I received a copy of this eBook courtesy of the author, and I was very interested to see what it was about. Roy T. James is recently retired from a long and diverse career with the Indian Navy and has been writing at length about his thoughts and philosophies about the world and where it’s heading.
“More Hubs that Provoke” by Roy T. James is a short collection of essays about various topics that have piqued the author’s interest. This book ranges in topic from the modern role of politicians to predictions about the evolution (or demise) of humanity. James has a particular interest in the organisation of society, and a lot of his chapters explore the changing roles of caste, democracy and gender.
This book is clearly intended to be provocative, yet I was surprised by how many of James’ ideas I agreed with. I particularly enjoyed his suggestion that with a more educated public, political leaders are becoming less distinguishable from the general populace and therefore more redundant and easily replaceable with computer programs. James is an articulate writer with clearly reasoned arguments and this is a succinct and snappy book. The only one of his statements that I found myself violently in disagreement with was right at the beginning where he suggests that writing is an unnatural form of communication for people with insufficient social skills. Given he wrote this book, that may have been irony.
A quick, interesting and eloquent read with some novel ideas.
Some of you might already know that in addition to this blog, Tinted Edges also has a Facebook page and a Tumblr page. Not too long ago I got a PM via the Tinted Edges Tumblr page asking me to review an e-book. Of course I said yes.
“Haze” by Brandon J. Barnard is a dystopian novella set in the UK in the 2070s – a dark place where air outside is poison. Jack Decker is a PA in a London company who is as awkward as he is unsatisfied in his work. He spends his spare time reading and Digital Diving, escaping into perfect virtual worlds. One day he meets a new girl at his work called Haze and all of a sudden his grey world is painted technicolour. Caught up in his new romance, the last thing Jack wants to do is think about his past but it starts to catch up with him anyway.
This book was quite a surprise. Barnard has a rather lyrical and humorous way of writing and the subject matter was subtle and nuanced. Although there were a few clever technological concepts throughout “Haze”, I think this book would have almost worked just as well in current times. The themes explored by Barnard are extremely topical to today’s society. My only criticism is that “Haze” gets off to a rather slow start and it’s not until about halfway through the book that Barnard starts to really hit his stride.
A strong debut by a self-published author, “Haze” was an unexpected and enjoyable read and I look forward to seeing what Barnard comes up with next.
A while ago I signed up to a website called Blog Tour, a website designed to connect authors and bloggers together so authors get extra publicity and bloggers get extra content. I made my account, and then promptly forgot about it, so it was a while until I checked it and I was quite surprised to see I had a message. A writer called M. K. Williams from the USA had contacted me to see if I’d like to review her new self-published ebook “Nailbiters” that you can pick up here. Of course I said yes.
“Nailbiters” is a post-apocalyptic thriller about Dora, a young woman in her 20s who was formerly a personal trainer and is now running for her life from them. The world has been invaded by aliens who seem to be bent on destroying humanity with unbelievable cruelty. Part USA road trip, part suspense-filled sci-fi horror, Dora does whatever it takes to survive as the world she knew crumbles around her. The book is narrated by Dora who constantly questions her own decisions and motives, and who provides commentary about the motives of the people around her and the shifting social values of this new society. One thing she notices is that people everywhere have started compulsively biting their nails. What does this mean, and why hasn’t Dora herself picked up this habit?
Williams has a raw and honest style of writing, and maintains suspense throughout the book with a twisting plotline and deliberately concealed information. Thrillers are not a genre I read often, but I quite liked the premise of this story and the underlying themes of power, humanity and gender relations. I think the narration was sometimes a little too self-aware, and some of Dora’s commentary and guesses about the reasons why people were doing what they were doing felt like they interrupted the flow of the story.
A quick and tense read, this book is ideal for readers who love thrillers.
I have been following this phenomenal and gritty webcomic called “Judecca” for years now. I also follow updates of the authors on tumblr. While their main project is “Judecca”, every now and then they post up some of their other projects, and that’s how I got reminded of the fantastic little collection called “Eagerness and Desire”.
I had in fact bought the PDF version of “Eagerness and Desire” about a year ago and had promptly forgotten all about it when I saw something posted about it. It jogged something in my memory, I did a quick search in my email inbox and ‘lo and behold: there it was. I had a happy little PDF of it sitting right there, ready to be read.
“Eagerness & Desire”, by Noora Heikkilä, is a collection of three short comics about love, sex and dating. The first follows the escapades of a very cute and very forward waitress. The second is about three women who summon a demon and have a blast with him. The third is about a couple, life and death.
I really love Heikkilä’s work. “Eagerness and Desire” is a great example of the feminist, sex-positive and body-positive messages that she embeds in her work. She’s a fantastic artist with a really edgy, messy, watercolour style that has just improved and improved over the years I’ve been following her work.
If you have $5 and you’re willing to throw it at a great artist and a really adorable, entertaining read in PDF format, “Eagerness and Desire” is just a mouse-click away.