Required Reading

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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

Bennett has crafted his own planet with new rules.   An exceptional job, he has created a whole different way of impacting the world. Sancia, a street urchin and thief, is the focus of the plot which involves world wide war.

Bennett ascribes personality in surprising places.  I particularly enjoy the anthropomorphizing of some of the scrived objects.   I have to wonder if some of the social imbalance and societal woes weren’t plucked from today’s news and skewed to fit the story line.   Haves and have nots are always going to lead to conflict, particularly when the imbalance is dramatic.   As I write this, the scandal of the moment is the recognition that the haves are using their wealth and influence to secure admission to prestigious colleges for their progeny.  One wonders what rock you live under if you didn’t already realize that scruples and immense wealth seldom go hand in hand.  

As much as digression is my hallmark, I have to say I really enjoyed Bennett’s book and hope to read the ensuing novels to see what will happen next.




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, 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.