Dec
09
2017
2

Book of the Week: …None of the Above is Suitable.

Sorry! It’s just been not a great week for books. I’ve read a bunch, but I wasn’t wowed by any of them. They weren’t bad, most of them; they were just kind of OK-I-guess. And I don’t want to name names, because apparently the easiest way to destroy a writer’s inner tranquility and will to live is to say that you were kind of indifferent to his or her latest tome. I freely admit to having a history of being a bit of a sadist, but I don’t throw punches like that unless they’ve been thrown at me first. I’m not a monster.

So, I dunno: go read Guns of the South, or something. That was a solid Turtledove AH.

Dec
02
2017
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Books of the Week: Carter & Lovecraft and After The End of the World.

Both by Jonathan Forward: Carter & Lovecraft is Mythos-tinged horror, and After The End of the World is its alternate-universe horror sequel*.  There has been a bit of an under-the-radar** controversy in the last few years in the horror community over old HP Lovecraft; which is complicated by the fact that it’s virtually impossible to write intelligent horror fiction that is neither positively nor negatively defined by the stylistic and conceptional tropes that Lovecraft instituted. Many, many, many reactionary*** critiques-in-fiction-form of Lovecraft’s views and literary style have been written; what distinguishes Forward’s two books here is that he can write.  I suspect that he also likes HPL a bit more than can be safely admitted among his set, but that’s just me. Anyway, fun books.

And so, adieu to The Dragons of Dorcastle oh my God that was such a good series I just chain-read it all.

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Nov
25
2017
3

Book of the Week: The Dragons of Dorcastle.

When I looked at the cover of Jack Campbell’s The Dragons of Dorcastle, I said There had better be a good reason why that woman is carrying a semi-automatic pistol in a fantasy setting. …I am now on book three of my chain-downloading of this series, because there was, indeed a good reason why she was carrying a semi-auto. They’re offering the Kindle versions of the books for ridiculously low prices*, so you might as well start drinking ’em down now before they come to their senses.

And so, adieu to… whatever it was last week. I’m on a remarkably slow platform right now and I’d rather like to be taking a nap instead.

Nov
14
2017
3

Book of the Week / IT MUST BE MINE: Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Imaginarium.

Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Imaginarium comes out on the 23rd, and all hail the power of a weak pound; a signed copy is apparently significantly cheaper on this side of the pond. In fact, lemme go put it on the Wish List, because Christmas is coming up in six weeks. It looks very very pretty…

AND SO, ADIEU… pardon me.  Just my little joke.  And so, adieu to… The Princess Bride? Must have never replaced the link on the sidebar, last week. Ach, well.

Nov
11
2017
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Book of the Week: The Final Winter.

Admittedly, I haven’t been reading many books this week — I’m trying to write one, after all — but Iain Rob Wright’s The Final Winter isn’t half bad. The concept is not as original as I suspect that he believes it is; in In Nomine terms, I’d say that it’s set in a Dark, high-contrast, reversed campaign*. But it’s a good, quick read and it entertained.

And so, adieu to The Princess Bride.

Moe Lane
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Nov
04
2017
2

Book of the Week: The Princess Bride.

Yes, The Princess Bride the book is not as good as The Princess Bride the movie. William Goldman was a little sad, and perhaps a little weary, when he wrote it. Keeping that out of the movie was a smart call. But it’s such a good book, nonetheless. It’s unfair to judge it by its cinematic version.

And so, adieu to Anno Dracula: One Thousand Monsters.

 

Oct
28
2017
1

Book of the Week: Anno Dracula: One Thousand Monsters.

Kim Newman’s latest, and it’s an excellent choice for Halloween.  Anno Dracula: One Thousand Monsters is a vampire novel (of impressive pop culture awareness) set in Japan in 1899, which is a fascinating setting in its own right.  This book is also a standalone-sequel of sorts to Anno Dracula itself, but if you haven’t read it yet you should do so anyway. It will well reward your time.

And so, adieu to Infinite Stars.

Oct
18
2017
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Book of the Week: Infinite Stars.

Infinite Stars is a collection of space opera short stories. You got your new Ender’s Game story, your new Lost Fleet story, your new Vatta’s War story, your new Dune story, your new Honorverse story, your new Legion of the Damned, story reprints from Lt. Leary and Vorkosigan and CoDominium and a whole ton of the earlier stuff.  Look, I would have bought it to hear how Black Jack Geary got his name.

And so, adieu to Cycle of the Werewolf.  Which never got any sidebar time anyway, for some reason.

 

Oct
14
2017
1

Book of the Week: Cycle of the Werewolf.

Man, I hope that I still have Stephen King’s Cycle of the Werewolf — it’s just what it says on the tin, folks; a year-long set of stories about a werewolf in a small town — floating* around in the library downstairs. I remember it being a fun read and now I want to read it.  Ach, well, I suppose that the library has a copy.

And so, adieu to Mindstar Rising. (more…)

Oct
07
2017
1

Book of the Week: Mindstar Rising.

Peter Hamilton’s near-future, somewhat cyberpunk techno-thriller Mindstar Rising is the first book of a trilogy, but it’s a good trilogy, so that’s all right.  You’re probably going to roll your eyes at the global warming stuff — it was written in 1993, and Hamilton assumed that right about now climate change would have gotten so bad that the United Kingdom would have been taken over by a bunch of filthy Stalinist Commies* — but it’s a good thriller and the computer tech holds up pretty well.  The psionic stuff, not so much, but that’s how it goes. (more…)

Sep
30
2017
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Book of the Week: The Monuments Men.

Ended up never seeing the movie, but Robert Edsel’s The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History was a good read. And, to be fair: rescuing Europe’s stolen masterpieces was a genuine mitzvah. The Nazis would have destroyed all of them out of spite, and the Soviets would have just stolen them themselves. Such is the way of the barbarian.

And so, adieu to Lord of Janissaries.

 

Sep
23
2017
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Book of the Week: Lord of Janissaries.

Lord of Janissaries is everything in the Janissaries series of ‘medieval warfare on alien planet’ that Jerry Pournelle wrote (with the collaboration of Roland Green). Alas, the recent passing of Mr. Pournelle may result in the long-awaited fourth book in the series (Malamukes) being published posthumously.  I say alas, of course, because I’d rather have Jerry Pournelle back.

And so, adieu to The Mucker.

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