Dec
03
2016
0

Book of the Week: “The Demolished Man.”

I’ll be honest: this is largely meant as a reminder that I should go read Alfred Bester’s The Demolished Man again.  Geez, do I still even have my copy?  It was in a paperback anthology and I seem to remember that the binding was cruddy.  Anyway: great book that tried to think pretty hard about the implications of ubiquitous telepathy when it came to crime. Yeah, definitely worth a re-read.

And so, adieu to Farmer Giles of Ham.

Nov
26
2016
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Book of the Week: ‘Farmer Giles of Ham.’

…But it has to be this specific version of Farmer Giles of Ham.  Otherwise the healing spell won’t wor… ah, you won’t get the full effect of JRR Tolkien’s words and Pauline Baynes’ art. Some editions are just, well, definitive.

And so, adieu to The Fold.

Nov
19
2016
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Book of the Week: The Fold.

I read Peter Clines’ The Fold, and I liked it a good deal.  The main character was particularly interesting in the way that he approached his rather unique gift: stereotypically speaking, folks in fiction with that particular real-life superpower turn out one of two ways, and the hero managed to avoid both and still make it believable.  Also, I’m a sucker for this particular genre (you’ll know which it is when you read it).  I previously read 14 from the same author, which is also good and you should check it out.

And so, adieu to Seventh Son.

Nov
12
2016
1

Book of the Week: Seventh Son.

Seventh Son – and, by extension, the Alvin Maker series – is just one of the best alternate histories out there. Also one of the best magical alternate histories, and one of the best alternate Americas, and one of the best folklore alternate histories, and in the subgenre niche that it’s made for itself it’s thus pretty much supreme.  I wish that Orson Scott Card would get on with finishing the series. I guess I’ll just have to tide myself over by rereading this one again.

And so, adieu to Footfall.

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Nov
03
2016
6

Book of the Week: “Footfall.”

Footfall is one that I have to go read again: hard science fiction alien invasion novels are pretty rare, and this is one of the masters of the genre.  Also, I can still remember and quote bits from it, and I read it half a lifetime ago.  Well worth flipping through again.

And so, adieu to Orphans of the Sky. (more…)

Oct
22
2016
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Book of the Week: Orphans of the Sky.

Robert Heinlein’s Orphans of the Sky is one of those annoyingly seminal works that Heinlein oh-so-casually tossed off on a regular basis: it’s more or less impossible to write stories about generation ships without at least referencing this work.  If you’re unfamiliar with it, you’re in luck: X Minus One did a radio play based on ‘Universe’ (the story that takes up the first half of the book). It’s not exact, but it’ll give you the gist. Also, you should be listening to more radio shows anyway.  We all should, really.

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Oct
10
2016
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Book of the Week: The Tough Guide to Fantasyland.

The Tough Guide to Fantasyland is what we used to have before TV Tropes.  It is absolutely vital as a deconstruction of a vast number of fantasy-specific cliches, and I am astounded that my copy is nowhere to be found.  I have since rectified this.

And so, adieu to Three Parts Dead.

Oct
02
2016
3

Book of the Week: Three Parts Dead.

Three Parts Dead.  Max Gladstone.  …You don’t GET to write a book this good on the first goram try.  That he did is clearly evidence that the universe is an uncaring, unfeeling place with no respect for justice.  And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go dump my entire PayPal account into the house checking account so I can pay for all the books that Gladstone has written.  I might as well do it now and save myself some valuable time, hey?

…Seriously, they’re excellent urban fantasy/alternate history. Hard to describe, easy to read. I was up until 2 AM finishing the first one.

And so, adieu to Space Viking.

Sep
27
2016
12

Book of the Week: Space Viking.

Why Space Viking? Because, really: you should be reading more H. Beam Piper. I wish more people had done it when he was alive.

And so, adieu to First Lensman.

Sep
20
2016
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Book of the Week: First Lensman.

Why Doc EE Smith’s First Lensman?  Easy: I picked it up in order to look for something I remembered in the text, and I have only now managed to tear myself away from it long enough to write some posts.  And that is all that really needs to be said on the matter, no?

And so, au revoir to Frankenstein.

Sep
15
2016
1

Book of the Week: Frankenstein.

Yup, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. It’s been a while since I read it, and it’s time that I rectified that. It’s got such an interesting place in the horror canon, after all; so many people kind of shrug and spread their hands on its literary merit, and yet it shaped so much of what came after…

At any rate: adieu to Son of the Black Sword.

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