As everyone now knows yesterday was the UK budget presented by his Imperial master of dreariness (never was a man more badly named) Alistair Darling. It's nice to know that the total trashing of the entire worlds economy was nothing to do with him, or his predecessor our much revered,dashing,bundle of fun Prime Minister Gordon (I'm only in it for the laughs) Brown.
So that's OK then, so .. books
While these days I mainly use Amazon for books and quite a lot of other stuff for that matter, nothing can actually beat leaving a bookshop with a carrier bag weighted down with books, all lovely and new and just waiting to be read. That anticipation of which to read first, them sitting there all pristine waiting for you. It's money in the bank to me :-)
As you may have guessed I like Science Fiction, the proper stuff, harder the better not this fantasy look alike (Terry Pratchett being the only honorable exception). Of recent years it's been British writers, I have no idea why but suddenly we have an exceptional bunch of Authors led by the likes of Charles Stross (except your 'merchant' series, I understand why you did it, but it's not me Charlie). Mostly from North of the Border, to my mind they have eclipsed the previous American generations with ease (and any current ones have probably been hoovered up by TV anyway)
The only trouble with this small and rarefied group is being small they collectively can't keep up with demand (i.e. mine) so I'm always on the lookout for new talent to add to my favorites list.
I left Borders with only 3 (the shelves mostly taken up with 'graphic novels' or comics as they were called when I was a lad, produced presumably for those to 'busy' to read)
The last Richard Morgan, which somehow I had overlooked and two new (to me) authors A British guy, Michael Cobley with the first part of 'a galaxy spanning space opera' Seeds of Earth and Daemon by Daniel Suarez of whom the cover gives no information at all.
Drooling at the thought of a new British written Space Opera I started with Mr Cobley.
What I really would like to know is do the established authors who have their comments on the jackets actually read the books? Come to that in the case of Seeds of Earth, did the publisher? I've always understood that it was very difficult to get published. Patently not in this case, it's so clunky and simply amateur it could have been written by me. Actually if it was written in the 50's they'd have loved it.
I got to about page 30 before I could stand no more, the characterisations alone were unreadable never mind the rest. Novels are supposed to be enjoyable not purgatory. I can only assume that the publishers have noticed this fad for British writers and are suddenly so desperate they really don't read them first.
Luckily Daemon so far is brilliant, not really SF more leading edge technothriller at least I'll be getting a good pacy read (and goes a long way to explaining why computers hate me so much :-) But 30% of my Borders buy a washout - thats not good...