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Book Blog

February 6, 2022

A Small Colonial War (Review)

o you’ll remember how in A Savage War of Peace, the Nation of India grabbed up the world of Vesy and forced the Great Powers out. Well, this book involves the second part of their plans. Moving their fleet (and two carriers quickly), they seize two British colonies and stall on the diplomatic front. Yes, where Warspite II mimicked the English conquest of India, Warpspite III is the Falklands War. The Warspite joins the force to take back one of the two colonies, it being thought that a short and decisive naval battle will end this thing. But the Indians […]
January 30, 2022

A Savage War of Peace (Review)

s you’ll recall, in the original book of this Ark Royal spin-off, Warspite, the crew of this experimental cruiser found a planet Vesy, which Russian defectors (who’d fled the initial crushing battle against the then enemy race, the Tadpoles, had settled on). Using it as a pirate base, they’ve been raiding shipping for supplies (and women) and slowly corrupting the indigenous people. Things heat up in this book, sub-titled as Warspite II. The indigenous race on Vesy live in small city states. Everything is about war, about knocking off rival cities and forming your own little empire. So since it’s […]
January 23, 2022

Leviathan Falls (Review)

inally, it’s over. This final chapter from the series known as The Expanse on streaming comes at the end of a long road for us fans. We followed the series from the inception, when James Holden and his mismatched crew had the Canterbury shot out from under them. After taking a Martian frigate (or gunboat, or whatever) from a doomed Martian battleship and renaming it the Rocinante (a ship as much loved as the Millennium Falcon by fans), the crew begin working on a thread of causality involving a blob of alien goo shot at our system and captured as […]
January 16, 2022

Undertow (Review)

kay, this is going to be a terrible review. No, it would be unfair to say that the book I’m reviewing, Undertow, was terrible. Actually it was okay, even good. No, it just took me forever to get to writing this review. Months. I’m going to do my best here, typing with one hand and flipping through the book in the other. So André Deschênes is an assassin located on the oceanic colony world with its floating city, Novo Haven.There is a nasty corporation running things (you ever notice that there are never evil mom ‘n pop stores?). Anyway, there […]
January 9, 2022

Fight for your Long Day (Review)

picked this one up on the fly from a used bookstore just around the corner, a tiny epic about an adjunct instructor teaching in Philadelphia who is living an ironic life – being a collage-educated professional making less that a bartender, with no health insurance or safety net thanks to the income inequities so common everywhere in America (and the globalized world) these days. I’m kinda torn on this. Parts of it I just loved (one of them I quoted in a recent DOG EAR). At it’s best, Fight for your Long Day  spoke to me as Snow Crash and […]
January 2, 2022

The Commodore (Review)

his was one I got off the shelves at my local used bookstore, a roaring sea adventure set in the dark days of World War Two when the Japanese were pushing their ships down the “slot” and the Americans were doing everything they could to keep them from reinforcing and re-invading islands in The Solomon Islands. Into this hell-battle comes Harmon Wolf, an American Indian with his first command, a new destroyer. Wolf finds himself thinking outside the typical blue-navy box, willing to take full advantage of the new American radars to offset the threat from the Japanese Long Lance […]
December 26, 2021

Conagher (Review)

very so often, I need a mental health book. Sometimes SciFi pulls too much at me. And those recent political histories I’d dabbled into are stone-cold depressing. So I need something, the literary equivalent to eating a bucket of ice cream in my jammies. And for that, there is always Louis L’Amour. In Conagher, a young couple (married in typical economic desperation) with kids from his former wife rattle west in their wagon to start a new life. He’s built a small house in the middle of absolute nowhere. Once everyone is settled, the husband rides off to purchase cattle […]
December 19, 2021

Warspite (Review)

he fourth book from the Ark Royal series (which seemed odd at first, given the ending to the third book). But in this book, we have a recovering Earth launching a colony attempt way, way out into the black (as a fall back in case we come that close to extinction again). Here, Captain John Naiser finds himself in charge of Warspite, an experimental cruiser operating on escort duty. And he’s got his work cut out for him. It turns out that piracy has been occurring in space; a transport to a beleaguered colony has gone missing (through the wonder […]
December 12, 2021

A Pirate’s Life in the Golden Age of Piracy (Review)

y friend Brian loaned me this one, a book about the history of piracy over the golden age (1600’s, mostly). I went into it with my engine room set to dubious speed – author Robert Jacob notes in his opener that he isn’t really a historian in any way. He is just into pirates (his author picture shows him in pirate cosplay garb). So, I figured, let’s see about pirates. I’ll give him this – he did a very competent and thorough job. He works his way from 1640 onward, following each captain as he plunders and blunders about, picking […]
December 5, 2021

Redshirts (Review)

love John Scalzi’s writing – enjoyed Old Man’s War and The Collapsing Empire. And I’ll admit I was looking for a light-hearted book, a lampoon of sorts of Hollywood sci-fi franchises and the characters who are in them. Expecting nothing more than a reheating of Galaxy Quest, I dove into Redshirts. So Ensign Andrew Dahl of the Universal Union has just been assigned to the Intrepid, flagship of the fleet. Since it is a forward exploration and combat vessel, one would expect casualties. But, as the nerd joke goes, the security forces (i.e. the “redshirts”) suffer appalling losses. And they die […]