Saturday, October 17, 2015

Book Review: Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson

Around the time when Brandon Sanderson finished publishing his Mistborn trilogy, he revealed that his goal was to make a set of trilogies set in the same world and spanning a long period of time. In the meantime (and among many other projects), he decided to fill in the gaps between the first and second trilogies with stories of a band of characters in a sort of Old-West Mistborn time period. The first of these was The Alloy of Law, published in 2011. Now we get to see the next of these: Shadows of Self, which is actually the start of a brand new trilogy beyond the original plan with the second book coming out in January (so The Allow of Law is a bit of an interlude between the trilogies).

Read on for my spoiler-free review.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Leaving Chile: The Next Adventure

This is a short post to let you know the latest in my adventures. Over the past few weeks, I've been packing up and getting ready to move out of Chile. My current fellowship has ended and after these four years I'll be returning to the United States. Specifically, I'll be moving to New York to work at the American Museum of Natural History. This next job is a bit of a hybrid job with a variety of tasks to do. I'll be helping out with some of the science carried out by the BDNYC group, mentoring students, producing visualizations, helping manage their brown dwarf database, etc, etc. It's a job that will train me in a variety of ways and can serve as a stepping stone in my future career.

My experience in Chile has been good. There's been ups and downs as with any place. I've had lots of trips to explore the country and others in South America and tried lots of tasty food. Scientifically, I had plenty of telescope observing runs. The amount of data I got was overwhelming and while I could focus on keeping track of it and organizing it, I couldn't always work on reducing or analyzing it. Socially, I met many interesting people and made some good friends. The nature of an astronomer's career, though, is that one has to frequently move and these connections can be lost. Fortunately, today's internet connectivity allows us to stay in touch.

I look forward to this new change and being back in the US. My blog will continue detailing my adventures and, of course, providing reviews for the books I read.