The Postman

By David Brin

Rating: 4 stars

In a post-apocalyptic America, a travelling minstrel stumbles on the uniform of an old US postman and his life is changed forever.

I really enjoyed this book. As well as being a page-turning adventure story, it was about hope and the things that can build and destroy it. The protagonist is an idealist and it’s his internal battles that drive a lot of the plot. Definitely worth reading.

Book details

ISBN: 9781857234053
Publisher: Orbit
Year of publication: 1985


By David Brin

Rating: 5 stars

This is an excellent collection of short stories and essays by Brin. The stories don’t really have much of a theme, but the essays all touch on Brin’s theme of ‘otherness’: a valuing of diversity and change.

The essays are good, but the stories are uniformly excellent. In particular, Dr Pak’s Preschool left a lingering sense of unease after it, and is certainly not one that I’ll forget any time soon. Those Eyes (an alternative explanation for UFOs) and The Warm Space (biological and artificial intelligence tries to co-exist in the solar system) are lighter and left me with a smile, while they still have an edge to them. Even What Continues… And What Fails…, although it started off slowly grew to have some enormous themes, as well as ideas that were just thrown away, which could have formed entire novels themselves. Highly recommended.

Book details

ISBN: 9781857233100
Publisher: Orbit
Year of publication: 1994

Secrets of Computer Espionage: Tactics and Countermeasures

By Joel McNamara

Rating: 4 stars

This book was a pretty comprehensive introduction to electronic espionage, covering everything from what to do when you have physical access to a machine to network attacks, searching for evidence on a compromised machine and more. It took it from both the point of view of the attacker and defender, first talking about methods of attack and then countermeasures. Although it didn’t necessarily go into great detail, there were a lot of links to the web and references to tools a spy could use. A good overview of the subject.

Book details

ISBN: 9780764537103
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Year of publication: 2003

The Stepford Wives

By Ira Levin

Rating: 3 stars

Joanna Eberhart and her family move to the small town of Stepford where all the womenfolk seem to do is to cook and clean.

I enjoyed this short, but very creepy, book. The tension builds nicely to a fairly powerful climax at the end of the novel. I just found it a bit of a shame that nothing is explicitly stated at the end though. I was tearing through it and suddenly it stopped. The epilogue at the end was a bit cryptic too.

Book details

ISBN: 9780060080846
Publisher: Perennial
Year of publication: 1972

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