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Book Blog

August 18, 2019

Roasting Robert Raymond (Review)

‘ll admit that I’m still chiselling through Infinite Jest (with literally no end in sight) and I needed something to review. But then I remembered this effort by a local writer-in-training (the dark-contessa-like Marilyn Yokley), who roasted me with this in my retyrement (nyuk) party the other day. It’s a good example of how to lovingly roast someone – not cutting and sharp but rather just bringing aspects of a personality (in this case, mine) to bear. And to Marilyn, as Cardinal Richelieu put it; “One must be careful what one writes… and who one gives it to.”     Roasting […]
August 11, 2019

Genius without Education (Review)

‘m currently plowing through Infinite Jest (a massive book, and I don’t think the exchange will be reciprocal). Anyway, kiddies, that means it’s time for another one of my short stories from The End, a massive collection of the best the late Jurassic Publishing could offer. I was a little surprised at this one. Genius without Education comes from the string of western stories Jurassic commissioned (I should know – I submitted one). In this short story, we have a mysterious woman (named Genuine Truth) comes to the town of Pandemonium. That she comes with a Chinese servants (siblings, a […]
August 4, 2019

The Cassandra Project (Review)

should have known what I was getting into when a woman at the astronomy club meeting offered this book she’d read to anyone else, with kind of a shrug and a “I’m not saying it’s good or anything.” Shoulda known faint praise when I heard it. So, The Cassandra Project is a fiction where a tabloid points out (in a NASA briefing) that Apollo IX (the vehicle sent to orbit round the moon two trips before the “actual” moon landing) made a radio transmission right before going around the far side of the moon, sounding a lot like the astronauts […]
July 28, 2019

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Review)

kay, so this is a weird one – two guys about as tripped out on drugs as it is possible to be in ’71, hired out by a magazine to report on the craziness of the Mint 400 (a desert race outside of Vegas), going from seedy bar to wrecked hotel room in this dizzying series of episodic adventures from the very early seventies. As you can imagine, I was having troubles getting my head around it (clear as it is from drugs) and to see the humor of some of the situations. Sure, Hunter Thompson is a raw guy […]
July 21, 2019

Don Quixote (Book 2) (Review)

don’t know how this all came to be. Miguel de Cervantes had his first smash hit (the original Don Quixote). Then, fifteen or so years afterwards, he came out with his second one. But this was two years after someone poached in his preserve and wrote their own sequel. Given that he bitches and mocks this trespasser all the way through his effort, I’ve got to figure that this sequel was a direct response to the incursion. But I found it interesting to see how much Cervantes’ powers of a writer had grown in that time. Book 1 was just […]
July 14, 2019

A Dream of Armageddon (Review)

he long trek through Don Quixote continues, the end in sight. Given that I had a train show, an airport run and a software load (all before sunup Sunday), I didn’t get it done (expecting it cleared by dinner tonight). So that being the case, I grabbed one of my H.G. Wells collections from the shelf, opened to a random story and read it. A Dream of Armageddon opens in our living dream, that of a man on a train pausing at Rugby, of a haunted man entering, of the conversation quickly turning towards dreams (for the narrator is carrying […]
July 7, 2019

The Gossage—Vardebedian Papers (Review)

oody Allen is poison now. Nobody will touch him. But before all that sordid family stuff, before the films, he was a writer. Even then, a lot of his short stories were silly and strange. But one, which i first read as a kid, involved two gentlemen playing chess by mail (snail mail). What could go wrong? We see this in the form of their correspondence, with the first letter (at mid-game) pointing to an irregularity in play. Evidently a move from several turns ago was lost in the mail (blamed in distractions by “Amalgamated Anti Matter”, which just fell […]
June 30, 2019

Wish for a Gun (Review)

in’t know what a gun is until you see six empty chambers and the smoky tongue coming from the barrel. Ain’t know what God is until you yell out into the sky and no one says shit to you. Ain’t know what the earth is until you put someone in it. This is early in the short story Wish for a Gun, a short tale by Sam Sykes that made it into Jurassic’s The End. And while I’m annoyed that my submission just missed the cut (as they all did), I’ll give this story credit for being good. If I’m going […]
June 23, 2019

The Decision Book (Review)

kay, so I’m facing a very tough decision. Do I retire or not? At first I was. Then I didn’t. Then they offered a buyout. Then they jacked us with it, only giving it to directors, forever-employees and dingdongs. So now I need to know: do I stay or do I go? Given that she has to live with my endless prevarications, my wife did the only thing she could – she bought me a copy of The Decision Book. This book dosn’t tell you an answer – it’s not a Magic 8-ball. It simply provides you with one page […]
June 16, 2019

Fuzzy Nation (Guest Review)

ell, gang, I’m here to encourage you in a light summertime underdog tale that combines a smart-aleck disbarred lawyer-space prospector protagonist with the repartee of John McClane, a pyrotechnic-trained dog, sci-fi aspects in the eponymous fuzzy ewok-like creatures, and court scenes worthy of a meld of “A Few Good Men” and “Matlock”. This goulash of a book works, it’s fun, but it ain’t great literature– get over it. The book in question is Fuzzy Nation, a ‘reboot’ by John Scalzi of H. Beam Piper’s 1962 classic Little Fuzzy. I am unfamiliar with the original work. The story, according to a […]