the high expectations I set for it. All I gotta say is this, If you like all-nighters this is for you because the plot is so amazing you can't put it down. From the amazing quality of the book's formatting, to the artwork inside and outside, and the amazing story line. I gotta give Gareth Powell credit thou for the amazing story he's weaved that will string you along every. single. plot. twist. Just read it if you really wanna know what I speak of. 

    5/5 When I get awards up this is totally winning Steampunk novel of the year. Hands down brethren. Yeah it had all the classic symptoms like steampunk airships, the brass goggles, etc but I've never seen a monkey and some weird other stuff thrown in. Well done Mr. Powell.