Sunday Morning Book Thread 03-30-2014: The Return of Pulp [OregonMuse]


sci fi pulp 01.jpg
"Hey, Isn't This Thing Supposed To have An Engine?"

Good morning morons and moronettes and welcome to AoSHQ's prestigious Sunday Morning Book Thread.


Every Moron Likes Free Books

...especially if they're pulp sci-fi books from the 50s. So I discovered this site here that specializes in what they call "off- trail" sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. The have a free section where it looks like they've adopted the Baen strategy of offering some of an author's work for free in the hopes that you will like it well enough to actually purchase other books.

A lot of the freebies are reprinted "pulp" authors from the 50s. And some of the titles are a real hoot:

The Man Who Saved The Universe [The Adventures Of Johnny Mayhem #1] by C.H Thames. (Look, any book with a main character named 'Johnny Mayhem' has got to be worth reading)

The Dream Girl [The Hilarious Adventures of Toffee #1] by Charles F. Myers. (OK, the title isn't much, but look at the cover art -- dude's obviously living the moron lifestyle)

Interplanetary Huntress by Arthur K. Barnes. The blurb for this one is great:

Science Fiction's first heroine! Out of print for more than 50 years! The action-packed exploits of Gerry Carlyle, Interplanetary Huntress, on assignment from the London Interplanetary Zoo to capture the rarest alien lifeforms in the solar system – and "bring 'em back alive." The only fly in the ointment of this intrepid woman is pilot Tommy Strike, who's just as determined to prove no woman is his superior. Their battles with the most fearsome of otherworldly critters are nothing compared to their battle with each other!

So check 'em out.


Gone With the Wind Prequel Coming

And the main character will be Mammy:

The Mitchell estate has authorized writer Donald McCaig to write a novel, titled “Ruth’s Journey” (Ruth is Mammy’s real name in this telling), that details how the character is brought to America as a slave and how she views the events of Mitchell’s original novel. McCaig’s novel “Rhett Butler’s People,” which was released in 2007 and explores the childhood and family history of “Wind” romantic hero Rhett, was one of two books previously authorized by the Mitchell estate, with author Alexandra Ripley’s “Scarlett” also approved.

Huh. I hadn't heard about these other prequels. I'm thinking they can't be good, but what do I know?

@

Ripped from the AOSHQ sidebar: I found this article from Smithsonian magazine that gives an interesting explanation of the origin and history of the 'at' sign.

Guy named Ray Tomlinson, who worked for a company contracted with the government to develop the ur-Internet, called Arpanet, was tasked with how to send messages from one guy at one computer to a different guy at a totally different comoputer. He needed a separator for the different elements that make up the mailbox address:

Tomlinson’s eyes fell on @, poised above?“P”?on his Model 33 teletype. “I was mostly looking for a symbol that wasn’t used much,” he told Smithsonian. “And there weren’t a lot of options—an exclamation point or a comma. I could have used an equal sign, but that wouldn’t have made much sense.” Tomlinson chose @—“probably saving it from going the way of the ‘cent’ sign on computer keyboards,” he says. Using his naming system, he sent himself an e-mail, which traveled from one teletype in his room, through Arpanet, and back to a different teletype in his room.

And speaking of vintage e-mail addresses, how many of you morons remember Compuserve's old octal-based e-mail addresses, i.e 73051.2224@compuserv.com


A Look Back

The Bookslut blog has an interesting idea, to wit: the Daphne Awards, which are explained this way:

If you look back at the books that won the Pulitzer or the National Book Award, it is always the wrong book. Book awards, for the most part, celebrate mediocrity. It takes decades for the reader to catch up to a genius book, it takes years away from hype, publicity teams, and favoritism to see that some books just aren't that good.

So they're going to be deciding what the best books are from 50 years ago. The first iteration of this contest will deal with books that were published in 1963.

Subsequent Bookslut posts (like this one) provided the 1963 candidates to chose from. Some of these books I've heard of, some I've haven't, and I'm sure all those choices will reflect their conventionally liberal sensibilities, but the underlying idea, that some things can be fully understood only after you think about them for a long time, is a basically conservative one.

Which is why we're not served well by the 24/7 news cycle. I've often thought that if we didn't hear about "current" events for days or weeks, we'd be better off. But when something big happens, like 9/11 or Katrina, or a school shooting, all the news channels spring into action and there's intense competition among them to get to the story first or report on an aspect of the story that no one else has thought of, so every little scrap of information or rumor gets pounced on and the result is that 95% of what goes out on the news broadcasts is crap. Sifting through all the available information, determining what's true and what's false, what's important and what's trivial, can take days, weeks or even longer, to properly assess.

There was a funny bit in the South Park 'Katrina' episode that went something like this:

"We hear that there's cannibalism in the Super Dome."

"Have you made any attempt to verify this story?"

"No, but that's what we're reporting."

It probably doesn't help matters that most reporters are liberals who've been taught by their liberal j-school profs to push a narrative rather than discover truth they might not agree with.


Whither Conservative Books?

Here is an interesting Buzzfeed piece on the diminishing of the conservative book market, and by 'interesting' I mean 'lacking any hard data or evidence.' When I first clicked on the link, I was expecting something like, "20 years ago, the conservative book market was x million dollars. But in 2011, it was x - y million dollars, and here is why this happened..." It's hard to accept something you don't want to be true, but I don't think that's the case here. I have no problem with the article itself, which is actually worth reading, it just didn't bring in any verifiable numbers to bolster its central argument.

But I agree with the quotes in the article about the "ghettoization" of conservative authors into conservative publishers not being a good thing. And this holds true in a wider sense. For example, I hated it in when free-market libertarian John Stossel jumped from ABC to Fox. I know why he did it (he thought the audiences at Fox would be greater than that of ABC's 20/20), and that's fine, but I think it's unfortunate he didn't remain where he was, inflicting pain everywhere he went at ABC, driving them bughouse crazy, because his very high ratings meant that they couldn't just dump him, as they no doubt really wanted. I remember him conversing with Barbara Walters after one of his 20/20 segments and the look on her face was like she was being forced to deal with some loathsome thing she couldn't avoid. Her extreme discomfort at having to listen to a view so utterly foreign to the comfortably fashionable socialist cocoon she lives in 24/7 is something we need a lot more of, only it won't happen any more. In fact, whatever Stossel says on his Fox business how, all they have to do now is scream 'FAUX NOISE!' and that's the end of that.


10 Famous Literary Characters Based on Real People

This article is a bit of light candy. It seems weird that there could have been a real Mrs. Havisham:

Potential Havisham #2: Elizabeth Parker. This Shropshire, England, woman was also jilted on her wedding day and became quite reclusive afterward. Dickins was known to visit Shropshire, and the fact that Miss Parker’s house was called Havisham Court seems like it must be more than coincidence.

Also, I had always thought the name Ford Prefect had to be a reference to something else, and it turns out to be true:

Douglas Adams once explained that his Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy alien had “skimped a bit on his preparatory research" of Earth and thought he was choosing an inconspicuous name for himself. Adams later explained further, saying that Prefect saw vehicles swarming the streets of our little planet and “had simply mistaken the dominant life form.” The Ford Prefect, by the way, was a British car produced from 1938-1961.


Moron Recommendations

A tool for writers: moronette lurker "TYV" emailed this week to recommend Twine, which she says is "an open-source program that helps you write Choose Your Own Adventure-style branching narratives. The finished product is an HTML file that runs in a browser." She offers her own story, Lore, as an example of what you can do with this writer's tool.


Books by Morons

Mark Huffman (author of Antediluvian) has written a series of holiday-themed short stories about a vampire who has made it a habit to prey on diabetics. Seriously. He can't get enough of that sweet, sweet taste of elevated glucose levels.

The first two, Sweet Tooth and Sweet Tooth: Lord of the Pies, are available for free. The others are 99 cents each.

They're fun reads, the main character is an interesting guy, and Mark really needs to develop the concept into a full-length novel.

___________

A couple of weeks ago, moron author David Dubrow released his first novel, The Blessed Man and the Witch, which the Amazon blurb calls

a paranormal thriller focusing on the end of the world. The first in a projected trilogy about a Biblical apocalypse, it addresses western occultism, angelic phenomena, demonic possession, and the slow dissolution of American society within a credible and original framework.

In addition, David has made the following offer:

I'd be happy to send free copies of the book in Kindle or PDF format to anyone willing to give it an honest review on a blog, Amazon, or Goodreads. Just email me and I'll send the book along.

Dave's e-mail address is:

davedauthor

and then the 'at' sigh.

The domain is, as pronounced, geemaledottcomm.

Dubrow has also written the Ultimate Guide to Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse under the nom de plume of F. Kim O'Neill.

___________


So that's all for this week. As always, book thread tips, suggestions, rumors, threats, and insults may be sent to OregonMuse, Proprietor, AoSHQ Book Thread, at aoshqbookthread, followed by the 'at' sign, and then 'G' mail, and then dot cee oh emm.

What have you all been reading this week? Hopefully something good, because, as I keep saying, life is too short to be reading lousy books.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 09:58 AM




Comments

(Jump to bottom of page)

1 Currently re-reading the 1632 series At least the first few books which are the best. Have worked my way up to 1634 The Baltic War.

Posted by: Vic at March 30, 2014 10:01 AM (T2V/1)

2 I'm busy rereading Aubrey/Maturin for what must be the fourth or fifth time. I can't stop myself; its just weird. Oh well, I'm nearly done. Maybe I can finally move on after this.

Posted by: MTF at March 30, 2014 10:04 AM (F58x4)

3 from the dailymail

book about l. ron hubbard

http://tinyurl.com/qcdvehb

Posted by: phoenixgirl @phxazgrl at March 30, 2014 10:06 AM (u8GsB)

4 how many of you morons remember Compuserve's old octal-based e-mail addresses, i.e 73051.2224@compuserv.co
Remember.
Tomlinson chose @—“probably saving it from going the way of the ‘cent’ sign on computer keyboards,” he says.
Remember the cent sign, too. But I think I only saw it on earlier manual typewriters. I think by the time I had high school typing class it was no longer on the 'high tech' IBM Selectrics we abused.

But that was many beers ago.

Posted by: SE Pa Moron at March 30, 2014 10:11 AM (oGrEy)

5 Posted by: MTF at March 30, 2014 10:04 AM (F58x4)

Aubrey/Maturin is one of those rare series that I find are remain eminently re-readable.

Posted by: Hrothgar at March 30, 2014 10:11 AM (o3MSL)

6 DARBY O’GILL and the Leprechauns was originally published in 1903. So
why is it still copyrighted? Even Mickey Mouse doesn't go that far.

Posted by: Vic at March 30, 2014 10:12 AM (T2V/1)

7 Posted by: Vic at March 30, 2014 10:12 AM (T2V/1)

I blame the Irish!

Posted by: Hrothgar at March 30, 2014 10:12 AM (o3MSL)

8 Ive been reading John Lange (aka Michael Crichton) pulp detective - spy stuff. Fun, brain candy.

Posted by: Jean at March 30, 2014 10:13 AM (Aqvh6)

9 I briefly signed up for Compuserve when I bought my first computer in 1994. It had a dial-up modem and I had to dial a toll number to get online, which put a damper on Web surfing.

Posted by: rickl at March 30, 2014 10:14 AM (sdi6R)

10 Just from my own observations, it seems like conservative authors are given more prominent shelf space and displays at books stores than they used to, due no doubt to their healthy sales on Amazon.

I wonder if sales are skewed toward more liberal books because those are ordered in volume by schools and colleges? Just an idea...

Posted by: All Hail Eris at March 30, 2014 10:15 AM (QBm1P)

11 My absolute reliable travel book is Shogun by James Clavell. Once I finish it, I start over. I dream of having a tenth of his storytelling ability.

Posted by: Xenophon at March 30, 2014 10:15 AM (EJ2lo)

12 Read "The Strain' trilogy last week; The Strain, The Fall and The Night Eternal.

Interesting discussion of "do men really want to be free?"
How there's always been a significant number men who prefer life under someone's control and will eagerly go along with keeping all of man in cages in exchange for a slightly better life for themselves.
How the chance for survival for yourself and your family can make you a coward.

The FSA is definitely our vampire class. The Democrats are the camp guards and collaborators draining us dry to keep them fed because it means they get fresh fruit and meat on a regular basis.
That's the whole motivation for the Democrats--they take a sick sense of self-worth from keeping the poor stupid and poor; because that means they Democrats are better than the poor.
It's why they so gleefully jump on the "people of WalMart" stuff and mock poor Republicans in a way they'd never publicly speak of their own--they hate the poor, they despise the poor but they have to have the poor and have them kept down lest they lose their own station.

Posted by: RoyalOil at March 30, 2014 10:16 AM (VjL9S)

13 "do men really want to be free?"
================================

Considering how rare it has been in human experience, I suppose not. Wars are not infrequently fought over it though, so some people feel strongly about freedom. From Athens/Sparta right through to the present moment, the battle has been waged. This is one reason why I am so suspicious of progressives-- they really don't care about freedom.

Posted by: MTF at March 30, 2014 10:21 AM (F58x4)

14 The Borgias, by Clemente Fusero. It's along, tough slog, even for a history book.

I can overlook the Renaissance Popes' private lives; I can even disregard the nepotism, which was central to Rome prior to the Reformation.

What appalls me is the indifference impotence of the Church in the face of the Turkish invasions. Mohammed II said, while he was murdering thousands of Christians at Otranto, that "my horse will soon be eating his oats from the altar in St. Peters."

It was no fault of the Church that this did not happen.

Posted by: mnw at March 30, 2014 10:24 AM (P+3u+)

15 This week, going to read the "Divergent" series.
Anyone read those?

The other book I picked up was the first book in "The Champions" series. Saw an ad on Insty, looked interesting, clicked over.

This is the description of the first book "Whitecoat."
"Since 1881, Britain, Canada and the United States have been colonizing
another planet. Now it's 1940, and tensions between the world's Empires
are mounting because the English-speaking nations enjoy exclusive
control over a uniquely powerful resource: genetically-enhanced humans
known as 'Champions'. Lady Alex Smith is the newest Champion, and her
best friend Stephanie Shylock has joined the British Army so they can
work together. Along with Sergeant Mike Strong, a veteran soldier with a
colorful reputation, these two must follow in the footsteps of their
famous parents, and save the world... perhaps both worlds."

Posted by: RoyalOil at March 30, 2014 10:24 AM (VjL9S)

16 Don't know if it's been mentioned here, but The Martian is a really good read. Astronaut gets stranded on Mars during an emergency mission abort; rest of the crew think he's dead. He has to find a way to survive the next four years, with only the gear that was left behind.

Posted by: Secundus at March 30, 2014 10:32 AM (VVsnw)

17 Finished Words of Radiance and Black Hearts One Platoons Descent into Madness in Iraq's Triangle of Death.

Black Hearts should be required reading for NCO's and officers. It is not anti military but It does document serious leadership failures.

Posted by: Adam at March 30, 2014 10:32 AM (Aif/5)

18 Almost done with the third Grimnoir Chronicles novel, Warbound by Larry Correia, which is just epic!

I'm absolutely loving it. Oh so highly recommended fantasy series.

Posted by: BornLib at March 30, 2014 10:33 AM (zpNwC)

19 Free Kindle books:

http://www.amazon.com/s/?node=2245146011

http://ereadernewstoday.com/category/free-kindle-books/

http://www.pixelofink.com/category/free-kindle-books/

https://www.bookbub.com/home/

Posted by: Zombie John Gotti at March 30, 2014 10:33 AM (zT0DN)

20
I love sci-fi so thanks for the link. My brother used to work at a place that published a Reader's Digest sized sci-fi collection monthly. It was great getting it free every month. Mostly short stories and one novelette.

But I still love military even more so I'm re-reading a book about the Gestapo. It would probably take me three lifetimes to figure out how Germany got so crazy after 1932. I guess it's just proof of the old adage that truth is stranger than fiction.

Posted by: Ed Anger at March 30, 2014 10:34 AM (tOkJB)

21 Definitely not "pulp" but a friend turned me onto "The Martian" by Andy Weir.

Great survival story.

Posted by: mark at March 30, 2014 10:36 AM (CzkJm)

22 I'm currently reading-

"The Man Who Made Models" - The Collected Short Fiction of R.A. Lafferty

For a while, between the late 60s and middle 70s, he was probably the greatest short story writer in SF.

Lafferty wrote stories like nobody else. His stories are often hilarious, blarney-filled tales infused by a secret mythology. Consequently, he's not everybody's cup of tea.

Six of his short stories are listed on his wikipedia page as being online. Read those and if you like them, you'll like this book.

Interestingly, Lafferty was conservative and deeply Catholic.

That doesn't show up as Tales of the Space Pope or something silly like that. In fact, "Catholic" doesn't show up in his stories at all except perhaps as the philosophical basis of the just plain fun wild tales.

Now, the bad part. This book is only available on dead tree and costs around $60 for 17 stories, so I have a hard time recommending it unless you really love Lafferty.

I hope the next volume doubles that count or they put it on Kindle. Lafferty wrote a lot of short stories.

He also wrote novels which generally are less successful, though I enjoyed "Space Chantey" a hilarious version of the Odyssey, "Past Master", "The Devil is Dead" and "Arrive at Easterwine".

Anywho, read the stories on Lafferty's wiki page.

If you like that sort of thing, this will be the sort of thing you like.

Posted by: naturalfake at March 30, 2014 10:37 AM (KBvAm)

23 "15 This week, going to read the "Divergent" series.
Anyone read those?"

Just saw the movie last night. I rather enjoyed it, and now I know why the leftist film critics have been dumping all over it.

Posted by: BornLib at March 30, 2014 10:37 AM (zpNwC)

24 (Look, any book with a main character named 'Johnny Mayhem' has got to be worth reading)


Oh man, I stumbled across the Johnny Mayehm books years and years ago whilst reading through the entire sci fi section of a little public library. So pulpy. So fantastic.

This week I read:

Shadow and Bone: Leigh Bardugo - This is a reread and it's even better the second time around. The "magic" system is actually based on manipulation of matter more so than, you know, magic. The reason I reread it is that it is very very peasant Russian and given current events, Russia is on my mind. The main country is called "Ravka" and it is clearly meant to be Russia. I have the next book in the series which for some reason I haven't read yet but I do highly recommend the first book. One of the things I liked is that you kind of want to slap Our Heroine for being a naive idiot but given her background she would be naive. It would have been more unrealistic for her to be well schooled in court manners and the like.


Singularity: Bill DeSmedt: Another reread mainly because of some discussions here at the HQ about gravity waves and the like. It's about Tunguska being caused by submicroscopic black hole slamming into the Earth and the realization that it's still here. Can you stop it? How do you stop it? Hey! I know! Let's turn it into a weapon! Very Clancy and Crichton like and the type of book that you will like if you like that type of book. Also has Russians as the bad guys.

Leviathan Wakes: James S.A. Corey: Finally got around to finishing the last 75 or so pages. I liked it but it is very very much two completely different stories and styles of writing slapped together. I want to read a series about the space noir adventures of Miller, I love me some Dashiell Hammett, but it did not work to have that story being told alongside a more conventional space opera work. Also, and it may be that it's because this is the first book in an on-going saga, but the mechanics of the MacGuffin made no sense. Don't get me wrong, it's well written and has some interesting ideas about how society will develop when near space colonization becomes real. It just didn't quite come together.

Rinkitink in Oz: L. Frank Baum: Yes, I'm an Oz geek. I love these books so much. I was very fortunate that when I was young my tiny local library had all the Oz books. Oz will always be magical to me.

Posted by: alexthechick - come for the Global Warming stay for the SMOD at March 30, 2014 10:38 AM (Gk3SS)

25 12 I loved Strain. I have a copy of The Fall on my shelf that I really need to crack open, probably after re-reading Strain.

Posted by: BornLib at March 30, 2014 10:39 AM (zpNwC)

26 Read The Martian twice already. Great stuff.

Larry Correia's lastest Monster Hunter book, Nemesis, is available as an advanced reader copy at Baen's website. Ironically enough the best books in the series (IMHO) are Nemesis and Alpha, in which the main character of the series is not the POV character.

Posted by: Emile Antoon Khadaji at March 30, 2014 10:40 AM (CrJzY)

27 Finally finished Words of Radiance. There were a couple of things in the second half I hadn't expected, but most of the happenings had been foreshadowed (too obviously, IMO) as far back as Way of Kings. Does anyone know how long Sanderson is going to take to finish this series?

Am currently reading Gust Front. A bit too much detail on the military stuff for my taste, but a very good story despite that. At this point, I'm pretty sure I'll keep going with this series.

Posted by: Empire1 at March 30, 2014 10:40 AM (ZYGp2)

28 16 Don't know if it's been mentioned here, but The Martian is a really good read.

Posted by: Secundus at March 30, 2014 10:32 AM (VVsnw)


21 Definitely not "pulp" but a friend turned me onto "The Martian" by Andy Weir.

Posted by: mark at March 30, 2014 10:36 AM (CzkJm)


Oh yeah, The Martian has been a moron favorite for some time now.

Posted by: OregonMuse at March 30, 2014 10:40 AM (fTJ5O)

29 Does anyone know how long Sanderson is going to take to finish this series?
---------

IIRC he plans on 10 books and 2-3 years between each book. So it's gonna be a long ride.

Posted by: Adam at March 30, 2014 10:41 AM (Aif/5)

30 How old was Ruth/Mammy supposed to be in 'Gone With The Wind?' The British passed the Slave Trade Act in 1807 and most other Western nations, including the US, soon followed suit. So, for Ruth/Mammy to have been born in Africa she would have to be a fair bit older than I would have thought. I've never read the book, so I don't know how biographical detail it gave on the character but by the time of the Civil War, slaves in the US who'd been born in Africa were rare.

Posted by: Epobirs at March 30, 2014 10:43 AM (bPxS6)

31 @All hail Eris:
There is a belief in SF/F that the major publishers only want books that are politically "pure", as in they reflect the views of the liberal establishments the editors and publishers hold, and these are the books that are "pushed", in that they are given the most support in marketing, covers and reviews, to generate an impression that they are the best works in content and writing. The second thing claimed is that the houses also neglect mid-listers, and and authors that no matter their storytelling ability are not up to the party line. There are authors who claim that these types of books sometimes don't get marketed or even get shipped out at all - and this is logical if you are marketing division pushing the greatest 800 page blockbuster on...whatever, I dunno, assertive, pro-feminist ideals wymen who like to be tied up or whatever you may not have the budget for a book you don't believe in or might not give a good return on your intensive marketing treatment.
I do not have the background to tell if this is true or not, but I have noticed that the quality of the blockbuster is not as great as I remember it from my youth, I prefer older books to newer books, and the publishing houses are all complaining that no one reads their books anymore. And this is consistent with the idea that they are a bunch of clueless idealogues that are caught up in their own bubbles to such an extent that they cannot tell between good and bad books any more than they can tell good or bad marketing strategies, even if it they were staring financial disaster in the face

Posted by: Kindletot at March 30, 2014 10:43 AM (LRUgq)

32 1950's SciFi was great as the authors always wrote that mankind was so full of potential and expansion and free...oh well.
"Mammy"....the story of a colored lass who makes it from a toney Chicago address to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave all the while spending tax monies and bad mouthing whitey and helping her mulatto old man overcome his white mother. Red Box here we come!

Posted by: IrishEd at March 30, 2014 10:44 AM (bfm04)

33 Rinkitink in Oz: L. Frank Baum: Yes, I'm an Oz geek. I love these books so much. I was very fortunate that when I was young my tiny local library had all the Oz books. Oz will always be magical to me.

Posted by: alexthechick - come for the Global Warming stay for the SMOD at March 30, 2014 10:38 AM (Gk3SS)

Alex, Baen published author Ryk E. Spoor (Grand Central Arena, Phoenix Rising) is doing a Kickstarter for Polychrome, an Oz-based novel.

http://kck.st/1d3J9Re

It's almost funded too. A $5 pledge will get you the ebook version, $25 for the dead tree version.

Posted by: BornLib at March 30, 2014 10:48 AM (zpNwC)

34 Uh scratch 2-3 years for Sanderson. According to wiki he hopes to release the next book in fall of next year. Hope it happens.

Posted by: Adam at March 30, 2014 10:49 AM (Aif/5)

35 Recently watched Divergent in the theater and found it to be a decent sci-fi but also astonishingly conservative in its morality.

Now I will need to check the books out.

Posted by: typo dynamofo at March 30, 2014 10:49 AM (IVgIK)

36 Finished a couple books this week. One was Old Goriot by Balzac that my book group had chosen. It was a very well written book about an old guy who brought up his gold-digging daughters in post Revolutionary Paris, where they and their dickhole husbands wanted nothing to do with him. The main character, Eugene Rastignac was a country boy law student on the make who combined the dueling traits of wanting to get ahead while still being sympathetic to the old guy, with whom he was a lodger in a seedy boarding house. The book doesn't really have a conclusion with the death of old Goriot other than Rastignac is much wiser in the ways of Parisian ways. I have a feeling this was a starting off point to an extended work. The book group is now taking on "Master and Commander", the first in the Aubrey/Maturin series, at my insistence. I've heard that once I make my way through that, particularly the difficult beginning parts, I'll be hooked for the rest of the series.


Also read, on a lark, a book about that pesky vermin, Joe McGinnis, who'd been stalking the Palin family until he died and went to hell. I became aware, in some thread elsewhere while comparing notes on what a dickhole he was, about how Janet Malcolm wrote a book, "The Journalist and the Murderer", about what a shithead McGinnis was on misleading the subject of an earlier book, "Fatal Vision", before torpedoing him after his trial. Malcolm is a journalist so the book reads fairly quickly and she gets to her points very well while still admitting that there's some moral ambiguity in the role of somebody trying to get to the truth. McGinnis comes across as quite the cocksucker and dirtbag. The subject of the original trial comes off as naive and probably not a person who I would like, but it's not apparent that he was really guilty in the trial. The Fatal Vision book, rightly or otherwise, made him look very very guilty. One thing that came off rather strangely was William F Buckley's role in the subsequent libel trial as an expert witness for McGinnis. Malcolm doesn't interview him, for whatever reason, but it what she quotes from his testimony he doesn't come off very well. I ran hot and cold on WFB while admitting he's usually a good conservative voice; however he has a lot of fanboiz who have the mental capacity of BOR who like him because he uses big words imo. Anyway it was an interesting read.

Posted by: Captain Hate at March 30, 2014 10:49 AM (9uGT0)

37 This week, going to read the "Divergent" series.

Anyone read those?"



Just saw the movie last night. I rather enjoyed it, and now I know why the leftist film critics have been dumping all over it.

Posted by: BornLib at March 30, 2014 10:37 AM (zpNwC)



Loooooove Divergent. What's fascinating is that Veronica Roth said that she set out to write a utopia and realized that one person's utopia is another person's hell and that what she was actually writing was a dystopia. I can go on and on and on about place impacting story and about how setting the world in the remains of Chicago brings to bear all kinds of interesting overlays re: corruption and the like. Why, yes, yes, I do tend to think Deep Thoughts about pop culture things.


Obligatory links to The Strain tv series promos:

http://youtu.be/Sz9qH35lWAM

http://youtu.be/o0X9XKDavWA


It's fascinating. del Toro pitched The Strain as a tv series but no one picked it up, so he and Hogan wrote the books and then FX picked it up as a series. That's why I presume the series will be excellent and faithful to the books because that's the format in which del Toro wanted to tell the story in the first place. He's said that assuming they get picked up for more seasons, it will be a 3-5 season run with a very definite story arc and end point.



Posted by: alexthechick - come for the Global Warming stay for the SMOD at March 30, 2014 10:51 AM (Gk3SS)

38 his week, going to read the "Divergent" series.
Anyone read those?

Posted by: RoyalOil at March 30, 2014 10:24 AM (VjL9S)


I've read them. As long as you go into them realizing that they are YA books (just like the Hunger Games series), they are entertaining. You can't approach them as adult books or you will be bored. Just like HG, they aren't breaking any new ground but are entertaining.

Posted by: Zombie John Gotti at March 30, 2014 10:51 AM (zT0DN)

39 The Distant Suns of Gene Wolfe by John Farrell

http://tinyurl.com/l3vev5j

"Lots of novel readers—from the highest brow to the lowest—nod politely when the science-fiction writer Gene Wolfe is mentioned. But even among science-fiction fans, one gets the sense that they’re saying, “Yes, yes, we know how good he is, but we’d rather talk about such bestselling authors as Neil Gaiman or Robert Jordan, Laurel Hamilton or Neal Stephenson.” As Glenn Reynolds, the inveterate science-fiction enthusiast and popular blogger of Instapundit.com, recently wrote, “Gene Wolfe is a superb writer, but I’m not crazy about his storytelling.” I recently asked a veteran New York editor whether Wolfe could find a publisher today if he were just coming along as a young writer. “Probably not,” she admitted. His writing is too religious, too difficult, and too strange."

Posted by: BornLib at March 30, 2014 10:53 AM (zpNwC)

40
ATC:

Have you ever read about Baum being a social commentator of his day and his allegories in The Wizard of Oz?

The TinMan is supposed to be American industry after the last recession (panic), the Lion was supposed to be William Jennings Bryant, and Emerald City was Washington DC. Baum chose emerald to represent the green of the money printed by Washington DC.

The story of The Wizard of Oz is an interesting one.

Posted by: Ed Anger at March 30, 2014 10:53 AM (tOkJB)

41 #31

Doesn't matter. Their day is past. An author can generate plenty of sales at minimal cost by just reaching bloggers like Glenn Reynolds. Don't worry about dead tree print runs until after you've established the item as an e-book. Make the dead tree companies come to you.

Posted by: Epobirs at March 30, 2014 10:55 AM (bPxS6)

42 Adam --

Thanks very much. So another 16-21 years to end the story, huh? At 70, and with Obamacare, I'm unlikely to see the end of it, so I think I'll drop it right here.

Thanks again.

Posted by: Empire1 at March 30, 2014 10:55 AM (ZYGp2)

43 I'm like a squirrel, I've got books stashed away all over my house and workplace, snatching a chapter here and there. Just finished two:

The Martian, by Andy Weir - Astronaut is stranded on Mars after a killer storm forces his teammates to abandon their tasks and blindly make their way back to the ship (he is presumed dead). Through dogged determination, engineering know-how, and a sense of humor, he is able to maintain a razor's edge existence on the dead planet. NASA and JPL discover he's alive and set about to recover him, with the help of his crew who are still in return transit to Earth. This would make a great movie! Of course, they would dumb it down and fuck it up...

The Doctor and the Dinosaurs: A Weird West Tale by Mike Resnick - Number 4 in the series. Geronimo meets Doc Holliday on his deathbed and grants him one more year of life if he'll help him rid Wyoming Territory of two white men desecrating tribal burial grounds -- Drinker and Cope, dueling paleontologists who refuse to budge from the rich dino bone fields. The Indians' idea to scare them off with resurrected dinosaurs only makes them more determined to stay. Lots of drolleries by Doc Holliday and his sidekick Teddy Roosevelt would make this a great film romp -- if they didn't dumb it down and fuck it up.

And speaking of Teddy, still working on Never Call Retreat: Theodore Roosevelt and the Great War. EXCELLENT, highly recommended.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at March 30, 2014 10:57 AM (QBm1P)

44 Captain Hate:

Interesting post.

Posted by: mnw at March 30, 2014 10:59 AM (P+3u+)

45 ...It would probably take me three lifetimes to figure out how Germany got so crazy after 1932...

Posted by: Ed Anger at March 30, 2014 10:34 AM (tOkJB)

I've been re-reading "Bloodlands", "Stalingrad", "The Fall of Berlin 1945". It amazes me how the Germans, Austrians, Hungarians, Rumanians, and Italians could be so murderous when many had a strong belief in God. Unfortunetly their belief in their earthly saviour, Adolf, was stronger.

Posted by: ExSnipe at March 30, 2014 10:59 AM (LKJt3)

46 Read Shakespeare's Pub by Pete Brown. This is actually a history of the London suburb of Southwark and how the last of the great London coaching inns, The George, survived and changed with the times. The largest and best part of the book deals with how squalid pre-1800's life really was.

The author has a rambling, humorous style. The book is essentially numerous "human interest" stories told in chronological order. Over-all a decent book, but I doubt I will re-read it. I bought my copy, but I would recommend just getting from a library.

The only thing I didn't like was he took a couple of swipes at Margaret Thatcher for her supposedly criticizing people that rode buses were failures in life. He even admits that there is no proof that she ever said anything like that.

Posted by: Retired Buckeye Cop at March 30, 2014 10:59 AM (1htQa)

47 Adam --

Well, at a year and a half between, I might have a chance. We'll see if he makes the estimate. I do enjoy the story, even if the slow progress and large number of characters to keep track of drive me nuts.

Thanks!

Posted by: Empire1 at March 30, 2014 11:00 AM (ZYGp2)

48 Well, I'm not doing any heavy reading-lifting this week; just working my way through Sharon McCrumb's "The Devil Amongst the Lawyers" - about a murder trial in the Appalachians which became briefly a media event. The larger part of the book focuses on the reporters who have come to cover the trial, and McCrumb has some pointed observations to make about reporters who fan a media frenzy and then partake of it.

The big focus for my week is preparing for Saturday's San Antonio Book Festival. My Tiny Bidness, Watercress Press will have an exhibitor table, and my own books and those of several of our authors will be for sale -- with the authors there to autograph. It's going to happen at the Central Library and the campus of the Southwest School of Art, on the Riverwalk or adjacent ... so if any 'rons and 'ronettes want to party with book people next weekend, come on down. The weather is lovely right now, and the Riverwalk is spectacular any time.

Posted by: Sgt. Mom at March 30, 2014 11:01 AM (Asjr7)

49 Alex, Baen published author Ryk E. Spoor (Grand
Central Arena, Phoenix Rising) is doing a Kickstarter for Polychrome, an
Oz-based novel.



http://kck.st/1d3J9Re



It's almost funded too. A $5 pledge will get you the ebook version, $25 for the dead tree version.

Posted by: BornLib at March 30, 2014 10:48 AM (zpNwC)


Ohhhh thank you! I liked Phoenix Rising quite a bit. Also, I'm fascinated that it isn't a deconstruction, it's an Ozverse adventure for grown ups. As someone who is, hmm, how to put this, not unfamiliar with working in the transformative literature field (that's the snotty term for fanfic), I understand the draw of creating your own work in a universe you love.


The story of The Wizard of Oz is an interesting one.

Posted by: Ed Anger at March 30, 2014 10:53 AM (tOkJB)



Somewhere out there is a 90+ page paper I wrote that's a combination of lit crit and histortical review on the allegorical nature of The Wizard of Oz. My advisor for that admitted it took him a third read to realize that the point I was making was I don't care if it is or if it isn't, the Ozverse is a wonderful place no matter what.

Very very short version is that, yes, it's meant as an allegory but Baum himself got caught up in the wonder of it and pretty much completely abandoned political allegory, though not religious and moral allegory, in the rest of the Oz books. A development that was greatly for the best.

Posted by: alexthechick - come for the Global Warming stay for the SMOD at March 30, 2014 11:04 AM (Gk3SS)

50 Couldn't agree more on the ghettoization of non-leftist news people. If Leslie Stahl ever wants to work again she will probably get stuck working at Fox, and that is a shame - we don't need more reporting to the choir, we need the LIVs whacked in the head with the cold 2x4 of reality.

Posted by: Motionview at March 30, 2014 11:05 AM (e6TyM)

51 Hammett apparently told Hellman that she was the inspiration for his female villains as well.

HA HA HA! I believe that.

Wasn't Hammett the ghost writer for "Hellman's" play, The Little Foxes?

Posted by: Pete in TX at March 30, 2014 11:08 AM (w5MSJ)

52 I've been reading a lot of Tom Holt recently. Although he has done other stuff, such as historical novels of Rome and Greece, Holt is best known for humorous fantasies in a modern setting, often placing figures from mythology in a modern bureaucracy. Holt's own experience of such soul-wasting settings from his own time there before he took up writing full-time can sometime make things a bit depressing but it is in service of the story.

Another flaw is that some of Holt's more recent stuff can run a bit long, sometimes wandering off from the original story a bit. This somewhat derailed 'Barking' (a law firm staffed by werewolves) a bit but it was still worth the read.

If you like Terry Pratchett you'll very likely enjoy Tom Holt's work.

Posted by: Epobirs at March 30, 2014 11:09 AM (bPxS6)

53 Promise of Blood and Blood Song are also fun fantasy reads and they have sequels coming out in the next few months.

Posted by: Adam at March 30, 2014 11:12 AM (Aif/5)

54 Can you imagine Correia and Holt co-authoring a book? It would be like, "Stalingrad: The Comic Opera"

Posted by: Kindletot at March 30, 2014 11:15 AM (LRUgq)

55
Thanks for expanding on the story of Oz ATC.

Posted by: Ed Anger at March 30, 2014 11:17 AM (tOkJB)

56 Sarah Hoyt has finished up her novel Witchfinder and is taking pre-orders for the final edited ebook version directly from her website for a slight discount (which will also get you an eARC to tide you over).

http://tinyurl.com/nxb5759

Posted by: BornLib at March 30, 2014 11:18 AM (zpNwC)

57 Posted by: Epobirs at March 30, 2014 11:09 AM (bPxS6)

My favorite Holt book is-

"Expecting Someone Taller"

Great humor, short read - story is whip smart. And it involves Wagner's Ring mythology, what's not to like?


Like so many other authors. He started writing opuses instead of stories. He needs a strong editor.

Posted by: naturalfake at March 30, 2014 11:18 AM (KBvAm)

58 Irving Finkel, The Ark before Noah

Irving Finkel is the British Museum's curator for cuneiform. Here, he is investigating a clay tablet whose subject is the structural design of the lost Ark. Not that one; the other one.

Most "Assyriological" books and articles are pretty dry. The relevant languages (Akkadian and Sumerian) have been studied for almost two centuries, and the same goes for the literature; so there is not much left to discuss on either, unless you need to get VERY technical. This book exists because its author believes his text to be interesting enough for the rest of us.

In my view, he's right. Cuneiform is actually kind of cool. The likelihood he relates that the Ark story is urSemitic is even cooler (apparently it's not even Sumerian; the Sumerians borrowed it from the Semites, probably proto-Akkadians).

The book is, shall we say, lightly-edited. This style is not without its charms: where the author writes a run-on sentence because the topic is awesome and he is excited then we get to see it! But then, we *also* get to see that he doesn't care all that much about the blow-by-blow of Bronze Age history. For instance: here Naram-Sin is set to (Sumerian) Ur. Naram-Sin was, in fact, the emperor of Akkad. Shulgi is at least set at Ur (correctly) but then we step, jarringly, right into the Isin-and-Larsa era. There is also the mention of a "Mitannian" language which never existed as such (he might intend the Aryan loanwords in Kikkuli's Hurrian horse-training text). The author is a philologist and an expert in Semitic languages; he is not a historian. (I'll even bet he knows all the stuff I mentioned - as I said, he doesn't care, so he rushed past it.) So, you'll want to stick with the philology.

Also, I noticed the font switched: names like "Atrahasîs" seemed to be in a slightly larger and bolder font than the rest of the narrative.

(I didn't mention the new Semitic-pagan movie about the gods of Earth hating our guts; because Finkel didn't mention it either.)

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at March 30, 2014 11:19 AM (30eLQ)

59 I've been re-reading "Bloodlands"

Yikes. That's like re-watching "Requiem for a Dream". Should I send someone by to confiscate your Joy Division CDs while we're at it?

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at March 30, 2014 11:22 AM (30eLQ)

60 If any of you all are WorldCon members, today and tomorrow are the last two days you can nominate work for this year's Hugo award. Anyone looking to combat Puppy Related Sadness remember to nominate Warbound by Larry Correia for best novel.

More suggestions:

http://tinyurl.com/mk9eqcl

Posted by: BornLib at March 30, 2014 11:25 AM (zpNwC)

61 Am currently reading Gust Front. A bit too much detail on the military stuff for my taste, but a very good story despite that. At this point, I'm pretty sure I'll keep going with this series.

Posted by: Empire1 at March 30, 2014 10:40 AM (ZYGp2)



As a former FIST (Fire Support Team) guy myself, I thought the military accounts were the best part of the book. The last stand of the Combat Engineer battalion and militia at Fredericksburg, VA, was particularly good. A lot of the heroes in this book are Combat Engineers and by the end of the book, the aliens come to hate and fear the Twin Turreted Castle badge of the Engineers.


I thought this was a better book than the first one in the series (A Hymn Before Battle). We followed more characters that the main protagonist, Mike O'Neil, and the combat scenes were more interesting than just having the Advance Combat Suit troops pull the conventional Earth soldiers' chestnuts out of the fire.

I don't like the precocious 8-year old daughter, Cally O'Neil. I can't suspend disbelief on the amount of advanced weapons handling ability and tactical sense that she has. The character should have been about 16-years old instead.

Posted by: Retired Buckeye Cop at March 30, 2014 11:25 AM (1htQa)

62 In non-book news, I was just poking around mlb.com in honor of a. Opening Night and II. the Cubs being eliminated from the pennant race and notice that mlb has paired up with match.com to offer a find other single baseball fans service.

This is either a wonderful or terrible idea. I cannot decide which.

Of course, now I have the desperate hope that someone hacks the algorithm and Red Sox and Yankees fans keep getting set up on dates.

Posted by: alexthechick - come for the Global Warming stay for the SMOD at March 30, 2014 11:25 AM (Gk3SS)

63 Oh, back to the Ark. I need to post this link: http://tinyurl.com/qbv2agc

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at March 30, 2014 11:26 AM (30eLQ)

64 Is this the provisional AOSHQ website?

Ok meh but it's early give me a break.

Posted by: Dack Thrombosis at March 30, 2014 11:26 AM (oFCZn)

65 "do men really want to be free?"
================================

Considering how rare it has been in human experience, I suppose not. Wars are not infrequently fought over it though, so some people feel strongly about freedom.


*****

I was thinking the other day about some of the themes that are celebrated and discussed on this blog (no, not bewbs!)

-cars
-self determination (e.g. healthcare)
-communications
-financial means
-guns
-travel

These are the means which allow humans to be free in some degree. For much of human history, the common man has lacked access to the means of mobility, self-defense, future financial and physical security and the means to communicate easily with like-minded people. The colonists in early America got a big taste of that freedom, and passed it along to those who followed. If I am bitterly clinging to anything, it is those tools of freedom.

Endeavor to persevere!

Posted by: S. Muldoon, president United Mime Workers local #555 at March 30, 2014 11:27 AM (g4TxM)

66 Hello fellow ron's!
I'd like to share my favorite book of all time:
HEALER by F. Paul Wilson
It is about a man who becomes immortal while living in the future Galactic Empire. Hebecomes immortal due to another conscienceness residing in his brain, that is aware down to the cellular level. Very cool story.

Posted by: jt2 at March 30, 2014 11:27 AM (Wy05x)

67 #61

Ringo has a thing about absurdly precocious Amazon Warrior daughters, as seen in his current Zombie Apocalypse series.

Posted by: Epobirs at March 30, 2014 11:28 AM (bPxS6)

68 Sgt. Mom- I love Texas. My family is scattered like breadcrumbs from Dallas to Houston and San Antonio is my favorite, even the summers. I grew up in Dallas.
Wish I could be there. Sounds like a blast.

Posted by: Megthered at March 30, 2014 11:28 AM (iR4Dg)

69 Posted by: Retired Buckeye Cop at March 30, 2014 11:25 AM (1htQa)


I disliked the series. Too much tech-wank that didn't make sense to me, and the pop-culture references were annoying. Plus, like you said, Cally is unbelievable. Hell, she'd be unbelievable if she was 16.

Posted by: Colorado Alex at March 30, 2014 11:29 AM (lr3d7)

70
Somebody wearing the twin latrines becomes a hero? Sounds like a pretty fantastic tale.

Posted by: Ed Anger at March 30, 2014 11:29 AM (tOkJB)

71 The chances of Ruth having been brought directly from Africa as a slave even as a very young child instead of having been born the child of (many?) past generations of already-landed slaves is probably next to zero.

Posted by: andycanuck at March 30, 2014 11:30 AM (hn5v5)

72 66 Hello fellow ron's!
I'd like to share my favorite book of all time:
HEALER by F. Paul Wilson
It is about a man who becomes immortal while living in the future Galactic Empire. Hebecomes immortal due to another conscienceness residing in his brain, that is aware down to the cellular level. Very cool story.
Posted by: jt2 at March 30, 2014 11:27 AM (Wy05x)

Would I still get this if I skipped the first two books in the series?

Posted by: BornLib at March 30, 2014 11:32 AM (zpNwC)

73 Oh, back to the Ark. I need to post this link: http://tinyurl.com/qbv2agc


Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at March 30, 2014 11:26 AM (30eLQ)



Thank you for that, it looks interesting.


I hope I'm not the only one who presumes the reason why Noah was used as the framework for whatever story it is that Aronofsky is telling is because hey the Bible's public domain.


See re: The Player for a discussion of screenwriting and story ideas.


I should note that I really like Aronofsky's works but I also think he's David Lynch level kookoobananas.

Posted by: alexthechick - come for the Global Warming stay for the SMOD at March 30, 2014 11:34 AM (Gk3SS)

74 Yes, the HEALER story is a very nicely done self contained story. It references the larger story, but I have never read the rest of the series myself. Perhaps I need to go read those...
The thing I love about this book is how Steve reacts to his 'Partner', and the resulting conversations that he has with the other entity present in his brain.

Posted by: jt2 at March 30, 2014 11:35 AM (Wy05x)

75 Retired Buckeye Cop --

I think my problem with detailed tactical and strategic exposition is too much too soon when I was a kid. My dad started doing the detailed tactics and strategy with explanations and reasoning (army officer). can't remember when he started, actually, but by the time he took us to Gettysburg and the colored-light-bulb map with detailed lecture (late 50s or very early 60s) my eyes were glazing over at the first hint.

Totally agree about Callie being entirely too precocious.

Posted by: Empire1 at March 30, 2014 11:36 AM (iTDQF)

76 "Hey, Isn't This Thing Supposed To have An Engine?"

Not much room for fuel / reaction mass, either, seein' where that hatch is.

Posted by: RNB at March 30, 2014 11:36 AM (1/fQ0)

77 "A decade in the writing, this is an anthropological adventure story that combines the visceral allure of a thriller with a profound and tragic vision of what happens when cultures collide. "

I'm reading The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanigahara. WSJ said it was one of the best books of the year. I'm about halfway through and it's incredibly interesting and well written. Reads like an older novel. I am really enjoying it but I can just tell things are going to start going very wrong soon....

Posted by: Keena at March 30, 2014 11:41 AM (RiTnx)

78 I looked through Scott McEwen's and Richard Miniter's history of the Seals,
which goes from the founder Bucklew to the present day. it gives a certain amount of attention, to Marcinko's role in shaping the Seals, but near the end, they outline some five responses we could have had to the assault on Benghazi, from flights out of Sigonella, to a cruise missile strike from Gaeta.

Posted by: Corolianus Snow at March 30, 2014 11:42 AM (Jsiw/)

79
#75:

I don't know if you know they ripped out that lighted map. With glee.

Too old fashioned.

Posted by: Ed Anger at March 30, 2014 11:44 AM (tOkJB)

80 I disliked the series. Too much tech-wank that didn't make sense to me, and the pop-culture references were annoying. Plus, like you said, Cally is unbelievable. Hell, she'd be unbelievable if she was 16.



Posted by: Colorado Alex at March 30, 2014 11:29 AM (lr3d7)


Cally is the worst character (from a developmental/believability viewpoint). If she were older at least would have some physical maturity. We are being asked to believe that she has been trained to be a killing machine since she was about 5 years old. Um... I call BS.

I found some of the ideas developed to be very interesting. What does the U.S. government do when faced with a existential threat to human life? Preparing the civilian population for guerilla warfare, building fortifications and stock-piling food/resources would all be logical things to do.

Posted by: Retired Buckeye Cop at March 30, 2014 11:44 AM (1htQa)

81 67
Ringo has a thing about absurdly precocious Amazon Warrior daughters, as seen in his current Zombie Apocalypse series.
--------------
Yeah, it grates sometimes, but Faith is a hoot and serves as a sort of mascot or totem for the tribe. My take on Faith is that she would have been a total misfit in our current techno-milquetoast society, but is ideally suited to the physical and mental rigors of post-apocalyptic mayhem. Her zombie-smashing acumen is not matched with wisdom, and at least Ringo has her dad give lectures on proper military bearing and decorum. It's kind of a throwback to the cadet system of yore, when 12-13 year olds were sent to sea or the field to serve. Lots of that in Ringo's books. I feel he's against the extended adolescence we have now, where 18 year olds are considered "children". And I bet lots of kids agree. Not all tweens want to be parked in front of a computer screen.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at March 30, 2014 11:45 AM (QBm1P)

82 Yikes. That's like re-watching "Requiem for a Dream". Should I send someone by to confiscate your Joy Division CDs while we're at it?

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at March 30, 2014 11:22 AM (30eLQ)

Heh. Never heard of "Requiem for a Dream" and I don't think I've ever heard any Joy Division songs.

It's my interest in history. This country is doing the same things the Axis under Adolf, Mussolini and the Japanese did. As well as Stalin. I want to be mentally prepared. I will either be on the wall defending the Horde from the savages, or up against the wall for not supporting our state and our chosen one.

Posted by: ExSnipe at March 30, 2014 11:48 AM (LKJt3)

83 As a former FIST guy
---------

Oh do go on.

Posted by: Sandra Flook at March 30, 2014 11:48 AM (Aif/5)

84 Ed Anger --

No, I didn't know, but I can't say I'm surprised. I'm curious what they replaced it with, though.

Posted by: Empire1 at March 30, 2014 11:49 AM (iTDQF)

85 I read Scarlett. It was a sequel. Not all that great. I liked how I envisioned the story after the end of Gone with the Wind instead. I figured Scarlett headed out west and started up a saloon and eventually Rhett found her and they got back together.

Posted by: ParanoidGirlinSeattle at March 30, 2014 11:50 AM (RZ8pf)

86 If you liked F. Paul Wilson's Healer you should do everything you can do to read An Enemy of the State, which is harder than anything to find.
(I hope he as rights so he can bring it out indie)

Posted by: Kindletot at March 30, 2014 11:52 AM (LRUgq)

87 I think my problem with detailed tactical and strategic exposition is too much too soon when I was a kid. My dad started doing the detailed tactics and strategy with explanations and reasoning (army officer). can't remember when he started, actually, but by the time he took us to Gettysburg and the colored-light-bulb map with detailed lecture (late 50s or very early 60s) my eyes were glazing over at the first hint.

...
Posted by: Empire1 at March 30, 2014 11:36 AM (iTDQF)


My old man was career military (Navy), too. However, he didn't force-feed me and let me develop an interest in military history on my own.

Ringo's strength or failing (depending on your point of view) is that he apparently has a pretty extensive military background and that's what he writes about. Character development is spotty.

I have to sign off, now. Mrs Cop is sending me out to forage for lunch.

Posted by: Retired Buckeye Cop at March 30, 2014 11:52 AM (1htQa)

88 #72

It definitely stands on its own. I recall reading several years before seeing any of his other stuff and learning the SF portion was all the same universe. This book and 'Enemy of the State' are what comes to mind when I think of Wilson, though his Repairman Jack books are far better known.

It's kind of like knowing Dean Koontz as an SF writer before he got huge as a horror writer. A lot of his older horror stuff was done in the same era but under other names while he wrote SF under his own name, with books like 'Demon Seed.' (I'll always have a soft spot for that one because the movie used a lot of familiar locations in my childhood home town. And nekkid Julie Christie.)

Posted by: Epobirs at March 30, 2014 11:53 AM (bPxS6)

89 The Mitchell estate sounds like the Piper estate, we need the money so we will sell the rights to a sequel! Fall of the House of Usher upon them.

I should buy more Sharyn McCrumb books like The Devil Amongst the Lawyers and The PMS Outlaws. After all she managed to make the crazier denizens of a con potential murder suspects in Bimbos of the Death Sun.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at March 30, 2014 11:53 AM (2yQQy)

90 The Devil Amongst the Lawyers

How could you tell?

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at March 30, 2014 11:56 AM (30eLQ)

91 I hope I'm not the only one who presumes the reason why Noah was used as the framework for whatever story it is that Aronofsky is telling is because hey the Bible's public domain.

Well, that and also that the Bible is a usual target for modern revisionists who don't like what it says but find it a useful vehicle to hijack and use for their own purposes.

Posted by: OregonMuse at March 30, 2014 11:59 AM (fTJ5O)

92 Don't worry about the Russians, the rock monsters will protect you.

Posted by: Revised Noah at March 30, 2014 12:00 PM (Aif/5)

93 Ok time for my predictable Divergent counterpoint. I thought it was incredibly poorly written with plot points that made little to no sense. I know I am an outsider on this one, since several others here love it.

Posted by: ParanoidGirlinSeattle at March 30, 2014 12:01 PM (RZ8pf)

94 Not much room for fuel / reaction mass, either, seein' where that hatch is.

I know, right? Spaceship art from the 50s, with all the support struts and vanes, really cracks me up. It's beautiful artwork, but there's no way that thing can ever achieve escape velocity.

Posted by: OregonMuse at March 30, 2014 12:02 PM (fTJ5O)

95 al jolson performing "mammy"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIaj7FNHnjQ

Posted by: phoenixgirl @phxazgrl at March 30, 2014 12:04 PM (u8GsB)

96 93 Ok time for my predictable Divergent counterpoint. I thought it was incredibly poorly written with plot points that made little to no sense. I know I am an outsider on this one, since several others here love it.
Posted by: ParanoidGirlinSeattle at March 30, 2014 12:01 PM (RZ8pf)


BURN THE HERETIC!!!

Posted by: Insomniac at March 30, 2014 12:05 PM (mx5oN)

97 The problem with Cally in the Altendata aka Posleen fun and excitement is yes how shallow her development is. It seems nothing phases her while she is being Chuckie with whatever weapon comes in handy. Not even when she is an adult and wearing someone's body with kids in tow.

As opposed to Masamune's Shirow's character Deunan Knute in Appleseed. The humans have managed to make a mess of the world. Deunan is the only child and daughter of an American Green Beret. After her mother is killed he makes it a point to train Deunan to survive. So she and the last member of her father's team become a survival pair in a wasteland. That is when she is recruited by one of the remaining city-states to join their special SWAT. And in Olympus we see the coarseness of Deunan's upringing contrast with utopian thin-veneer of its citizens. Deunan has trust issues and thinks too many people are mush brained.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at March 30, 2014 12:06 PM (2yQQy)

98 Eh, I just confessed to reading Scarlett, don't you think I have been punished enough?

Posted by: ParanoidGirlinSeattle at March 30, 2014 12:06 PM (RZ8pf)

99 1.75 thumbs up for The Martian - some of the science seemed a little squishy but I'm not a rocket scientist.

We are being asked to believe told as part of the story that she has been trained to be a killing
machine since she was about 5 years old. Um... I call BS.


Ringo does hand-wavey the science in spots but that's the only way you get space crocodile war. Gives you a whole appreciation for hills though.

Meanwhile where's Oneill now?

Posted by: DaveA at March 30, 2014 12:08 PM (DL2i+)

100 98 Eh, I just confessed to reading Scarlett, don't you think I have been punished enough?
Posted by: ParanoidGirlinSeattle at March 30, 2014 12:06 PM (RZ8pf)


I'm just messing with you. I haven't even read or seen Divergent.

Posted by: Insomniac at March 30, 2014 12:08 PM (mx5oN)

101 Eh, I just confessed to reading Scarlett, don't you think I have been punished enough?

Posted by: ParanoidGirlinSeattle at March 30, 2014 12:06 PM (RZ8pf)


Here's my heretical admission. I hate Gone With The Wind. Hate the book. Hate hate hate hate the movie. Cannot stand a single thing about it. The only redeeming value I see in Gone With The Wind is that it gave us the Carol Burnett skit.


Posted by: alexthechick - come for the Global Warming stay for the SMOD at March 30, 2014 12:09 PM (Gk3SS)

102
I found some of the ideas developed to be very interesting. What
does the U.S. government do when faced with a existential threat to
human life? Preparing the civilian population for guerilla warfare,
building fortifications and stock-piling food/resources would all be
logical things to do.


I understand that, I just don't buy the way that they go about it. The combat suits made little sense, for example. Why spend all your time and effort when it's cheaper and more effective to pump out that type of armor in thicker sheets and attach it to tanks? The use of antimatter to power rifles, the giant tanks used to attack landers,etc. All of those things were silly, IMHO.


Ringo's strength or failing (depending on your point of view) is
that he apparently has a pretty extensive military background and
that's what he writes about. Character development is spotty.


Ringo's military background is four years of active duty and two in the guard, never at any high level. I think that impacts his characters because his leaders all seem more like caricatures rather than real people. Also, the idea that everyone in the O'Neill family was some sort of wonderful super-warrior was silly.

Posted by: Colorado Alex at March 30, 2014 12:10 PM (lr3d7)

103 is yes how shallow her development is.

Have you read all 3 of the Cally stories?

Posted by: DaveA at March 30, 2014 12:12 PM (DL2i+)

104 52 Tom Holt can be fun. His Expecting Someone Taller (1987) is his best, and very funny. I bought Flying Dutch (1991) for the great cover art. The story was OK.

I finished Going Postar and am reading Making Moneyr by Terry Prachett. This is so I can read Raising Steam in stride.

Posted by: NaCly Dog at March 30, 2014 12:13 PM (u82oZ)

105 If you are going to be discussing 1950s era rocketships, then I bring to your attention Dr. Werner von Braun and Collier's Magazine on going to Mars with a ten ship fleet that is assembled in Earth orbit next to a space station.

http://tinyurl.com/kx8pyzk

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at March 30, 2014 12:14 PM (2yQQy)

106 #102

Don't forget, the human forces were limited in their choices by the alien allies who wanted them to stop the Posleen but not become a player on the galactic stage in the process. The alien 'benefactors' want most of our species annihilated with just enough left over to continue being useful.

Posted by: Epobirs at March 30, 2014 12:15 PM (bPxS6)

107 191 Here's my heretical admission. I hate Gone With The
Wind. Hate the book. Hate hate hate hate the movie. Cannot stand a
single thing about it. The only redeeming value I see in Gone With The
Wind is that it gave us the Carol Burnett skit.




Posted by: alexthechick - come for the Global Warming stay for the SMOD at March 30, 2014 12:09 PM (Gk3SS)

Last year Amazon had a big sale on classic books. One of then was GWTW so I got it for $1.99. I thought it was crap and I could not finish it. Scarlett in the book was one real beatch. It was one of those rare instances where the movie was better than the book.

Posted by: Vic at March 30, 2014 12:16 PM (T2V/1)

108 That should be 101, not 191.

Posted by: Vic at March 30, 2014 12:17 PM (T2V/1)

109 Kinda creepy how the new Tom Clancy (&somebodyorother) book is about a guy who is ex_KGB becoming President of Russia and invading the Crimea .... but it was written last year.
Of course Clancy died last year (RIP), but then he was becoming a franchise years ago, so no surprise. Also no surprise, an OK read, but not as good as when he was writing them himself. All familiar Ryan Saga characters but a bit cardboardy, no character development and nothing unexpected ever happens.
That was the only fiction this week, mostly reading about Apache, MySQL, PHP, and Wordpress. Dry.

Posted by: sock_rat_eez at March 30, 2014 12:17 PM (3X3ZR)

110 DaveA yes I read all of them. Hence my reference to Cally wearing another body as an adult with the kids in tow, you know their little secret retreat.

Epobirs, which the Humans did become in spite of the oh so smart and smarmy aliens. Watch on the Rhine anyone?

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at March 30, 2014 12:18 PM (2yQQy)

111 16 Don't know if it's been mentioned here, but The Martian is a really good read. Astronaut gets stranded on Mars during an emergency mission abort; rest of the crew think he's dead. He has to find a way to survive the next four years, with only the gear that was left behind.
Posted by: Secundus at March 30, 2014 10:32 AM (VVsnw)

######

Half way through it. First fiction book I have read in years but it really does not read like fiction.

Posted by: The Man from Athens at March 30, 2014 12:19 PM (O3k74)

112 I didn't get to do a lot of reading this week because, taxes, but I did check out from the library the classic book by Brother Andrew, "God's Smuggler", the real- life spy adventure of the Dutch factory worker who smuggled Bibles behind the Iron Curtain for 35 years. I hope to get beyond the first chapter this week, if the Infernal Revenooers let me.

Posted by: grammie winger at March 30, 2014 12:19 PM (oMKp3)

113 As a result of finding this title in last week's thread (not sure if it was the book thread, but it was in a collection of unusual book titles), I bought "How to Pray When You're Pissed At God" by Ian Punnett. Some of you know my darling Tim passed away in December, and since he was my centerpiece, this loss has been devastating to me.

Tim did so much to bring me closer to God, but since this happened I've felt alienated from Him and unable to pray. I was also in denial about being angry, since I believed that anyone who understands the glory of Heaven cannot be properly angry at God for bringing a loved one there. And yet, here I am like a four-year-old who's had a favorite plaything snatched away. I've been shutting out God as well as Tim, unable to pray or feel the love that Tim has for me, just on the other side of the veil.

In this book, the author lays out a rich Biblical tradition of angry prayer, and assures us that God can handle our anger. Being honest about the feelings you have is essential for processing grief and anger. And I AM pissed at God for taking my Timmy away at the age of 59. After a lifetime apart, my first love and I got together again only 8 short years ago, and were perfect for each other and so, so happy. Fr the first six months we often wept with joy at being together, happier with every passing day. Tim was making huge strides with his art and music, as well as strengthening his relationship with God. And he was more than my husband and best friend - he was a symbol and a bridge from my youth to middle age, spanning all of the intervening years apart when things were so bad for both of us. I'd planned on at least 25 years with him. So much joy.

So I'm working my way through this book, in hope of "unblocking." You see, the only way I've been able to live for the past 3 months is by not thinking about him or remembering him lovingly, but pushing him out of my mind as much as possible. That disconnects me from who I was when I was with him (which was my bestest self). God, I envy that woman.

I won't be able to get to acceptance (and the subsequent choice of a path forward in a world without Tim) until I face the pain and anguish of confronting God with my suffering, and become reconciled with Him.

Anyway, this book has a lovely light humor to it - quite a juxtaposition with the subject matter. I feel as though it's going to be a big help. I've already ordered three more copies for friends and family.

Posted by: Miley's Tongue at March 30, 2014 12:19 PM (R+h7Q)

114 I checked out of the library Clancy's Against All Enemies recently. It was a meh of rehashing stuff he already done. And then as I am reading it I get clubbed by a goof that should not have gotten through, I refer to when a round is called 7.63.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at March 30, 2014 12:21 PM (2yQQy)

115 #110

Yes, I know but I was trying to go light on the spoilage.

Posted by: Epobirs at March 30, 2014 12:24 PM (bPxS6)

116 If you are going to be discussing 1950s era rocketships, then I bring to your attention Dr. Werner von Braun and Collier's Magazine on going to Mars with a ten ship fleet that is assembled in Earth orbit next to a space station.

http://tinyurl.com/kx8pyzk


Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at March 30, 2014 12:14 PM (2yQQy)



This is very cool.

Posted by: alexthechick - come for the Global Warming stay for the SMOD at March 30, 2014 12:26 PM (Gk3SS)

117 The rocket at the top is a conception of the v-2 with wings. There was a version planned at Pennemunde, but there was no use found for developing it. I suppose if the Reich had developed a deployeable nuke they would have tried a variant with wings like Sanger's Antipodal bomber to skip it across the upper atmosphere for places like NewYork or DC.
The problem is that there is no room for motors and fuel if you are going to put people on board.

Posted by: Kindletot at March 30, 2014 12:26 PM (LRUgq)

118 Something I'll pass along here. Got an e-mail alert from Amazon that the latest Ben H. Winters book will be published July 15th.


'World of Trouble: The Last Policeman Book III.'


And of course it was here that I first heard of those books, got them and immensely enjoyed them. So thanks again to all who recommended it.


Interestingly, the prices listed are $1l.47 for the paperback, and $10.99 for the Kindle. I don't own a Kindle, but isn't that kind of high?


Just curious since I really don't know.

Posted by: HH at March 30, 2014 12:28 PM (XXwdv)

119 Compuserve, Delphi, Genie. 1980. TRS-80....

Posted by: backhoe at March 30, 2014 12:28 PM (ULH4o)

120 The thing you have to understand about that old ship up top is that the drive system isn't in the bottom. That is just a system for illuminating and sterilizing the landing site. The propulsion is a black hole projector in the front that generates an intense gravity field that drags the ship after it. In the 70s, Alan Dean Foster named this the KK Drive and threw in some fancy-schmancy black hole stuff.

Also, the drive system is really small, driven by a fusion reactor about the size of a steamer trunk. Recall that Asimov had fusion reactors small enough to go in a belt buckle by the Empire era.

Posted by: Epobirs at March 30, 2014 12:30 PM (bPxS6)

121 Ok it's $11.47. I have no idea why it came out that odd way...

Posted by: HH at March 30, 2014 12:30 PM (XXwdv)

122 My favorite of the Posleen books is about the Panama theater of operations. Just because USS Salem with a buggy alien AI becomes a real doll.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at March 30, 2014 12:31 PM (2yQQy)

123 My heretical admission? I preferred the LOTR movies over the books. Sorry.

Posted by: Adam at March 30, 2014 12:31 PM (Aif/5)

124 Ok, having posted that, reading the comments .... naturalfake,, for my nickels worth, Lafferty is one of the unappreciated greats. Another old paperback called "Nine Hundred Grandmothers" is one of the best collections, worth it just for "Polity and Customs of the Camiroi" and "Education of the Camiroi", but the rest are good too.

Posted by: sock_rat_eez at March 30, 2014 12:31 PM (3X3ZR)

125 The problem is that there is no room for motors and fuel if you are going to put people on board.

Exactly.

Posted by: OregonMuse at March 30, 2014 12:31 PM (fTJ5O)

126 Now now Epobirs, the Humanx developed KK drive was not supposed to land on planetary surfaces...

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at March 30, 2014 12:32 PM (2yQQy)

127 The problem is that there is no room for motors and fuel if you are going to put people on board.


Dilitium Crystals aren't that big.

Posted by: garrett at March 30, 2014 12:33 PM (pSF/a)

128 Unless you replace those Dilithium Crystals with Folger Crystals.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at March 30, 2014 12:34 PM (2yQQy)

129 The problem I am seeing with that rocket is there's no waiter or even a tablecloth!?

Posted by: Slartibartfast at March 30, 2014 12:34 PM (pSF/a)

130 Slartibartfast, you still trying to get a date with Magikthighs?

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at March 30, 2014 12:35 PM (2yQQy)

131 Been plodding through Lightning Fall, Bill Quick's novel of life in post-EMP attack America. Impulse Kindle purchase via an Instapundit mention. So far, its disappointing; dull for the subject matter. Stereotyped characters The character based on Bill Clinton is nick named ... "B.J.". Kid you not. Subtle as a 2x4 to the skull.

Posted by: walt at March 30, 2014 12:38 PM (YBusZ)

132 Interestingly, the prices listed are $1l.47 for the
paperback, and $10.99 for the Kindle. I don't own a Kindle, but isn't
that kind of high?


Just curious since I really don't know.



Posted by: HH at March 30, 2014 12:28 PM (XXwdv)



Yes, it's kind of high but the prices of ebooks are trending to be right in line with physical copies of books. At this point, I just buy the physical copy and then if I want the ebook version, well. You know. There are ways and ways.

Before anyone thinks I'm anti-ereader, remember I own, well, more than one kindle. One of the reasons I got an erearder is because I was running out of room for the books. That's a problem that has not gone away.

Posted by: alexthechick - come for the Global Warming stay for the SMOD at March 30, 2014 12:39 PM (Gk3SS)

133 King of Procrastination by my band Swinger From previous thread I know I'm late. I kept putting it off.

https://tinyurl.com/jw8jszw

Posted by: Big Swingin Al at March 30, 2014 12:39 PM (OZtuG)

134 #123

I don't think that is so unusual, especially if you are young enough to have had both as an option for first exposure.

Around the time the second movie, IIRC, was in theaters, I was in a bookstore and noticed across the aisle this kid, maybe twelve years old, lecturing a woman who was perhaps his older sister (far too old to be a classmate and far too young to be his mother) about how this book of LOTR artwork got EVERYTHING WRONG.

The book? A collection from the Brothers Hildebrandt, who had been the iconic visualizers of Tolkien for decades. I wanted to recreate the scene in 'Annie Hall' where the Woody Allen character produces McLuhan to tell a guy lecturing in line how little he understands, except it would be Peter Jackson explaining how he grew up with calendars of Hildebrandt art on his bedroom wall.

Posted by: Epobirs at March 30, 2014 12:41 PM (bPxS6)

135 #126

The telepathic Neanderthals worked out that problem.

Posted by: Epobirs at March 30, 2014 12:43 PM (bPxS6)

136 "Lafferty is one of the unappreciated greats."


I'll third that. Hell of an author, very funny. I think he died broke and forgotten in some nursing home in Phoenix a decade or so ago.

Posted by: HH at March 30, 2014 12:43 PM (XXwdv)

137 When a new book comes out from a publisher the e-version is high. If you wait a year for release of the paperback the e-reader version will drop.


I no longer buy "new" releases because there is no reason for the e-version to cost $10+.

Posted by: Vic at March 30, 2014 12:44 PM (T2V/1)

138 OregonMuse, thanks for the mention of Twine! I really hope more people try their hand at making Twine works. Would love to see a broader range of ideas in the field of interactive fiction and branching narrative.

Posted by: TYV at March 30, 2014 12:45 PM (u0iH7)

139 don't think that is so unusual, especially if you are young enough to have had both as an option for first exposure.
-------

Yeah I was just shy of 13 when the first movie came out.

Posted by: Adam at March 30, 2014 12:46 PM (Aif/5)

140 Want to thank who ever rec. 'The Making of the Atomic Bomb' a couple of weeks ago. Led me to read 'Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb' by the same author Richard Rhodes.Good stuff.Excellent all around history and good coverage of the traitorous bastards who gave US atomic secrets to the Russians. For lighterfun Irec Charlie Huston. His 'Caught Stealing' trilogy or vampire series, 'My Dead Body', 'Half The Blood of Brooklyn', 'Already Dead', 'Every Last Drop', 'No Dominion'. Can't remember the order so ya would probably need to check it out. Its fast and entertaining. Even has a clan of Liberal vampires so its current. Huston is a fun read.

Posted by: NC ribs at March 30, 2014 12:47 PM (NdjWK)

141 Epobirs, that reminds me of every con I have gone to. The Geek wars. Fans with just a smidgen of knowledge hopping upon the soapbox. Been guilty of it myself so recognize the symptoms and try to ameliorate it to an extent.

Yesterday down in Kenner at an IMPS event ran across someone who knew about Silent Mobius and recognized I was trying to off-load a Korean copy of a Katsumi figure. We had a nice discussion on whether Kiddy Pfhenil had two Gravitons or just one. And no they did not buy the Katsumi figure, darn it.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at March 30, 2014 12:48 PM (2yQQy)

142 From the Wiki entry on Lafferty:


Lafferty was born on November 7, 1914, in Neola, Iowa
to Hugh David Lafferty, a broker dealing in oil leases and royalties,
and Julia Mary Burke, a teacher; he was the youngest of five siblings.
His first name, Raphael, derived from the day on which he was expected
to be born--(the Feast of St. Raphael). When he was 4, his family moved to Perry, Oklahoma. He graduated from Cascia Hall[3] and later attended night school at the University of Tulsa
for two years starting in 1933, mostly studying math and German, but
left before graduating. He then began to work for a Clark Electric Co.
in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and apparently a newspaper as well; during this period (1939–1942), he attended the International Correspondence School.

R. A. Lafferty lived most of his life in Tulsa, with his sister, Anna Lafferty. Lafferty enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942. After training in Texas, North Carolina, Florida, and California, he was sent to the South Pacific Area, serving in Australia, New Guinea, Morotai and the Philippines. When he left the Army in 1946, he had become a 1st Sergeant serving as a staff sergeant and had received an Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal [4]. He never married.

Lafferty did not begin writing until the 1950s, but he wrote
thirty-two novels and more than two hundred short stories, most of them
at least nominally science fiction. His first published story was "The
Wagons" in New Mexico Quarterly Review in 1959. His first published science fiction story was "Day of the Glacier", in The Original Science Fiction Stories in 1960, and his first published novel was Past Master in 1968.

Until 1971, Lafferty worked as an electrical engineer.
After that, he spent his time writing until around 1980, when his
output declined due to a stroke. He stopped writing regularly in 1984. In 1994, he suffered an even more severe stroke. He died 18 March 2002, aged 87 in a nursing home in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
His collected papers, artifacts, and ephemera were donated to the
University of Tulsa's McFarlin Library, Department of Special
Collections and University Archives. Other manuscripts are housed in the
University of Iowa's Library special collections department.

Lafferty's funeral took place at Christ the King Catholic Church in
Tulsa, where he regularly attended daily Mass. He is buried at St. Rose
Catholic Cemetery in Perry.
- - -
It looks like the biggest problem was severe disability due to the strokes. He might have had a decent retirement from his EE job.
Issues like retirement income used to be why SFWA existed, before it descended into an idiotic mire of leftism.

Posted by: Epobirs at March 30, 2014 12:49 PM (bPxS6)

143 Yes they are still busy adjusting the orbit of their planet when they aren't tunneling through the universe rescuing Flinx friend.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at March 30, 2014 12:51 PM (2yQQy)

144 120 Recall that Asimov had fusion reactors small enough to go in a belt buckle by the Empire era.

I'm pretty certain those were fission reactors. He kept referring to them as "piles", IIRC (although I must admit it's been some years since I last read them; I was quite put out by the Gaia turn taken in the '80s sequels).

Posted by: Anachronda at March 30, 2014 01:05 PM (U82Km)

145 "Posted by: Epobirs at March 30, 2014 12:49 PM (bPxS6)"


Hey thanks. Tulsa isn't all that far from me. If I make down that way, going to have to check out his grave, since I love visiting graveyards.







Posted by: HH at March 30, 2014 01:05 PM (XXwdv)

146 I work for a multimedia/entertainment company and last week we released our first book, entitled BEVERLY HILLS IS BURNING. I think this book is tailor-made for the Moron lifestyle. Here is a write up we just received this morning from the International Thriller Writer's, an industry group.

http://www.thebigthrill.org/2014/03/beverly-hills-is-burning-by-neil-russell/

“It was just aftermidnightwhen the girl in the blue diamond necklace fell out of the sky.”

Beverly Hills is Burning is the third Rail Black novel. Like the
first two, City of War and Wildcase, it is edgy, violent, complex and
sometimes sexually graphic. (Hide the picture of your priest.)

Rail Black, a former Delta Force operator, is rich and lives in
Beverly Hills. But unlike many wealthy people in the world’s
entertainment capital, Rail is not in show business. In fact, he avoids
it at all costs. Until now.

Doing a favor for an ex-con producer, Rail ends up the owner of a
movie company. And there’s nothing fun about this place. Nor about
Valentine Jones, the actress who is about to star in the company’s
biggest picture.

Exploding from ninety years in the past, a time when gangsters and
tycoons roamed Hollywood and scratched each other’s wallets, Rail is
thrust into a labyrinth of murder, duplicity, money, sex and power.



Set in Southern California, New York, Venice, Havana, Mexico and
Cyprus, Rail must disentangle the past from the present and come to
terms with his feelings for Barrie Fontaine, a long dead woman—and
extraordinarily brave pilot—he has never met.

And somewhere, out there, is Matty Aspirins, a hitman on a mission all his own.

BEVERLY HILLS IS BURNING is available from Amazon (here: http://amzn.to/1hUOwFa and the author’s website (neil-russell.com).

Posted by: SircleMemphis at March 30, 2014 01:06 PM (llp1/)

147 The book? A collection from the Brothers Hildebrandt, who had been the iconic visualizers of Tolkien for decades.
-------
Call me a freak, but I liked Tim Kirk's Tolkien calendar the best of all. The works of the Hildebrandts were gorgeous but as stiff as a tableau vivant. Kirk had a deft hand and humor, maybe because he was primarily a cartoonist.

Kirk's hobbits (especially Gollum) is how I envisioned them.


Posted by: All Hail Eris at March 30, 2014 01:11 PM (QBm1P)

148 I just read John C Wright's Everness Books

Guardian of Everness and Mists of Everness.

Very entertaining. A weird braiding of fantasy, mythology and religion. I did enjoy it.

Posted by: simplemind at March 30, 2014 01:13 PM (hTeQK)

149 Oh speaking of the Toffee and Topper series, how can I forget the book A Personal Demon? I must be slipping or something.

Poor Professor Willis Baxter at Powhatten University, ol PU, has been commanded by the Dean to host a party in his apartment. While drunk he is challenged by his academic rival to try and summon a demon. Throwing caution to the wind while knocking back another drink, Baxter sets about summoning a demon while cock-sure its impossible. To his surprise he manages to summon the last demon available, the cute and sexy 16yr old looking mistress of mischief with Titian red hair in many delectable places Anathae. Afterwards Baxter's life is never the same.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at March 30, 2014 01:13 PM (2yQQy)

150 If you want to go all olde school, Heinlein's Rocketship Galileo has kid geniuses, finned rockets AND space Nazis on the moon, which is yer pulp trifecta. I love this thing.

Posted by: All Hail Eris at March 30, 2014 01:15 PM (QBm1P)

151 Thank you to those who recommended The Martian. Checked it out and sounds great. I think I'll do it the Audible way.
This is why I come to the book thread

Posted by: Gidget at March 30, 2014 01:29 PM (tfg7i)

152 I haven't started reading it yet. per se (except that I read some excerpts on line and heard a great interview with the author) but I look forward to getting a copy of "The Evangelistic Zeal of George Whitfield" by Steven J. Lawson. Whitefield was one of the most important evangelists in the Christian church and a fascinating man. who combined a deep piety with great rhetorical gifts including the ability to have his voice carry quite a distance. He often spoke at fairs and since his messages were attracting big crowds and taking away business the fair people hired others to beat drums during his sermons and even throw dead cats at him! There was even a plot to assassinate him. He was initially associated with the Wesley brothers but they separated over doctrine since Whitefield was a Calvinist and the Wesleys were not. Yet, John Wesley preached at Whitefields's funeral and when asked if he would meet Whitefiled in prison, Wesley replied "No.......George Whitefield will be much closer to the divine throne than I am". Vimeo has the interview with Lawson online.

Posted by: FenelonSpoke at March 30, 2014 01:36 PM (XyM/Y)

153 Posted by: sock_rat_eez at March 30, 2014 12:31 PM (3X3ZR)

As sock_rat_eez mentioned, "Nine hundred Grandmothers" is a great collection of Lafferty's short stories.

In the US, mostly he was published in paperback which doesn't hold up too well.

But, over in the UK, he was often published in hardback and thru abebooks.com you can find this and some of his other collections - occasionally even at a good price.

So, there's another way to read the greatness that is R.A. Lafferty.

Posted by: naturalfake at March 30, 2014 01:47 PM (KBvAm)

154 I'm currently reading "Uncle Tom's Cabin" -- and it is a revelation, NOTHING like the stereotype of it that most of us have been fed all our lives. I agree with the great critic Edmund Wilson, who said that reading Uncle Tom's Cabin for the first time (after a lifetime of exposure to nothing but stereotypes and bowdlerized versions of it) is "a startling experience." He said "it is a much more remarkable book than one had ever been allowed to suspect."

I became interested in reading it after discovering that, though the characters are fictional composites and the plot line her own, Stowe had based all the incidents in the book on actual, documented incidents and practices. After publication in 1852, Uncle Tom's Cabin had not only become a worldwide bestseller (in the U.S., it ranked only behind the Bible), but it also came in for fierce criticism as being unrealistic or exaggerated. Stowe defended herself in a separate book called "Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin" (readable online in its entirety at http://tinyurl.com/m6ntd7o), in which she presents documents to back up every single incident or description in the narrative.

But she only published that to defend herself against unfair charges. What she accomplished with Uncle Tom's Cabin was no grim recitation of facts, but a beautiful, powerful, well-crafted novel with believable characters that you get truly attached to.

Stowe's voice is unique. In her own life, two of her children died, so she writes very, very poignantly and convincingly of separations -- not only those imposed by death but those imposed by slave sales in which mothers and their children were sold to different owners.

But the book is not all grimness and ugliness. It is full of beauty, love and even humor. Stowe has a marvelous wit, which she uses frequently, and I've chuckled at least as much as I've cried. I must admit, however, that the wit is getting sparser as I get closer to the end of the book. I'm about 3/4 of the way through, and the hero, Tom, has just been sold to a very wicked man. I know that things are about to get much worse.

By the way, people who use "Uncle Tom" as an insult are wicked, ignorant or both, for Tom is one of the most beautiful characters I've ever encountered. But as admirable as he is, he is NOT unbelievable. Maybe I've just had a charmed life, but I've been blessed to know more than a few people who were/are as decent, caring, strong, honorable and loving as Tom.

I got an ebook for only 99 cents for my Kindle that includes Uncle Tom's Cabin, along with five NON-fictional slave narratives, including "Twelve Years a Slave" and the autobiography of Frederick Douglass. Here's the link for the book: http://tinyurl.com/msmpyyp

I really cannot recommend it highly enough.

Posted by: Kathy from Kansas at March 30, 2014 01:48 PM (afLO3)

155 Finished Havana Nocturne. It was okay. The parts focused on the mob in Cuba were excellent. Throughout the book are chapters on Castro and the revolution as it builds and finally brings down both Batista and the mob. If I had any criticism it would be that the author treats Castro too well. I'm probably being picky. He doesn't worship the guy. But knowing what a monster Castro was it feels he gets off too easy in the book. Recommended for anyone with an interest in the mob.

Started Child 44. Only a couple chapters in but it seems like it will be a rip off of the Citizen X movie and the real life killer Chikatilo.

Posted by: Achilles at March 30, 2014 01:51 PM (oj0hw)

156 Actually, John Stossel said the reason he made the switch is because ABC wouldn't let him do the stories he wanted to do, and Fox Business would.

Posted by: JohnJ at March 30, 2014 01:55 PM (TF/YA)

157 Listened to 'Hard Magic', first of the Grimnoir Chronicles books by Larry Correia. Lots of action and vivid characters, enjoyed it. The narrator did a terrific job voicing the characters.
Read 'The Name Of The Wind', first of the Kingkiller Chronicle books by Patrick Ruthfuss. It's sort of a story within a story, an innkeeper in a small village is not who he appears to be. A man known as The Chronicler has tracked him down as really being a famous magician living incognito, and the innkeeper spends the first of several days narrating his life story to him. Enjoyed it a lot, plan to read book two soon.

Posted by: waelse1 at March 30, 2014 01:59 PM (tdlxR)

158 Posted by: Adam at March 30, 2014 10:41 AM (Aif/5)

Loved Way of Kings but I *refuse* to get sucked into another Wheel of Time debacle. You'd think Sanderson of all people would know not to do that.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at March 30, 2014 02:04 PM (GDulk)

159 Read 'The Name Of The Wind', first of the Kingkiller Chronicle books by
Patrick Ruthfuss. Enjoyed it a lot, plan to read book two soon.

Posted by: waelse1 at March 30, 2014 01:59 PM (tdlxR)

I hope you're not planning on reading book three any too soon - Rothfuss takes longer between books than Sanderson.

Posted by: Tunafish at March 30, 2014 02:06 PM (k2qqq)

160 120
I read Foster's "Taken" trilogy a couple of years ago. Good silly scifi fun

Posted by: Tuna at March 30, 2014 02:09 PM (M/TDA)

161 Comment on the new "Mammy" book - my recollection is that there's a reference in "Gone With the Wind" to Mammy being raised by Ellen's mother in Charleston. Always made me think that she was about the same age as Ellen, and that she'd been born in Charleston. (I wouldn't think that there were a lot of little children on the Middle Passage ships, but perhaps I'm wrong).

Posted by: Bookaday at March 30, 2014 02:10 PM (+HEUC)

162 Thx for the detailed review on UTC, Kathy From Kansas. That is a book I have not read and now will look forward to doing so.

Posted by: FenelonSpoke at March 30, 2014 02:10 PM (XyM/Y)

163 159
Ain't that the truth! Personally, I don't see how he can wrap up the story in three books.

Posted by: Tuna at March 30, 2014 02:10 PM (M/TDA)

164 Totally OT: I just whipped up a batch of cupcakes, popped 'em in the oven, and scraped up the remains of the batter -- Duff Blue Suede, delish! I'm only human for God's sake! -- then thought OMG Salmonella!!!

Have any of you gotten sick from "licking the spoon"? (I throw that sop to the pervs out there).

Posted by: All Hail Eris at March 30, 2014 02:16 PM (QBm1P)

165 I hope you're not planning on reading book three any too soon - Rothfuss takes longer between books than Sanderson.
Posted by: Tunafish at March 30, 2014 02:06 PM (k2qqq)

Sanderson doesn't really take all that long to write books. Since 2005 he has put out eighteen books. An average of two books a year is pretty darn impressive.

Posted by: BornLib at March 30, 2014 02:28 PM (zpNwC)

166 Have any of you gotten sick from "licking the spoon"? (I throw that sop to the pervs out there).

Posted by: All Hail Eris at March 30, 2014 02:16 PM (QBm1P)

I did this every time my mother made a cake and I never had a problem.

Posted by: BornLib at March 30, 2014 02:30 PM (zpNwC)

167 Posted by: Miley's Tongue at March 30, 2014 12:19 PM (R+h7Q)

Tearing up reading your post since I lost my husband (and all the years I thought we'd have together) early as well. Totally get what you mean about being jealous of the the person you were with him now that you can't be.

Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at March 30, 2014 02:30 PM (GDulk)

168 Loved Way of Kings but I *refuse* to get sucked into another Wheel of Time debacle. You'd think Sanderson of all people would know not to do that.
Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at March 30, 2014 02:04 PM (GDulk)

For every Wheel of Time there is a Malazan Book of the Fallen.

Posted by: BornLib at March 30, 2014 02:33 PM (zpNwC)

169 Sanderson doesn't really take all that long to write
books. Since 2005 he has put out eighteen books. An average of two
books a year is pretty darn impressive.

Posted by: BornLib at March 30, 2014 02:28 PM (zpNwC)

I wish he didn't have so many "Irons in the Fire" so to speak.
While I did like Steelheart, I wish he would cut out the kids stuff and concentrate on The Way of Kings more.

Posted by: Tunafish at March 30, 2014 02:35 PM (k2qqq)

170 Also, I noticed the font switched: names like "Atrahasîs" seemed to be in a slightly larger and bolder font than the rest of the narrative.

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at March 30, 2014 11:19 AM (30eLQ)


I have seen that typographic convention before, although I can't remember where and it's driving me crazy. I guess it never made it into the Chicago Manual of Style. Since it seems somewhat archaic, I checked a lot of my older books in that general subject area, Cambridge Ancient History, histories of Sumer and Akkad, the Gilgamesh epic (in several translations), etc. Cannot find a single example.

Posted by: CQD at March 30, 2014 02:37 PM (4iOIE)

171 @159,
I read somewhere that he hopes to have book three out in 2015, so yeah no need to hurry reading the second book.

Posted by: waelse1 at March 30, 2014 02:38 PM (FU4Eq)

172 140 The order is:

1 Already Dead
2 No Dominion
3 Half the Blood of Brooklyn
4 Every Last Drop
5 My Dead Body

Already Dead was a good book. Weird style but I got used to it.

Posted by: BornLib at March 30, 2014 02:39 PM (zpNwC)

173 Johnny Mayhem rocks! I've been reading free stuff over at http://freesfonline.de/index.html. You may like Manly Wade Wellman, especially if you have any connection to the NC Appalachians. His short stories are regional supernatural/horror with religious overtones, and a moral. Just search on 'Wellman'.

Posted by: Xavier at March 30, 2014 03:10 PM (Jvm59)

174 Amazon has thousands of free books in various genre, here is a link: http://amzn.to/bookload . There are about 10,000 books there free for the taking. Personally, I don't like the tentacle that Amazon puts on their books to see what you are doing with them, but that is best addressed elsewhere. It's so odd to download a book and have a comment 'three people underlined this portion.'

Posted by: TimothyJ at March 30, 2014 03:34 PM (ep2io)

175 Not fond of Rothfuss's work, as the main character in "Name of the Wind" is so powerful as to rate as a Mary Sue. Seriously, the character's worse than Harry Potter. I quit reading the book somewhere in the middle of the wizard-academy section.

I will admit of Rothfuss himself that he appears to be making the right enemies re "half glimpsed imaginary insults".

Posted by: boulder toilet hobo at March 30, 2014 04:51 PM (l4SC+)

176 1 Currently re-reading the 1632 series At least the first few books which are the best. Have worked my way up to 1634 The Baltic War.


--

just started on this - I've read 1632, 1633, Ring of Fire anthology, and 1634: The Galileo Affair (stinker)

I agree that the 1st 2 books are fun. The larger than life Mike Stearns Union Man Superhero is laughable though; and I tend to cringe at the theme of "modern American liberalism is uplifting the 17th century bigots, yo!" throughout the series.

Posted by: votermom at March 30, 2014 05:13 PM (GSIDW)

177 176 Posted by: votermom at March 30, 2014 05:13 PM (GSIDW)


Should read 1634 The Baltic War before 1634 Galileo Affair.

Posted by: Vic at March 30, 2014 05:16 PM (T2V/1)

178 And I skip the anthologies and any that do not have Eric Flint. And yes, he is a liberal union man.

Posted by: Vic at March 30, 2014 05:17 PM (T2V/1)

179 Add me to the list of readers who usually wanted to throw Gone With the Wind across the room. Scarlett was a spoiled, self-centered biatch, Melanie a simpleton, and what either of them saw in Ashley was beyond me.

I put a reoccurring secondary character in a couple of my own books in revenge; a very lovely but totally self-centered and manipulative Southern belle; she is Scarlett O'Hara as she would have appeared to people who didn't like her at all.

Posted by: Sgt. Mom at March 30, 2014 05:22 PM (Asjr7)

180 Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at March 30, 2014 02:30 PM (GDulk)

Posted by: Miley's Tongue at March 30, 2014 12:19 PM (R+h7Q)

Thank you both for sharing your heart here. I lost my darling at age 55 -- after 16 years together.

For some reason a book I stumbled across at a used-book bargain table a few months after his passing really, really spoke to me: "Disappointment with God," by Philip Yancey.

The other grief books that people gave me were plenty good, but I never got around to finishing any of them -- which only reflects on my ADHD, not on any deficiency on the part of the authors! Nevertheless, the Yancey book was the only one I read cover to cover.

Miley's Tongue, I hope you will look into going on a "Beginning Experience" weekend, which is a retreat for widowed and divorced people. The retreats are usually organized through local Catholic dioceses, but they're open to people of any faith, and I have known people of every denomination who benefited. (By a weird scheduling fluke, on the weekend that I went, it turned out I was the only widow, and all the others were divorced folks. I got a lot out of the weekend anyway, but I'd personally recommend checking with the organizers and making sure there will be some other widowed people in the group for the weekend that you go.)

Posted by: Kathy from Kansas at March 30, 2014 05:24 PM (afLO3)

181 I am going to read the Baltic War one.
I think I am going to skip any of the books that's not just Flint or at least Flint/Weber.
The Ring of Fire anthology had a good story by David Weber that focused on the CEO turned Navy admiral guy.

That reminds me, I am working my way through the Honor Harrington series by Weber; and I'm almost at the point where the series takes a detour with non-Harrington characters and has Flint as co-writer.

Did you ever read the Nantucket / Island in the Sea of Time trilogy by S. M Stirling? Same idea as 1632 except they go back to prehistoric times. I thought that was pretty good; then he went and wrote the Dies The Fire series about the current day world and that was just awful. It's like his brains fell out in the interim.

Posted by: votermom at March 30, 2014 05:29 PM (GSIDW)

182 181 - I was answering Vic at 177/178

Posted by: votermom at March 30, 2014 05:36 PM (GSIDW)

183 Did you ever read the Nantucket / Island in the Sea
of Time trilogy by S. M Stirling? Same idea as 1632 except they go back
to prehistoric times. I thought that was pretty good; then he went and
wrote the Dies The Fire series about the current day world and that was
just awful. It's like his brains fell out in the interim.





Posted by: votermom at March 30, 2014 05:29 PM (GSIDW)

Yes, I have read that series as well. I gave up on the "Dies The Fire" series.

Posted by: Vic at March 30, 2014 05:37 PM (T2V/1)

184 I a going to borrow Weapons of Choice by Birmingham from the library.
US soldiers from 2021 get transported to WW II

Posted by: votermom at March 30, 2014 05:57 PM (GSIDW)

185 The ignorance about the origin of 'at' sign irritates the hell out of me. It has been in use for a long time and it ended up on keyboards for a very good reason.

In stock taking and inventory checking they used/use the @ sign to denote an estimation, an approximation, like in "how many lbs is that pile of potatoes?" "Well, I guess it's circa 200 pounds" — where the Latin word 'circa' means 'approximately' in English.

Circa was naturally shortened by the scribblers to a circle around an a. That is to: @

It's no damned mystery.

Posted by: Yngvar at March 30, 2014 06:44 PM (AJ+Vw)

186 178 And I skip the anthologies and any that do not have Eric Flint. And yes, he is a liberal union man.
Posted by: Vic at March 30, 2014 05:17 PM (T2V/1)

Understatement of the day.

Posted by: BornLib at March 30, 2014 07:09 PM (zpNwC)

187 Posted by: Polliwog the 'Ette at March 30, 2014 02:30 PM (GDulk)

Posted by: Kathy from Kansas at March 30, 2014 05:24 PM (afLO3)


Thanks to both of you. Kathy, I'll check out that book, and look into a retreat as you suggested.

Posted by: Miley's Tongue at March 30, 2014 08:26 PM (R+h7Q)

188 I can't get to the futurepasteditions website. Any idea why?

Posted by: GWB at March 31, 2014 01:57 PM (9eTPJ)

189 Disregard. I screwed up the address, somehow.

Posted by: GWB at March 31, 2014 01:58 PM (Yv2t4)

(Jump to top of page)






Processing 0.02, elapsed 0.0297 seconds.
15 queries taking 0.0104 seconds, 198 records returned.
Page size 158 kb.
Powered by Minx 0.8 beta.



MuNuvians
MeeNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat