New SFBRP – many science fiction series

I get loads of books suggestions for my book review podcast. Many people suggest books I’ve read before. I don’t mind this, as if I liked the book the first time out I’d be happy to read it again and review it again.

However, lots of people have suggested not single books, but entire series of books. The thing about series is that they’re a real time commitment to get through, especially if I’ve read them before. And especially if I’m going to review each book in the series.

Also, how do I review the second book in a series? I have this problem with Hamilton’s Void Trilogy. Talking about book two without spoiling book one is really hard.

So, to preempt having to explain these and other issues with each person who emails me recommending entire series I’ve read before, I took a SFBRP podcast episode to talk about and do mini reviews for all of the below series (in no particular order):

Stephen Baxter:
Xeelee series
Manifold series

CJ Cherryh:
Merchanter novels

Isaac Asimov:
Foundation series
Galactic Empire series
Robots series
Robot mysteries series

Douglas Adams:
Hitchhikerís Guide to the Galaxy

David Brin:
Uplift series

Frank Herbert:

Orson Scott Card:
Ender series
The Shadow Children Sequence

Peter F Hamilton:
Nights Dawn
Commonwealth Saga
Mindstar Rising
Void Trilogy

Iain M Banks:
The Culture

Gene Wolfe:
The Book of the New Sun

Philip José Farmer:

Steven Donaldson:
The Gap Cycle

Vernor Vinge:
Deep Sequence

Larry Niven:
Ringworld / Known Space

Kim Stanley Robinson:
Mars trilogy
Californian Coast series

Alastair Reynolds:
Revelation Space

Frederik Pohl:
The Heechee Saga

Arthur C Clarke:
Space Odyssey series
Rama series

Tad Williams:

James Blish:
Cities in Flight

Jack Vance:
Planet of Adventure

Robert J Sawyer:
The Neanderthal Parallax

Robert Zindell:
A Requiem for Homo Sapiens

Dan Simmons:
Hyperion Cantos

Can anyone think of any other science fiction series I should read? Or think I might have read but forgotten about? Send emails to or leave a comment below.


I don´t have much time to post here, but the cruise is going well. I did two shows last night, and both went down a storm with the audiences. Unfortunately they both ran for over an hour, and I´m only meant to do 50 minutes. Thankfully the my show seems to be entertaining enough to keep people in their seats and awake and laughing until the end.

Today I did a bit of videoing of myself juggling on a glacier. I slipped and skidded to the bottom of the ice. I dropped my clubs on the way, and one bounced out of sight. As far as I can tell, it fell down a small crevass. I now have only 4 clubs when I need 5 for my next show. Normally I take a spare of every prop, but I thought “I´m not going to go losing a club…” Turns out I can.

I may post that video on youtube some time.

Novel editing is on track. If anyone wants to read the (maybe) final draft of “Edward (working title)”, give some feedback and help me come up with a better title, send me an email

Reading and podcasting isn´t going so well. But I have something to talk about that might be quite fun…

Next update in a few days time!

Berlin Buddy Bears in Buenos Aires

The mascot of Berlin is the bear. To prove the point, hundreds of large fiberglass “Buddy” bears were made to decorate the city. They proved a big hit, and now they ravel the world almost as much as I do, although at a slower rate.

I found them all lined up in Buenos Aires, and they made me think of home. I decided to take a picture of every single one. Each is painted to represent a different country, so there are quite a lot. Instead of uploading all the photos individually I made this video. It runs through all the photos twice so you can get a better look.

Music by Goran Bregovic.

Work trip starts tomorrow.

South America March 2009
Tomorrow morning I have to get up at stupid o’clock to catch a flight to South America. I’m away for two weeks, roughly following the route you see above. To explore the trip in more detail, you better go to the page.

I’ve been to all these locations before, but I plan to do new things in each. For example, I’ve not seen the King Penguin rookery on the Falklands Islands. Should be a fun place to take photos and a good location for a continuing video project I have on the go which should be finished by the end of the year.

On top of the destinations there are many sea days, which means I have a lot of time on my hands. To fill my time I plan to achieve:

  • Read three novels and record three episodes of the SFBRP. The novels are all on my iPod Touch, so this will be the first trip I do sans paper books. I hope it works out.
  • Do the forth edit on my “Edward” novel. I need to rearrange some chapters and rewrite a few pieces. I hope this only takes a few days. Then I’ll be able to email it out to my second round of readers to get masses of positive feedback to boost my ego.
  • Do the first major edit on my “Monster” novella. I don’t expect to get this finished, as there are huge amounts still to write, let alone rewrite.
  • Think up better working titles for the above two stories.
  • Video my new ring juggling routine, and maybe put an edited version up on youtube.
  • While I’m videoing my show, I may get a better version of my 3 Ball And Video routine than is currently available online.
  • I’m taking some silicones, so will work on my standard bounce juggling skills.
  • Also I hope to make a video of “air bouncing”, which means juggling patterns where I intentionally make balls hit each other in the air and bounce off in predictable ways. I’ve whole lists of these tricks, but have never performed them because they don’t look very good from any kind of distance. And they are really hard.
  • Make some new backing music for a club routine. I have some fun drum samples I want to include, but it will mostly follow the electronic video game vibe.
  • Oh yeah, I’ll probably perform four shows too!

    That should do it! I’ll post all the results on the blog.

  • “Mocking the WJF” … yawn.

    My epic failure of a WJF balls routine was posted on YouTube a few days ago. I’d put a link to it, but it really isn’t worth watching. The kind of tricks the World Juggling Federation wants aren’t the kind of tricks I’m particularly interested in performing, so my routine was put together a few minutes before the preliminaries by saying to Norbi; “Write this one down… and how about this one?”

    As it happens, I didn’t expect to get through the preliminaries, as my routine was woefully short of Advanced Level Juggling Tricks. Er… Moves, sorry.

    To the point: the info on the top right of the video says “Luke Burrage attempts to mock the WJF competitions while trying to juggle in a WJF competition. Cheers.”

    Can’t we just forget about this now? Jason Garfield just keeps banging on about this one, and to be honest, it’s really wearing thin.

    It turns out the main bone of contention is the song I used. As so many people have asked for it over the last few days (this was, in fact, how I found out about the video) I’ve uploaded it here. Jason keeps moaning that it directly mocks the WJF. In a way it does. And I used it as a joke.

    Here’s the real kicker: Jason knew I was going to use the music well in advance! It was played during my preliminary run. THAT was my joke; to play it while Jason was sitting right in front of me. I expected him to say “You can’t use that music tomorrow” or “we don’t allow music tracks with lyrics” and I’d have said “No problem!” But he didn’t say anything, so I just let it slide.

    And now, two years later he is still moaning, even though he had the knowledge and the capability to halt it before it even became the huge issue it is in his head right now. You know what else he could have done? Pressed stop on the CD during the actual routine. You know what else? Not moan about it afterward, and everyone would have forgotten the entire thing. You know what else? Not put the routine on the DVD. You know what else? Not post the video on YouTube two years later. You know what else? Don’t reply to all the comments under the video, stirring things up again TWO YEARS later.

    And to think I wasn’t going to write such a long post about it, and just post a link to the mp3 file… I guess Jason’s masochism, how he continually punches himself in the face, time and time again,sometimes makes others comment on his stupidity.

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