The Stainless Steel Rat omnibus

  1. The stainless steel rat
  2. The stainless steel rat’s revenge
  3. The stainless steel rat saves the world

Read for The Sci Fi Experience 2011

When I spotted this in Chapters bookshop I knew I had to buy it, if only because it is the inspiration for Carl’s blog. Plus, you know, it is one of those sci-fi adventures that you really should have at least flicked through at some stage.

Slippery Jim is our narrator, and our hero, of sorts. He is also the Stainless Steel Rat, or at least that is how he describes himself. Slipping through the technological world and committing many daring acts of thievery and innumerable cons. Safe and secure in the knowledges that his wits, charm and logic will get him out of danger. Until, that is, he is caught. The Special Corps, so special that no one is really sure they exist until, of course, they catch you, succeed in arresting him. But instead of throwing him in jail, or punishing him they offer him a job. Come and work for them. So he does, after all, he was never a bad man, just one who wanted his bit of freedom.

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February spotlight

One of the nice things about working in a library & processing all those new books is that you come across titles you normally never would. For instance I don’t often check out the picture book section of book shops. Or at least, I didn’t before I started working in a library. Because once you’ve opened a few of them, and flicked through them, you really do come to love some of them. So I’m hoping to start a new monthly feature on this blog where I highlight an author or illustrator that I’ve come across and really liked.

And I’m starting with Emily Gravett

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The Wee Free Men

ISBN: 9780552549059 ; Annotations on L-Space

Some things start before other things.

Tiffany Aching lives up on The Chalk of Discworld, in a rural shepherding community. She was the youngest of her family, until the baby brother was born, now she spends much of her time minding him. She is looking after him when something decidedly odd occurs, a strange monster leers out of the stream. Puzzled, she uses her brother as bait, before smacking Jenny Green-teeth back to wherever it was she came from. Not that she intended her brother to be harmed, but she did her research and knew what has to be done. But this is merely the beginning, and soon Tiffany is mixed up in a whole heap of more trouble as she sets off to rescue her brother from the clutches of the Queen of Fairyland.

Crivens!

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Inside of a dog

What Dogs See, Smell, and Know
Like the author I am a dog person, I like cats too, don’t get me wrong. Actually I like all animals, but there is nothing quite like having a dog about the place. And any pet-owner likes to know that they are doing their best for their dog, and most love to know what is going on in their heads. So I really enjoyed reading this book. The author is a scientist; she teaches psychology and has worked with many animals, including dogs. But this is not a science-book per se. It is easy to understand, and easy to read. But it has the science behind it, as well as plenty of anecdotes. Which, I know, aren’t scientific, but it still makes for a good read.

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The woman in black

ISBN: 9780099511649

It was nine-thirty on Christmas eve.

Arthur Kipps is a mature and responsible individual. His first wife & child died many years ago, but he has since found happiness with his second wife and her children, although they are mostly grown at this stage. One Christmas eve the family is gathered together, and as is traditional the children begin to tell each other ghost stories. But when they ask Arthur to join in he surprises them by becoming quite shaken, and almost fleeing the cosy room, returning later and pretending that his emotions had not overwhlemed him. He knows his behaviour has upset and puzzled his wife, but feels unable to confide in her, as he doesn’t wish to relive the memories, instead he decides to write out exactly what happened. If at some future date he dies then this story will be read.

And it is a haunting, creepy and atmospheric tale.

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