Friday, September 7, 2012

Video Book Reviews

As you may know, I've written several reviews for books I've read and enjoyed this past year. You can see them all by searching for "book review" on the right-hand search box, or showing all those entries with the label "books" (for example, the tab above). You can also filter by science fiction or fantasy if you prefer.

One thing you may have noticed, though, is that my reviews tend to be a bit long. I have suffered when people ask me what a book is about and I can't tell them quickly enough.
Enter: 1-minute book video summary/reviews/thoughts.

I've started to record a series of short (1-minute or less) videos where I talk about the book in question. There is not enough time to give a full review, naturally, so I focus on the one thing that stood out for me and try to give you, the listener, a feel for what the book is about. Graphics for the videos primarily come from the various covers, but I also use inside illustrations and any relevant pictures.

Thus far, I've created 4 and embed them below, in order of when I created them. 
Check them out! It will only take a minute per video.

Railsea by China Mieville

Text: Railsea is China Mieville's latest work, and a modern retelling of Herman Melville's Moby Dick. The story takes place in a world where humans live on scattered islands separated by the tracks of the railsea. You may ask "what about the ocean?," to which I reply "what ocean?" The railsea, its nature is the great mystery of the book. The railsea, sitting on the flatearth; that is the second level. Tracks & ties, in the random meanders of geography & ages, in all directions. Extending forever. So I encourage you to hop on board for the greatest train-ride of your life, in China Mieville's Railsea.

A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge
Text: A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge is an epic space adventure on the grandest of scales. Humans have inadvertently unleashed a Blight, which threatens to engulf the Galaxy. The solution to their problem, however, has crash landed on a distant planet with a medieval-level society. Two rival groups in that planet are on the verge of war as they struggle to control the advanced technology that has fallen into their hands. The author combines many interesting ideas together, such as [garble of ideas]. There may be a lot going on, but Vernor Vinge manages to tie everything together in A Fire Upon the Deep.

Embassytown by China Mieville

Text: Embassytown by China Mieville is a science fiction story set in the world of Arieka. Now, the author introduces some interesting concepts, such as the travel through the immer and the creatures within it, but the real focus is in the alien Ariekei and their unique Language. Ariekei have two mouths and use both to produce Language, a language unique in the Galaxy. A language that reflects reality. The story revolves around the arrival of an Ambassador, a human pair that have been bred to speak Language. This new Ambassador, however, is physically impossible, and when he speaks the Ariekei are driven mad in China Mieville's Embassytown.

The Scar by China Mieville

Text: The Scar, by China Mieville, is the second book in the Bas-Lag universe and takes place shortly after Perdido Street Station. Despite being a sequel, it can actually be read on its own. The story follows a young woman as she flees from the chaos in New Crobuzon and is then captured by the floating pirate city, Armada. There she meets some amazing characters, such as the Brucolac and Uther Doul with his potential sword. The story is far less horrific than the prior novel, at least until you reach the anophelli. Armada is racing towards endless possibilities as it nears The Scar by China Mieville.

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