I just recently acquired a copy of “The COMPLETE Effect and HLSL Guide” and I must say, it delivers *exactly* what the title implies. It also included a little ‘abbreviated version’ that is a few pages long and the size of two credit cards that makes an excellent quick reference.. I’m not entirely sure if the little quick reference is included with the book or not (it appears to be a separate companion piece), but the addition is welcome.
My only complaint about the book would be it’s all unmanaged code (for the non-HLSL parts). Considering that’s a relatively small portion of the book (and the ‘port’ of that code to C# is pretty straight-forward), it’s a very minor complaint.
I wouldn’t want people to go get the book expecting to see lots of cool demos and samples of these awesome shaders you can write, because that’s not what you should expect (and based on the title, how could you?) What this book gives you is the down and dirty details of the Effects system and HLSL.
I’ve noticed a lot of people that bought some of the ShaderX books because they have all the cool samples of ‘awesome’ shaders, and after getting the book realizing they have no idea what these ‘awesome shaders’ do, or how to make them do anything else. If you’re in that boat, or simply want/need to know more about HLSL, I’d highly recommend this book.