In the e-Mail: Assassin’s Price (#11, The Imager Portfolio)

Assassin’s Price is LE Modesitt’s latest book in the Imager Portfolio, which is fantasy, more or less French, and spans a technology level running from late gunpowder to the early Victorian age. I enjoy the series, but it’s not exactly one that you can just start anywhere (you should probably start with, well, Imager).  It’s of particular note for me because the viewpoint character seems to be essentially a principled schemer and plotter; he’s an ambitious heir to the throne who has to sneak around his father’s back in order to… learn how basic markets and military strategies work.  Which honestly reminds me slightly of what King George IV of England supposedly had to go through while King George III was on the throne*. Continue reading In the e-Mail: Assassin’s Price (#11, The Imager Portfolio)

The Tour de Lovecraft: The Destinations Kickstarter is live.

I will probably have to explain to my wife why it was necessary to acquire the Traveler’s edition of Tour de Lovecraft: The Destinations, but that’s my problem and not yours.  At least it wasn’t the Yog-Sothoth edition, right?  $150 might be a bit much… to explain as a household expense: certainly acquiring a hand-tooled leather-bound edition is not even remotely difficult to justify on aesthetic grounds.

Anyway, grab ’em while high-end copies are still available as funding tiers. I certainly did.

Reminder: new Tour De Lovecraft Kickstarter tomorrow.

And, again: the first volume of Tour De Lovecraft is worth the eight bucks on Kindle.  The urge to sell my print copy at those ridiculous prices is nigh-insurmountable, too.  Fortunately, I think I can persevere.

In the Mail: Agent Garbo.

This is, of course, Agent Garbo: The Brilliant, Eccentric Secret Agent Who Tricked Hitler and Saved D-Day — and it’s making a credible case for the latter part of it. I ordered the book when I first heard the tale of Juan Pujol Garcia, and it came today; I started reading it while my kids were playing in the pool. It is, so far, compelling reading; apparently Juan Garcia was placed on this earth solely to lie to Nazi spies in ways that almost defy human understanding. It was a gift, and thank God that the man used his powers for good.

Moe Lane

PS: Apparently he was getting paid so well by the Abwehr that the British Double Cross operating budget ended up being significantly subsidized by their greatest enemy.  …That’s art, man. They should put that up on the wall in a museum, somewhere.

Tweet of the Day, Scenes From the Clusterf*ck That Is @United’s PR Department edition.

You know you’re having a bad day when the TSA is going all Don’t even TRY to drag us down with you, Sparky on you.  Believe it or not: the TSA is actually not the one at fault here. I know, I know: it confuses me a bit, too.

Via Instapundit.
Continue reading Tweet of the Day, Scenes From the Clusterf*ck That Is @United’s PR Department edition.

OK, your character is cool. But is your character JUAN PUJOL GARCIA cool?

As near as I can tell, every word of this story about Juan Pujol Garcia is true.  At least, MI5 is corroborating it. This guy messed up the Nazi response to D-Day in ways that is almost inconceivable to modern science, and he made it look easy.

Continue reading OK, your character is cool. But is your character JUAN PUJOL GARCIA cool?

Book of the Week: The Delirium Brief.

The Delirium Brief by Charles Stross is the latest in his Lovecraft-meets-espionage Laundry series, and it’s… well.  How do I put this nicely?  Charlie Stross — who is from Great Britain — has clearly been scared spitless by three specific current events since 2014 (two domestic and one foreign from his point of view, and you can almost certainly guess what those events were), and his horrified reaction to at least two of them clearly comes across in the book.  The effect is much like reading “The Horror At Red Hook” when you’re not a racist; you don’t get the same effect as you would from reading about stuff that actually scares you, but the horror that you pick up from the author still gives a certain frisson.

There. That should be polite enough.  After all, I do buy Charles Stross in hardcover. Continue reading Book of the Week: The Delirium Brief.