Cold Days

Cold Days by Jim Butcher is the latest and excellent addition to the Harry Dresden series. The storyline itself was excellent–good uses of tension, humor and character building. Harry has to learn to adapt to his new situation as the Winter Knight and that is a big part of the journey, but the book also brings some very interesting new information and changes for others as well as Harry. I’ll admit that the final twist in the end was one I didn’t see coming at all.
I’ve been refreshing myself on these through the reread series on and it is really very interesting to see just how much Harry has grown character-wise from the start of the series to this volume. Butcher himself has obviously grown as a writer. He deftly handles multiple plot-lines here and ramps up his already very good control of pacing.
The only character missing was Mister (as far as I know, he is safely at Murphy’s house).

The Fractal Prince

The Fractal Prince by Hannu Rajaniemi is a wonderful sequel to The Quantum Thief. If anything, I enjoyed this book more than the first volume.
In this volume, Rajaniemi plays a complex game of storytelling. On one level, there are only a few characters but as you progress and loop deeper into the book the story branches and twines back and forth. Fractal is not in the title by accident.
We find Jean le Flambeur, Mieli from the Oort cloud and after they have left Mars in the previous volume. Jean is trying to open the quantum box of memory he obtained. In order to open the box, they will need to make a stop at a quantum state router (from the Zoku side of things) and in order to make use of what they find they will need to go on to Earth. Jean’s tale here and tales from his past (or at least the past of other versions of himself) and their relationship to the factions at dangerous war within the solar system compose one set of threadscapes.
Interspersed is the tale of Tawaddud Gomelez, a native of Sirr–the last human city on Earth. Earth has become a strange and dangerous place and Tawaddud will eventually need the help of a downloaded instance from the cloud–from the Sobornost side of things. The Zoku are essentially those who embrace quantum reality while the Sobornost are trying to impose a classical, no playing of dice view. A very interesting power struggle.
This is a complex book. I found it very satisfying. It is a book in which the line:

ā€œIā€™m going to find a job that does not involve breaking into giant machines full of lesbian dragon sex.ā€

is not at all out of place.

Election 2012

Today is election day here in the US. Voting is important–do it.
As for myself, I will be voting for Barack Obama for president. My reasoning here is quite similar to that of John Scalzi here. Basically, the direction of the Republican party is not at all aligned with either anything I believe in nor (I believe) the best interests of the country.
Here in Minnesota, we have two proposed constitutional amendments:

I will be voting no on both of these as they are restrictive of the rights of individuals in manners that I don’t see any need to be restrictive.