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Old 02-25-2008, 04:25 PM   #1
carandol
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Book Review: Maelstrom, by Peter Watts (Rifters Trilogy Vol. 2)

A direct sequel to Starfish, in this one Watts opens up the world he began to create in the first novel. It's hard to say too much about the plot without giving away the ending of the first volume. Suffice to say it involves Lenie Clarke heading out into the wider world of late 21st century America.

And what a bleak vision it is. Think of all the current trends in society and technology, have them all go wrong, mix them all together, add a dash of pessimism, and stir well. The Maelstrom of the title is the Internet, so riddled with viruses, worms and trojans (some of them reaching intelligence!) that it's been renamed. The shores of the ocean are fenced off, refugees are left on the beach, given shelter and heating and food laden down with enough tranquillisers to keep them docile. They are patrolled by security guards piloting remote armed flybots, who work from home via links through the Maelstrom. The world is an ecological disaster zone, its agricultural areas ridden with ineradicable pests accidentally brought in from other continents, its sea level rising, new drug-resistant diseases spreading from country to country.

And into the middle of this already crumbling world comes Lenie Clarke, on a mission of revenge, and unknown to herself, carrier of an organism from the deep sea which has the potential to wipe out all life on Earth. To the corporation who knows her secret, she's public enemy number one; to the public, who see her as a victim of the overbearing might of the corporate bullies, she's a folk hero; and to some strange evolving intelligence in the Maelstrom, she's someone who needs to be watched.

Maelstrom opens up the world begun in Starfish in more ways than one; there are more point of view characters, from Lenie herself to the corporate agents tasked with hunting her down, and the secretly rebellious security guard who, with the help of the Maelstrom intelligence, helps her out when she can. As a science fiction thriller, it's a page-turner. As a novel about the way the world could go if we don't pay attention, it's up there with John Brunner's Stand on Zanzibar and The Sheep Look Up.

I found Maelstrom absolutely riveting; though I have to admit, I'm intending to read a few more cheery novels before I delve into Behemoth, the third in the trilogy.

Sony BBeB: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...watts%2C+peter

Also available in various formats from Feedbooks at: http://www.feedbooks.com/discover/book/975

Behemoth is available from Feedbooks here: http://www.feedbooks.com/discover/book/973

And if you like the book enough to think the author deserves some money, you can pay him here: http://www.rifters.com/real/shorts.htm

Last edited by carandol; 02-26-2008 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 02-25-2008, 04:28 PM   #2
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It's a PDF template for the Sony Reader, not a LRF file on Feedbooks but it looks quite good too ^^

Feel free to post these reviews on Feedbooks too, I'm sure that users on Feedbooks would love to read such a review !
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Old 02-25-2008, 04:46 PM   #3
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Feel free to post these reviews on Feedbooks too, I'm sure that users on Feedbooks would love to read such a review !
Consider it done!
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Old 02-25-2008, 07:30 PM   #4
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- fixed -

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Old 02-25-2008, 09:13 PM   #5
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Do not forget to link to Maelstrom in LRF here in the forum.

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21027

I'll post PRC and IMP editions sometime tomorrow.
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Old 02-25-2008, 09:36 PM   #6
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Great! I'm looking forward to the Mobipocket version.
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Old 02-25-2008, 09:55 PM   #7
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Hadrien I just found out that the FeedBooks server does not support resume. Why is that? Also tonight it's really running very poorly. It's stuttering and I cannot get a completed download.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:05 PM   #8
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Hadrien I just found out that the FeedBooks server does not support resume. Why is that? Also tonight it's really running very poorly. It's stuttering and I cannot get a completed download.
We never directly link to a file, the server is sending you the file. It work this way because when you request for a file, we verify to see if the file is in the cache already and if it's not in the cache (or if the cache is too old), we generate the file on the fly before we send it.

Works pretty smoothly on my end, never experienced a stutter with the downloads, although the website may slow down a bit sometimes.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:17 PM   #9
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Well, I'm getting time outs trying to download and because the way you have it working, I cannot use a download manager to get anything at present because once it times out, I have to start over and get another time out.
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Old 02-25-2008, 11:51 PM   #10
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I got what I was trying to get. It was the Mobipocket edition of Maelstrom from Feedbooks. Turns out it's not all that wonderful. The original HTML is horrible. I'm trying to make it so it looks ok when run through html2lrf. It might actually be OK in Mobipocket Creator when I am done.
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Old 02-26-2008, 05:15 AM   #11
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I got what I was trying to get. It was the Mobipocket edition of Maelstrom from Feedbooks. Turns out it's not all that wonderful. The original HTML is horrible. I'm trying to make it so it looks ok when run through html2lrf. It might actually be OK in Mobipocket Creator when I am done.
I don't understand what you're trying to do exactly... The original HTML is from Peter Watts' website, that's what we used on Feedbooks. Are you trying to extract the Mobipocket from Feedbooks ? That's pretty pointless, if you're looking for the HTML of a file, use the epub version.

As for a LRF file, it took me a few seconds to create one using epub2lrf on the epub version (too bad that it doesn't support the TOC/NCX yet).

Always remember that epub isn't just a new standard, it's also pretty much the best source file for another format.

Edit: Added a Mobipocket version using Mobipocket Reader with the epub files from Feedbooks, to see how it looks like. Looks OK although they don't support the TOC either.
Attached Files
File Type: lrf Watts - Maelstrom.lrf (419.6 KB, 213 views)
File Type: prc Watts - Maelstrom.prc (1.57 MB, 205 views)
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Old 02-26-2008, 09:46 AM   #12
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I've corrected the link in my review, and I'll add the mobi link once its up.
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Old 02-26-2008, 12:53 PM   #13
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I don't understand what you're trying to do exactly... The original HTML is from Peter Watts' website, that's what we used on Feedbooks. Are you trying to extract the Mobipocket from Feedbooks ? That's pretty pointless, if you're looking for the HTML of a file, use the epub version.

As for a LRF file, it took me a few seconds to create one using epub2lrf on the epub version (too bad that it doesn't support the TOC/NCX yet).

Always remember that epub isn't just a new standard, it's also pretty much the best source file for another format.

Edit: Added a Mobipocket version using Mobipocket Reader with the epub files from Feedbooks, to see how it looks like. Looks OK although they don't support the TOC either.
Both copies have problems. If you look at the section titles "By a thousand cuts" you will see what looks like a mess of text. And it is. It's supposed to be a two column table. In the section titles "Matchmaker" there is supposed to be two columns. I've been able to get that to look good. But the "thousand cuts" section is just going to have to look so-so at best from what html2lrf is able to do with it.

As for the PRC edition, if you start t at page 100 and go page back, eventually, you'll hit some spot where Mobipocket Reader then freezes for a little bit and then jumps to the first page. That has to do with the fact that the text is in one BIG table. I had a problem with that generating PRC from the original HTML. The TOC would not fully display and going to the next page caused the book to jump.

Basically, I had to edit the HTML to try to get some of these problems fixed. I'm almost done with the LRF version and oncd that is done, I'll try generating a PRC and see how it comes out.
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Old 02-26-2008, 07:49 PM   #14
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As for the PRC edition, if you start t at page 100 and go page back, eventually, you'll hit some spot where Mobipocket Reader then freezes for a little bit and then jumps to the first page. That has to do with the fact that the text is in one BIG table. I had a problem with that generating PRC from the original HTML. The TOC would not fully display and going to the next page caused the book to jump.
That does not happen on my Cybook. What do you mean with "the text is one BIG table"? I looked at the HTML code and it was not one big table.
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Old 02-26-2008, 07:58 PM   #15
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That does not happen on my Cybook. What do you mean with "the text is one BIG table"? I looked at the HTML code and it was not one big table.
Code:
</HEAD>
<BODY LANG="en-US" TEXT="#000000" LINK="#0000ff" VLINK="#800080" DIR="LTR">
<table width=80% border=0 ALIGN="center"><tr><td>
That right there makes it one big table. Plus the tables that are supposed to be there needed work for fix them up like I said before. How are they displayed on the Gen3? All I have to work with is Mobipocket Reader.
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