Thursday, August 18, 2011

Robopocalypse a review

As if I didn't have enough to worry about with the eminent zombie apocalypse, I now have to add a possible robot uprising to the list.

It's hard to read Robopacalypse without thinking about the most pervasive techno nightmare in popular culture, the Terminator franchise. Daniel H. Wilson's robot/computer uprising story, in reality, draws few comparisons. He begins in such a benign place, turning everyday computer controlled appliances against us, a stark contrast to the nuclear holocaust unleashed in the Terminator universe. Instead of a horrible unknown future for humanity, in Robopocalypse we know the final outcome of the struggle within the first dozen pages but it's getting the characters there(in an unforeseen way) that makes this a great read.

I love the Terminator movies but while the premise is creepy there is something unbelievable about the whole thing. Robopocalypse seems like a more likely scenario. Instead of a murderous Skynet we have Archos who we aren't completely sure isn't somehow bent on helping it's human creators in the long run. While killing humans at an astonishing rate, Archos is also revitalizing the natural world. Instead of specifically creating killing robots, with Archos we see the evolution of common everyday robots modified for a new purpose.

There are several threads that due to the structure of the novel are never wrapped up. Why were humans being experimented on? What will happen to the freeborn as a species? What happened to Takeo Nomura and Mikiko? These threads could easily result in more novels something I'm hoping for.

I'd be remiss in not mentioning that while he currently lives in Portland, Oregon, Daniel Wilson is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma and his background is heavily reflected in the book.

I really enjoyed this book. It's the type of work that fires the imagination, go read it, or you can wait for the movie. Wilson sold the movie rights to the novel before he even finished writing the book. I'm excited to see what ends up on the screen.

Daniel H. Wilson gave a great interview to The Geeks Guide to the Galaxy.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ron Swanson Awesomness

There are some amazing artist out there tackling the unfathomable depths of the subject that is Ron Swanson. Check them out here.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Packing For Mars: Mary Roach

I've been bothering everyone around me with facts about the space program for a couple of weeks now. I spent a good half hour describing the development of the space toilet to a friend at the pub the other day and it's all due to this book.
Mary Roach has tackled the subjects of sex, death and now space all in a hilarious but extremely informative style that always keeps me glued to the page and staying up to read way too late into the night. I can't recommend this book enough for those of us who want to be educated and entertained at the same time.
How cool is it that they made a commercial for the book? Get it here.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Milos in Paris

Again I find my self way behind the times. We got to see classical guitarist Milos a couple of months back at an exclusive album release party put on by Universal.
We have been to a couple of events like this in the past and they are usually jumping until two in the morning or thereabouts but those always involved rock bands. I probably don't have to tell you that the classical crowd is a little different. Right when we walked in it was clear that we were the youngest people there by several years. Like all these things there were great snacks and even greater booze. The concert was short and sweet and then instead of everyone gathering around the makeshift bar they all started to split. A few stuck around to talk with Milos but by 11 the place was virtually empty. That left a small group of us to do our best to liquidate the bar.

Milos was a really good guitarist, the only problem was that at the end of every song he had a look on his face that would lead you to think he had just creamed his jeans. It was hilarious and awesome at the same time.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

At the Drive-In and final album greatness

At the Drive in's final album hasn't left regular rotation in my house since it came out way back in 2000.

This album makes me think of other exceptional final efforts from some of the bands I love.
Whiskeytown - Pneumonia
The Pixies - Trompe le Monde
Uncle Tupelo - Anodyne