Books, movies, politics, and whatever I want

Monday Book Pick: The Color of Magic

Monday, January 29th, 2024

The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett

The very first Discworld novel. The start of a very long comic fantasy series. Loads of fun. Give it a try, and then be prepared to dive into the remaining 39 books in the series.

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Monday Book Pick: Athenaeum, Inc.: Door Number three

Monday, November 6th, 2023

Athenaeum, Inc.: Door Number Three by Dan Kemp

To be honest, I knew I was going to buy this when read that author was a former Army NCO and a fan of both John Ringo and Larry Correia. Kemp mixed elements of the Paladin of Shadows and Dead Six series into his own blend, which was a really fun read that I didn’t want to put down until I finished. My major problem with this book is that there no sequel yet. The book was full of Easter Eggs, which I highlighted heavily for future research. Which I admit resulted in my getting a Rocket City Trash Panda hat, despite my serious lack of interest in professional baseball. Be prepared into deep dives into various types of deep nerdness: gun, watch, knife, and Hong Kong tactical tailors. Oh, and his deep obsession with Asian women. As the author says, writing this book was cheaper than therapy. This would make fun movie, and one that Joe Bob Briggs would recommend.

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Monday Book Pick: It’s Always Darkest

Monday, February 27th, 2023

It’s Always Darkest by Frank Schildiner

This book is set in Philip Jose Farmer’s “Nine” universe. I really enjoyed this book, the main character, Langston Dupont, is a mirror universe version of The Shadow with an more Asian flavor, and is one of The Nine‘s candidates. He still makes use of twin .45 semi-automatic pistols and the echoing mocking laugh though. The very select pool of individuals who gain immortality (at least very, very slow aging) at the cost of being the complete servants of the nine member ruling council who have been influencing the fate of mankind for thousands of years. Dupont has turned against his masters after close to a century of service, including his childhood training. The author is a martial arts instructor, and writes really good fight scenes. Something I really appreciate. A fun read set in 1970s and added bonus, a fight scene featuring one of my favorite bladed weapons!

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Monday Book Pick: The Black Mountain

Tuesday, February 14th, 2023

The Black Mountain by Rex Stout

Not only does Nero Wolfe leave the Brownstone in this book, he leaves the country! The murder of his childhood friend, and the violent death of his adopted daughter force him to travel to the land of birth to track down the killer and bring him to justice

I’m day late on this one…Close enough for government work…

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Monday Book Pick: The Last Centurion

Monday, November 8th, 2021

The Last Centurion by John Ringo

Given the last year and half (and a bit), I’m going back to an early 2008 pick. John Ringo’s tale of the “time of suckage.”

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Monday Book Pick: Theater of Spies

Monday, May 11th, 2020

Theater of Spies by S.M. Stirling

This is the second book in his new alterate history series were Theodore Roosevelt wins the 1912 election.
Black Chamber operative Luz O’Malley Arostequi and her partner Ciara Whelan are sent back to Germany to get information into a new German invention that can turn the war in a really bad way for anyone who opposes the Kaiser. Lot of good basic spy craft material in this book. Some really good action sequences, but they come late in the book, when things go really wrong from a spy’s point of view. Stirling includes a nice James Bond reference in which will be more obvious to those who have actually read the books. There are references to actual historical figures, including Ernst Rolm, and nasty Austrian Corporal.

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Monday Book Pick: An Oblique Approach

Monday, April 27th, 2020

An Oblique Approach by David Drake and Eric Flint

The first in the Belisarious series. Alternate History by by two masters of the genre. Forces of vast power in the distant future locked battle, and decide to “fix the fight” by sending agents back in time to change history. The first wants to lock humanity into their vision of perfection. They send an AI back to days of the Eastern Roman Empire to create a powerful empire in Northern India, using their caste system to their advantage. Here is a hint for those who haven’t read a lot of work by Drake, it involves introducing gunpowder long before it was used for weapons systems in our timeline. The second group sends a crystalline intelligence to contact a Roman General by the name of Belisarius. Conflict on a grand scale follows. A series of good adventure stories.

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Monday Book Pick: A Night in the Lonesome October

Tuesday, September 24th, 2019

A Night in the Lonesome October by SciFi Grandmaster Roger Zelazny

Once again going to the classic by the late Grandmaster Roger Zelazny. It is set in the month of October, which each day being a chapter. The story is told by Snuff, a watchdog, who like his companion Jack, is the owner of several Curses. One of Jack’s involves a large knife. Whenever there is a full moon on October 31, a group of people and their animal companions gather together and work toward a ritual on the night of the 31st. They are trying to either open or keep closed, a gateway for the Elder Gods (think Lovecraft). So far, the Closers have always won. Up until the end, it’s hard to tell who is an Opener and who is a closer, or even who is in the game. Others who are in the area with Snuff and Jack include: a vampire called “The Count” and his bat; a mad Russian monk and his snake, a broom flying witch named Crazy Jill and her black cat, the Great Detective and his sidekick; Larry Talbot and his furry alter ego. Zelazny had a lot of fun with this book. If you can pick up a copy with the Gahan Wilson illustrations, you are in for a bonus treat.

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Monday Book Pick: Red Inferno: 1925

Monday, August 5th, 2019

Red Inferno: 1945 by Robert Conroy

Another of the late Robert Conroy’s alternate history novels. This one is set in 1945. WWII in Europe is winding down, Berlin is about to fall. Harry Truman is now the US President. The change is scarily probable viewed from a modern perspective. Stalin decides that he want’s a bigger buffer zone than he was promised by Roosevelt and Churchill, so after taking Berlin, he turns the massive Red Army westward to attack American and British troops. Remember that the Russian army was really, really big at the time. Partially because of the US supplying them with food, clothing, weapons, planes, and oil for years. There are few factors that work in the Allies favor, including Stalin’s management style, and the Manhattan project. An enjoyable and engaging read. Check it out.

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Monday Book Pick: Some Buried Caesar

Monday, June 17th, 2019

Some Buried Caesar by Rex Stout

We’re setting the Way Back Machine to 1938 for this Nero Wolfe novel. If you like murder mysteries, any of Stout’s Nero Wolfe novels is worth the read. What makes this interesting is that none of the story takes place in the familiar brownstone which Wolfe so rarely leaves. He and Archie have ventured into the wilds of upstate New York so Wolfe can display some of his Orchids at a county fair. Wolfe and Goodwin become involved the local scandal of a champion Guernsey bull named Hickory Caesar Grindon being sold to a owner of a chain of restaurants. The scandal is that the new owner plans of cooking Caesar and feeding him at a large barbecue as an advertising event. Hot tempers, long standing family feuds, and shady characters lead to multiple murders. One of the nice twists is the local cop who tosses Archie in jail. Archie passes the time by forming a prisoners union, complete with presenting a list of demands to his jailers. This novel also introduces the reoccurring character of Lily Rowan.

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