Archive for the ‘JeroenW’ Category


Store Bits: Staff Choices

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

A new round of Staff Choices of both new and old books.  Enjoy!

A History of Future Cities -Daniel Brook
Recommended by Sigrid

“A pioneering exploration of four cities where East meets West and past becomes future: St. Petersburg, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Dubai. The cities share an important characteristic: they were planned as cities of the future. The premise of the city of tomorrow is a fascinating one, and this book is a wealth of information.”

Redeployment – Phil Klay (ebook here)
Recommended by Renate & Reinoud

“Honest and brutal and moving stories about war and coming home and
life as you knew it”

The Gone-Away World – Nick Harkaway (ebook)
Recommended by Sophie

“What a debut!
A post-apocalyptic world gone mad, featuring Heroes, mimes, kung-fu, Stuff, and a massive plot twist that throws the entire story on its head.
I loved it.”

The Goblin Emperor – Katherine Addison
Recommended by Tiemen

“Warning, do not read this book. You will read it in one go and then curse the author because you do not want the story to end.
This is one of those stories where everything just works. A well thought out world: elves, goblins, airships and a incredibly detailed and intriguing Byzantine-like imperial court. An very likeable protagonist who you can’t help but root for. And a smart story about politics, doing the right thing and deadly court intrigue.
All I hope is that Katherine Addison will write a second novel soon.
In the meantime I’ll be rereading The Goblin Emperor again.”

Hyperion – Dan Simmons (ebook)
Recommended by JeroenW

“Don’t let the cover fool you into thinking this is a fantasy novel. In fact, it’s a love letter to science fiction. It’s a frame story about six travellers who are going to meet the The Shrike, a supernatural being covered in razorsharp blades.
During their travels the companions each tell their reason for doing so, and each of their stories is representative of a science fiction sub-genre (military SF, cyberpunk etc.).
A great introduction to SF, and a great read.”

Store Bits: Staff Choices

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Some more newly-added Staff Choices (not necessarily of new books, though :-) ).

I Didn’t Do My Homework Because… – Benjamin Chaud & Davide Cali
Recommended by Shirley

“I would have been happy if I had this book when I was a kid… A very funny excuse is: ‘I had to help my uncle build a high-tech do-my-homework-for-me machine, but when finally finished, it didn’t work.’”

Annihilation – Jeff VanderMeer (ebook)
Recommended by JeroenW

“This book is really spooky. A Lovecraftian tale for the modern age, unsettling and surreal.
Already one of my favorite reads of 2014!”

Battle Cry of Freedom – James McPherson (ebook)
Recommended by Jeroen

“More than 25 years after its first publication, still by far the best overview of th American Civil War.
Excellent analysis of its causes and well-written.”

The Savage Altar – Asa Larsson (ebook)
Recommended by Nicki

“I re-started this after getting distracted years ago. It has been ’staring’ at me ever since and I’m so pleased that I pulled it out of my book case again.
Her descriptions of the Kiruna countryside, the Swedish winter and the people have me wanting to book my next vacation there!”

The Conqueror’s Shadow – Ari Marmell (ebook)
Recommended by Jouke

“Slick magic, dry humor, and brutal action is what this book is about.
It’s a welcome change of pace from the myriad of generic, dime-a-dozen fantasy titles.”

Store Bits: Staff Choices

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

A new round of Staff Choices!  You can find these on little inserts in the books around both stores (and on separate Staff Choice shelves), and they can now also be found online on the books’ respective detailed pages (just click on one of the titles below and look at the bottom of that page).  Full integration, slowly coming together!

Bitter Seeds (Part One of the Milkweed Triptych) – Ian Tregillis (ebook)
Recommended by JeroenW

“I never would have thought that a story that basically amounts to ‘British Cthulhu-zealots versus Nazi X-Men’ could be anything but schlock, but Ian Tregillis proved me wrong.
The setup: the beginning of WWII coincides with the coming of age of Doktor von Westarp’s surviving test subjects, who have battery-operated powers such as walking through walls, telekinesis and – most importantly – seeing into the future. They succeed in almost bringing Britain to its knees, until the top secret Milkweed department decides to call in the warlocks. But the price for their services is quite dear…
Once I started reading this, I couldn’t stop. It’s a dark story with great characters, exciting action sequences and a suitably grim ending, which serves as the set-up for the two sequels.”

Grain Brain – David Perlmutter (ebook)
Recommended by Sigrid

“After all the bad news about carbs & gluten neurologist Perlmutter takes it one step further and talks about the connection between gluten and your brain.”

I Am Pilgrim – Terry Hayes (ebook)
Recommended by Martijn

“Great espionage thriller!
Big read, loads of story & background.  Aside from a plot-hole or two, this was a whole lotta fun!
Believable character- building, lots of action and all over the planet (but mostly in Turkey).
Loved it!
8,5 out of 10.”

The One Plus One – Jojo Moyes
Recommended by Sophie

“Heart-warming romantic story rooted firmly in real life. I especially loved Jess; she felt like a very real person that I probably cross paths with every day without knowing it. There are some great passages about what it means to be scraping by, literally counting pennies every day, and what that does to you. But then there were also some lovely scenes about how finding someone that you can connect with – instinctively and by getting to know them – increases you. I thought it was a wonderful book!”
Blogmistress’s note: this title is due out in February 2014.  I was one of those lucky people that received an Advanced Reader’s Copy.  :-)   You can pre-order it now, if you like!

Up Against It – M. J. Locke
Recommended by Tiemen

“Clever and charming hard SF novel. A modern version of the golden age space opera, but without the sexism.
Who knew that living on an asteroid could be that interesting?”

Staff Review: Something More Than Night – Ian Tregillis

Friday, January 17th, 2014

Reviewed by JeroenW

The angel Gabriel has been murdered, even though he’s immortal. As his corpse streaks across the heavens – disturbing the weather and the dreams of us mortals – Bayliss, the only angel who lives on Earth, is already looking for his replacement. He just needs a placeholder, someone who doesn’t ask questions. When he finds a suitable lowlife junkie, he instead selects the guy’s sister by accident. And she’s the nosy type.

Something More Than Night is written from the viewpoint of two characters; there’s Bayliss, who talks like he’s Sam Spade with a degree in quantum physics, even though the story takes place sometime halfway through the 21st century; and Molly, the ‘dame’ who has to take Gabriel’s place in heaven.

Bayliss’s chapters can be a bit chewy, as they’re written almost completely in gumshoe lingo, interspersed with science-speak. You’ll be hard-pressed to read them in something else than Humphrey Bogart’s drawl. Molly is your standard plucky-but-not-annoyingly-so heroine; she could have used a bit more depth.

As for the story: it’s basically a classic mystery. It takes a bit long to gain momentum. After a phenomenal first few pages, and a great first chapter (you can read it here) it slows down for a good 80 pages, but after that the investigation into Gabriel’s murder gets going in earnest. I won’t give anything away, but there’s a few twists and turns at the end that I didn’t see coming.

All in all, it’s quite enjoyable. Ian Tregillis’s version of heaven is unlike anything you’ve seen before, and his version of Earth somewhere in the year 2060 (the exact year is never made clear) is made quite believable by the fact that even though the world has changed in a few drastic ways, people still act like people. I’ll definitely check out Tregillis’s Milkweed Triptych (Bitter Seeds, The Coldest War and Necessary Evil) after this.

JeroenW is ABC The Hague’s Science Fiction & Fantasy, Film & TV Tie-Ins and Graphic Novels buyer.  More Staff Reviews can be found here.

Ebooks available for Bitter Seeds, The Coldest War and Necessary Evil.

ABC’s Favorite Reads 2013, part 3: Klaartje, Jesse, JeroenW

Friday, December 13th, 2013

It’s my favorite part of the blogging year: our favorite reads! The ABC staff has looked through all the books and magazines they’ve read over the past year, or games they played, or stationery they used, and picked out their top 5 (or 4, or 8). Every single item in these posts comes highly recommended, and we hope to add some ideas to your 2014 reading list.

Of course, we always love reading tips ourselves, too, and so we hope you will send in YOUR favorite reads of 2013 to us. They don’t have to be books published in 2013, just read in 2013. Please mail your Top 5 (and why these books were so good) to social@abc.nl by December 31st, and don’t forget to include your home address so we can send you an ABC gift certificate in the new year as a thank you. As has become a tradition, your Top 5s will be published in January.

This third Favorite Reads post comes courtesy of

  • Klaartje: lover of all things nature, especially plants.
  • Jesse:  graduated from the Rietveld Academy this year!
  • JeroenW: Master of accents.  Knows all the words to Dragostea Din Tei.

Enjoy!

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