Required Reading

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Friday, March 22, 2019

Voices of the Fall edited by John Ringo and Gary Poole

As often as I say I am not fond of short stories, I find myself reading them.  This is another book that is related to John Ringo’s series Black Tide Rising which is a zombie apocalypse series.

It is always interesting to see how different authors put their spin on someone else’s work.   They maintain continuity with Ringo’s premise but provide outlooks that are often refreshing.


I’ve found that pretty much anything Ringo is involved with is a good read. 

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, March 17, 2019

Man-Kzin Wars XV by Larry Niven


This is a collection of short stories about the interrelationship of the Kzin, a race of feline carnivores, and man.  Larry Niven was the editor of the project that included man name brand authors. The Kzin were the premier predator in their environment until they ran across man.   War followed and the Kzin were contained by man much to their racially collective chagrin.   Peace ensued but a very uneasy peace.  These stories chronicle some of the incidents that continue to mar the enforced peace.

One of the stories told of Trask, a renegade Kzin warrior who refused to accept the patriarch’s down grading of the Kzin females’ intelligence.  Trask ends up providing the basis for a legend.

Another shows the difficulty of Man-Kzin interaction on a mission to discover a new intelligent species with the hope of gaining a competitive edge in the uneasy peace.

I am not overly fond of short story collections but this was an entertaining read. 

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, March 12, 2019

Children No More by Mark L. Van Name


This is a scifi book making a point.   The point is that children should not be used as soldiers.   The author’s frustration is that perhaps “only” 300,000 kids are being used as soldiers.  Only 300,000 is a horrific number but it doesn’t seem large enough to get the international community outraged enough to try harder to end it.   That is the point behind this novel.   A good story with a very sad basis made it hard sometimes to read it.

Van Name writes a good story and apparently has a good heart as the proceeds of this book go to Falling Whistles to rehabilitate children in war.   www.fallingwhistles.com or www.chldrennomore.com


I recommend the book.


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

Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip



This is a morality play.  McKillip’s protagonists Sybel and Coren demonstrate hatred and redemption, the rest are the trappings of the plot.
This is also a love story and love often can be rocky.   The story has fantastic beasts, magic, love, dominance, hatred and redemption.

I enjoyed it. 

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

Saturday, March 2, 2019

The Deepest Blue by Sarah Beth Durst


This is a follow up to the Renthia Trilogy.   This takes place on the same world but instead of forests the setting is on islands.   Mayara is a diver.  She dives into the sea and has a secret.  She is getting married when a storm interrupts her marriage.

Durst has created a wonderfully complex world.  She has done an excellent job crafting characters who are both human and heroic.  It was interesting how she pulled Garnah into this book from the trilogy, an amoral character in a book of terribly moral characters certainly stands out. 

Durst is truly impressive with her colorful and lovable or hateful characters.  I found this story as wonderfully complex and compelling as her previous books.

I highly 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.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Spotlight on Mimadamos: The Eden of Choice by Chadi B. Ghaith

GNOSTIC DRUZE BRINGS ANCIENT BELIEFS TO LIGHT IN  

MIMADAMOS: THE EDEN OF CHOICE



BEIRUT, Lebanon –Lebanese author Chadi B. Ghaith brings beliefs that were held in secrecy for a thousand years to awareness in his latest book:  Mimadamos: The Eden of Choice  (Fifthscience  Inc. , July 5, 2017).  Ghaith’s first book revolves around an ancient triangle of the most significant characters on earth, paralleled by three of the most significant forces in life, and their combined story in space and time. Journey through this fable and explore the ideas that have mystified mankind for centuries: good and evil, heaven and hell, the beginning and end of the world. 

Did the ending precede the beginning? Are we only here on earth to comprehend its machinations? Is there room for choice to shape our
destiny in the wake of fate and its brutal logic?  Mimadamos is a unique, philosophically-rich fantasy which journeys through the depths of conflict and harmony that we understand as the spirit. It decodes the magic of the most ancient scripts known to man, the symbolic fall from Eden and the long anticipated armageddon, revealing a logic so unique that it brings history to its conclusive end.  

CHADI B GHAITH has spent many years introducing an ancient mind science referred to as  Fifthscience to the public;  Mimadamos is his first attempt at translating the magic of  Fifthscience in a modern narrative.  He is a native of Lebanon, however he  acquired his high school and university levels in Texas. Ghaith studied Arts and Film at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He now lives in Beirut with his wife and three children. You can connect with him at https://www.mimadamos.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.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

House of Assassins by Larry Correia


This is part of the Saga of the Forgotten Warrior, a series.   This book stood alone okay.   Ashok, is a Protector which appears to be like a US Marine, once a Protector, always a Protector.  This volume is his quest to protect Thera, the prophet.

There are a number of side stories that tie in, such as the Grand Inquisitor’s plot and the missing Librarian.  Colorful characters such as Gutch, blacksmith and thief, provide detail and interest to the overall plot.

I enjoyed the book but feel that starting at the beginning of the saga, I would have enjoyed it more. 


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

Friday, February 15, 2019

Ruled Britannia by Harry Turtledove


Ruled Britannia by Harry Turtledove

Never thought I would be bored with anything Turtledove wrote but alas, I found this book boring.  The Spanish Armada was successful and England is now held by the Spanish.   A rebellion formatted by William Shakespeare is the theme.  Action didn’t ensue until the last 50 pages or so.

The story was interesting but for me it dragged until the end.

First Turtledove book I recall that I didn’t really like.


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, February 10, 2019

A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C.A. Fletcher


I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book.  I must say I was delightfully surprised with what a good book it was.   It is a post apocalypse novel.  The world is burnt out and there are a very few survivors.  The story is about Griz.  Griz and a stolen dog fuel the plot.
The author does a great job keeping a secret until not far from the end of the book.  The character development is well done.  The story moves well and has a w

The state of the world is loosely explained.

The book was captivating and well done.

I highly recommend.

I received this book at no charge in exchange for an honest review.


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

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Record of a Space Born Few by Becky Chambers

This book details the lives of a group of survivors of Earth’s demise.   Their diaspora was fueled by the eventual desecration of Earth and the cannibalization of the remaining infrastructure to build a fleet of arks.  The remnants of Earth roamed fruitlessly until they were discovered by a wealth of aliens.  This book is a collection of the narratives of individuals of the Fleet.

There is very little action in this book.  It takes a look at the impact of a nomadic life on the individuals spotlighted by the author.  Chambers even looks at society through the eyes of an  alien.  

The book is not compelling, but it really is a good look at human nature and motivation.


I enjoyed it 

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

Friday, February 1, 2019

The Log of the Flying Fish by Harry Colllingwood


This story had the feel of old time SciFi.  The Victorian aspect gave it the H.G. Wells feeling.   The Flying Fish is a dirigible made of a mysterious metal alloy and powered by an equally mysterious element.  As much of the older SciFi, there is no attempt to make either of those facts’ probable.   The ship is built and staffed by four English gentlemen and their two man servants.  The story is their trips abroad.

The story suffers somewhat by the overly wordy descriptions and the
sattitudes and language of the supposed Victorian time period.  I cringed as they slaughtered animals for sport but that was normal for the time period depicted.

It was an interesting story but not gripping.


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

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Spotlight on NEO-G BY K.B. Wagers

HARPER VOYAGER U.S. and AUTHOR K.B. WAGERS
JOIN FORCES TO LAUNCH NEO-G,
AN ORIGINAL “SOLAR GUARD” MILITARY SFF SERIES
 
New York, NY (January 24, 2019) – Harper Voyager is proud to announce a unique science fiction publication featuring a military force that patrols and protects space, that is inspired by the real-life terrestrial ideas and missions of the Coast Guard. Called NEO-G, the idea originated in the Harper Voyager offices as a conversation between Editorial Director David Pomerico and his then-colleague, Kelly O’Connor, and was developed in collaboration with author K.B. Wagers, known for her critically-acclaimed Indranan space opera series. 

Pomerico knew Wagers had the voice and talent to develop a world in which Earth’s military expanded beyond its atmosphere, and together they conceived the Near-Earth Orbital Guard, or Neo-G.  The book centers on the rivalry between military branches, which plays out through the Boarding Games—a competition pitting service members against each other to see just who is best in events like tactical problem is solving, piloting, fencing and martial arts, and, of course, boarding actions. And while other military science fiction features the exploration and defense of far-flung reaches of space, the Neo-G protects the area closer to home—a force we could very well see in our own lifetime. Made up of a band of retired veterans and raw recruits with sub-par equipment and the scorn of the military establishment, the NEO-G are the ultimate underdogs.

Said Pomerico: “While there has been near-Earth military science fiction, no one has focused on a unit that functions like the Coast Guard.  We knew that this was something we wanted to read about. So, we approached Ms. Wagers to partner with us on creating a publishing plan to make the world of NEO-G a fictional ‘reality’ and explore space in a way that hasn’t been done before.

“Swords might be involved.”

Said Wagers: “When David approached me with the idea, I was very intrigued. Military science fiction stories often are grand adventures about alien invasions and fate of humanity and all that. However, the scope for this is so—amusingly—down to earth. The NEO-G books are going to be a departure from the grimdark futures and instead focusing on a moment in time when humanity is at its best. This will be accessible science fiction with interesting characters and exciting action. Plus, we’re going to have all the things I know I love reading about: found family, snarky siblings, explosions, and triumphant celebrations.”

“We are proud that Ms. Wagers agreed to develop NEO-G: our visions for the direction of the books are perfectly aligned; her creativity will bring life beyond our atmosphere, with characters and adventures you’re going to connect with immediately,” said Pomerico.

The first book in the NEO-G series comes out in hardcover in Spring 2020 from Harper Voyager, starting with A PALE LIGHT IN THE BLACK.  There are currently two books planned in the series, with the option to continue.

ABOUT K.B. WAGERS
K.B. Wagers is the author of the Indranan War trilogy as well as There Before the Chaos, the start of the Farian War trilogy with Orbit Books. They hold a bachelor's degree in Russian Studies and a second-degree blackbelt in Shaolin Kung Fu. A native of Colorado, K.B. lives at the base of the Rocky Mountains with their partner and a crew of recalcitrant cats. In between books, they can be found attempting to learn Spanish, dying in video games, dancing to music, and scribbling new ideas in their bullet journal.  They are represented by Andrew Zack of The Zack Company.

ABOUT HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS
HarperCollins Publishers is the second largest consumer book publisher in the world, with operations in 18 countries. With two hundred years of history and more than 120 branded imprints around the world, HarperCollins publishes approximately 10,000 new books every year in 17 languages, and has a print and digital catalog of more than 200,000 titles. Writing across dozens of genres, HarperCollins authors include winners of the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Newbery and Caldecott Medals and the Man Booker Prize. HarperCollins, headquartered in New York, is a subsidiary of News Corp and can be visited online at corporate.HC.com.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Spotlight on O'Brian Gunn's Furies Thus Spoke




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O’Brian Gunn assembles a new generation of complex, misfits champions in a diverse, dynamic superhero story for the 21st Century.

The heralds of the new age are here...in all their furious glory!

Alpha-Omegas: Humans blessed/cursed with abnormal abilities that manifest in anyone at any time.

A scientist discovers an unexplained force emitting from his hands.

A disturbed woman's personality and sanity split between an actual angel and a demon.

A vigilante copies Alpha-Omega abilities by injecting stolen blood.

A socialite wakes up...dead...in the arms of a necrophile.

A parole officer burns with platinum flames and becomes the Sovereign of God.

A detective finds himself unable to protect his city against superpowered criminals.

They didn't ask to be part of the world of Alpha-Omegas. They only wanted to live normal lives. But there’s no arguing with biology.

When a celebrity family of Alpha-Omegas is murdered under suspicious circumstances, all six become accidental heroes when they’re tasked with uncovering the truth—but what if the truth is being redefined along with what it means to be human?

Meet your (reluctant) champions…   

ISBN978-0-9997862-5-3  | Price: $14.95 (6 x 9 paperback) $2.99 (Kindle ebook) | Release date: 3/19/19 | Fiction |
370 pages | Cover Art available | Distribution: Ingram

Publicity Contact: Nate Ragolia / Publisher nate@readspaceboy.com

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A world weaver and word wrangler, O'Brian Gunn was born and raised in Alabama and now lives in Denver where he writes about geek culture for Westword, Pop Culture Classroom and NerdTeam30. His writing sirens often lull him to the expansive shores of the speculative, the supernatural, and the superhuman. While he’s had short stories published on Fiction on the Web and The Society of Misfit Stories, FURIES: Thus Spoke is his first published novel...and hopefully not his last. You can find him on Twitter at @OBrianGunn. 

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

Friday, January 11, 2019

The Human Edge by Gordon R. Dickson



I’m not normally interested in short stories but for Dickson, I will make an exception.

The stories have an overall theme of humankind’s ferocity and superiority.   They were entertaining and it is refreshing to see the optimism that surrounded earlier Scifi.

I enjoyed it 

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, January 6, 2019

Silence Fallen By Patricia Briggs.


Once again Briggs captivated me.  Mercy is once again a perceived victim. I say perceived as she often is seen as a victim and the predators often find they bit off far more than they expected.   A vampire erroneously kidnaps Mercy and finds what it is like to stick your hand into a wasp nest.  

Mercy is a nearly ordinary person if you ignore her shape shifting and ability to talk to ghosts.  Compared to the more powerful beings she is in constantly falling afoul, Mercy is weak however….   Strength isn’t always strength of arms or teeth.

A misunderstanding may lead to a devastating war.  Adam must accept some strange allies in his quest to find his love.   Larry adds a very amusing counterpoint to the tension.

Once again Mercy shows that violence and mayhem may be trumped by thoughtfulness and relationships with others.

Again, I enjoyed her writing and recommend the book.

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

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Winds of Marque by Bennett R. Coles


This is a strange mix of technology and antiquated terminology.   The mode of transportation is interstellar but cutlasses and four shot pistols appear to be the hand weapons of choice.  The overall feel is Horatio Hornblower meets Hans Solo. 

This was an entertaining book regardless of the mixed messages sent by language and technology.   Liam is an accomplished XO who is wondering why he isn’t yet a captain.   Saddled with aristocratic officers, himself a minor noble, Liam chafes at their incompetence.  


Tasked with a secret mission and a new captain, Liam and crew become privateers.
Fun read.


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