Jun
28
2016
0

Book of the Week: The Nightmare Stacks

I just finished it, and I’m comfortable with naming The Nightmare Stacks my Book of the Week. It’s about elves, and vampires, and (for a British Lefty, at least) a surprising amount of military porn. I mean, it was weird. I’d have totally expected it from an American author, but from Charlie Stross? Guess that’ll teach me to assume.

And so, adieu to The Thousand Names. I read the next two books in the series, by the way. They were good! (more…)

Jun
20
2016
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Book of the Week: The Thousand Names.

I had somebody on Twitter recommend The Thousand Names: Book One of the Shadow Campaigns, and I’m about a third of the way through. It’s quite good: military fantasy, Brown Bess-level technology and social structure, crackerjack action.  Also, two bucks on Amazon!  Seriously, I don’t know why half of you aren’t reading this book already.

And so, adieu to Medusa’s Web.

Jun
12
2016
1

Book of the Week: Medusa’s Web.

I could have sworn that I did Tim Powers’ Medusa’s Web last week, or something; but I can’t find it on the Book of the Week list. Anyway, just started it today, and it’s Powers, so I figure it’s safe to put it up now. So far it seems to be about time travel and madness, which is always a plus.

And so, adieu to …Tim Powers’ Last Call.  Must be why I thought that I had done Medusa’s Web already.

Jun
02
2016
2

Book of the Week: Last Call.

Tim Powers is always a reliable person to read, of course: and Last Call is undoubtedly the go-to book if you ever want to read about how Las Vegas, poker, the Tarot, Bugsy Siegel and the Fisher King are related.  …And if you never realized that you wanted to read about all of that, well, today’s your lucky day.

 

And so, adieu to The Awesome.

May
13
2016
2

Book of the Week: The Illustrated Man.

…I miss Ray Bradbury. Then again, who doesn’t? My only qualm about doing The Illustrated Man now is that I’m doing it now: like so many of Bradbury’s work, it’s best appreciated in autumn. Mid-autumn, when the days can still be warm, but the night wind has that delicious chill to it. I’d leave my window open those nights, as much to hear the wind rustle the trees outside as to get that crisp air that rolled in off of the sea.

I miss that air.

And so, adieu to The Crash of Empire (Imperial Stars, Book 3).

May
04
2016
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Book of the Week: The Crash of Empire (Imperial Stars 3).

I got reminded of The Crash of Empire (Imperial Stars, Book 3) via comments in another post: the book (edited by Jerry Pournelle and John Carr) is a collection of short stories and essays about, unsurprisingly, wars and empires. There’s some pretty good stories from the 1950s Campbell era in here, so check it out.

And so, adieu to Hallow Mass.

Apr
27
2016
2

Book of the Week: “Hallow Mass.”

An old friend of mine sent over a preview copy of JP Mac’s Hallow Mass to read: I’m in the process of finishing it up now.  Basically: imagine how modern progressive academia would likely respond to an absolutely-real Cthulhu Mythos and you’ll have an idea of how the book goes. It’s coming out in a few days on Kindle; check it out.

And so, adieu to The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts.

Apr
17
2016
2

Book of the Week: “The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu.” …SOLD!

Never underestimate the power of a good book title: you call something “The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts,” you will have my respectful attention. And then when you write a Wall Street Journal article about Abdel Kader Haidara, mild-mannered Hero Librarian and book-smuggler… yeah. I’ll pre-order that. For great justice.

(H/T: @Gormogons) (more…)

Apr
11
2016
3

Book of the Week: “The Monster At The End of This Book.”

…My oldest kid loves The Monster At The End of This Book. Especially when I do my lovable, furry old Grover voice. So anybody who doesn’t like it can kiss my… :ahem:. I have chosen the book that I have chosen.

And so, adieu to League of Dragons.

Apr
09
2016
6

Book of the Week: League of Dragons.

I want, and do not want Naomi Novik’s League of Dragons to come out.  I want it to come out because it is a Temeraire novel (which is to say, a military historical novel about dragons in Napoleonic-era England and the British aerial corps that takes them to war); but I do not want it to come out because then the series will be finished.  Patrick O’Brian had this problem himself, as I recall.  Patrick O’Brian would have also loved this series.

And so, adieu to Flashman and the Mountain of Light.  I also think that George MacDonald Fraser would have enjoyed this series, but a good deal more gruffly.

Mar
22
2016
7

Book of the Week: “A Mountain Walked: Great Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos.”

A Mountain Walked: Great Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos is a collection of short stories collected and edited by S.T. Joshi. …OK, I have had my issues with Joshi, from time to time. He doesn’t have issues with me, because he has no idea who I am and probably wouldn’t care if he did.  But I will forgive the guy much for finding Robert Barbour Johnson’s old NYC subway Mythos-flavored story “Far Below.” Worth the five bucks right there.  I mean, I want to go around to all the people I know who write Cthulhu RPGs and say “Look at this! LOOK AT THIS. Somebody was doing in the 1940s what we’re all trying to do now! What else did this guy write?”

And so, adieu to The Final Reflection.

Mar
16
2016
7

Book of the Week: ‘The Final Reflection.’

Damn, but I miss John M. Ford. He was one of those annoyingly casually brilliant writers who could produce good work on a moment’s notice, and without apparent effort. This week’s BotW is no exception:  The Final Reflection was, prior to the Next Generation stuff, considered pretty much the definitive Star Trek book on Klingons – but, more importantly: it’s a totally legitimate science fiction novel.  Dude was simply incapable of writing poorly.   (more…)

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