Aug
31
2015
0

Book of the Week: “The Bunker.”

I was under the impression that The Bunker was what they based Downfall on, but it turns out that the two works are just looking at the same thing; the last days of the Nazi regime (specifically, Hitler’s final days and death in the Berlin bunker). It’s a very lively work, given that it was written by a journalist and not an academic. I also assume that we’ll get at least one person in comments who will politely but firmly bring up James O’Donnell’s (the author) weakness for a good narrative. Still, it was and is compelling reading.

And so, adieu to Snow Crash

Moe Lane

Aug
25
2015
12

Book of the Week: ‘Snow Crash.’

Why Snow Crash? Because…

Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I moved to a martial-arts monastery in China and studied real hard for ten years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I dropped out and devoted my life to being bad.

When I write something that’s that good, believe me: I’ll let you know.

And so, adieu to Ringworld. (more…)

Aug
17
2015
4

Book of the Week: Ringworld.

I’m a little surprised that Ringworld hasn’t come up, yet. Maybe I’m assuming that those of you who are science fiction fans are all Niven fans already.  Anyway, it’s the best damn pastiche of the Wizard of Oz you’ll ever read.  No, seriously, Larry Niven himself has had this insight (WARNING: TV TROPES LINK).

And so, adieu to The High Crusade.

Aug
11
2015
3

Book of the Week: “The High Crusade.”

How to describe Poul Anderson’s The High Crusade? Well. Do you like books where alien invaders discover why it’s not a good idea to mess with a 14th Century English baron who has a complete set of longbowmen with him?

…The answer to that should be ‘yes,’ by the way. Not that I’m judging you if it’s not.  Well, not too much.

And so, adieu to Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation.

(more…)

Aug
05
2015
2

Book of the Week: Console Wars.

I’m only about a quarter of the way through Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation, but it’s gripping reading.  Sufficiently gripping that you should probably pick it up.  The funny part? I was growing up during all of this, and I still somehow missed it… oh, right, my parents didn’t let us have video game consoles in the house. Which was probably wise.  On the other hand, my eldest is starting to make some SWEET stuff in Minecraft.

And so, adieu to Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary.  Which is still sitting on the desk at home, tanjit.  Oops…

Jul
27
2015
5

Book of the Week: “Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary.”

OK, I admit it: I’m saving JRR Tolkien’s Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary for Pennsic.  Gotta have something to read while I’m waiting for the rain to stop, the dancing to start, or the beer to get cold. But my wife read it, and she liked it, and shoot, it’s JRR Tolkien.  It’s not like I’m taking some kind of hideous risk here.

And so, adieu to A Matter for Men, which was apparently a touch more, ah, controversial a choice than I had hitherto imagined. (more…)

Jul
22
2015
12

Book of the Week: A Matter For Men.

I will regret this; but there have been… rumors… that Book Five of David Gerrold’s War Against The Chtorr alien invasion series may be approaching a place where it could be considered as possibly being in a position where it might be -and this is going to sound strange, I know – well, published.  I don’t believe it, either… but I can’t make myself quite disbelieve.  So, since I apparently enjoy feeling the pain of broken hope, here’s A Matter for Men (The War Against the Chtorr, Book One).  It’ll all end in tears, of course.  Ten thousand years from now, they’ll uncrate David Gerrold’s cyronically frozen head and ask him “WHEN ARE YOU FINISHING THE SERIES?!?” …And there still will be no good answer.

But I’m not bitter!

And so, adieu to The Lost Majority. (more…)

Jul
13
2015
1

(Revisited) Book of the Week: Lost Majority.

I kind of hate having to a), redo a previous book; and b), do one that’s non-fictional: but The Lost Majority: Why the Future of Government Is Up for Grabs – and Who Will Take It is frankly essential reading for people talking about inevitable and permanent electoral victories.  Spoiler warning: neither of those happen. And Sean Trende will happily explain to you why.  So if you have not yet gotten this book, I will repeat what I wrote last time: (more…)

Jul
06
2015
5

Book of the week: ‘Uprooted.’

Finally got around to reading Naomi Novik’s Uprooted, and WOW but it’s good.  We’re talking a deep dive into folklore themes here, folks: Polish, in this particular case, but the actual culture doesn’t matter. What matters is that Novik takes this stuff seriously, and is smart enough to be properly wary of its narrative power.  Terry Pratchett would have loved this book, and I can’t think of a single nicer thing to say about it. I pretty much read the whole thing in as few fell swoops as Fourth of July weekend would allow.

And so, adieu to The Annihilation Score. Which I will gleefully consume tomorrow.

(more…)

Jun
28
2015
3

Book of the Week: “The Annihilation Score.”

This one I am anticipating: The Annihilation Score (A Laundry Files Novel) will not be out for another week and a half, and I don’t think that I’m going luck out with this one and find a copy at a Borders bookstore that had unaccountably been put out early (which is what happened to me with another book in this series).  Mostly because Borders doesn’t exist anymore, of course.  Anyway, this is going to be the latest book in Charlie Stross’s Lovecraft-meets-spy-novels-meets-computer-math series, and it’s been a pretty nifty series so far. Hopefully, Charlie can keep a handle on his increasing tendency to conspiracy crank before the Great Old Ones come to finish the series by eating everybody’s souls – which is a selling point for this series, actually. It’s Lovecraftian cosmic horror. You know everybody’s gonna die. The author promised. (more…)

Jun
22
2015
--

Book of the Week: “The Last Wish.”

More properly: Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Last Wish: Introducing The Witcher.  …Yeah, I’m not proud.  But the truth of the matter is that the book is a fairly good set of fantasy short stories that draw on the grimmer aspects of traditional European fairy tales. I liked it; the translation was pretty good, too, which is fairly helpful in this sort of situation.  If you’re playing the game, it’s not a bad call at all for the Kindle. (more…)

Jun
16
2015
2

Book of the Week: The Martian Chronicles.

…No, I’m not sure why The Martian Chronicles.  Aside from the fact that it’s a great collection of short stories, of course. Maybe I just kind of miss Ray Bradbury.  Although I typically tend to miss him in October, which I think would please him.

And so, farewell to De Bello Lemures, Or The Roman War Against the Zombies of Armorica. (more…)

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