Cutting reviews down to size, and passing the savings on to you
The Maltese Falcon
by Dashiell Hammett
Just as great as the John Huston film, the text is spartan and intense. And Sam Spade is awesome.
Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage
by Clifford Stoll
A gripping autobiographical tale about a grad student who unwittingly finds
himself chasing a hacker, featuring a nice mix of clever technical stunts
and the effects that the zealous pursuit had on the author's life.
My Brain is Open by Bruce Schechter
How eccentric do you have to be to become one of
history's most prolific mathematicians? Read this
inspiring biography of Paul Erdos
to find out.
The Warrior's Apprentice by
Lois McMaster Bujold
Finally a story about a character who can out-Ender Ender Wiggin
without becoming a loser in the sequels.
Bujold is rapidly becoming one of my favorite authors.
Mathenauts edited by Rudy Rucker
This collection of mathematical fiction features some wonderful stories as well as
a few bombs, but the wheat outweighs the chaff.
Bridge of Birds by
A really neat adventure story told with the style and background of a Chinese
myth. The writing is engaging and the humor is first rate.
Doorways in the Sand by Roger Zelazny
I went looking for something different and I found this gem from the Golden
Age of science fiction. It combines clever ideas with unusual storytelling
tricks and a whimsical sense of humor.
The Icarus Effect
by Timothy Zahn
Another great plot-twisting adventure. Easily the most entertaining book I've
read in the last six months (since Cryptonomicon).
Despite its flaws, this is a great piece of fiction.
Neal Stephenson to the nth power.
Vertical Run by
An entertaining, surprisingly intelligent thriller.
In the Beginning
was the Command Line by
Long, but excellent and insightful essay on
Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution by
Steven Levy (First two chapters
I especially liked the first third of the book which dealt
with the original MIT "hackers". Their inventive spirit is an inspiration
to us all.
Chance to See by
Brilliantly written, educational, and fun.
The Double Helix
Graduate students do research and win a Nobel prize.
This is one of those rare books that combines excitement, adventure, and
legitimately intriguing ideas.
The Blackcollar by
I finally found this early Zahn novel at a used bookstore. It is just awesome.
Chaos: Making a New Science
by James Gleick
Boffo. A good one.
The Magic Mirror of M.C.Escher by Bruno Ernst
An interesting look at Escher's art with mathematical explanations.
Entertaining, believable sci-fi; much better than Cramer's other effort, Einstein's Bridge.