"Exercise extends your life ten years, but you spend 15 of them
A TALE OF CHRISTMAS WITH MY HEAD BURIED IN BOOKS
by Michael Noyce
It had been absolutely ages since I'd read anything non-study
related, partly due to the seemingly endless amount of
assignments that kept coming my way. (Actually, it could just be
that I'm a tad lazy). Anyway, with the Christmas hols approaching,
I thought it would be an ideal time to buy/borrow some books to
devour (and review).
"The Thief of Always" by Clive Barker
I'll be honest and tell you that I'd bought this book in November
with the intention of reading it during the holidays, but the best
laid plans, as they say, can go wrong. During a particularly dull
and dreary Sunday, December 12th to be precise, I picked up this
book and started to read. After a couple of chapters I stopped.
I just didn't have sufficient enthusiasm or staying power to begin
a new book. However, later, at 23:40 or thereabouts, as I was
going to bed, I had a sudden urge to read a little more. Five
hours later at almost 04:00 I'd finished it!! Doesn't time fly
when you're having fun.
The story is about a ten year old boy called Harvey Swick, who
finding life particularly boring, was longing for a bit of fun and
excitement. As if by magic, a man appeared through his window and
promised Harvey that he would take him to a place where he could
get away from it all. Mr Hood's Holiday House!
The house was wonderful - a place of miracles - where Harvey had
all that he could wish. However, Harvey soon became suspicious of
the house, its owner and its ways. As he discovered the secrets
it kept he soon realized he must leave. Little did he know that
leaving wasn't going to be easy or the end of his troubles.
This is one of Clive Barker's 'lighter' books, in that there's no
sex and it's much easier going than say "Imagica". It's also
quite short(ish), by Barker standards, being only 229 pages long.
I think it is aimed at the slightly younger reader or those
unacquainted with Barker's other books, and therefore serves as a
good introduction to the author's style. Nevertheless, the book
is very good, with illustrations by the author himself. Well
worth a read!
"The Thief of Always" by Clive Barker. Published by Harper
Collins publishers. ISBN 0-00-647331-3. £4.99.
"Only You Can Save Mankind" by Terry Pratchett
Yet another dull and dreary weekend, the first one of the
Christmas hols (Hurrah!!!), prompted me to yet again sit down, get
comfy, and er...read?!? This was my first Terry Pratchett book,
and I wasn't sure what to expect. Quite a few people I know seem
to rate most of his literary output quite highly, the books
they've actually read, anyway...
"Only You Can Save Mankind" is the name of Johnny's latest
computer game. Having just spread the ScreeWee fighters across
the universe in very small pieces, Johnny turned his attention to
the ScreeWee mothership. When suddenly, "We wish to talk",
appeared on the screen, Johnny was puzzled. It didn't say
anything about messages in the manual. How many shots it took to
kill a ScreeWee ship, yes, but nothing about messages!?! Messages
from the ScreeWee asking him for safe conduct home out of the game
I have to say that I really liked this book! The story was
original and enjoyable with loads of humour and wit throughout.
There were loads of comical observations on various subjects, e.g.
computing, hacking, the Gulf War and modern society. I can not
stress enough the fact that you should borrow/buy/steal this book
from someone. Great! Book of the holiday! I can't wait to read
some more of this guy's books.
"Only You Can Save Mankind" by Terry Pratchett. Published by
Corgi Books. ISBN 0-552-13926-2. £3.99.
"Truckers" by Terry Pratchett
Having whetted my appetite with "Only You Can Save Mankind", I
quickly aquired another Terry Pratchett book and eagerly got stuck
"Truckers" is the first part of the "Nome" trilogy, which was
shortlisted for the prestigious "Smarties" Prize. It tells the
story of Masklin and the other nomes, who decide to leave their
burrow and go wherever the lorry they've boarded takes them. When
the lorry eventually stops they find themselves in a strange
unfamiliar environment, the Store. Not only that, they also
discover more nomes - thousands of them - living under the
floorboards of the store. So began their new life...
Then comes some devastating news which turns their new world
upside down, the Store is to be demolished. It falls to Masklin,
who has only just arrived, to bring together the different nome
factions and mastermind what seems an impossible task, to leave
Yet another excellent book. Just like "Only You Can Save
Mankind" this book is crammed full of wit and humor, only more so.
The characters each have their own idiosyncrasies (cor, big word!)
which come together with hilarious results. Add to that the
nomes' perspective and interpretation of the human world around
them, and you've got an absolutely brilliant side-splitting story.
Laugh? You will. Highly recommended.
"Truckers" by Terry Pratchett. Published by Corgi Books. ISBN 0-
"10 Golden Rules of Chatting Up!" by H. Samiy
Strictly speaking this book doesn't really belong here, but I
didn't feel like writing a full-scale "RD Programme Guide" type
review of it, but here it is anyway.
To some guys women are an enigma. No matter what you do or try
you can't seem to get them interested. Of course humiliation and
a broken heart are all too common. To make matters worse your
mates seem to have no trouble chatting up the women at all. It's
enough to make you chuck it in and become a Budist monk, or
Well, all is not lost. If you're one of the individuals who knows
what I'm talking about, and I know how you feel (woe is me, woe is
me!), then you should check out this book. It could be a Godsend.
"10 Golden Rules of Chatting Up!" is a 128 page A7 (i.e. very
small) book full of helpful advice spread across ten chapters.
Topics discussed are: 'Choosing the Right Person to Chat Up',
'Reading Her Signals Correctly', 'Studying and Getting To know
Your Prey', 'Making the Right First Impression', 'Knowing the Way
to a Girls' Heart', 'Things You Must Never Say/Try On', 'Playing
Hard to Get', 'Preserving Your Ego at All Costs', 'Knowing when to
Quit', and 'Choosing the Right Chat Up Lines'.
The book is really quite funny, with humorous limericks and
amusing illustrations throughout. Of course the information
should be learnt by heart, as whipping it out (OO-ER!) in front of
a prospective girlfriend might result in a quick trip back to
square one! Quite useful.
"10 Golden Rules of Chatting-up!" by H. Samiy. Published by
Ideas Unlimited (Publishing). ISBN 1-871964-09-1. £1.99.
Phew! Not a bad holiday's reading; I think/hope you'll agree.
It certainly made a change from pouring over yawn-evoking
textbooks. I definitely intend to read and review some more books
between now and next time. See ya then.
Note: Humble thanks to Mary Ann Bart for proof reading,
suggestions and encouragement.
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.