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Book Blog

May 8, 2022

Another Solution (Review)

efore we review this short story, let’s just say how thankful I am for paperback anthologies. I’m currently re-grinding through The Three Body Problem (hey, you don’t even need to wait for the review – HERE it is!) But I don’t want to lug that hardcover monster around so instead I’m reading a little collection I got from a local bookstore, Star Destroyers (that’s the name of the anthology, not the shop). So anyway, I had this collection of stories about big star ships in my back pocket as I went for my long walk. Stopped in a Cindi’s Cafe on Orange […]
May 1, 2022

Fear God and Dread Naught (Review)

o, the war that got started in Vanguard heats up with Humanity and the Tadpoles against another pair of races, foxes and cows, who have the advantage of FTL communications. Captain Susan Onarina has been absolved (with stern warning) of the charge of mutiny (when she turned a stunner on her panicking captain) and saved ship and fleet from destruction. And Midshipman George (Georgina) Fitzwilliam has her own troubles, namely four new middies under her and challenges to her authority. So the Vanguard and the human fleet proceeds to a borderline planet, Unity, to smoke out the aliens and, of […]
April 24, 2022

Vanguard (Review)

anguard is the lead-off book for the third cycle in the Ark Royal series. First we had the supper carrier that pulled Space Battleship Yamato stuff with an evil race that boiled out of the black at us. And then we had Warspite, the experimental cruiser with the heavy plasma gun that fought the Indian nation in the colony worlds and blasted and Indian carrier. And now we have Vanguard, the first Earth battleship, built strong and built to last. But will that be enough? Our story opens with yet another alien race discovered. Without knowing anything, Earth sends a […]
April 17, 2022

The Butcher of Anderson Station (Review)

nother quick review out of the Memory’s Legion collection of Expanse tales. This one concerns Fred Johnson, Soldier for Earth who ended up as levelheaded spokesman for the Belt, running Tycho Station and repurposing the Mormon’s generation ship out from under them (and, good for that since it turns out they would have been literally wasting the time of generations). So there is a side story about Johnson, how he was involved in a massacre on a belter station. As I remember, the show has the belters attempting to surrender and Fred ordering them in. Well, it wasn’t quite like […]
April 10, 2022

Steamboats Come True (Review)

ound this in our little corner bookshop, an old textbook which i stained with coffee and Tabasco as I read it over many mornings at Juniors. But it’s a fascinating and very detailed account of the development of the steamboat. And if you think that Robert Fulton did it all alone in some sort of vacuum of engineering, no, he didn’t. When you think about it, the steamboat was one of the most technologically amazing crafts men of the time could envision. Think about it – America had just gotten through its revolution. The wilderness still besieged the coastal seaboards. […]
April 3, 2022

Drive (Review)

his one comes from the collection of short stories in The Expanse universe, all balled together in Memory’s Legion. It’s a collection of all the short stories and novellas the two writers who make up “James S.A Corey” have published in various platforms. But I’d not wanted to buy them for a device – I wanted paper. And now, thank God, I’ve got it! So Drive is the story behind Solomon Epstein and the creation of his ship drive that allows humans to spread out across the solar system in an easy and economic way (and not the months and […]
March 27, 2022

Soft Edges (Review)

can’t say I’m a fan of author Elizabeth Bear. I reviewed her recently in Undertow. It was an interesting-enough book, but either it the whole thing was too esoteric for me or it was the middle of a series and I didn’t realize it or whatever – it was good enough to finish but not enough for me to totally enjoy (and this isn’t a critique about Ms. Bear – sometimes readers and writers don’t match). So, that’s my prequel. Right now I’m plowing through a history of steamboats (does that whet your interest, dear reader?) and I had nothing […]
March 20, 2022

The Space Between Worlds (Review)

n interesting little scifi tale about a post-corporate Earth where the environment is screwed for good, where rich whites live in their pristine city and beyond the walls, in Ashtown, all the poor people of color live in their dangerous squalor. But this Earth is a bit special – it is one of many Earths, various parallel universes with minor changes, over a hundred of them we can detect. But not only can we detect them – we can travel to them Sorta. You see, if you do exist on that parallel Earth, if you haven’t yet died, you’ll get […]
March 13, 2022

Other Orlandos (Review)

‘m aware of Burrow Press, the local literary core for Orlando. They produce a number of books for this market, very local. You almost get the idea that deals are made in coffeehouses, and discoveries are made on poetry reading nights. Yes, I’ve read a number of their books, and enjoyed them, in general. Other Orlandos was an ambitious idea – publish short stories that involved Orlandos outside the city of Orlando, be it places, people or whatever. Okay. To me, I have an attachment to place more than to name but I gave it a try anyway. There were […]
February 27, 2022

Peril (Review)

ut front with my thoughts, the book is as difficult to read as Old Yeller. But in this case, we’re not seeing the death of an old dog but rather our democracy. Peril, written by Woodward and Costa (two political writers with the chops to drill into this), looks at the final year of the Trump administration, the election, and the first year of Biden’s administration. In that, it reads like a slow car wreck, with Trump poo-pooing the virus, demanding corners to be cut to get it to market before the election, the “steal”, the moaning and carping when […]