Saturday, June 14, 2008

Readings: Greg Bear's Eon

I finished Greg Bear's Eon a few days back. I can't remember the last time i'd been so disappointed by a book. It had the best hook i'd read in quite a while, the blurb at the back, very enticing. What it turned out to be was a badly written mess with the sci-fi almost getting buried under the political crap.

The book is about this giant 300 km asteroid that appears suddenly in the Solar System. It had seven chambers inside, each connected to the next. The seventh chamber, however, extends forever. The asteroid is longer on the inside than on the outside.

Such an interesting concept, and what Bear does is bury it under some retarded US-Russia cold-war political/war crap. The US/Nato controls the stone, and gives slots to scientists from other countries. Russia gets about seven, and aren't allowed into the 7th chamber (or 6th onwards, i don't really remember). Stung by this restriction, the Russians attempt to do a hostile takeover in space. This absolutely unimaginative, dreary sub-plot takes up nearly half the narration.

Any sense of awe at what's being described is quickly eroded by the clunky prose. The charaters aren't developed at all, so you don't care what happens to them. For instance, when they do actually meet the creators of the asteroid, i couldn't sense any feeling of shock or wonder in their reactions.

So in a sense, this was pretty similar to his other book that i'd read, Blood Music, in that the concept is extremely strong, but he's unable to write "epic" in any manner.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Tattoo removal - easy come easy go...

It isn't often that i come across direct mailers that make me stop whatever i'm doing. This mailer from work-creative did exactly that. In the words of creator Chris: To promote sk:n’s world class tattoo removal treatments I devised a simple yet engaging direct mail piece. I utilised a scratch off mechanism (like you would find on a scratch card) to enable the recipient to literally remove the tattoo.

Tables on the go...

Innovative product design is alwats a pleasure to come across.
Take this table from designer Oscar Diaz, for instance - ...consists of four legs which hook onto each table top corner and are held together in tension by a strap which in turn is tightened using a ratchet to create a load-bearing structure. The table is quick and simple to set up, as it does not require any tools or fixings to assemble or disassemble. A grip on the tabletop situated at arm’s length from the front edge makes it easy and comfortable to transport, and is used once constructed, to pass the various cables through from appliances such as a computer or lamp.

Beautiful in it's simplicity. makes you wonder why you didn't think of it earlier.