Jul
26
2017
1

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*. (more…)

Jul
26
2017
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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.

Jul
25
2017
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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.

Jul
24
2017
2

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.

Jul
24
2017
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Reminder: the Mysterion 2 Kickstarter.

Mysterion 2 is, as you no doubt remember, a Kickstarter dedicated to publishing a second volume of Christian-themed speculative fiction. I was given a copy of the first one, I read the first one, I liked the first one, and I’ll probably submit a story if this project gets off the ground. So check it out.

Jul
24
2017
1

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.
(more…)

Jul
24
2017
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Poetry: ‘Song of the Thespian Dead.’

Found here and on Patreon.  If you like it, tell people about my Patreon.  Pleaaaaseee….

Jul
22
2017
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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.

(more…)

Jul
21
2017
8

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. (more…)

Jul
19
2017
8

“From the Afterword to Pillars of Hell: The Birth of the Republic of Terra Navy, 2030-2080”

From the Afterword to Pillars of Hell_ The Birth of the Republic of Terra Navy, 2030-2080

Don’t know where to take this from here, to be honest.

From the Afterword to Pillars of Hell: The Birth of the Republic of Terra Navy, 2030-2080.

 

The Terran Navy was born in a hundred desperate orbital battles, fought by a handful of national wet navies that had been hastily converted into spacefaring (barely) vessels.  The first crews took to Earth orbit and fought using clumsy copies of captured, half-understood technologies; and they mostly died.  The ships that did survive were the ones whose captains were mad enough and lucky enough to get their ships within visual range of the enemy, using reckless speed and ignoring all thoughts of safety as a matter of course.

 

This tactic worked.  Not ‘worked better than anyone could have expected it to:’ it simply worked. Nobody in the Galaxy voluntarily fought ship battles at that range, and the swarming planetary looters who were Humanity’s first spacefaring enemy were swept from control of Earth orbit (at terrible cost) before the invaders could change their tactics. And once Earth controlled its own high ground again, the end was inevitable. The nascent Terran Navy had the resources of a planet backing it up, and in that campaign their enemy did not.

(more…)

Jul
19
2017
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In the Mail: Gotham by Gaslight.

No picture for it tonight: my wife’s reading it at the moment, and it’s her birthday so there you go.  Gotham by Gaslight was good, though. Batman generally comes close to a Victorian aesthetic anyway — it’s sort of implied by the word “Gotham” — so having the comic just drill down and embrace it fully works pretty well. Fair warning, though: it’s more of a mood piece than an action comic.

Jul
18
2017
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In the mail: Armistice: The Hot War.

Harry Turtledove’s latest in his Hot War series, which is set in an alternate universe where we started throwing A-bombs around in response to setbacks in the Korean War.  Armistice: The Hot War is shaping up to be one of those series where people don’t precisely win; they just kind of survive it.  Which is kind of interesting, because his last series (The War That Came Early) is the exact opposite.  In that alternate history the world thinks that it went through the wringer, even though having the war start over Czechoslovakia ended up ensuring that most of Western Europe got through it all relatively easily.  Heck, even the Germans ended up in that one with no Hitler, continued union with Austria, and the Holocaust stopped before it could even begin.

Sorry; geeking.  Anyway, it’s good, so far, but Armistice is the third book in a series. So read the first two… first.

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