Bleg for good texts on immediate post-WWI Germany and Russia.

Specifically, I need books that are readable, and not barking mad insane, on both 1920s German radical groups and the Russian communist factional rivals to the Bolsheviks.  I’m not one for obsessive historical research – I think that doing that often gets people stuck in neutral when they should be writing – but it wouldn’t hurt this one time to know just who all the players were.  And, yeah, I read Pirate Utopia, but that’s pretty much Italian-themed and I’m going to be leaving Mussolini right where I found him.

Tweet of the Day, This Is Actually A PG Wodehouse Dedication edition.

I couldn’t quite believe it, myself, but a Google Books result for Wodehouse’s ‘autobiography with digressions’ Over Seventy confirms this one, so…

Yes, I looked it up.  How long have I been doing this, again?  You gotta look up everything.


Book of the Week: Firestar.

Firestar by Michael Flynn was written in 1996, and I’m increasingly reminded of it every time I read something on private space projects. I suspect that my readers who are unfamiliar with the book (basically, space opera of the near-future) will find it of no little interest: in particular, the way that ‘corporate’ is not used as a dirty word. I am mildly startled that it’s not available for the Kindle, but sometimes there are logistical issues involved.

And so, adieu to Bookburners. Wow, that one went fast.

Book of the Week: Bookburners.

Bookburners is this ensemble novel written by Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, Mur Lafferty, and Brian Francis Slattery, or perhaps ‘episodic’ is more the right word.  It reads a lot like a season-long television series would (the subtitle is even ‘Season One’), which is not actually a bad thing in this context. You see, the Bookburners in question work for a secret anti-magic Vatican task force that captures evil books before the books in question eat any more people*; which, you have to admit, is not a bad concept for a TV show.  You get the feeling that the authors would very much like to get optioned for this one, and I freely admit: I’d watch it.

And so, adieu to The Warlock In Spite of Himself. Continue reading Book of the Week: Bookburners.

Disney figures out how to get a sequel for Rogue One.

It’s a book called… Inferno Squad. And I’ll allow it:

The Rebellion may have heroes like Jyn Erso and Luke Skywalker. But the Empire has Inferno Squad. After the humiliating theft of the Death Star plans and the resulting destruction of the battle station, the Empire is on the defensive. In response to this stunning defeat, the Imperial Navy has authorized the formation of an elite team of soldiers, known as Inferno Squad. Their mission: infiltrate and eliminate the remnants of Saw Gerrera’s Partisans. Following the death of their leader, the Partisans have carried on his extremist legacy, determined to thwart the Empire — no matter what the cost. Now, Inferno Squad must prove their status as the best of the best and take down the Partisans from within. But as the danger intensifies and the threat of discovery grows, how far will Inferno Squad go to ensure the safety of the Empire?

Continue reading Disney figures out how to get a sequel for Rogue One.

Check out DJ Butler’s Dei Brittanici.

It’s a prequel short story to Witchy Eye, which is coming out in a couple of weeks. Flintlock fantasy alternate history, if the phrase ‘necromancy Oliver Cromwell’ didn’t spell that out already.  I have the Advance Reader Copy on my phone, right next to the rest of the dang pile. Seriously, I should have started exercising years ago. It’s practically making me read/watch/listen to more stuff.

Moe Lane

*Pardon the pun? …Nope, I suspect that many of you will not.

Who is the science fiction equivalent of Tolkien and Lovecraft?

As in: love or hate JRR Tolkien as you please, but you may not ignore him when it comes to the fantasy genre. Venerate or despise HP Lovecraft for any number of reasons, but when we talk about horror we are ultimately using concepts and conceits that he defined and developed.  But if there’s a single figure of the science fiction field that similarly towers over the landscape, I do not know his or her name.  Bob Heinlein comes close. So does John Campbell, although that would have been more true thirty years ago.  Maybe Gene Roddenberry and George Lucas, combined. Other than that, though, I’m stumped.


Book of the Week: The Warlock in Spite of Himself.

Christopher Stasheff’s The Warlock in Spite of Himself is an old classic of the pre-New Wave science fiction/fantasy* era, of course. In other news: Chris Stasheff is still, in fact, alive! Seriously, I thought that he must have passed a decade ago, or something. Here’s his website.

And so, adieu to Hidden Figures.

Moe Lane

*Psionics are fantasy, sorry.

I’m telling ya, the kid grows up to be Snoke.

That’s the only way this works.

The conclusion of a trilogy, mostly set between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, Empire’s End contains plenty of rewards for long-term fans. One of these is an interlude set on the planet of Naboo. A refugee boy named Mapo encounters a Gungan performing for kids on the streets, clowning around in a fountain twice a day while being studiously avoided by the grown-ups.

“Meesa Jar Jar,” says the clown when Mapo introduces himself.

Because we all know that Jar Jar was the secret Sith Lord setting the whole thing up, right?  Well, Darth Binks has just found himself a new apprentice.  Seriously, the chronology will fit.