Required Reading

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Monday, April 23, 2018

Alexander Outland:Space Pirate by G.J. Koch


This is in the vein of the Stainless Steel Rat, irreverent humor with lots of action.  The story appears to be a setup for a series.  Characters are introduced an fleshed out throughout the plot.   The crew of the Sixty-Nine faces off against Lucky Pierre and the French Ticklers.   The Sixty-Nine being light hearted and opposed to mass murder while the other villains not so much. 

Ms. Koch does a great job crafting likeable rogues.   The characters are given some back story and are not facile.  Some of the technology is imbued with personality and feelings with the supposition that AI will continue to evolve.  

The story is good fun and a pleasant read.

I recommend. 

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Hex-Rated by Jason Ridler



I saw a lot of Jim Butcher in this book.   Ridler’s style is different and he is more graphic and sets more adult scenes than Butcher.   Glenn Cook also has a magical private eye and again quite different than Ridler’s style.   That I see this work as a reflection of Cook and Butcher  is not in any way disparaging Ridler or his work.   I truly enjoy those authors’ work and enjoyed Ridlers.

The book looks like it will be a series and I look forward to reading more.  Ridler portrays a protagonist that has had a rough life and hopes to help others deal with their rough lives.   James Brimstone, the protagonist, is flawed and quite human.  

Brimstone sets out to help a damsel in distress and discovers that there is far more involved than originally met the eye.   I particularly enjoyed the detergent box reference and wonder how many readers will recognize the significance.   Perhaps only us old guys.

I enjoyed the book and recommend it.

Web: https://ridlerville.wordpress.com/

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

More of Me by Kathryn Evans


This is a YA book and has some of the characteristics of a YA book focused on young women.   But!  It explores feelings and frustrations which should never be confined to a gender bias.   It also deals with genetic engineering which is at the root of the drama.

Teva is a young woman going through all the fears and concerns of  most 16 year old girls.   This is a hypothesis since I am reasonably sure no one, that is no one knows what is going through the mind of a 16 year old girl.   I say that with affection as I was lucky enough to spend part of my professional career as a high school guidance counselor and believe me when I truly feel no one, not even the teen knows what is going on in a 16 year old girls mind.   The most interesting thing is that some of those “girls” are now adults that I count as friends and they survived the mysteries of that time of their life.  

I was truly shocked at how  much I liked this book.  It is a testament to the author that she has written a book that can be thoroughly enjoyed by a literarily jaded adult and young people not just young women.

I highly recommend the book, no violence, no guns, bombs or fast cars, just a very good depiction of what kids go through even without genetic manipulation.

Web: https://kathrynevans.ink/

This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

How To Save The World Edited by Charles Sheffield



I am not a fan of short stories but I do like Charles Sheffield so I tried this one.  The stories are pretty eclectic and not all are focused on how to save the world.   Some of them provide a truly skewed method of looking at the world.  I like the karma aspects of Zap Thy Neighbor and the thoughts on the educational system in Higher Education.

I don’t really try and do to much of a review with a book of short stories.  It is good to see some interesting perspectives and it is always much harder to write a short tight story than a long one.


This book may have been received free of charge from a publisher or a publicist. That will NEVER have a bearing on my recommendations.