Archive for September, 2009

Mapping History’s Greatest Journeys

Wanderlust is an awesome application that has mapped out some of history’s greatest journeys.  Amelia Earhart, Marco Polo, Around the World in Eighty Days; just choose a route to find out more.



With just one touch, Jessa Bellamy can see anyone’s darkest secrets, thanks to whoever tampered with her genes. What she doesn’t know is that a biotech company has discovered her talent and intends to kill her and harvest her priceless DNA…

Gaven Matthias is forced to abduct Jessa himself so he can protect her, but Jessa has a hard time believing the one man whose secrets she can’t read. As a monstrous assassin closes in and forces them to run, Jessa will have to find another way to discover if Matthias is her greatest ally—or her deadliest enemy.

Shadowlight is the first book in the Kyndred series, set in the same world  as the Darkyn series that Lynn Viehl completed in January 2009.  The Kyndred books will explore the lives of a group of genetically modified humans, who are searching for why and who modified them, and a way to be safe from exploitation.  Currently the Darkyn do not know about the Kyndred, but that looks set to change over the course of the series, as a Darkyn couple (Lucan and Samantha from Dark Need) are minor point of view characters in Shadowlight.

Some of the same issues that I had with the Darkyn series are present here.  There seems to be slightly too many point of view characters for me to keep track of easily and many subtle hints are dropped that need to be keep in mind. If I can remember to read the next book all in one go, these issues should be minimised for me, but I wonder if people who read slower than me have the same problem. (It could just be me!)

Shadowlight was fast-paced and I enjoyed Jessa and Matthias’ romance.  Drew and Rowan were interesting secondary characters I will enjoy seeıng more of.  Rowan’s story will be book 2, Dreamveil, and I hope Drew will have his own book as well.

The information discovered and the hints that are dropped about where the Kyndred have come from are very intriging, leaving me waiting to read Dreamveil when it is released.

Note:  This was an e-ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) sent by the author.  The only condition was that I post a review (positive or negative) before Shadowlight’s release date.

Lynn Viehl also writes science fiction as S L Viehl, I really enjoy the StarDoc series.  I also recommend Lynn’s blog. I check Paperback Writer every day, there is always something entertaining, interesting or informative to read.

Dancing On Treadmills

Band OK Go dancing on treadmills to their song ‘Here It Goes Again’

The choreography was done by a band member’s sister.

Random Quotation

You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you’re finished, you’ll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird… So let’s look at the bird and see what it’s doing – that’s what counts.  I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.

Richard Feynman

Today is the start of my long-awaited holiday! I’m flying from Brisbane to Istanbul, then spending three weeks travelling down though Turkey, Syria, and ending up in Jordan’s capital Amman.  I’m spending two days in Dubai to catch up with a friend living there, and then it’s back to Brisbane:  real life, work, and the fun of choosing where my next holiday will be.

Don’t worry – I’ve pre-written entries and set them up to post automatically every second day or so, so you don’t need to stop visiting!

Since I’m spending all of today flying (my flight leaves at 2am so I’ll be at the airport before midnight), I thought this was an appropiate video to post!

This ‘Bare Essentials’ safety video is an excellent use of body painting – actual Air Zealand staff were used and they look like they are having a really good time!

And here’s some behind the scenes footage:

Fun With Post-it Notes

William Shakespeare once came back from the dead to ask for Neil Gaiman’s autograph.

In any given week, 7 of the top 10 books on the NYT Bestseller List are by pseudonyms of Neil Gaiman.

Hitler actually won World War II.  Then Neil Gaiman wrote an alternate-history story in which the allies won, and reality was too intimidated to argue the point.

Most agents charge a 15% commission.  Neil Gaiman’s agent pays him an extra 15% for the privilege of saying “I’m Neil Gaiman’s agent.”

See 20 Neil Gaiman Facts for more!


Neil Gaiman’s bookshelves:


One day I’ll have bookshelves like this too – but then what would I do if I wanted to move?

How a Book is Made

A fascinating short documentary showing the printing and binding process of The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown.  Minus the security guards at the end, this is how most hardcover books are produced.

A Small Rewrite

Hugh Laurie is Shakespeare, and Rowan Atkinson is his editor, in this live sketch done for British charity Comic Relief.

Water Footprint