Oren Eini

CEO of RavenDB

a NoSQL Open Source Document Database

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time to read 3 min | 419 words

I like reading, specifically, science fiction and fantasy has always had a huge pull on my imagination. That let me to a great series of books by Ilona Andrews, the latest of which has just come out.

I live in Israel, and shipping time & cost from the US is quite prohibitive. At times, I have paid four or five times the cost of the book just to be able to get the bloody thing. So the rise of the Kindle filled me with a great sense of relief. I got a Kindle and started reading on that (I love it). I estimate that I read over 200 books on the thing already.

One thing that I really like is the ability to pre order a book, get it on my Kindle when it is out, and start reading immediately. But recently I have gotten several notifications about books that I really wanted to read. Here is one:

We're writing to let you know that we've canceled your order for Magic Bleeds because it will not be released by the publisher in Kindle format on  Tuesday, May 25, 2071 as previously expected. We don't yet have a date for when this item will be released for Kindle. We will send you an email notifying you when the Kindle edition becomes available.

Okay, annoying. Let us hit audible.com and see if they have the audio book version available. It appears that this is not the case… but I can buy the CD version, which requires physical shipping, from Amazon.

Where does it leaves me?

There seems to be no way for me to get the book in a reasonable timeframe/cost.

Wait, let me rephrase that. There appears to be no legal way. While I have no direct knowledge of that, I am guessing that if I hit a torrent site and try to search for the book, I would not only find the book, but will be able to get the freaking thing faster than going with the legal download route.

It is actually quite simple. I would really like to give you some money, if you make it harder for me to give you money, you won’t get my money.

This decision is stupid, moronic, idiotic, senseless, irritating, annoying and in general lack all sense.

~Ayende the annoyed

time to read 1 min | 110 words

CoverI just finished listening to At All Costs for the second or third time, and now Mission of Honor, the next book in the Honor Harrington series is out!!!!

I have an article to finish and code to write, but don’t expect to hear from me much for the next day or two.

I LOVE Kindle, the best purchase I made in the last 5 years. It means that I can relax in bed and read a book I ordered two minutes ago!!!

And yes, as you can see by the !!!! I am excited.

time to read 2 min | 223 words

7i3h.jpgIt has been quite a journey for me, starting in 2007(!) up until about a month ago, when the final revision is out. I am very happy to announce that my book is now available in its final form. 

When I actually got the book in my hands I was ecstatic. That represent about two years worth of work, and some pretty tough hurdles to cross (think about the challenge that editing something the size of a book from my English is). And getting the content right was even harder.

On the one hand, I wanted to write something that is actionable, my success criteria for the book is that after reading it, you can go ahead and write production worthy Domain Specific Languages implementations. On the other hand, I didn’t want to have the reader left without the theoretical foundation that is required to understand what is actually going on.

Looking back at this, I think that I managed to get that done well enough. The total page count is ~350 pages, and without the index & appendixes, it is just about 300 pages. Which, I hope, is big enough to give you working knowledge without bogging you down with too much theory.

time to read 1 min | 109 words

A while ago I run a poll about what posts you would like me to do, and the most requested topic was handling NHibernate in a Desktop application. I started writing a blog post about it, but when it hit twenty pages, I thought better on that and decided that I might as well post that as an article. MSDN Magazine just did.

You can read the about Building a Desktop To-Do Application with NHibernate in the latest issue of MSDN Magazine.

And now that the article is out, I can start posting about other topic in the code base that are pretty interesting as well.

Reading Frenzy

time to read 2 min | 242 words

I don’t usually read non fiction books, I read some tech books, but that is work, more than anything else. I do read a lot, and I thought that I might post what I like, in hope to get recommendations for more stuff.

The following list is mixed between authors & characters, depending on what I find more memorable. I only included authors / books that I read in the last 6 months or so.

  • Robert Jordan
  • Kris Longknife
  • Miles Vorkosigan
  • Jim C. Hines
  • David Weber
    • Honorverse
    • Safehold
    • Dahak
  • John Moore
  • Rachel Caine
    • Weather Warden
    • Outcast
  • Southern Vampire – Charlaine Harris
  • The Lost Fleet – Jack Campbell
  • Terry Prachett – the entire Discworld series
  • Ilona Andrews
    • On the Edge
    • Kate Daniels
  • Votta War

Those aren’t all of them, but that should be enough for now. Those are all that pop into mind as good reads.

time to read 2 min | 262 words

image I love the WoT series. My nickname, Ayende Rahien, is based on that series. So you can imagine how happy I was to start reading the Gathering Storm.

There are no spoilers in this post, I a going to spend some time digesting the book and then post a review about the actual details of the book.

What make this book unique is that the author was changed (the original author died), which caused a huge delay for this book and caused sever worries whatever the new author would be as good as the original.

I can tell you that I personally had not been able to figure out the original scenes vs. new author scenes. It does seems like there are less feminine clothing discussion (which I consider to be a great plus).

It is probably hard to see, but the cover art is still as bad as the previous ones, which also make me nostalgic.

This book focuses mostly on Rand, with some really interesting developments. There hasn’t been enough Rand in the last two books, so that is good. On the other hand, I could do with more Matrim scenes.

Things are moving, rushing pretty fast, actually. The book is a page turner, it is a 784 pages book that I finished in one seating, taking about 12 hours.

I can’t wait to read the rest.

time to read 4 min | 781 words

Well, this is going to be a tad different than my usual posts, instead of doing technical post, or maybe a SF book review, I am going to talk about two authors that I really like.

David Weber is the author of the Honor Harrington series, the Prince Roger (in conjunction with Ringo) series, the Dahak series and the Safehold series, as well as other assorted books.

John Ringo is the author of the Prince Roger series, the Posleen series, the Council Wars series and a bunch of other stuff.

Both are really good authors, although I much prefer Weber’s books to Ringo’s. Their Prince Roger series of book was flat out amazing, and it is only after I read a lot more of their material that I can truly grasp how much each author contributed to them.

Ringo is way better in portraying the actual details of military, especially marines, SpecOp, etc. Small teams with a lot of mayhem attached. Unfortunately, he seems to be concentrating almost solely on having stupid opponents. I am sorry, but fighting enemies whose tactic is to shout Charge! isn’t a complex task. He is also way too attached to fighting scenes and a large percentage of his books are dedicated to that.

Well, he is Military SF writer, after all, but I think that he is not dedicating enough time to other stuff related to war. And his characters are sometimes unbelievable. The entire concept he base a lot of the Posleen series on is unbelievable in the extreme. No, not because it is SF. Because it goes against human nature to do some of the thing he portray them doing. The end of the Posleen war, for example, was one such case. The fleet comes back home, violating orders of supposedly friendly alien masters that want to see Earth destroyed by another bunch of aliens.

The problem is not that the fleet comes home in violation of orders, the problem is that it didn’t do so much sooner than that. Humans are not wired for something like that, especially since it was made clear that long before the actual event the fleet was well aware of what is going on. I spent 4 years in a military prison, orders be damned, I know exactly how far you can stretch that. And you can’t stretch it far at all. Not on a large scale with normal psych humans.

Or when one race of aliens is trying to subvert the war effort to help another race kill more humans. That is believable. What isn’t believable that the moment it was made widely spread knowledge they weren’t all exterminated. Instead, Ringo made them rulers. It makes for a good story, but I just didn’t find it believable at all. The books are still good, but the belief suspension required to go on with the story is annoying.

On a more personal note, I think Ringo is also a right winged red necked nutcase. A great author, admittedly, but I find it hard sometimes to not get annoyed about some of the perspectives that I see in the book.

Weber, on the other hand, is great in portraying navies. And I love reading his fight scenes. Mostly because he knows where to put them and how much to stretch them. He also put an amazing amount of depth into the worlds he create in surprisingly little brush strokes.

He does have a few themes that I also find fairly annoying. Chief among them, while not as annoying as having stupid enemies (which he have to some amount as well), is having the “good” side have amazingly good information about the other. Or have one side significantly better armed than the other. Sure it make it easy to make the good guys win, but I like a more realistic scenario.

His recent books in the Honor Harrington universe has portrayed exactly such a scenario and have been a pleasure to read. Beyond anything else, he knows how to give a depth to his universe, and his characters are well polished and likable. I can’t think of a scenario where a character has behaved in a way that I would consider wrong.

Weber is currently my favorite author, and I am eagerly waiting for Torch of Freedom in November.

But hands down, the best series is the Prince Roger series, on which they collaborated. This is a tale that has both Weber’s depth in creating a universe and Ringo’s touch for portraying military people. I wish there would be more books there.

time to read 1 min | 160 words

This book (free online version!) is part of the Posleen series, and I stands quite well in that series. Ringo manages to weave a complete tale, and even there are some stuff there that stretch my credulity even in SF novel, I liked it.

One very interesting aspect of the book is the treatment for “war crimes” during the book. I don’t want to give any spoilers, since it is a good book, but let us just say that I could more than see how the enemies were able to use stupid and insane laws to hinder the protagonists.

The book ends in a rather surprising article, which I recommend reading.

I don’t agree with everything that they say there, mostly because it is primarily aimed for US readers, but they are saying quite a lot that I do agree with.

time to read 2 min | 330 words

Watch on the Rhine (Posleen War Series #7)

I just finished listening to this book, and it is… quite an interesting one. The basic premise of the book is enough to ensure that it would be interesting:

After the first [alien invasion] enemy landings in 2004, the German chancellor decides, despite fierce opposition, to rejuvenate survivors of the Waffen SS. Eager to redeem their tarnished honor, these veterans display the same steadfastness and fortitude that they did in Russia and Normandy.

I think that just from that, you can understand why it is interesting by default. I have to say, Ringo and Kratman managed to set a very believable world, and the handling of the topic was superb. I am going to have another post about Ringo’s style vs. Weber’s style, so I’ll skip a lot of that discussion in this post.

This is a Good Book, although I have to say, I find it much easier to accept alien invasions than the Judas Maccabiah SS brigade (which appear in the book).

I wonder the affect of Heinlein on Ringo’s writing. Some of the themes woven throughout the plot are definitely Heinleinism. The parasitic pacifist and peace through superior firepower, in particular.

I want to say that the book’s portrayal of the civilian attitude to the military mindset is unrealistic, but I have to say that unfortunately it isn’t so. There are some really stupid people out there.

The one thing that I find totally unrealistic in the book, however, was that political pressure was able to basically castrate the army. Mostly from environmentalist groups and the like. I have no idea how the German political and military game is played, but in most places, there is Peace and there is War. And you don’t mess around with the army in a time of war, the army tend to push back on that, and hard.

time to read 2 min | 292 words

By Heresies Distressed

Hands down, David Weber is my favorite author. He has the ability to create rich worlds that are complete, logically consisted and interesting. While Weber is mostly known for the Harrington series, which I also really like, I have to say that the Prince Roger books (March Upcountry, etc) are the best military action series that I have read, and that the Safehold series is the best political action series.

Of the two, I actually think that I prefer the Safehold series, although it is a very close match, and I’ll likely change my mind if there would be a new book in the series.

All of that said, this book is actually about the latest book in the Safehold series, which includes Off Armageddon Reef and By Schism Rent Asunder. In a single sentence, I can tell you that Weber has managed to capture my interest all over again. His ability to weave so many concurrent plot lines is the key part of the high level of enjoyment (and quality) that I derive from the books.

The one problem that I have, like the one in the previous one, is stops too early! If I were smart, I would probably drop the series for a decade or so, and wait for Weber to pump enough books out that I can get them all in one shot.

That is not to say that the books are too long, or full of fluff. It is just that Weber is painting a big picture, and that takes time. Unfortunately, it means that by the book ends, I was left with quite a desire to known what the hell is going to happen next.


No future posts left, oh my!


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