Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Book Recommendation - The Traveler

A curse for any writer is to be consigned to the science fiction category. This immediately limits the exposure and audience for his work, and ensures that he won't make as much money from his labours as he would have with a thriller or other designation.

I don't know how John Twelve Hawks feels about being labelled as a science fiction writer, but he could just as usefully be described as a social commentator. The Traveler is a great read. The plot, characters, and descriptive prose are excellent. The fact that there are science fiction elements should not put off anyone interested in the implications of the war on terror and the erosion of civil liberties.

This is a book that holds the reader's interest from beginning to end, entertaining with a fresh and original take on some very old and important issues.

Highly recommended.

Gainful Employment

Gainful employment is interfering with my blogging. After an extended period of having time to myself, I am back in harness. It basically came down to watching a bank account dwindle or doing something about it, so back to work.

I have just returned from two weeks of visiting a client's offices in Europe. This was a real ironman trip, working during the day, then flying at night to the next city. Not a great way to take in the sights, but effective in accomplishing the goal of understanding the business.

My main impression is that London is obscenely expensive. There is just no way to anticipate the level of prices when arriving from Singapore. My taxi ride from Heathrow to a hotel in Knightsbridge was £88! Which was more than it cost to fly from Sweden to the UK!

I know people think the Chinese Yuan is undervalued, but the £ is clearly overvalued on any rational purchasing power parity measure.