I’ve been going in a reverse cycle in my reading – I’ve been reading fantasy for the longest time I can remember but a few months ago I moved to science fiction and now I’ve moved back to thrillers. The current book I’m reading? Robert Ludlum’s latest (and probably) last novel – “The Sigma Protocol”. I’ve been a longtime fan of Ludlum and was surprised to read on the inside cover that he’d died in March 2001! Unlike Arthur Hailey whose last book, “The Evening News”, was a major disappointment to me after the scintillating tales he used to spin, Ludlum seems to have produced one of his best novels ever as his last work. I’ve read only about one third of the book so far but it has been a great read up to now.
I think my first Ludlum novel was “The Holcroft Covenant” and it had everything – action, intrigue, love, a Nazi plot to take over the world that continued after the fall of the Reich and a young man who is slowly transformed from an innocent to a trained killer 🙂 If that wasn’t my first Ludlum, then it was probably “The Bourne Identity” which again was a superb novel and had something that I just loved – the story of an amnesiac (don’t ask why … I’ve always loved amnesia stories …). I think “The Sigma Protocol” probably stands with both the above books – which are probably the best Ludlums in my opinion. It has some of the elements from “The Holcroft Covenant” such as a Nazi plot (well … not really a Nazi plot since it involves people from both sides of the war …) that continues even today and (hopefully …) a great love story (though the love story has not started yet though I have a feeling it will eventually :p). But the protagonist is different – he is older (I think, since I can’t remember the ages of Holcroft or Jason Bourne/David Webb) and is more prepared for the action ahead of him due to a childhood spent in wilderness training camps and a rugged life. However, he seems to be a bit slower on the uptake since at one point of the story, he just does not realize that somebody could have changed their name, though it was obvious to me as a reader :p Anyway, it’s a great read and I’m enjoying it thoroughly at the moment … Next book? Probably, Archer’s “Eleventh Commandment”.
But enough of my reading, on to Blog news. I joined the Blog User web ring yesterday since I’m a Blog user too 🙂 Of course, I’d not realized when I joined that each site had a different site ID (what can I say? I’ve never been in a web ring before :p) and so signed up each of my mirror sites as a separate entity but the web ring code goes on a common page used by all three sites and so only one site will get displayed in the ring. Ah well … just as well since people might think they’re having deja vu (or double vision <vbg>) otherwise … Incidentally, Blog coding does continue (albeit slowly …) – I’d hoped to release a beta of 6.1 sometime last week but then realized that the feature set was not complete and it was too premature. So I let Jason know where to download an early build since he’d suggested the major feature which went in to 6.1 – the ability to have customized HTML code snippets – while I continued the coding. I’m almost done with the features and debugging for 6.1 but I just received a couple of bug reports from Tyran and Alison today that I need to look into and fix. Once that is done, 6.1 should be out!