Jan
17
2017
2

Book of the Week: Northanger Abbey.

I am starting to feel that the single most egregious thing that was done to me in college was to omit explaining just how entertaining Jane Austen was as a writer. I mean, sheesh, it turns out that Northanger Abbey is a meta-fiction parody that snarks out on the excesses of the genre fiction of the day… and written by somebody who was good at said genre, too.  I would have happily read that.  Shoot: if Jane Austen was around today I’d probably be signed up for her Patreon and her Twitter feed. She’d certainly be writing books in the genres that I read.

And so, adieu to Red Storm Rising. Heh.  A Jane Austen technothriller.  The mind reels…

Jan
14
2017
3

Book of the Week: Red Storm Rising.

OK, look.

I picked Red Storm Rising because I was trying to remember a passage from it the other day, looked it up, and ended up reading half the book at one sitting. When Tom Clancy was on, he was on – and this was classic ‘conventional WWIII against the Soviet Union’ stuff. But: it is not a goram ‘Jack Ryan novel.’

Sheesh.

And so, adieu to Fugue State.

Jan
07
2017
--

Book of the Week: Fugue State.

Fugue State is a John M. Ford novel that I’ve never heard of before!  …It’s probably a novella, at that.  Which means: Fugue State is a John M. Ford novella that I’ve never heard of, before.  Really, the only real difference here will be how long it’ll take me to read it.

And so, adieu to The Maker of Men and His Formula, which was frankly a little too disappointingly weird for my tastes.

Dec
30
2016
--

Book of the Week: The Maker of Men and His Formula.

This one is a bit of a self-indulgence: this edition of The Maker of Men and His Formula (by Jules Foche) comes across as exactly the sort of conceit where a modern writer (in this case, Brian Stableford) pretends that the book he’s written is actually a ‘translation’ or ‘adaptation’ of an obscure book from the last century.  It’s a harmless conceit, in my opinion, but in this case apparently Jules Foche was a real author of 19th Century French science fiction.  Which makes the whole thing rather meta.

And so, adieu to The Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall.

Dec
24
2016
--

Book of the Week: The Palace Job.

Doing this from my Chomebook, so short and sweet: Patrick Weekes’ The Palace Job is so far a pretty sweet High Fantasy heist caper. It’s also dirt cheap on the Kindle, so check it out.  I’m pretty tired, but I’ll likely stay up late enough to finish it.  So, there’s that.

Merry Christmas!

Dec
17
2016
--

Book of the Week: ‘The Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall.’

I picked up The Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall a while back, but didn’t get to it really until recently. It’s fascinating reading. It’s also oddly difficult to find right now, which doesn’t make much sense; they only released it two years ago.  Anyway: good book that strives to give you an idea about how the East German regime managed to drop itself on a stone floor and shatter into a million tiny pieces in what seemed like months.  Check it out.

And so, adieu to Angels of Music.

Dec
10
2016
--

Book of the Week: ‘Angels of Music.’

Finally got to start Kim Newman’s Angels of Music, and it is the usual cheerful invitation to go out and actually read all of these marvelous characters in their original books. As always, lots of fun. For that esoteric value of ‘fun’ that only English majors truly know.

And so, adieu to The Demolished Man

Dec
03
2016
--

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
--

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
--

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.

(more…)

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…)

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