Nov
16
2014
2

Book of the Week: “The Peshawar Lancers.”

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.

Moe Lane

Nov
10
2014
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Book of the Week: Lost Majority.

The Lost Majority: Why the Future of Government Is Up for Grabs – and Who Will Take It

Go.

Read.

This.

Book.

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.

Moe Lane

(Book of the week is a feature provided by my Patreon supporters.  See here for further details, and here to support my writing.)

Nov
02
2014
2

Book of the Week: ‘Multiverse: Exploring Poul Anderson’s Worlds.’

Multiverse: Exploring Poul Anderson’s Worlds is an anthology of stories set in Poul Anderson’s universe, written by a cross-section of the biggest names in science fiction (particularly alternate history).  I’ve read a lot of books by Poul Anderson, and I’ll be damned if I can think of one that I didn’t like. He was just consistently that good. Anderson’s books were often a little sad – like H. Beam Piper, there was a melancholic streak in much of his works – but they were always worth the time to read. Seeing what a bunch of other crackerjack writers could and did do with his source material was fun.

Farewell, Ruled Britannia.  Note that Harry Turtledove has a story in this anthology.

Oct
26
2014
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Book of the Week: ‘Ruled Britannia.’

As I noted in passing a few years ago: Ruled Britannia is an alternate history novel involving William Shakespeare living in an England that was conquered by the Spanish Armada.  And it very well may be his finest book.  Admittedly, I’m prejudiced when it comes to Shakespeare.

 

And so, farewell to Bitter Seeds.

Oct
20
2014
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Book of the Week: Bitter Seeds.

Actually, the recommendation is for all three books in Ian Tregellis’s Milkweed Triptych (Bitter Seeds is merely the first of the three), but the series is not yet in omnibus form.  The series is very much alternate history horror (Second World War era), with definite elements of unapologetic cosmic horror. I enjoyed all three books in the series, for given values of ‘enjoyed;’ horrible place to visit, and danged certain that I’d never want to live there, but the locale has its charms.  Again, for given values of ‘charmed’ and all that.

 

Adieu, Quatermass and the Pit: Five Million Years to Earth (BFI Film Classics).  Your time will come!  Soon.  Soon.

Oct
12
2014
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Book of the week: ‘Quatermass and the Pit: Five Million Years to Earth.’

Mind you, I have not actually read Quatermass and the Pit: Five Million Years to Earth (BFI Film Classics) yet, solely because it’s not out yet (it’s on the Wish List). But Kim Newman is always a safe bet, particularly when it comes to writing on movies. Besides, some day I hope to have publishers send me these things preemptively in the hope of scoring reviews.

And so, adieu to This Kind of War: The Classic Military History of the Korean War.

Moe Lane

PS: The spelling is actually correct, at least from the British point of view.

(more…)

Oct
05
2014
3

Book of the Week: ‘This Kind of War,’

Gotta actually do this on a regular basis, now: I got people paying for it.  Anyway: this week’s choice is This Kind of War: The Classic Military History of the Korean War… which I am actually only about a third of the way through, but it really is a classic of its kind, and well worth recommending.  My dad was in Korea, and he didn’t like to talk about it; I am starting to really understand why.

And so, we say adieu to the brief visitation of Lord of Light.

Sep
30
2014
10

Book of the Week: Lord of Light (We hit a Patreon goal!).

Patreon link here: they need buttons, frankly.  Anyway: time to bring back Book of the Week as a regular feature.  I’ll do it every Sunday, so that I can remember it easily, but we’ll begin with one for the rest of the week: Lord of Light.  I mentioned it, like, five years ago, but it really is one of the best science fiction novels of the 1960s, and maybe the best one that Roger Zelazny ever wrote. It’s kind of about Hinduism (explicitly), kind of about Buddhism (explicitly), and kind of about how Enlightenment can take you over even when you don’t want it too; but it’s mostly just good. It’s so good, in fact, that I don’t know if anybody’s ever really tried to top it.

(more…)

Jun
16
2013
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Book of the Week: The Drawing of the Dark.

This pick was inspired by various beer-related comments here: The Drawing of the Dark is a Secret Magical History (involving the Siege of Vienna, Western chivalric mythology, and beer) which first demonstrated that Tim Powers is really, really good at creating esoteric and mystical explanations for historical events that make perfect sense at the time; disbelief is not so much suspended in one of Powers’ works as it is chained to the floor to keep it from smashing through the ceiling and out of one’s life completely.

[pause]

Basically, it’s just that it’s never a bad idea to go read a Tim Powers novel. (more…)

Mar
29
2013
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Book of the Week: Interior Desecrations.

Largely because if you buy Interior Desecrations: Hideous Homes from the Horrible ’70s via that link you’re rewarding James Lileks, and not Buzzfeed’s rip-off of the rip-off of James Lileks*. Some people have no class.

So long, Space Eldritch. It was a good run, huh?

Moe Lane

*Excuse me: ‘alleged.’

Nov
14
2012
1

Book of the Week: Space Eldritch.

I mentioned Space Eldritch a couple of days ago, and I’ve since read it.  It’s very nice, very nice: not explicitly HP Lovecraft, mostly – but it does combine cosmic terror with cosmic vistas (that’s Pretentious for ‘horror in space’) pretty well, and the writers are all pretty good.  I liked Howard Tayler’s story best… but only by a bit; and he has a bit of of an unfair advantage, given that Howard’s the guy who does Schlock Mercenary.  It’s only on the Kindle; check it out.

And so, good-bye to The Hobbit DEAR GOD WHEN WILL THE MOVIE COME OUT I CANNOT WAIT FOR MUCH LONGER IT IS MY PRECCCCCCIOUUUUSSSSSSSS

Sep
23
2012
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Book of the Week: “The Hobbit.”

Just started my kids on the The Hobbit; the youngest is ignoring, and the eldest was trying to… but I caught him being a little interested in it tonight. Just a bit.

A somewhat short tenure for The Last Days of Pompeii: Decadence, Apocalypse, Resurrection, but I suspect that Victoria will forgive me.

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