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Book Blog

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, […]
September 23, 2018

The Shack (Review)

y readers and friends know that I am sometimes (on a whimsy) spiritual. But I am not religious. And last year, when I lost my dear Mookie, I really had an issue with God. After all, if He’s willing to snuff a cat at her halfway point, to erase all her lives, then he’s not much of a God, is He? Well, that’s the idea behind The Shack, a metaphysical/religious debate masked as a story. And here it is – Mack, our hero, is a loving father. While on a camping trip with his kids, a serial killer kidnaps his […]
September 16, 2018

Raising Steam (Review)

kay, I’m going to admit to a number of relationships that should have me thrown off the jury of review; I love trains, especially steam trains. And I love Diskworld (Terry Prtchett’s wonderful fantasy world). So what’s not to love? And that, I will get to. Over the thirty years of Diskworld books, we’ve seen themes rise in his stories. Cleverly he takes things that changed our world (Hollywood, Central Banking, Newspapers, etc) and extended them into his swords-and-sorcery-and-satire world. And now we’re got an engineer with his sliding rule who has figured out how to harness steam, and how […]
September 9, 2018

The Keeper (Review)

t was one of those stupid days in the twilight of my career. The internet connection was down and there was nothing I could do. I didn’t think reading my book was a good idea (even through, quite frankly, that’s exactly the sort of thing we did at the beginning of my career when work computers went down daily). But I really didn’t have anything, nothing outside of my local drives. And then I remembered a downloading of short scifi stories and started listening. At least it would pass the time in this tedious afternoon. Listened to one interesting one, […]
September 2, 2018

Closer (Review)

f there is a story classification that I seldom if ever read, and that includes chick-lit, religious-inspirational and foodie books, it’s sports. I really don’t get into them (possibly because I never was very good at nor very interested in sports). But I have to say that Closer, out of Jurassic’s The End collection, was really, really good. The story starts by informing us that it’s great weather for Baseball, the sun out, the sky clear. And as the bus of baseball players rolls towards the Midwest we begin to discover that something is wrong. Chicago is in ruins. Small […]
September 2, 2018

The Lathe of Heaven (Review)

“ have a dream.” A famous speech by the Martin Luthor King, Jr. But George Orr has dreams too. And his can, literally, in a wink, change the world. You see, when George hits deep sleep and dreams, his “effective” dreams change reality. And let’s face it, reality in the 2002 (of this 1971 novel) is pretty sucky. Global warming. Overpopulation. A middle-eastern war spreading out of control (it’s not far off, so it seems). But then George, under the guidance of his government-assigned therapist, Dr Haber, begin to change things “for the better”. Right. In little tests, George can […]
August 26, 2018

King Rat (Review)

n my non-writer side, I’ve been developing a game, StoreyMinus, a little dungeon crawl set in London, it its sewers and tube lines and cellars and ruins, where you can crawl about and try to survive and possibly find the surface once again. It takes a lot of time to code (which I don’t have these days) but it has wetted my interests in London and its below once again. In thinking of this, of all possible scenarios, I remembered a China Miévillebook, King Rat, which I could only vaguely remember. So, because I keep all my old favorites, I […]
August 19, 2018

Falcon (review)

got this 30-year old scifi from a great used-book shop in Sanford (Maya’s – go there!). Looked good – sharp name, cover art of a concerned looking guy looking up and to the right (into his own worrying future, perhaps) while climbing down from a small space ship. So since I was in the mood for space pilots fighting injustice (against a worrying future) I pushed it to the front of my queue. Didn’t get that, not quite. This is the story of one Prince Nickolas, burned out from his royal duties and his uncle-the-king’s badgering. He’s just come back […]
August 12, 2018

Under Enemy Colors (Review)

ccasionally the right book comes along at the right time. I was out of sorts at a family gathering without a book. Pull this off my late father’s shelf. Started to read. And sea stories, like cowboy stories, deliver a certain comfort. And I found this book very comforting. In this, during the 1790s while the war with France wages, Lieutenant Charles Hayden, desperately seeking a ship, finds himself banished to the worst of the line, the Themis, with an unenviable task. Admiralty thinks Captain Hart is faint-of, i.e. shirking his job. And they want Hayden to secretly report on […]
August 5, 2018

Tyre (Review)

’ll bet you know why I read this little informative book, no? Actually, this one came from a lady on my bus, a dynamic Vietnamese woman who got me to ride Critical Mass with her and her husband. I couldn’t place his nationality but when we saw each other on the bus again, she told me he was Lebanese. And that they were going to see his family soon. And with that, I started babbling about Tyre (see my books on the beg-link, below). Turns out she was going there. And she picked up this nice small reference book that […]