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Book Blog

November 28, 2021

Make Room! Make Room! (Review)

ritten in 1966 (just as overpopulation was becoming a known concern), this novel by Harry Harrison was the driving force behind the movie Soylent Green. Focusing on the book (the whole cannibalism aspect is absent), we have detective Andy Rusch sharing a small tenement flat with Sol, a retired engineer who has cobbled together a bike-generator for their small fridge and TV. Andy has been assigned a case looking into the murder of a known racketeer – it’s thought to be the work of a new mob moving into New York (it’s actually the result of a frightened burglar who […]
November 21, 2021

The Last Emperox (Review)

or this review, I’m going to avoid spoilers. It’s the last book of the The Interdependency Trilogy. I won’t tell you who lives and who dies. However, the flow passages between the planets of the Empire are shutting down, entire habitats with billions of souls dependent on trade will die, and the only planet (End) with a natural biosphere that could keep humans alive is controlled by evil Noble House Nohamapetan, and even if they lifted their blockade the planet would be overrun by billions of displaced people. So it’s pretty grim. We see Emperox Grayland II trying to mature […]
November 14, 2021

The Trafalgar Gambit: Ark Royal III (Review)

o this is book three of the Ark Royal series, the final book (final, did you say? That sounds like foreshadowing. Uh oh). In a nutshell, the Ark Royal was an old Royal Navy space carrier, built along specs thought important eight decades past, put out to pasture with a goof-ball crew and suddenly pressed back into service when all those lighter, newer carriers were all turned to scrap by the Tadpoles (an alien race that seemingly attacked us out of the blue (well, black, since this is space)). If you are curious about all this, read my earlier reviews […]
November 7, 2021

The Consuming Fire (Review)

kay, i’m way behind on my reviews. However, I can still remember that the second book of John Scalzi’s Interdependency series was as sharp as the first, The Collapsing Empire. So, yes, let’s give this a shot. To avoid spoilers, I’m just going to mention that the only danger in this book is that that Kiva Lagos, a secondary character behind the Emporox Grayland II, continues to outshine all the other characters with her foul tongue and action-figure manners. Of particular delight is when a rival house attempts to assassinate her and shoots her lover instead. In retaliation, Kiva beats the […]
October 31, 2021

The Electric State (Review)

veryone feels that culture and society is falling apart around them. And never has that been more so than this book by Simon Stallenhag, showcasing his dystopian art in loose storyform, The Electric State. Set in a world where VR addiction and a massive drone war fragmented America in the ’90s, the book follows a young women who is traveling from somewhere in the dust-clouded Imperial Valley up to a small sea-side town just north of San Fransisco (labeled as a “Memorial City”). In her inventory, she has an old clunker car, a sawed-off shotgun, a kayak (tied to the […]
October 24, 2021

Battle for the Stars (Review)

here is something to be said about old Space Opera novels from the golden era of sci-fi. The plots aren’t dogged down in technical details (you simply point a ship in the direction you want to go and go) and one man can pretty much change the course of the narrative. Realism doesn’t get in the way too much. And that’s pretty much Battle for the Stars, a 1961 novel by one of the classical masters, Edmond Hamilton. I found myself really enjoying this book. So the human empire has largely fragmented. In the center is Earth, royal yet impotent. […]
October 17, 2021

Klara and the Sun (Guest Review)

lara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro is a charming yet nihilistic fable of man’s isolated future. In this not too distant or improbable alternate future, parents arrange mandatory play dates for their children’s social advance, and buy friendship for their children through artificial intelligence robots. Klara, our story’s protagonist, is one such AF. We follow her from her storefront beginnings through her burgeoning understanding of her new charges human interactions through to her planned obsolescence. In a world of robots who possess more humanity than the humans they serve, Kazuo Ishiguro takes us on a beautifully crafted heroes journey […]
October 10, 2021

The Nelson Touch: Ark Royal II (Review)

he Ark Royal  series appears to have widespread appeal – at least from what I can tell. Author Christopher Nuttall churned out a bunch of them (seventeen as of 2021). And I can see why they are popular – because they are good. Once again, the titular ship of the series, introduced HERE, is called to duty again. As the only armored ship in the Earth fleets (the rest were only lightly armored death cans), it once more must rise like a phoenix and set sail in finest Star Blazers fashion. This time the idea is a deep penetration raid on […]
October 3, 2021

The Collapsing Empire (Review)

oor Cardenia, She’s just a nobody living on Hub, the imperial world that controls a network of forty-eight planets connected by the flow, a physics anomaly that allows space ships to travel (slowly) between worlds. Everything is fine and she likes her life. But then the heir to the throne dies in a car racing accident and the current Emperox succumbs to old age. And suddenly, unprepared and maybe a bit unwilling, she it suddenly thrust into the role of the new Emperox. It is a lot to take in for her (as the ruler of an empire for which […]
September 26, 2021

Ark Royal (Review)

lucked out on this one – was in a used bookstore in Norfolk and came across a block of Ark Royal books, five of the first six, missing the initial copy. Looked like a good series – and self-published too, it seemed – so I bought them. Well, my sister bought them for me, a nice gesture. But I read them. The first book of the Ark Royal series takes place, I dunno, 200 years in the future? Man has reached the stars via tramlines but nations (and navies) still exist. And Ark Royal, an outdated English carrier seventy years […]