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
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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.

(more…)

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.

Feb
08
2015
4

Book of the Week: “The Curse of Chalion.”

I find it difficult to believe that I haven’t done Lois McMaster Bujold’s The Curse of Chalion; it’s a high fantasy (heavy Southern France / Spanish flavor) that is pretty much unique in its tone and style. There is not a dull word in it; I am probably very shortly going to go find it and go read it again, in fact.  You should follow my lead in this.

And so, adieu to The Man in the High Castle.

Feb
02
2015
1

Book of the Week: “The Man in the High Castle.”

I love The Man in the High Castle. I love it and will probably read it again this week and I don’t believe a word of the alternate timeline. Does this seem contradictory? It probably is, but I love the book anyway and I hope that the pilot episode of the miniseries adaptation of it wins that Amazon contest so that they can do the whole thing. Philip K Dick was simply that good a writer.

And so adieu to The Mote in God’s Eye, which was written by authors equally as good.

Jan
25
2015
4

Book of the Week: ‘The Mote in God’s Eye.’

…I haven’t done The Mote in God’s Eye yet?

:pause:

…I am actually mildly concerned about this.  What’s wrong with me?  – DO NOT ANSWER THAT. (more…)

Jan
18
2015
1

Book of the Week: ‘An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace.’

Entertainingly, I haven’t actually read An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace yet.  But my wife has; and she followed its suggestions for food and ingredient preparation last week. As a result, I had a remarkably easier time last week cooking for the family; better meals at a lower cost.  I have thus decided to order my own copy (my wife borrowed hers from the local library), so that I can see whatever the heck it was that my wife did to fuel this particular act of culinary/fiscal magic.

Also, apparently the book was inspired by the classic WWII domestic front book How to Cook a Wolf, so there you go.

And so, adieu to The Cthulhu Wars: The United States’ Battles Against the Mythos.  Soon.  Soon.

Jan
11
2015
3

Book of the Week: The Cthulhu Wars.

This one is speculative, because it won’t be out until June: but The Cthulhu Wars: The United States’ Battles Against the Mythos (Dark) has two powerful things going for it.  One, it’s written by Ken Hite; and two, it’s being published by Osprey Publishing, as part of their Hey, wait, there’s a Hell of an overlap between the people who buy our straight-up illustrated historical military surveys and the science fiction/fantasy/horror crowd new line of books. So I figure that this one should be a good read, too.

Adieu, A Dangerous Energy. You were weird, but not forgotten.

Jan
05
2015
4

Book of the Week: A Dangerous Energy.

So I come across John Whitbourn’s A Dangerous Energy via Twitter…

…and ‘weird alternate-history magic novel’ sums it up.  In spades, and with a special emphasis on ‘weird.’ Wikipedia calls it the ‘first Counter-Reformation science fiction novel;’ I would say that the magic system is barely explained well enough to qualify as weird science rather than straight-out fantasy, but the Counter-Reformation bit is spot-on.  I found the book entertaining, fascinating, and remarkably (and cheerfully) alien to our currently secularist society: I suspect that many of my more socially conservative readers will find the protagonist’s (he’s not even remotely a ‘hero’) eventual end both satisfying, and starkly inevitable to boot.

(more…)

Dec
29
2014
5

Book of the Week: ‘The Sky People.’

The Sky People is the first book of a two-book series (plus novella) that asks the question, Hey! Wouldn’t it have been great if Mars and Venus was actually as inhabitable as the Golden Age of SF assumed that they were? - only it’s hard science fiction.  It more or less assumes no change to our timeline until the 1940s or so, but after that the changes start to accumulate. In the meantime you get giant Venusian dinosaurs in this one (and Martian rapier fights in the sequel), which is really the important thing here.  Extra points for a universe where Edgar Rice Burroughs is the unchallenged greatest literary figure of the Twentieth Century…

And so, adieu to Blood Maidens.

Dec
22
2014
7

Book of the Week: Blood Maidens.

I am, admittedly, only one-fifth of the way through Blood Maidens, which is Barbara Hambly’s third book in a series of distinctly unsparkly vampires circa the Edwardian age; but so far it does not disappoint.  I also have the pleasure of knowing that as soon as I done with Book Three that Book Four and Five await, patiently; so thanks, folks.  Bought these with the Amazon referral money, and I appreciate the Christmas present from all y’all.

So, ciao to Those Who Hunt the Night… which is Book One in this series. Traveling with the Dead is Book Two.  You should enjoy them.

Dec
15
2014
5

Book of the Week: Those Who Hunt the Night.

I mentioned this one in passing, years ago: Those Who Hunt the Night is a vampire novel set in the early Edwardian era.  It is… unsentimental and unromantic about vampires; they are monsters that think and eat people. And they are not what the hero of the book is fighting. And, hot damn! …Barbara Hambly wrote a couple more sequels than the one I knew about.  Guess those all go on the Wish List.

Adieu, Declare, adieu.

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