May
04
2015
6

Book of the Week: Lest Darkness Fall.

Well, technically it’s Lest Darkness Fall & Related Stories because this edition has a short story by S.M. Stirling in it, and if it’s the one I’m thinking of it’s also worth perusing.  Lest Darkness Fall is one of the classic ‘time traveler changes the past’ stories; not least because it doesn’t assume that the hero is going to be able to recreate every technological innovation. L. Sprague de Camp was simply too freaking brilliant to fall into that particular trap.  Lest Darkness Fall is almost eighty years old, and doesn’t look a day over thirty. I don’t even know why I’m recommending it; surely everybody reading this has read it already, yes?

Anyway: say farewell to The Complete McAuslan.

(more…)

Apr
27
2015
3

Book of the Week: “The Complete McAuslan.”

I am always finding books that I cannot believe that I have not yet recommended for Book of the Week yet… which is good, right? Means that I’m not about to run out yet.  Well, this week’s is The Complete McAuslan, by George MacDonald Fraser. It’s the full collection of Fraser’s short stories – very lightly fictionalized – about a certain British junior officer’s time in service just after World War II: an officer who is not named McAuslan.  No, Private McAuslan is his nemesis, or albatross, or curse, or… just read the stories, all right? You’ll howl with laughter, hopefully.  Fair warning, though: the most absurd stuff?  Probably all happened.  That’s how these things go. (more…)

Apr
20
2015
7

Book of the Week: “The Proteus Operation.”

It’s a little hard to find, but The Proteus Operation is worth a look-see: it’s a time travel / alternate history WWII story (with a twist that becomes fairly obvious as the book goes on). James Hogan got, alas, a bit strange in his thinking as he grew older: but this book was written well before any rot set in.  Check it out.

And so, adieu to Dune.

Apr
13
2015
10

Book of the Week: “Dune.”

I suppose that most of my readers who are also science fiction buffs have already read Dune: for the rest of you, it’s… it’s just one of the Books. This one volume alone justifies the title ‘epic:’ a combination of religion, political intrigue, war, and ecology that pretty much blew the minds of every science fiction author that read it.  Even the people who hate it now can’t really avoid it: Dune helps define the entire genre.

Plus, it has giant sandworms and people fighting with swords. That always brings in an audience. (more…)

Apr
06
2015
1

Book of the Week: Great North Road.

I’m only about halfway through Peter F. Hamilton’s Great North Road, but it’s really good so far.  Peter Hamilton’s an interesting guy to read: I got started on him with his Night’s Dawn
series, which can be accurately described as A hard science fiction look at what would happen to an interstellar civilization if there was a mass escape of damned souls from Hell.  …I’m not particularly exaggerating, either. I don’t give advice on books based on the author’s ideology – I mean, I buy Charlie Stross in hardcover, don’t I? – but a British (probable) Euroskeptic who writes well is nothing to sneeze at, either.

And so, farewell to The Complete Paratime.

Apr
02
2015
3

Book of the Week: “The Complete Paratime.”

I knew I was forgetting something, and here it is: the Book of the Week. H. Beam Piper’s The Complete Paratime; it collects Piper’s Paratime alternate history story with his seminal Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen. This is one of the classics of the genre, folks.  If you haven’t read ’em yet, go for it.

And so, adieu, Werewolf Cop.

Moe Lane

Mar
22
2015
1

Book of the Week: “The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox”

I read the first book (Bridge of Birds) in Barry Hughart’s The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox trilogy… wow, over twenty years ago? Anyway, it was a loaner, I never got a copy, but I still fondly remember Master Li, and the slight flaw in his character.  So today I find out that there were two more books, and the whole thing is now heading to my Kindle, and I suggest that you follow suit.

Twenty years. Maybe twenty-five. Wow.

And so, adieu to Werewolf Cop. (more…)

Mar
16
2015
3

Book of the Week: Werewolf Cop (HINT HINT, @andrewklavan).

This one is kind of speculative. I haven’t read Werewolf Cop yet, because somehow I didn’t get an review copy.  …OK, to be fair, I’m not that big a dude in this scene for that.  But surely Glenn Reynolds is, so Andrew Klavan should send over a copy to him at least.  See? This is me being helpful.  Anyway, I figure I’ll pick up an e-copy when the Amazon kitty refreshes next week, so I’ll let you know then how it reads.

And adieu, Tour de Lovecraft: The Tales.  Good run.

Mar
09
2015
4

Book of the Week: Tour De Lovecraft.

If you haven’t read Tour de Lovecraft The Tales, then… One hundred and eleven bucks on Amazon!?! That much? Ken, for the love of God: put out a new edition! Oh, don’t worry: the Kindle version is eight bucks.  If you’re looking for a good survey on H.P. Lovecraft’s works, this is what you want to read.

And so, adieu to… I don’t know; should I try to sell my copy?  I don’t need the money, but that is a ludicrous sum.  Sorry.  adieu to Reaper Man.

Mar
02
2015
1

Book of the Week: “Reaper Man.”

Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett is the eleventh one in his Discworld series, and they’re being SOLD FOR FOUR BUCKS APIECE ON KINDLE, so why are you still here?  Seriously. This is, like a steal. :waving fingers: Go! Shoo! Buy Discworld books for four bucks!

And so, farewell to Superego.

Moe Lane

Feb
22
2015
--

Book of the Week: ‘Superego.’

Sure, sure, Superego (science fiction, hit man, interstellar politics) was written by Frank J Fleming of IMAO fame; and sure, he also wrote Punch Your Inner Hippie: Cut Your Hair, Get a Job, and Make America Awesome Again, which I interviewed Frank on and everything. But I liked Superego on its own merits. It’s a bit of a challenge to try to make a sociopath a sympathetic, let alone heroic, character without appealing to the reader’s dark side; and I think Frank pulled it off. Plus, it was funny and had a decent, fast-moving plot. I’d read more in the series, if Frank was planning to write them.  Check it out.

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Feb
15
2015
9

Book of the Week: Starship Troopers.

Speaking of Bob Heinlein: Starship Troopers is, of course, one of the best damn science fiction novels ever written.  It’s been almost comically misunderstood, of course: in fact, you can detect how dubious somebody in the speculative fiction field actually is, just by seeing just how badly he or she misses the point of Starship Troopers. There’s a certain type of mind that simply cannot accept the plain text of the book…

But I digress.  So let us bid adieu to The Curse of Chalion. And hope for another sequel to that one.

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