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Book Blog

December 13, 2015

The Game of Rat and Dragon (Review)

kay, write a short story that glorifies space fighters and cats and you’ve got me hooked. The Game of Rat and Dragon is a fascinating short story from the old Space Fighter’s analogy by Joe Haldeman (story by Cordwainer Smith). What caught me, when I looked it back up, was that it was written in 1955. See, I think of that time as the end of the “rocket ship with three tailfins” sort of scifi, stories where authors didn’t know WTF space was, how we could work it, and what it would be really like to fly in it. But […]
November 29, 2015

The Real Story – Series (Review)

oing out of memory on this one – see, I’m hacking my way through Rothfuss’s The Wise Man’s Fears (1200 pages!) so that’s like four books. And with his other book, I’ve simply burned off my book review backlog. So with that in mind, I’m doing this one out of my head – after all, I’ve shelves of books. Certainly I can remember a story or two. And I can. And the one that pops to mind is The Real Story by Stephen Donaldson (who you might remember me reviewing for his wonderful book, Lord Foul’s Bane). Here, The Real […]
November 22, 2015

Tyrannosaur Canyon (Review)

am such a book addict. Again, this one from Maya’s up in beautiful Sanford (I can’t go into that place in under $20). This one is a bit of a ride-the-free-publicity-coattails of Jurassic Park, at least for cover art. Bony tyrannosaur skull deal; you summer movie goers know the drill. Happily, the idea stops there. This is a book about a prospector of sorts who, after the thrill of a lifetime of finding “something big”, gets shot before he can spill the beans. In No Country for Old Men fashion, Tom Broadbent, quiet millionaire and horse-farm naturalist, comes across the […]
November 8, 2015

Good Luck, Yukikaze (Review)

he second-parter to the first book, Yukikazi, written some 20-30 years after the first by a master of Japanese scifi, Chohei Kambryash. If you haven’t read my first review, linked above, the Yukikaze universe is one of perpetual (at least, three decades) war. An unknown race, the JAM, pushed through a hyperspace gate over Antarctica and attacked us. So we pushed them back to the planet “Fairie” and established bases. So we’re in daily air combat against the JAM, both sides upping their technology. Yet we are left with questions: Just what are the JAM? And how can we trust […]
November 1, 2015

All You Need Is Kill (Review)

ou might know this one as Edge of Tomorrow. Or you might not. It was a pretty good flick (saw it last night) but, as is true with all books and movies, the book is soooo much better. In this Japanese SciFi story, alien nanotech falls into our oceans and spawn with various creatures to make “Mimics”, starfishy things that are nearly impossible to kill and attack en-mass. All we have to fight them are battle armor, and that isn’t much good – a squad’s gotta pour on firepower to kill just one of these things. But this isn’t Keiji […]
October 25, 2015

Yukikaze (Review)

his one originated off some beautiful (but confusing) anime I’d viewed. Having just read All you need is Kill (which I only now realize I haven’t reviewed yet), I noticed on their website that two Yukikaze books were available. Okay, so I’d enjoyed Kill so much (Japanese scifi) that I figured I’d pick them up. Enough about me. Yukikaze  is about our world, fifteen minutes into the future. A strange hyperspace portal appears over Antarctica and out of it comes the JAM. We’ve only seen their fighters and bombers, never figured out who they were or what they are. The […]
October 18, 2015

And all the Earth is a Grave (Review)

ute little story this time, out of the 40’s or 50’s, again, a Gutenberg find. It’s a little scifi story about a tiny mistake in, of all things, a coffin factory. Seems that a computer slipped a bit and suddenly their stodgy production orders are boosted. The marketing director, seeing what’s coming (and finding all sorts of money in his department because of the glitch) blasts an advertising campaign out, creating a marketing feedback loop where demand fuels supply fuels demand fuels supply and so on. It’s a humorous look at super marketing (something I did in my own Early […]
October 11, 2015

After London; or, Wild England (Review)

o back we go into the past (to a book written in the 1880’s) about a future (say, 2100 or so), another one of these casually fun penny-dreadfuls, back from when science fiction was trying to figure where we were going with steam and chrome and a whole lot of Victorian virtue. The author, Mr. Jefferies, begins by describing the plants and animals and how they are coming back. Fields are vanishing. Roads are slowly being erased. In the silos, the grain rots are is devoured by plagues of rats. Everything is unwinding. Finally, we are given various hints as […]
October 6, 2015

The Wise Man’s Fear (Review)

ou can use it as a doorjamb. Or to block the wheel of your car while jacking it up. If you drop it off a three story building, you’d kill someone with it. It’s 1200 pages long. And it’s the latest of the KingKiller Chronicle. Day two. Bring it on! Once more we follow the adventures of young Kvothe, as narrated by old (well, middle-aged, but under the gloom of fate) Kvothe. For those who didn’t read my review of The Name of the Wind, it’s the story of an exceptional lad who is a consummate jack-of-all-trades. Possessing skills in […]
October 4, 2015

Flashman (Review)

‘ve mentioned the Flashman series elsewhere, but I wanted to read the initial book over again (I’m about to loan it out to a literary friend and want to make sure I can talk about it correctly). Anyway, what the hell is this thing, anyway? Harry Flashman is a character from the old novel Tom Brown’s Schooldays, a windy old moralistic piece. The villain, the bully Flashman, really gave the work its shine (what a name, so classic!). And Fraser, the author, picks up Harry’s life from the moment he’s tossed out of school (recounting in his diary that he […]