Used price: $13.95
Collectible price: $99.99
Buy one from zShops for: $20.00
It is always somewhat disappointing to have to buy yet another sourcebook just to complete your RPG system. This one is no exception and you really can't consider running a serious Babylon Project game without having this in hand.
On the upside, it is in full color, just like the main rulebook, and is full of the same deep descriptions that give a clear sense of how it "feels" to be part of Earthforce.
The book is organized in a logical fashion similar to the rulebook comes complete with information on at least one ship from every major race (except Vorlon) and a quick system for ship to ship combat. This includes two pages of full color cardboard cut-outs of ship markers.
You will also find information not only about Earthforce's structure, but a full cast of important characters in Earthforce.
While I cannot list their URL, as per Amazon's review policy, the publishers of _the_Babylon_Project_ (Chameleon-Eclectic) have a wonderful intro to! the system in general on their website.
*They also include a vital addendum to the first printing of this book*, and other useful PDF's.
While it would be nice to have more specific geographical information, (in both this sourcebook and the rulebook) my only major complaint is that this isn't so much as sourcebook as a integral part of the system, and it should be sold as such.
Either way, the book is *still* one you really can't do without.
It is a pity all the game supplements are so hard to find, I would love if someone reprinted them.
Used price: $0.99
Buy one from zShops for: $2.00
Text provides excellent instruction of MS Access functionality, while briefly touching SQL and VBA. You'll need additional resources to learn them. Layout of the book makes quick referencing difficult.
Overall, an excellent book !!!
Used price: $2.25
Collectible price: $6.66
Buy one from zShops for: $6.87
List price: $19.95 (that's 30% off!)
Used price: $9.95
Collectible price: $17.40
Buy one from zShops for: $12.85
It also points out that organizations and academic institutions are good at developing organizational specialists but not at training managers. The author thinks that these institutions should provide management programs that also focus on developing leadership and managerial skills. But to do that it's important to understand what managers and leaders really do.
Overall a very good read for a traditional manager to be introspective and effective.
Used price: $1.20
Collectible price: $19.99
Buy one from zShops for: $5.60
List price: $18.95 (that's 30% off!)
Used price: $6.50
Collectible price: $13.22
Buy one from zShops for: $8.95
List price: $29.95 (that's 30% off!)
Used price: $9.75
Collectible price: $17.46
Buy one from zShops for: $10.39
Why is it important at all that we point out moments or even decades of pettiness, vainglory, or difficult family relations? How exactly is that supposed to help us understand the art? Why not write a book about a fellow named Bob who lives down your down the street and his ordinary to miserable life?
Of course, we don't write about Bob down the street because he is ordinary and he isn't Stravinsky. Haven't we long ago realized that even Stravinsky the composer is something other than Stravinsky the husband, father, or businessman. Of course extraordinary people have much about them that is quite ordinary.
Some feel that knowing the artist as a human being helps us understand his art. Maybe on the margins it could, but only children believe that a composer was necessarily sad when writing a sad piece or happy when writing a happy piece and so on. Nothing Mr. Joseph tells us about the composition of The Flood helps us understand how it comes out of a Stravinsky. (Even if the author is trying to put forward that in this case it DIDN'T come out of Stravinsky).
Don't get me wrong, this book by Charles Joseph isn't bad. Really, it has much to recommend it and I am glad that I read it and hope you do too. But I was frustrated by the mixing in of well known stories and photographs into a book that claimed to be revealing new things based upon new access to Stravinsky's papers and artifacts in Basel. It isn't that there isn't anything new or semi-new, it is that it isn't set apart from the ho-hum there's that old chestnut again regurgitation of Stravinsky tales.
It is like going to a dinner party and listening across the table to a very knowledgeable guest who tells a few enthralling tales about a very interesting subject, but then spoils the enchantment by going on too long by telling a few too many tales that have no spark or wit about them.
Joseph also doesn't follow up on things that ARE really interesting. For example, when he discusses the actual piano music performance scores that Stravinsky used and the interesting fingerings the composer used as a performer. But we don't get a picture of even one page of those piano scores nor do we get even a hint as to why Stravinsky's written in fingerings are telling. As a pianist of sorts, I can surmise why Stravinsky's fingerings would be interesting, but it would be nice to get even a bit of discussion on such an interesting topic. I would have traded all of those re-printed pictures for one or two of the actual new material and one page of the marked-up piano music.
Yes, there is a 1983 text available through ProQuest that talks about Stravinsky's piano music, but Mr. Joseph indicates in the book that there were new things learned from his seeing the materials in Switzerland. In any case, this book is generally available and his 1983 book is not. Again, why reprint the nude photo of Stravinsky that is NOT original to this book and leave out something that would be valuable and a real contribution such as Stravinsky's piano fingerings?
It would be a real service if Mr. Joseph (or SOMEONE) put together an edition of the piano works with those fingerings in them. Not that pianists will necessarily use those precise fingerings, but they would certainly aid in understanding how the composer himself interpreted the piece.
Especially annoying to me was yet another tired discussion about Robert Craft. Mr. Joseph does demonstrate that Mr. Craft did play a significant role in the genesis of Stravinsky's work "The Flood". The author approaches the point of almost intimating that Craft is at least the co-composer of "The Flood", but never is bold enough to make that accusation. My guess is because for all the support and creative priming that Craft provided for Stravinsky, the evidence is that the composer did indeed compose the music himself. For heaven's sake, every composer since music began based it on some other creative spark or borrowed a theme from another work or even included suggestions from performers for whom the work was written. Composition is not done in a vacuum chamber on the dark side of the moon!
However, anyone who knows anything at all about Stravinsky's output from the fifties onward knows that Craft did us all a tremendous service. Why anyone wants to criticize Craft is beyond me. Unless someone wants to make the case that Stravinsky simply signed his name to Craft's scores and present real evidence they should either whine to people who care or thank Craft for the music he enabled Stravinsky to make in the fifties and sixties.
All in all, it easy for us in our age of sarcasm and witless irony to see the flaws of books that extol our favorite composers as heroes or as flawless paragons of humanity. My suspicion is that it won't take too many more years for people to turn their backs on the recent spate of books that take as their mission the whittling down of the tree of the great artist to a toothpick of a human. It is just too easy to write about human failings. We don't learn much at all about the art from such books and they are tiresome to read.
Finally, I am curious about the surmise that I am not a music scholar? By what definition? In europe a student is a scholar. Over here, what is the definition of a scholar? One who agrees with your points of view? I happen to have spent seven years at the University of Michigan School of Music and have a degree in music theory and several years of graduate school before my life took a different direction. But I have always played my piano and kept up on music. So, my views are not uninformed.
In response to Craig Matteson... everyone is entitled to their opinon (and of course, no better place to put one's opinon but in a review). However, Mr. Matteson was off on one point (well, in my opinon, he was off on MANY points, but I'll only discuss one). Joseph has written a very thorough book entitled Stravinsky and the Piano in which he studies Stavinsky's "actual piano music performance scores" in detail - fingerings and markings included. Maybe Mr. Matteson is unaware of this book because it is only available to music scholars, which quite obviously, he is not. So it makes perfect sense to me why Joseph did not include such information in this book. A) he already wrote a book about this, and B) this book is about Stravinsky's split lives (the person vs. the public composer) - therefore the scores and fingerings are obtuse.
List price: $21.95 (that's 30% off!)
Used price: $4.95
Buy one from zShops for: $9.95
No one can deny the greatness of F. Scott Fitzgerald. No author since has had the unique gift of such masterful and captivating use of the English language - combined with unparalleled social insight into his age and time. The excessively lavish and glitzy, yet highly impersonal, fetes of Gatsby, make one feel as if one is in attendance partaking in the debauchery - thanks to the effortless and fluid prose of Fitzgerald. The classic American tragic figure, Gatsby symbolizes all that we want to be, and not be, at the same time. Exemplary masterpiece.
"And I like large parties. They're so intimate. At small parties there isn't any privacy." - Jordan Baker
While the characters in the novel remain ultimately unknowable at their indefinite cores, Fitzgerald does a great job tying his characters to their historical setting. The protagonist of the novel, to my mind, is Nick Carraway, the narrator. The hero of his story, which frames the novel, is the legendary Jay Gatsby - a legend in his own mind. Although Carraway's narration is often heavily biased and unreliable, what emerges are the stories of a set of aimless individuals, thrown together in the summer of 1922. Daisy Buchanan is the pin that holds the novel together - by various means, she ties Nick to Jordan Baker, Tom Buchanan to Jay Gatsby, and Gatsby to the Wilsons.
The novel itself deals with the shallow hypocrisies of fashionable New York society life in the early 1920's. It is almost as though Fitzgerald took the plot of Edith Wharton's 'The Age of Innocence' and updated it - in the process making the characters infinitely more detestable and depriving it of all hope. Extramarital affairs rage on with only the thinnest of veils to disguise them, the nouveau-riche rise on the back of scandal and corruption, and interpersonal relationships rarely signify anything permanent that doesn't reek of conspiracy. The novel's casual allusions to beginnings and histories often cause us to reflect on the novel's historical moment - when the American Dream and Benjamin Franklin's vision of the self-made man seem to coalesce in Jay Gatsby, a Franklinian who read too much Nietzsche.
No matter how you read it, 'The Great Gatsby' is worth re-reading. M.J. Bruccoli's short, but informative preface, and C. Scribner III's afterword are included in this edition, and both set excellent contexts, literary, personal, and historical, for this classic of American literature.
List price: $12.95 (that's 20% off!)
Used price: $6.49
Buy one from zShops for: $7.00
Used price: $79.99
This is a fasten-your-seat-belt suspense and a guaranteed page-turner. You will kick your later if you don't read this. If you want to wait for a better review of this book to make up your mind, it is your choice...but I would not !!! Happy reading.
I recommend High Crimes and Extraordianry Powerrs; also as well as all my other reviews I have done. They are still worth a look.