Hard-Boiled by Doug Ross
Doug Ross takes a break from political blogging and knocks out a formula pulp Noir detective story. In doing so, he reminds us that there was a formula for these books because the formula worked! It was a fun, fast paced read. Where the good guys have flaws and the bad guys are ruthless killers. It isn’t high art, but it is an example of a classic art form. The Pulp Noir Detective Thriller.
Don’t Let The Hippies Shower by Stephen Kruiser
Political comedian turns author and produces a funny book that covers serious topics. His theory is that many social problems started when hippies started bathing and blending in with responsible adults. They then needed jobs, and unfortunately selected a job that gave them their summers off let them rot childrens’ brains with their hippy dribble. He has an interesting and surprisingly simple solution. Check it out.
Dead Six by Larry Correia and Mike Kupari
This is an upfront adventure story. Two groups of very skilled killers, one a group of mercenaries, the other a group of ruthless thieves. Both end up in a small Middle Eastern country and their missions often put them into conflict. Lots of action, very accurate weapons description and handling, shadow agencies, and grand conspiracies. I really enjoyed this book, a fun read with plenty of action and twists.
The Evil in Pemberley House by Philip Jose Farmer and Win Scott Eckert
Win Scott Eckert finishes an unpublished Farmer novel set deep in Farmer’s Wold Newton settings. Half the fun of this book is spotting all the references. Some are obvious, others require a Farmerphile, such as myself, to spot. Overall, a nice bit of pulp set in the early 70s. Patricia Clarke Wildman, the daughter of the Pulp Hero known as “Doc Savage”, is in a rough emotional spot, after the death of her parents, and her recent husband. Then she discovers that she is inheriting an English estate, made famous in the Jane Austin novel, “Pride and Prejudice.” Of course there is a ghost involved, and some shady characters among the living up to no good. With only minor spoilers, let me say that good mystery and spot of adventure is just what Patricia needed to get her out of her funk. She is her father’s daughter after all. Mild warning about the sex scenes. Very risque by 1970′s standards, but not so much today. Milder than what you would find in John Ringo’s Ghost series. A good read for the Farmer fan, but perhaps a bit too much ‘inside baseball’ references for someone not familiar with Farmer’s body of work.
Fire With Fire by Charles E. Gannon
A near future SciFi adventure that reminds me favorably of Dr. Pournelle’s Future History stories. Smart characters, deep secrets nested inside other secrets, action, aliens, and more action. It sets the stage for multiple sequels, which is a good thing.
Filed under: Baen Books, Monday Book Pick, Science Fiction
Blood of Heros by Steve White
A well researched time travel tale. The author lays out the rules for time travel in his future universe up front, which is a plus in time travel stories. Our heroes travel back to bronze age Greece to observe a historical event and then the fun starts. They run into humanoid aliens. Very long lived, technologically advanced aliens. These aliens didn’t reproduce very often, but they had been there long enough produce a second generation. The older ones had names that included Chronos and Theia. The younger ones included Zeus, Hera, and Apollo. You can see were this is going. There is much action and adventure (adventure: bad things happening to other people far away). A fun read with two sequels already.
Amateur Night: A World War II Historical Adventure by C.P. McKechney
An interesting, but long, story about a Nazi attempt to knock out the Panama Canal just before the US becomes involved in WWII. The plot is foiled by a collection of ‘expendable amateurs.’ This book was interesting to me personally in several ways. First, I’m a more than average history buff, I enjoy military fiction, and most of the action occurs in the Canal Zone, where I lived for a couple of years as a kid. There are some interesting characters in the book, some of which are slightly more filled out than your typical cardboard cutout character. The action scenes are well written and are clearly carefully story boarded. There is also a very good, and shorter, book trapped inside this novel waiting to get out. I was reminded of an interview with an author who pays his mortgage with sales from e-books, in which he points out that he budgets for an editor for all of his books. Those carefully story boarded actions scenes I mentioned, you read almost all of them multiple times as the author provides multiple viewpoints for each fight. These are not blended together to provide a fast narrative that conveys the chaos of combat. You get the full action sequence played out, in full, from two or more perspectives, one right after the other. If you enjoy this type of book, and have the time to kill, give it a go. If you don’t have the patience to slog through a book that really is much too long, then don’t start this one.
Filed under: Monday Book Pick, Political Books, Politics, When democrats attack
Attack of the 50 Ft. Democrats by R.K. Delka
R.K. Delka mixes a few genres in this story. Political satire, B-Movie SciFi Horror flicks, and a good dose of humor. Word of warning, anyone who cried in disappointment when Keith Olbermann was tossed off MSNBC won’t find this funny. People who pay attention to a wider spectrum of news will. While Mr. Delka approached this subject with tongue firmly planted in cheek, aspects of the story struck home with precision accuracy. The majority of the “mainstream” media giving up all pretense of objectivity to become ‘fan boys’ of a President who can’t be trusted to speak without a teleprompter (he messes up words with a silent ‘p’, just like President who said ‘corpsemen’, twice, while giving speech honoring US Navy Corpsmen) is one example. The more subtle one was the 50 ft democrats roaming the nation destroying sections of cities. They don’t need to be 50 feet tall to do that. Just look at Detroit. 50 years ago it was a thriving, vibrant city with one of the highest per capita incomes in the nation. 50 years ago was also the last time a Republican was involved in the city government. 50 years later, large sections of the city lies in ruins, the people are impoverished, almost half the streetlights don’t work, and the city is bankrupt. Attack of the 50 Ft. Democrats is funny, but it is also a warning. Congressional democrats may not actually have the brand of certain billionaire who spends orders of magnitude more money than the Koch brothers, but they are certainly more under the influence of his money than they are the votes of the people they are supposed to represent. So laugh away, but pay attention to the message, which includes this, It Is Not Too Late. Oh, and he set the stage for a sequel. So expect more adventures featuring the former US military fighter pilot turned politician.
The Third Girl by Agatha Christie
It’s been a while since I’ve read murder mysteries. I’ve started back in with some of classics. This is one of her later ones, written in the 1960s. Complete with Beatniks, Mods, and shaggy haired artists on drugs. This one features Hercule Poirot, the fussy Belgian detective, along with a cast of larger than life, yet stereotypical characters, including the dotty old British military officer writing his memoirs. A fun read. Agatha Christie mysteries are classics for a reason folks.
The Dracula Tape by Fred Saberhagen
Vampires have been all the rage with the kids lately, but back in the mid 1970, Fred Saberhagen wrote one of the best Dracula books ever, IMNSHO. Dracula tells his side of the story told by Bram Stoker. In his version, it is Van Helsing that is the blood thirsty monster and Vlad is the misunderstood hero. A fun read, but better if the you read the Stoker version first.