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Book Blog

November 12, 2023

The Gates of Heaven (Review)

n interesting book off the local used shelf, a scifi from 1980 (Jeeze, forty-three years ago). So the L5 colony is trying to break away from Earth domination and they figure if they can capture an asteroid and mine it themselves, they can be independent.  Using a combination of clever misdirection and sling-shotting, they manage to get their rock and head home, but in the final turn around Jupiter, they go slinging into space, flying right into an uncharted black hole and that’s that. Or so we think. A number of years later, an astronomical listening post happens to be […]
November 5, 2023

Gordon Sinclair’s Khyber Caravan (Review)

nother find in a local curbside, a book republished in 1975 (from it’s original back in ’35) about a popular Canadian travel & adventure writer who traveled to and around India. Specifically, he made his way (by car) (with a lot of spare tires) up to Northern India and the Khyber Pass. Look, I’ve done Central/North India too, but that was with a travel guide and a lot of shepherding. This guy just took off in his car with a driver and guide, not knowing where he’d end each day. To me, India was a strange and wonderful place, but […]
October 29, 2023

Artificial Condition (Review)

‘m going to have to go with different tastes here. My sister really liked Martha Wells The Murderbot Diaries. She even reviewed it HERE. So when I was in the used book store I saw one of the series, Artificial Condition, there on the shelf. So yes, I felt duty-bound to pick a copy up and peruse it. It was okay, but it didn’t rock my world. The rough idea is that is a security bot who was involved in a crime where the crew for an entire mine-site was murdered. Having seen some of it and having deactivated his own […]
October 22, 2023

The Unknown Shore (Review)

his is the second of a two-book set, which began in The Golden Ocean. As you remember, this all settles around the mission (in reality) of Commodore Anston who attempted to sail a small ill-equipped, manned and supplied squadron around the tip of South America, facing a month of storms, scurvy, and death. Even when they did get into the Pacific ocean, there was very little of the planned raiding of Spanish possessions (read that as “none”). No, they wandered west, looking for the Manila Galleon (which they desperately defeated). All the English sailors went home immensely rich. All except […]
October 8, 2023

Destroyermen 5 : Rising Tides (Review)

o now I’m into the fifth of the Destroyermen series – only about ten more to go. And it’s been a long haul. As I mentioned elsewhere, Taylor Anderson’s unique series involves a four-stacker destroyer, plucked from early World War Two and placed in a world where humans occasionally fall into (where maybe the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs didn’t). Everyone thinks Final Countdown when they hear me speak of it. Anyway, the book continues to expand. It’s funny, but looking back to the first book, we only had a puny little map of the sea around Java. As Captain […]
October 1, 2023

Bull, the Pulp Issue (Review)

his unlikely softcover was sitting in the “Buy one get one free” stack. Since I’d bought one and everything else in that stack was YA or woman-heartthrob stuff, I picked up this one. Inside the cover, the publisher (Bull) notes: “Bull is dedicated to examining & discussing modern masculinity: what works, what doesn’t, what needs to stay and what needs to go.” I’m not sure what that all means; I’m just in it for a good story. And The Pulp Issue is packed with those. It’s a crazy mix of Noir and Pulp tales, most of them placed in our […]
September 24, 2023

The MurderBot Diaries (Guest Review)

new series for me— the MurderBot Diaries by Martha Wells. In the first installment of the series “All Systems Red”, a half organic half robot security bot (who goes by his title ‘SecBot’) wishes to put in a minimal effort ‘half -assed job’ (by his own admission) at security, and be left alone by his human survey team protection charges so he can view his trove of downloaded soap operas. SecBot finds himself saving his humans and figuring out the complex plot to exterminate them all.  Great interstellar adventure ensues as the bot gains both human attachments and grows in […]
September 17, 2023

On a Pale Horse (Review)

remember becoming aware of this book when my date was reading it on a cloudy day on a Chesapeake beach some forty years ago. I remember saying I’d read it soon. Well, the date turned into a relationship that turned into a bad joke. But yes, four decades later, I finally picked this book up. One reservation (not about the girlfriend (which I should have had)) on the book; it is part one of something called The Incarnations of Immortality. And since I got this in a used book store, it’s like a four leaf clover – just because you […]
September 10, 2023

Destroyermen 4 : Distant Thunders (Review)

hese aren’t really spoilers, what I’m about to say. Sure, if you are midway through book 3 (Maelstrom), it may spoil the final battle. But as I will review here, this should help you become more interested in this wonderful storyline. So USS Walker’s big battle in Baalkpan Bay does come at a cost. After all that murderous shot and shell, the proud WW2 destroyer (who has come to this strange world through a dimensional rift) wins the day, limps back to the repair dock yet settles on the bottom just short of the pier. Add to the fact that […]
August 27, 2023

Cloud Cuckoo Land (Review)

‘m a pretty good writer. I can lighten the mood of terrible things. And I can chastise people yet leave them smiling. But I don’t think I can write an adequate review for Cloud Cuckoo Land, by Anthony Doerr. All I can say is, well, I know what one of my best-of-year selections will be. This wonderful book reminds me, in a lot of ways, of Cloud Atlas. Again, you have different characters in different times, all just getting through their lives yet all interrelated in some ways. It was there in Atlas, but it’s the driving force behind this novel. […]