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Andrew Bugenis - Bookseller in Saratoga Springs

Andrew grew up in Central New York and moved to the Saratoga region in 2010. He primarily reads science fiction, ranging from alternative history to far-future space fantasy, and this genre obsession carries over to his other hobbies of gaming and filmmaking.

The Stars Now Unclaimed (Universe After #1) by Drew Williams - Book Review

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The Stars Now Unclaimed (Universe After #1) Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781250186119
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Tor Books - August 21st, 2018

The Stars Now Unclaimed manages to combine two very common genres into something unique - post-apocalyptic space opera. The protagonist - unnamed until halfway through the book for some admittedly cheap mystery - is responsible for retrieving gifted children - telekinetic abilities and the like - made possible after a galactic calamity a hundred years ago, which has also rendered all of the planets of civilization incapable of supporting technological advancement to various degrees. (On one planet, any advancements after microcomputers would spontaneously break down due to "Pulse radiation"; on others, anything from the printing press on is unviable.) The protagonist and her latest charge end up gathering a broad smattering of misfits from across the galaxy as they get chased by the ruthless Pax - small-time militarized zealots who threaten the galaxy not because of any great skill on their part, but because they had the good fortune for their world to not get knocked back too far.

The unique combination of two often opposite settings works quite well within the book's own logic and I found it quite easy to slip in to the mindset of a colorful fantastic romp through space. The science is soft enough to cut with a butter knife, though only once to my personal detriment while reading, and always in the service of some fantastic imagery. Betrayal is a common theme, but in Unclaimed is dealt with in the past tense - this good companion, someone discovers, once did something horrendous. The characters have to work through that, to figure out if past misdeeds forever tarnish who a person can be, and of course, to try to come together and become the family that they each need. ~ Reviewed by Andrew Bugenis


Little Moments of Love by Catana Chetwynd - Book Review

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Little Moments of Love Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781449492977
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Andrews McMeel Publishing - June 19th, 2018

Catana Comics slowly spread to take social media by storm. Every strip depicts something that feels unique to the artist's relationship, but resonates because every couple has their own language of love. Anyone in a relationship can pick at least half of the strips in this book, show them to their significant other, and exclaim, "It's us!" ~ Reviewed by Andrew Bugenis


The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer by Neal Stephenson - Book Review

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The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780553380965
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Spectra Books - May 2nd, 2000

Stephenson literally and figuratively kills the ideas of "cyberpunk" in the first pages. There's no need for the old staples from earlier works like Snow Crash and the writing of William Gibson in this post-cyberpunk, post-scarcity world. But even when humanity wants for nothing, it still needs no excuse to keep causing trouble, as our signature Stephenson multiple protagonists have the misfortune of finding out. ~ Reviewed by Andrew Bugenis


What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe - Book Review

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What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780544272996
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Houghton Mifflin - September 2nd, 2014

Compiling some of the best answers from online as well as an assortment of fresh, print-only material, What If? has a lot to teach, hidden under its whimsical writing and simple - yet surprisingly helpful - illustrations. ~ Reviewed by Andrew Bugenis


Old Man's War by John Scalzi - Book Review

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Old Man's War Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780765348272
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Tor Books - January 15th, 2007

Citizens on Earth know nothing of what's out there in space, but when they turn 75 they have the opportunity to enlist in the army, unable to turn back but able to go out into the galaxy to protect humanity. This premise allows the reader to join protagonist John Perry on his journey, full of discovery, as he goes from fresh-faced wonder to a battle-hardened veteran. ~ Reviewed by Andrew Bugenis


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