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Book Blog

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 […]
August 31, 2014

Concrete Island (Review)

see a lot of concrete islands in my bike rides, specifically places in urban environments lost to people. If you spend your entire life tucked into your house, your office or your car, you’re going to miss a lot. The thing is, nobody missed Robert Maitland when his jag hit that freeway concrete barrier and punched through. Not his distant wife or his at-arms-length mistress, nor the work staff he’d trained not to bother him. So when Robert ends up down an embankment in the weeds, with his leg smashed and no way out of the little island formed by […]
August 24, 2014

Journey to the Past (Review)

nd now we reach the end of The Story of Eidolon, third of the trilogy. This book sees our young hero Hickory finally assuming the duties of an adult, actually joining scouting missions for the community of Portla (now that its good citizens have pulled their heads out of the mire that buried their pasts and have started looking forward again). Finally, we get a chance to leave the community and see what is beyond. I like these sorts of stories, that of a changed world with the evidences of what it had been. Like those shepherds who grazed their […]
August 17, 2014

The Wheels of Chance (Review)

t was a time we can scarcely imagine, the late 1890s. Whereas steam trains ran on their own timetables to predetermined destinations, and horses with carts just ate and shit day after day regardless of whether you used them or not, and automobiles were an experimental dream, there were… bicycles! Now ordinary people, shop clerks and unhappy daughters, could easily take to the roads and travel where and when they wanted, an absolute freedom so rare in the class-conscious, socially-locked Victorian era. And just as the bicycles themselves were undergoing evolutionary changes, trikes and penny farthings and the like, so […]
August 10, 2014

A Dance of Dragons (Review)

f you think dragons are big, you haven’t seen anything yet. This monster is 959 pages, and it’s the fifth of the Song of Ice and Fire / Game of Thrones series. So If you haven’t started this, you’ve got some reading ahead. And yes, overall, I’d say the journey has been worth it. So for those who arn’t involved, The Game of Thrones is a massive story about hundreds of people in a fantasy world seemingly cursed to be stuck in its medieval period for, like, forever. Think of that – no scientific advances, no gunpowder or cars or […]