It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.
This slim but large-format book is really a souvenir for visitors to Schloss Charlottenburg and is therefore rightly primarily about the images, reproducing some of the art work as well as the palace exterior, interior and gardens. additionally the text gives an interesting, if superficial, history of building, gardens and occupants (the Hohenzollern Dynasty) from first construction to post-WWII reconstruction (which is on-going). It's got most visitors covered, I suspect, with editions in English, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian - even German! There were a couple of subtle translation errors, "plastic" again and "stove" for "fire-place," but nevermind - the pics are fab, inculding one of my favourite object from those I saw, the White Harpsichord, which is white (duh!) with Chinoise paintings all over and was played by Charlotte herself, who was a keen musician and all-round intellectual. This was particularly delightful to me as a fan of Baroque era music and harpsichord pieces in particular.
There are LOTS more pics I like from my Berlin visit but here's just four more:
Flagon and Speedy went to see Neptune in Alexanderplatz:
Flagon says, roar! I whoosh FIRE out of my nose! This character is whooshing WATER from his!
Speedy says, snuffle! Different!
They also visited Alte Nationalgalerie on Museuminsel:
Well, my proposed neat structure has been up-ended by the introduction of a fourth protagonist - one of the cats. Said cats being the most interesting element of the book, so far.
Parts of the Palace were heavily damaged during WWII; reconstruction work is still not entirely complete.
Here's some randomly encountered Berlin public art pics:
Seems like we're cycling through three protagonists at one chapter per protagonist. This is potentially bad news. On the other hand - talking cats!
End of Act 2 and the shape of the thing begins to loom out of the mist. Also, magic, murder and dumb shows!
The three storey Belvedere in the garden was designed by the same man as created the Brandenburg Gate - Carl Gottfried Langhans.
Flagon and Speedy went to the Brandenburg Gate:
The rising power of corporations has been a strong theme in SF since the '80s. It was a key element in cyberpunk and it's central to this novel. This isn't cyberpunk, though - cyber is largely irrelevant, certainly not a key theme or even an important part of the world building. Instead, Morgan extrapolates the trends of corporate power in the international political arena (in fairly conventional ways) and innovates by doing the same for corporate <i>internal</i> politics. These ideas are extreme and hopefully preposterous.
I found it to be a compelling read in that it's full of incident and yet, and yet...the actual plot develops slowly, is a little too predictable and our protagonist isn't a hero. Not even an anti-hero. Just an asshole. Which made it difficult to care - much like Kovac in the sequels to Altered Carbon.
The Ruins of Kreuzkirche, Dresden: Another casualty of the Seven Years' War. Weirdly, all the surrounding buildings appear entirely unharmed. Usually the staffage were to give the illusion of capturing a specific moment in time. In this case an actual historical event is depicted. Men atop the ruins carry out the dangerous task of demolishing the remains brick by brick.
If Frederick the Great gave you a snuffbox you could be sure he valued you highly.
I liked this building near the Holocaust Memorial. (The van, not so much.)