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
--

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
--

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.

Jul
29
2017
--

Book of the Week: …it’s a tough one.

I’m going to go with Agent Garbo: The Brilliant, Eccentric Secret Agent Who Tricked Hitler and Saved D-Day. Because it’s insane that this scheme actually worked. Even if you believe that Admiral Canaris was in on the whole thing, which isn’t really supported by the text of that book.

And so, adieu to The Delirium Brief.

Jul
21
2017
8

Book of the Week: The Delirium Brief.

The Delirium Brief by Charles Stross is the latest in his Lovecraft-meets-espionage Laundry series, and it’s… well.  How do I put this nicely?  Charlie Stross — who is from Great Britain — has clearly been scared spitless by three specific current events since 2014 (two domestic and one foreign from his point of view, and you can almost certainly guess what those events were), and his horrified reaction to at least two of them clearly comes across in the book.  The effect is much like reading “The Horror At Red Hook” when you’re not a racist; you don’t get the same effect as you would from reading about stuff that actually scares you, but the horror that you pick up from the author still gives a certain frisson.

There. That should be polite enough.  After all, I do buy Charles Stross in hardcover. (more…)

Jul
15
2017
--

Book of the Week: A Wrinkle in Time.

Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time is, of course, a classic; but it’s also a children’s book — and one the first science fiction stories that I got to read.  Which makes it a favorite of mine.  :narrowed eyes: Not to mention a subject of some concern, given that Disney is making a movie of it.

…And it had better be a good movie, too.  Some things may not be borne.

And so, adieu to 1636: The Kremlin Games.

Moe Lane

Jul
08
2017
--

Book of the Week: 1636: The Kremlin Games.

Been reading the 163x Grantville alternate history series again, mostly because I wanted to. 1636: The Kremlin Games (authors Eric Flint, Gorg Huff, and Paula Goodlett) is a reasonably standalone novel in that series, and pretty engrossing.  Russia’s always an interesting locale to put a speculative fiction story, not least because the place seems half-fantastic to Western readers anyway.

And so, adieu to The Day of the Triffids.

Jun
30
2017
3

Book of the Week: The Day of the Triffids.

John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids is of interest to me not just because of the book, but because for some reason I thought that I was thinking of the 1962 movie version of it when I was actually thinking of the 1981 BBC miniseries. Which makes more sense, because I was wondering how 1962 could have possibly managed to make a movie that was actually faithful to the book. Short answer: it didn’t, of course.  Anyway, good book, well worth revisiting’ but just remember that it was written in the 1950s.

And so, adieu to A Civil Campaign. (more…)

Site by Neil Stevens | Theme by TheBuckmaker.com