John

June 16, 2019

Fuzzy Nation (Guest Review)

ell, gang, I’m here to encourage you in a light summertime underdog tale that combines a smart-aleck disbarred lawyer-space prospector protagonist with the repartee of John McClane, a pyrotechnic-trained dog, sci-fi aspects in the eponymous fuzzy ewok-like creatures, and court scenes worthy of a meld of “A Few Good Men” and “Matlock”. This goulash of a book works, it’s fun, but it ain’t great literature– get over it. The book in question is Fuzzy Nation, a ‘reboot’ by John Scalzi of H. Beam Piper’s 1962 classic Little Fuzzy. I am unfamiliar with the original work. The story, according to a […]
October 27, 2019

Starrigger (Review)

o this was one from the recovered attic book boxes, a rollicking space opera in a strange universe. On Pluto (according to backstory), giant cylinders were discovered with a road leading into them. If you went fast enough and stayed right on the center line, you’d pop through to another planet. Eventually enough gates were mapped to establish the Terrain Maze, a collection of planets that we’ve colonized. But there are other gates, pot lock portals, that lead God knows where. And every so often, on these mega freeways, strange aliens in stranger cars can be seen. Our protagonist in […]
November 17, 2019

Red Limit Freeway (Review)

o Jake (and his sentient truck Sam) is back for the second book following StarRigger. Predestined by road lore to be the trucker who makes it to the end of the universe (via the skyway, a series of jumpgates built into a highway system) and back with a working road map, Jake continues his travels. Along the way, he continues to pick up more and more people in his quest, those voluntarily coming (or otherwise). And tagging in his wake, the evil forces of a rival trucker union and a tree-planet boss (whose huge hotel Jake burned down in the […]
December 8, 2019

Paradox Alley (Review)

nd so finally we get to the third (and final) book of the Starrigger trilogy, the Han Solo-ish book about big (really big) rigs, interplanetary gates, and the mystery at the end of the universe, where the road ends. Well, from the cover of the book, you’d think it was going to end violently – the truck going off a cliff (with cars skidding around it) while the driver launches clear with his ejection seat. All very exciting, but it doesn’t happen. Not even close. What does happen is a great deal of not much. Sure, we get to the […]
January 10, 2020

OpsLog – L&N – 1/9/2020

his was my second of three sessions in two days at the always-enjoyable L&N, a two railroad layout with twin dispatchers and all sorts of dirty diesels lugging grimy coal cars. And hey, I scored my favorite seat – L&N Dispatcher, the widow maker job. Fortunately I was working with Tom Wilson on his Southern Desk – he and I really work well together (when he’s not holding Edison Jct for ransom). The interesting thing about running in a Protorails event is that you’d think everyone would be at game-top abilities for the session. Not the case, it seemed. Crews […]
February 2, 2020

OpsLog – L&N – 2/1/2020

idway through the session, the two dispatchers (Southern and Louisville & Nashville) switch. We’ve only got a couple of minutes to update our replacement on the status. I don’t know how it was exactly explained to me but it was something like “Train so-n-so is in Norton and will need to go to Blackwood” makes me think that he didn’t have a warrant. But that word “need” seemed to mean something different between Tom and myself. It turns out he actually did have a warrant and was waiting for other traffic to clear before he started down. Fresh on my […]
March 29, 2020

The Sky Lords (Review)

nother one out of my molding book files, dating back to 1988, so good luck finding it. The Sky Lords deals with a world a couple of hundred years following the ‘Gene Wars’. Much of the world is covered in fungus growth or crazy designer monsters that have gotten out of control. Humanity is pretty much down to two classes – the people rooting out a living in walled cities and the Sky Lords, the privileged riding about in their high tech airships – the later praying on the former. And our story starts just as a matriarchal Minervan town […]