On the nightstand

Book Blog

November 9, 2014

Exodus (review)

icture a primary power broker in New York City. The sanitation workers are unhappy and want to go on strike (hell, they want to move to New Jersey). So this broker tells them, “Go to the mayor’s office. Make your demands. I’ll make sure he listens. But note that behind the scenes, I’m going to push him to say no. Regardless of what you say, he’ll say no.” “Why would you harden his heart in such a way?” asks the Union Rep. “Because I’m looking for good PR. I want everyone to know me, and know that to get anything […]
November 2, 2014

Derailed (Review)

t was a casual selection, this book on Maya’s dollar rack. I like trains so the title caught me. Read the flap, thought meh, then decided at the last second to pick it up. Just a buck, right? After that, it sat on the bottom of the bedroom stack for long dusty months, occasionally unearthed, pondered, and meh, back it went. Finally, a couple of weeks back, I cracked the cover. And wow. Wow! Here’s the deal – poor Charles Schine rides the 8:43 into New York every day, bemoaning his stalled (and increasingly depressing) life. Then one day, he […]
October 26, 2014

Cat Crimes I (review)

t’s the mark of a true reader when, one day between books, you browse your shelves and find a hardback you simply cannot remember buying. So it was when I spotted Cat Crimes I,II,and III down below the Egyptian Book of the Dead. Yeah, it’s that sort of bookshelf. These three books evidently reflect individually released collections, now sealed up together in one big hardback. All involve crimes. All involve cats. Overall, I find most of them to be very diabolically clever. I guess the only ones I can’t really “let my hair down” for are the stories where cats […]
October 19, 2014

Great World Religions – Hinduism (review)

‘ll admit a curiosity towards Hinduism. I work in a modern American corporation’s software division, meaning I’ve got a lot of Indian coworkers. They flooded the market a couple of tech-booms ago and now over half the team is Indian (as well as other races – at one point, there were only two old white guys left). I’ll also admit that my curiosity got me to explore the Indian lifestyle. My wife and I watch a lot of Indian movies (hey, nothing tells you more than the movies a culture likes). We’ve visisted a local temple and been invited into […]
October 12, 2014

War & Space (Review)

like anthologies. They are great for traveling on airplanes (you can always read the start of a story and if you don’t like it, you can move on). This time, I was up in the North Carolina mountains, a reading vacation. Yes, I looked down at clouds at time, but no airplanes, but reading is always fun. But this anthology was almost a bit too much re-reading. So that’s my bitch here – a number of these stories have appeared elsewhere. So bravo for those authors who are making more money for reposting, but as a reader, I’m tired of […]
October 5, 2014

Empire (Review)

his is a first on RobertRaymond.com, a review for an audiobook. But there you go. We listened to it on a road trip up to North Carolina and I figure it counts. A lot of people swear by this form of literature – my commute is too short and often it’s on a bike, but if it works, why not? Anyway, Empire is a tale set fifteen minutes into the future, that of the Second American Civil War. The premise is good – that the rupture between the left and right has grown so significant (on every issue) that a […]
September 28, 2014

Enemies (Review)

sually scifi takes an issue of our world and moves it forward to see how it plays out. That’s the old-school way of doing things: capital punishment, incarceration rates, the Moslem self-awareness, environmentalism, all of these and more have been moved forward to see possible results (for good or bad) of a human concept or condition. In Enemies, Lee Hogan does just the opposite – she takes the people of our world (specifically the people of Russia and it’s surrounding states) and uses them as base populations for her world Belarus. And then she go backwards. The royal family has […]
September 21, 2014

As easy as A.B.C. (Review)

ipling’s Aerial Board of Control is back, crushing the freedoms of a population that frankly couldn’t care in his follow up book to The Night Mail (reviewed HERE), As Easy as A.B.C. You’ll recall that in the 2000 AD world that Kipling envisioned, the world was a pretty carefree place. Trade rules everything (you’ll recall that in the shadowy overhang of World War One, it was believed that trade would prevent such a mass catastrophe from happening – mass warfare was “unprofitable” (silly us – people will always be able to make a buck off war)). So from his point […]
September 14, 2014

With the Night Mail (review)

ood Steampunk is hard to find. The thing is, when authors write Steampunk today, it still carries an aftertaste of digital computers, moon walks and plastics. It just isn’t good Steampunk. But take a top-shelf author (in this case, Rudyard Kipling) and let him imagine (in his age of doughy dirigibles and puttering heavier-than-air wobblers) the world of 2000AD and see what happens. I mean, wow. So our unnamed narrator is hopping a ride on the Night Mail (Postal Packet 162) from London to Quebec. It’s a very automated process, with the bags loaded into the removable gondola (at least […]
September 7, 2014

The Thirteenth Tale (Review)

Review by Jenessa Gayheart, author of “The Story of Eidolon” Webmasters note – Jenessa, as mentioned above, is the author of the three-book set, “The Story of Eidolon” (links below and reviewed across my site). We’ve been having pleasant conversations in emailland and I popped her the question of doing a reivew (and maybe more) for me. So here it is – something I know nothing about (how is that different, you ask?” he Thirteenth Tale was recommended to me by my mother.  She said, “Jenny, you’ll like this, it’s a mystery about an author.  Like you.”  Whether she simply […]