May
19
2017
1

Book of the Week: The Berlin Project.

Gregory Benford’s The Berlin Project asks the question: What would have happened if my* father-in-law had had the chance to have the high-speed centrifuge method be chosen as the Manhattan Project’s primary method for uranium enrichment? And the answer is apparently We would have had the Bomb in time for D-Day.  Which is arguably true, and certainly interesting. And probably a better situation all around, assuming that you weren’t living in… well, read the book.  Although you’ve probably guess what happens, just from the title.

And so, adieu to The Weapon Shops of Isher.
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May
15
2017
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In the Mail: The Sword Interval, Volume 1.

The Sword Interval is a supernatural webcomic that I’ve grown highly fond of; it features professional monster hunters and exorcists in a world with far too many of both.  One of the nice things about it is that the author (Ben Fleuter) tries to come up with new things that are scary, instead of going to the old favorites.  Not that there’s anything wrong with old favorites, but it’s nice to have fresh nightmares come into the mix.

The Kickstarter is long done, but Ben Fleuter is part of the Built on Strange Grounds Kickstarter, which looks promising as well.  Check it out.  You can also buy the book here for twenty bucks; check that out.  Hey, I’m providing a link to buy something sans affiliate revenue link; I must like it, huh?

May
12
2017
6

Kentucky Fried Chicken releases a romance novel. Wait, what?

Well, technically it’s a romance novella.  Also technically, it’s a publicity stunt that Kentucky Fried Chicken is hoping will catch fire and spawn a summer’s worth of imitators.  Because, really: if you had that kind of potential access to the zeitgeist, wouldn’t you also try to muck about it?

Full points for chutzpah gets them the Amazon link. I like seeing an audacious publicity move as much as the next man. Besides, if this takes off I could write McDonald’s-themed heroic fantasy novels all. Damned. Day.

May
09
2017
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Wait, Gregory Benford’s got an alternative WWII book out today?

The Berlin Project. Hypothesis: they got lucky and figured out how to get an atomic bomb up and running by 1944.  What’s the result?  I dunno, Gregory Benford hasn’t told me yet.  Honestly, what’s concerning me is that there’s an alternate history novel written by Gregory Benford out today and I somehow missed it.  In a properly well-run universe, I pre-order books like this and they arrive the day it comes out, thus allowing me to give pitying smiles to all those unfortunates who must trudge down to an actual bookstore and acquire their copy.

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Apr
29
2017
1

Book of the Week: Jurassic Park.

I know that this is a little bit of a weird choice, but I spent the day looking through my library to see if I still had a copy of Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park lying around.  If I spent that much time looking, it’s worth an entry, right?  That seems reasonable.  Even if I wanted to read it as an antidote to the Power Rangers dinosaur series that my children persist in watching. Over and over and over again.

And so, adieu to Brain Wave.

Apr
28
2017
10

So, they’re remaking Stephen King’s Firestarter.

Which leads to an interesting question: Is Hollywood’s intellectually bankrupt habit of recycling old films as bad when the original movie sucked?  Because I remember the original Firestarter.  It wasn’t very good.  A lot of early adaptions of Stephen King books weren’t very good.  So I’m kind of curious to see whether this is a problem with the movies, or Stephen King’s earlier works*.

Moe Lane

*This is not a criticism of Stephen King’s earlier works.  For example, I liked the Firestarter book for what it was, which was a page-turning science fiction / horror novel that wasn’t too full of itself.  But not all books make for good movies. God knows the first Firestarter flick wasn’t.

Apr
27
2017
4

Bloom County collection at Humble Bundle.

Fifteen bucks gets you all the old Bloom County collections, the Outland stuff, the Opus stuff, and the new Bloom County stuff.  I mean: you do know that Berkeley Breathed is regularly drawing Bloom County again, right?  I can’t believe that I wouldn’t have mentioned it.

Moe Lane

PS: I’d like to be able to say that maybe the evidence suggests that Bill Watterson is maybe thinking about coming back, but that’d be wishful thinking. Or wistful thinking. Phrase works either way.

Apr
24
2017
3

Tweet of the Day, The Mage Should Have Been Casting At The Thief edition.

Useless Chaotic Neutral* git.

Still… dang, but I’d like to have that on my wall.  As would half the people reading this, of course. They should do a print.

Moe Lane

*Can’t be Good, obviously: he’d be fighting the dragon otherwise. Can’t be Chaotic Evil, because he’d have thrown a dagger at the mage.  Lawful Evil would understand the concept of “kill dragon, then loot” better than this. True Neutral is for people who can’t make up their minds.  So it’s Neutral Evil or Chaotic Neutral, and robbing a dragon that isn’t dead yet and is maybe about to eat the rest of your party sounds quintessentially CN to me, ayup.

Apr
24
2017
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“The Village that Voted the Earth was Flat.”

I’ve referenced Rudyard Kipling’s immortal The Village that Voted the Earth was Flat in the past, but I’ve just spent the last hour or so rereading it instead of writing posts, and I can’t say that I regret playing hooky.  It and On the Gate really are Kipling’s best short stories.  Well, they’re my favorite ones, at least. And I really wish that the conditions that produced the latter – making the world of the former as thoroughly lost as Atlantis – had never, ever happened.

 

 

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