…I haven’t done The Mote in God’s Eye yet?
…I am actually mildly concerned about this. What’s wrong with me? – DO NOT ANSWER THAT. (more…)
Entertainingly, I haven’t actually read An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace yet. But my wife has; and she followed its suggestions for food and ingredient preparation last week. As a result, I had a remarkably easier time last week cooking for the family; better meals at a lower cost. I have thus decided to order my own copy (my wife borrowed hers from the local library), so that I can see whatever the heck it was that my wife did to fuel this particular act of culinary/fiscal magic.
Also, apparently the book was inspired by the classic WWII domestic front book How to Cook a Wolf, so there you go.
And so, adieu to The Cthulhu Wars: The United States’ Battles Against the Mythos. Soon. Soon.
This one is speculative, because it won’t be out until June: but The Cthulhu Wars: The United States’ Battles Against the Mythos (Dark) has two powerful things going for it. One, it’s written by Ken Hite; and two, it’s being published by Osprey Publishing, as part of their Hey, wait, there’s a Hell of an overlap between the people who buy our straight-up illustrated historical military surveys and the science fiction/fantasy/horror crowd new line of books. So I figure that this one should be a good read, too.
Adieu, A Dangerous Energy. You were weird, but not forgotten.
So I come across John Whitbourn’s A Dangerous Energy via Twitter…
Those of you who did not tell me about the weird alternate-history magic novels of John Whitbourn are fired.
— Kenneth Hite (@kennethhite) January 4, 2015
…and ‘weird alternate-history magic novel’ sums it up. In spades, and with a special emphasis on ‘weird.’ Wikipedia calls it the ‘first Counter-Reformation science fiction novel;’ I would say that the magic system is barely explained well enough to qualify as weird science rather than straight-out fantasy, but the Counter-Reformation bit is spot-on. I found the book entertaining, fascinating, and remarkably (and cheerfully) alien to our currently secularist society: I suspect that many of my more socially conservative readers will find the protagonist’s (he’s not even remotely a ‘hero’) eventual end both satisfying, and starkly inevitable to boot.
The Sky People is the first book of a two-book series (plus novella) that asks the question, Hey! Wouldn’t it have been great if Mars and Venus was actually as inhabitable as the Golden Age of SF assumed that they were? - only it’s hard science fiction. It more or less assumes no change to our timeline until the 1940s or so, but after that the changes start to accumulate. In the meantime you get giant Venusian dinosaurs in this one (and Martian rapier fights in the sequel), which is really the important thing here. Extra points for a universe where Edgar Rice Burroughs is the unchallenged greatest literary figure of the Twentieth Century…
And so, adieu to Blood Maidens.
I am, admittedly, only one-fifth of the way through Blood Maidens, which is Barbara Hambly’s third book in a series of distinctly unsparkly vampires circa the Edwardian age; but so far it does not disappoint. I also have the pleasure of knowing that as soon as I done with Book Three that Book Four and Five await, patiently; so thanks, folks. Bought these with the Amazon referral money, and I appreciate the Christmas present from all y’all.
I mentioned this one in passing, years ago: Those Who Hunt the Night is a vampire novel set in the early Edwardian era. It is… unsentimental and unromantic about vampires; they are monsters that think and eat people. And they are not what the hero of the book is fighting. And, hot damn! …Barbara Hambly wrote a couple more sequels than the one I knew about. Guess those all go on the Wish List.
Adieu, Declare, adieu.
Declare is a novel by Tim Powers, and like pretty much all Tim Powers novels it manages to create a unique subgenre that nonetheless makes perfect sense when you think about it. Of course, you say. Clearly I wanted to read a book that integrates Abrahamic religious lore with classic Cold War spy fiction. Silly of me not to realize this sooner, in fact.
Tim Powers does this all the time. I just buy his books on sight now. It saves valuable time.
And so, adieu to Atomic Robo Volume 7: Flying She-Devils of the Pacific. And the rest of them, too.
Actually, that’s not true: Atomic Robo Volume 7: Flying She-Devils of the Pacific is merely one of the books you should be getting. Just get the whole series, really. You’ll be a better person for it, honestly.
What’s that? It’s a comic book about a robot. Who is atomic. This is not hard to work out from context.
And so passes The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, alas. :sniff, sniff: Sorry. Getting kind of dusty in here…
Ken Hite once (half-despairingly*) called The Case of Charles Dexter Ward the second best horror novel ever written, and he’s correct about both the quality and the half-despair. If you read nothing else by HP Lovecraft, read this one (you should also read other things by HP Lovecraft).
Adieu, The Peshawar Lancers.
*It almost didn’t get published at all. And if it had been published in Lovecraft’s lifetime he might have lived longer.
S.M. Stirling’s standalone book The Peshawar Lancers (there is a short story set in the same universe, mind) is an alternate history novel that asks What would happen if you dropped a comet or an asteroid into the Atlantic Ocean during the height of the Victorian era? One answer apparently would be Eventually, Rudyard Kipling’s dream world. It’s all very steampunk, in the brass-and-gears sense: but it’s also very deliberately evocative of Haggard and Kipling and Fraser (to give an idea, the Flashman novels are not so much evoked in this book as they were slipped a Mickey Finn and shanghaied to it). I enjoyed it greatly, not least because Stirling is always good at showing the world-building. Lots of fun and it’s a shame there hasn’t been a true sequel.
Adieu, The Lost Majority: Why the Future of Government Is Up for Grabs – and Who Will Take It. We’ll have need of your services again soon enough, I fear.
I first did when it came out in 2012 (heck, Amazon quoted my review in the Review section); and its arguments were extremely helpful in letting me see early the warning signs that the 2006/8 Democratic coalition wasn’t up to snuff when it came to winning the 2014 electorate. Go read it, and remember: nothing in there says that what happened to the Democrats can’t happen to the GOP, either. It can. It probably will, too.
And so, adieu to Multiverse: Exploring Poul Anderson’s Worlds.