Oct
18
2017
0

Book of the Week: Infinite Stars.

Infinite Stars is a collection of space opera short stories. You got your new Ender’s Game story, your new Lost Fleet story, your new Vatta’s War story, your new Dune story, your new Honorverse story, your new Legion of the Damned, story reprints from Lt. Leary and Vorkosigan and CoDominium and a whole ton of the earlier stuff.  Look, I would have bought it to hear how Black Jack Geary got his name.

And so, adieu to Cycle of the Werewolf.  Which never got any sidebar time anyway, for some reason.

 

Oct
14
2017
1

Book of the Week: Cycle of the Werewolf.

Man, I hope that I still have Stephen King’s Cycle of the Werewolf — it’s just what it says on the tin, folks; a year-long set of stories about a werewolf in a small town — floating* around in the library downstairs. I remember it being a fun read and now I want to read it.  Ach, well, I suppose that the library has a copy.

And so, adieu to Mindstar Rising. (more…)

Oct
07
2017
1

Book of the Week: Mindstar Rising.

Peter Hamilton’s near-future, somewhat cyberpunk techno-thriller Mindstar Rising is the first book of a trilogy, but it’s a good trilogy, so that’s all right.  You’re probably going to roll your eyes at the global warming stuff — it was written in 1993, and Hamilton assumed that right about now climate change would have gotten so bad that the United Kingdom would have been taken over by a bunch of filthy Stalinist Commies* — but it’s a good thriller and the computer tech holds up pretty well.  The psionic stuff, not so much, but that’s how it goes. (more…)

Sep
30
2017
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Book of the Week: The Monuments Men.

Ended up never seeing the movie, but Robert Edsel’s The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History was a good read. And, to be fair: rescuing Europe’s stolen masterpieces was a genuine mitzvah. The Nazis would have destroyed all of them out of spite, and the Soviets would have just stolen them themselves. Such is the way of the barbarian.

And so, adieu to Lord of Janissaries.

 

Sep
23
2017
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Book of the Week: Lord of Janissaries.

Lord of Janissaries is everything in the Janissaries series of ‘medieval warfare on alien planet’ that Jerry Pournelle wrote (with the collaboration of Roland Green). Alas, the recent passing of Mr. Pournelle may result in the long-awaited fourth book in the series (Malamukes) being published posthumously.  I say alas, of course, because I’d rather have Jerry Pournelle back.

And so, adieu to The Mucker.

Sep
16
2017
1

Book of the Week: The Mucker.

The Mucker by Edgar Rice Burroughs is frankly speculative. S.M. Stirling casually referenced it in his new book The Black Chamber — which promises to be a text guaranteed to make people’s teeth grind in a most ecumenical fashion — and apparently it’s supposed to be one of ERB’s underrated works.  So, hey, I grabbed it, and I’ll read it after I finish the latest Eric Flint EARC. Why not?

And so, adieu to King David’s Spaceship. (more…)

Sep
08
2017
3

Book of the Week: King David’s Spaceship.

King David’s Spaceship was written by the, alas, late Jerry Pournelle; and if you have not read it, it is an excellent story that manages to incorporate espionage, medieval-era combat, and interstellar travel into a seamless mass that only looks easy when you’re not trying to duplicate the trick. Not his best-known work, but I think that I read this before I really got into anything else that Pournelle wrote. Go check it out; I wonder where my own copy is.

And so, adieu to Golden Age and Other Stories.

Aug
31
2017
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Book of the Week: Golden Age and Other Stories.

Golden Age and Other Stories is Naomi Novik’s collection of stories from her Temeraire series. It’s an interesting collection of alternate takes, short vignettes, and “Dragons and Decorum,” which is absolutely worth the six bucks to any of my readers who enjoy both Napeolonic Wars stories involving dragons AND the works of Jane Austen.  …Yes, that story is exactly what you think that it is, and my only problem with it is that it is far too short*.

And so, adieu to The Man in the High Castle. (more…)

Aug
26
2017
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Book of the Week: The Man in the High Castle.

Philip K Dick, of course. The Man in the High Castle is interesting and readable* in its own right; but I would have liked to have read The Grasshopper Lies Heavy, too. It’d be interesting to read an alternate history World War II novel where the broad outlines were true to our history, but the details were not. Or at least, one written by Philip K. Dick. He was an interesting dude.  And, of course, a deeply weird one.

And so, adieu to The Starry Wisdom Library.

*While also being absolutely absurd. Cactus Jack Garner would have been perfectly capable of rallying the country** after a hypothetical FDR assassination; and Wendell Wilkie would have easily won the 1940 Presidential election, or some other fellow who would been able to add 2+2 and get “better keep England afloat.” I grant that FDR did a good, solid job of wartime Presidenting, but his skill set would have hardly been unique.

**We also have a more balanced view of the actual utility of the New Deal in these, more modern times.

Aug
19
2017
3

Book of the Week: The Starry Wisdom Library.

I bought this one back in April; but it’s been a slow week, so I’m catching up on stuff. The Starry Wisdom Library: The Catalogue of the Greatest Occult Book Auction of All Time is indispensable for anybody doing Cthulhu Mythos gaming or writing. So indispensable, in fact, that I’m just going to use it as the definitive source for Mythos tomes from now on; there is no point in trying to improve on its entries, given how well it was put together originally.

And so, adieu to the Lost Fleet.  Which was excellent, all the way through.

Aug
12
2017
5

Book of the Week: …Still Dauntless, but expanded to all three Lost Fleet series.

Look, I went to the library today and cleaned out their Jack Campbell collection, OK? Let’s just face it, this is what I’m reading for the next week. I might as well embrace it.

So just grab them, already.

Aug
03
2017
4

Book of the Week: The Lost Fleet: Dauntless.

I grabbed Jack Campbell’s The Lost Fleet: Dauntless from the local library today. …My, but it’s rather good, isn’t it? Whoever it was here who first suggested it deserves pie.

And so, adieu to Agent Garbo.

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