"Anyone who is in a relationship with a psychopath - either at
work or at home - is likely to find it a distressing experience."
Jonathon Wilson, "Focus" Magazine.
READ THIS, READ THAT, REVIEWED HERE, HOW'S THAT!
(slightly adapted line from "Rosegrove" by Clawfinger)
by Michael Noyce
Howdy folks! Yet more book reviews for you to digest.
I've taken the opportunity to change the layout of this article
somewhat and divided it into sections to allow me to include
other types of books that would have made for some pretty short
articles had I reviewed them seperately.
-------------------------ooO FICTION Ooo-------------------------
I seem to have overdosed on the humorous material this time
round. Well, it's the stuff I enjoy the most so please forgive
"Flying Dutch" by Tom Holt
Another book, another author. This is an author who was very
highly recommended to me by a classmate at college in June 1994,
but it wasn't until late September 1994 that I actually got down
to reading it.
When Jane Doland discovered the Vanderdecker account little did
she realized what she'd got herself into. Vanderdecker, the
Flying Dutchman, and his crew are ordinary seaman, except for the
one minor fact that they are immortal and smell quite disgusting
for the best part of seven years!? Together with Jane, the
scientist who invented everything, a BBC film crew, the Flying
Dutchman falls into a series of chaotic events that could have
serious implications for the whole word.
If you like the products of Terry Pratchett's pen then you'll
feel right at home here. The styles of these two authors are
similar and yet refreshingly different. It's laughs and giggles
from the first page to the last, with a few hearty side-splitting
guffaws along the way.
Read this book at all costs!!
"Flying Dutch" by Tom Holt. Published by Orbit Books. ISBN 1-
"Ye Gods!" by Tom Holt
After my first Tom Holt book I was eager to read another and so
I got stuck into "Ye Gods!". When I say I finished this book
within a day of starting it you know it has to be good.
Jason Derry may look like any other adolescent, but when your
parents are a suburban housewife and the Supreme Being, who
decided to dip his wick in some mortal wax, then your life is a
constant trial. Things are made all the more tiresome by the gods
who run life on Earth like a game of Chess. Jason just didn't
feel his life was his own anymore and he decided he was going to
something about it - even if that means upsetting a few gods and
even the almighty Zeus himself!
Again, another book that will have you almost weeping with
laughter. The Tom Holt way portrays and combines familiar
characters and events, in this case the Greek Gods and myths, in
a modern day setting is both ingenious and hilarious!!
A riotous romp of laughter and gags from beginning to end.
"Ye Gods!" by Tom Holt. Published by Orbit. ISBN 1-85723-080-9.
"Drop The Dead Donkey 2000" by Andy Hamilton and Alastair Beaton
For those of you not familiar with this British Comedy, a brief
explanation follows. "Drop The dead Donkey" is a sitcom set in
the news room of Globelink News and centers around the office
staff: George (the dreary editor), Sally (the self-centered
newsreader), Dave (the gambling, womanizing sub-editor), Henry
(the veteran broadcaster), Damien (the frontline reporter who
will do anything to get a story), Joy (the psychopathic PA),
Helen (the Lesbian Assistant Editor) and Gus (the interfering
Chief Executive). The programme has won many BAFTAs and other
international awards over the four series made so far with more
promised in the not to distant future!
Being my all time favourite comedy programme alongside "Red
Dwarf", I was very eager to get my hands on this book.
The story is set in the weeks before the start of the new
millennium where the characters find themselves sucked into a
murder plot which reaches in the highest echelons of government;
a plot which includes conspiracy, corruption, and very poor
sexual performance which leads to an explosive climax.
Nothing escapes the humorous wit, satire, and sarcasm of Andy
Hamilton and Alister Beaton as they refer back to events that
have or could take us into the century.
For fans of the TV series this book is a must have! For those
who haven't seen or heard of "Drop The Dead Donkey" some of the
humour and depth of the characters and their relationships will
be lost. This doesn't really matter because the book is just as
funny and you get a fairly clear idea of what each character is
about as you read.
The mix of events and characters is excellent. Highly
"Drop The Dead Donkey 2000" by Andy Hamilton and Alastair
Beaton. Published by Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 0-316-
-----------------------ooO NON-FICTION Ooo-----------------------
"The Star Trek Encyclopedia" by Michael Okuda, Denise Okuda and
This is a first for me: I'm writing a review on an A3010 (Acorn
Archimedes). Yes, an Archimedes, one of those machines no one
ever uses <grin>. Actually it's my cousin's computer (he's
sitting beside me as I write this so I'd better quit saying nasty
things or he'll start complaining rather loudly!) and we're
currently sitting in the hall of my grandparents' house having
played "Zool" and "Chocks Away" (a rather natty flight simulator)
whilst drinking liters Coke all afternoon and generally having a
good time. Not more than an hour ago we managed to finish our
massive tea (we were full to bursting already after an enormous
lunch) and have had a brisk little walk to let the food go down
returning in a rather inspired mood - fresh air is good for you!
Anyway, I'm not here to comatize you with trivial matters like
these, I'm here to tell you about a book that we, my cousin and
I, both bought a while ago.
"The Star Trek Encyclopedia" is a 396 page A to Z of all things
Star Trek - obviously, what else did you expect? There are
details about all Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star
Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes and movies ever done to date.
There are entries for almost(*) every character that has
appeared, with more detailed sections for the likes of Kirk,
Spock, Picard, Sisko, etc..., detailing their family life, Star
Fleet careers and other interesting facts. Other entries include
weapons, starship classifications, uniforms, known lifeforms and
planets, and many other various interesting bits'n'bobs too
numerous to mention. There are diagrams and pictures aplenty
Concluding: Star Trek fans cannot, and should not, be without
this indispensable and informative book. It certainly answered a
great number of questions for me as well as clarifying many other
"The Star Trek Encyclopedia" by Michael Okuda, Denise Okuda and
Debbie Mirek. Published by Simon & Schuster Ltd. ISBN 0-671-
(*) I said 'almost' because I haven't found them whilst casually
browsing, this doesn't mean they aren't there - or are they?
"The Whole Internet Users Guide and Catalogue" by Ed Krol
I bought this book last year when I started university and I had
some money. :-( I was pretty new to all this Internet stuff and I
needed a book that would guide me through this new universe.
This 545 page book covers everything from the basics, like
Email, newsgroups, Telnet, and FTP archives, to the newest
developments such as the World-Wide Web. It also covers powerful
tools like Gopher, Archie, and WAIS.
If none of the above jargon means anything to you then this book
is for you. Everything has a chapter to itself and you are taken
on a comprehensive guide from the basics to more advanced
features. The book also contains a lot of background information
adding to your understanding of the Internet and how it works,
which also very interesting.
I have to confess that I have never read this book from cover-
to-cover. There are sections I still haven't read. I tended (and
still do) use this book as a reference, looking up the relevant
section when I need to. I have found it invaluable, especially
during my first trips on the Information Super Highway. It gave
me enough information as a novice user to get started and as well
as providing more advanced help as I became more experienced.
I would highly recommend this book to the novice Internet user
and the more advanced user alike.
"The Whole Internet User's Guide and Catalogue" by Ed Krol.
Published by O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. ISBN 1-56592-063-5.
The Bluffers Guides
The Bluffers Guides are a collection of small books on many
subjects from Accounting and Computing, to Weather Forecasting
and University. There are over sixty in total so there's bound to
be something for everyone.
Each book presents and explains the facts, terms and jargon on a
particular subject in a humorous, yet factual way. You'll find
you learn something without even realising you are. Writers of
course textbooks take note!!
These books are a quick and funny read. Recommended reading for
all those who thirst for knowledge or want to appear more
interesting at parties and other social gatherings.
The Bluffers Guides. Published Ravette Books. Approximately
---------------------ooO GRAPHIC NOVELS Ooo----------------------
"Star Wars - Dark Empire" by Tom Veitch
"Star Wars - Dark Empire" is set a number of years after "Return
of the Jedi". The Rebel Alliance has established a new republic
across most of the galaxy. But all was not well. Without the Jedi
Knights to keep order the new Alliance was a precarious one.
During the following years of struggle the Imperial forces
regrouped and a new Empire emerged from the old one.
The new reborn Empire strikes back at the new Alliance with a
new more devastating and unstoppable force that enslaves one
planet after another. And once again Luke, Leia and Han (now
married), along with Chewbacca, R2D2, C3PO, and other familiar
characters must battle to overcome this new threat to their
The artwork is good and colourful, conveying the atmosphere of
the films quite well. The story is very good, drawing on the
elements of the original that captured the imagination of so
many, adding some new elements and characters of its own as good
struggles to overcome evil at any cost.
Another excellent feature of this book is the 29 page history of
events after "Return Of The Jedi" to present time of this story.
It's a damn good, interesting read in its own right.
"Star Wars - Dark Empire" by Tom Veitch. Published by Boxtree
Limited. ISBN 0-7522-0987-6. £9.99.
** FUTURE ATTRACTIONS **
I still have to read all the other books that didn't make it
this time, plus those that have come into my possession since,
i.e. Robert Asprin and some stuff by Andrew Harman, who I
discovered recently. Sigh! So much to read. I dread my next
visit to the opticians as much as spending an hour under the
drill of some sadist dentist. It's criminal that in this day and
age we're tortured like that and then have to pay for the
'privilege'. I'd rather pay to be under the nurse for an hour!
Erm... quickly getting back to the matter in hand: I have loads
more graphic novels to review as well, and some other interesting
stuff that I've picked up but never got round to reading, at
least not from cover-to-cover, until now that is.
The end has been reached. Nothing more has been or will be
written. Go read something else!
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.