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Book Blog

January 13, 2019

Caliban’s War (Review)

nother installment of my up-in-the-favorites scifi series, the crazy-interesting books by a writer team carrying the pseudo name of James S. A. Corey, and what you can view as Season 2 of the Expanse on some of your streaming services. You’ll remember that in our last review, James, Naomi, Amos and Alex had discovered that there was an alien molecule that was being dicked with by a soulless corporation – their thought: hey, we can really save on space suits if we could alter humans by changing their bodies, down to their DNA, to make them into whatever we want […]
January 6, 2019

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry (Review)

eil DeGrasse Tyson is a science popularist, rather like Bill Nye and Carl Sagan. He brings science down to the level where normal nabobs (such as your humble reviewer, with his small backyard scope) can understand. And he does a good job at it. His book on general astrophysics was very good. Starting with the complete history of the universe (at least for its critical first day or so) was quite fascinating. Moving out to the scale of the universe, how scientists calculate things, how we basically know what we know, was quite revealing. It got me to realize just […]
December 30, 2018

The Travelling Cat Chronicles (Review)

kay, backstory – while visiting Japan, I saw a movie poster with a shot of a cat that looked exactly like my late Mookie. Stunned me. Looking further into it, I discovered the book the movie was based on, The Travelling Cat Chronicles. Part of me will continue my search for the flick. But part of me will finish the review of the wonderful book it uncovered. The novel follows a strange and interesting journey of Nana the cat and his companion (not owner – it’s not that sort of relationship) Satoru the human. Satoru, it seems, had found Nana […]
December 22, 2018

Leviathan Wakes (Review)

f you’ve seen The Expanse on the Sci-Fi network then you’ve seen this book (the first in a series of seven or eight). It’s set in the solar system a century or so forward from ours. Earth is a UN dominated world, Mars bold and fascist. And the belt, it’s free-wheeling yet controlled by the inner worlds (and falling more and more under the sway of the OPA (Outer Planet Alliance)). So, yes, this is a universe set for conflict and action. Into this backdrop we find four people, late crewmembers of the ice rigger Canterbury (destroyed as part of […]
December 16, 2018

The Gum Thief (Review)

like Douglas Coupland’s work. I really enjoyed Generation X and his gritty observations of modern Americana. And The Gum Thief, which I’d intended to last a week of easy reading got brushfired-off in one weekend (I was at a train operating session and there was a lot of down time between runs). So the novel is an interesting store about intertwined relationships, all that begins, laughingly (or depressingly enough) in a Staples store. Two of the drones here, Bethany the goth chick and Roger, the washed-out forty-year-old life failure, suffer through their days in this bleak consumer hell. But the […]
December 9, 2018

End of Watch (Review)

icked this one up (as I usually do) in a used bookstore. And as I started reading, I realized it was a continuation from another Stephen King novel I’d read, Mister Mercedes. And that crazy kook from the first novel (with his nasty backstory) is now geeked up in an intensive care hospital, his brains all mushed from a sack of ball bearings swung by plucky Holly just as he’d been about to detonate his bomb in a kiddy concert and scythe down something like 2,000 preteen girls (you say it like it’s a bad thing, right?). But let me […]
November 11, 2018

The Massacre of Mankind (Review)

I always wanted to write my own version of a sequel to my favorite novel of novel, War of the Worlds. Read it at least twenty times and thought about it often. But now that Steven Baxter wrote this version (with the full backing of the Wells estate), I can move on to some other Great Novel. Here’s the first thing – if you are going to read this work, make sure you go back and breeze through the original. It’s far better to know the story, the details and the characters than to hit them cold. And pretty much […]
October 28, 2018

The Last Days of Magic (Review)

o imagine that all you stuff you wish, think, or dream was true – fairies, elves, giants and, of course, magic – really was. And that you (as a modern twenty-first century human) know it is only myth because books tell you the real history of the world. But maybe that is only a false narrative. What if there really had been magic, all the way through until the late fourteen hundreds, that various civilizations slowly spread, conquering the magic on their frontiers. The Vatican, of course, with its own league of magic-using exorcists, continues to fight actual witches, not […]
October 6, 2018

The War in the Air (Review)

kay, since I’m in the middle of a couple of gigantic books with no end in sight, I needed to go back to the shelves and pick something for review. Yes, even thought this isn’t DOG EAR, I must say that I’ve forgotten big chunks of some of my favorites, so much that I’m not comfortable reviewing them. But War in the Air, much like that other Wellsian classic, War of the Worlds, has thoughts and scenes that stick with me. So were stuck in this world of 191- with Bert, a humble bicycle mechanic. Bert labors through his days […]
September 30, 2018

The Edge of the Knife (Review)

n a recommendation by a friend after I’d reviewed The Keeper, I had a run at The Edge of the Knife, again, by H. Beam Piper. And, not to be anticlimactical, it was a good solid read. It involves one Professor Chalmers, a teacher of Modern History IV class at at modest Blanley College. With a slip of the tongue, he notes the assassination of an important Arab diplomat in Basra. The reason this was a slip was that it hadn’t happened, not quite yet. For you see, Professor Chalmers is a bit of a prophet. For some time now, […]