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Manumission by E. R. Harding Monday, 16 April 2018

Posted by greyowl in Rezensionen / Reviews.
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Immortality! In the age of unlimited stellar computing power and virtual reality, it at last seems possible. When your body wears out, you can be uploaded into the Metaform and then downloaded into a new bio-frame (i.e. a biologically enhanced human body). But the incorporeal personalities within the mainframe also have a life of their own within the mainframe. (more…)

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Stand up for science! Friday, 16 March 2018

Posted by greyowl in Jesus-Familie, Naturwissenschaft / Science.
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A Facebook friend (# 1) shared this image from the AtheistRepublic, adding the caption: “Controversy alert! (But I’ll still listen if you disagree. 😂)”.

After several other comments, one from me triggered the following exchange:

Me: I’m a scientist who can’t quite manage to stretch my faith to believe there’s no God behind this wondrous world.

# 1: See, that does fascinate me. I can perfectly understand why lots of people need to ascribe a coherent, humanlike intelligence to the design of the universe; the incontrovertible facts of science tend to be explained in relatively complex language, and one really does need to concentrate. Where I’m interested is when genuinely intelligent people with a sound grasp of scientific principles also have this need. I get quite irritable when anthropomorphic viewpoints are described as facts, so I’d love to know why you, in particular, believe there must be a god. But only if you have time one day, and can be bothered! 😁

Me:  Not sure this is the place for apologetics. But here goes: (more…)

The girl I used to know, by Faith Hogan Friday, 9 March 2018

Posted by greyowl in Rezensionen / Reviews.
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The story revolves around forty-eight year old Amanda and sixty-six year old Tess, whom we come to know intimately. They are very different from each other in many ways, but each struggling with who they really are, or would like to be.

We are transported back and forth between the days of their respective youth with the blossoming of their first loves, and present-day life in Dublin’s fair city, where they happen to live – separately and at loggerheads – in the same old Georgian house. Amanda’s career-obsessed husband is found to be unfaithful, her teenage children provide an occasional alternative perspective on their expensive but child family life. Meanwhile Tess has given up on life after her younger sister ran off with the man she loved. Each of them resolves to turn over a new leaf, make peace, and start living again. New romances develop and things seem to work out.

The time-hopping is somewhat irritating and confusing, as we tend to forget their ages in any particular scene.

Mirror Image by Trish Moran Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Posted by greyowl in Rezensionen / Reviews.
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Trish Moran has conceived a tantalising plot and from it woven an exciting story for teenagers. Rich celebrities have donated stem cells, which are being preserved at the Centre so as to be able to repair the donor’s body in the event of injury or disease. However, these cells are secretly cultivated into multiple super clones of the donor, which are stored in a dormant state and used when needed as a source of Spare Parts, the remainder of the body being discarded. (more…)

The Refugees: A Tale of Two Continents, by Arthur Conan Doyle Saturday, 3 March 2018

Posted by greyowl in Rezensionen / Reviews.
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Two exciting stories in one book. Conan Doyle has diligently researched events and conditions both in Versailles and in French-Canadian North America, and developed two superbly written tales linked by the person of Amory De Catinat, a half-hearted young Huguenot serving as a personal guard of the King. (more…)

Is God Really Legit? Making Sense of Faith and Science, by Neil Laing Thursday, 1 March 2018

Posted by greyowl in Naturwissenschaft / Science, Rezensionen / Reviews.
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This book discusses many aspects of the common tension between scientists and believers, with some vivid illustrations but no hard and fast answers. It is written in a chatty style, appropriate and intelligible for teenagers, though perhaps a bit patronising and on one occasion moralising. Laing comes across as honest and open, respecting opposing views. He presents the believer’s position plausibly without attempting to force anyone to accept it; instead, he encourages young people to examine the evidence, think things through and form their own convictions. (more…)

Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult Saturday, 17 February 2018

Posted by greyowl in Rezensionen / Reviews.
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This is a lengthy, complex, but very human book about relationships between normal, dysfunctional people.

We discover how the two primary players, Paige and Nicholas, are very much influenced by their respective mothers, both of whom abandoned their families in different ways and for different reasons. (more…)

The Knight and the Serpent by John Richard Gabourel Sunday, 4 February 2018

Posted by greyowl in Rezensionen / Reviews.
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This retelling of a legend of medieval Normandy intrigued me from the start, because a major scenario centres on my home island of Jersey, at Grouville Beach, Gorey Castle and what is now known as La Hougue Bie Dolmen, places I know well. It’s an elaborate tale of loyalty and treachery, love, remorse and forgiveness. The complex plot with its religious and mystical elements is compelling, several characters are historical and the setting is very realistically and accurately portrayed. (more…)

The French Peasantry in the Seventeenth Century by Pierre Goubert Saturday, 13 January 2018

Posted by greyowl in Rezensionen / Reviews.
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This book contains a wealth of otherwise hard-to-find facts about the often poverty-stricken and mostly unnoticed country folk in the diverse provinces and regions we now know as France. Everything warrants a chapter: food, clothing and housing; birth, marriage and death; farming and poaching practices; relationships between peasants, seigneurs, unwelcome soldiers, haughty priests and the revenue-hungry royal bailiffs; taxes and revolts.

Goubert provides invaluable background information for the novel I’m writing (more…)

Penhaligon’s Pride by Terri Nixon Saturday, 13 January 2018

Posted by greyowl in Rezensionen / Reviews.
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Even better than Book 1!

It’s great to find Freya tidying up the old bookshop again, struggling to overcome her terror of the sea with Mairead’s patient help, having earnest talks with her best friend Juliet and generally making sure all is well in Caernoweth. But it’s not long before things start to get very hot.

Terri Nixon has succeeded in conjuring up a complex mesh of everyday events laced with misunderstandings, suspicions, accusations and fears that look as if they are going to (more…)