Book Review: The Shikari Series

When it comes to ‘ye olden times in space’, things have grown repetitive for frequent readers of science fiction. How many times can one read ‘Horatio Hornblower in SPAAACE’? Most of the subgenre seems to fall into that category.

I never had much stomach for that and I’m one of the few sci-fi readers who has never touched an Honor Harrington novel. I got my fill with the old Mech Warrior books many years ago. It would take something really different to take me back to the subgenre.

The Shikari series by Alma Boykin are very different. Take a bit of space opera, a bit of colonial England, a bit of Jane Austen, and you have these delightful novels.

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Book Review: The Clone Wars: No Prisoners

In the spirit of the moment- admittedly an iffy spirit these days- I figured I’d tell you about another awesome Star Wars book, this time one based off the cartoon based off the prequels based off the legendary movie trilogy, Karen Traviss’ The Clone Wars: No Prisoners.

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In Memoriam: Gene Wolfe

Everything Gene Wolfe wrote was weird.

I mean this in the best possible way. His worlds were expansive and strange. He had a gift for understanding how the man in the street felt and thoughts about the weirdness in his world. His passing means that something great has gone from sci-fi, though we will have his books always.

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Book Review: The Marcus Corvinus Series

I’m actually not one for historical novels much, though I love history and I especially love Roman history. However, Roman historical novels tend to…over-modernize. For a period of which we have extensive but hardly compete records, many authors decide to be too anachronistic in any number of ways. Sometimes it’s as bad as having the main character be an anti-slavery crusader, which is so historically absurd that you might as well include airplanes, sometimes it’s so subtle as just the wrong words or tone (garnered from some badly, badly taught history classes). Then there’s the “he-he sex” genre that takes on many different skins.

The Marcus Corvinus series by David Wishart has none of these problems. They are not only my favorite Roman historical novels, but they are my favorite mysteries and frequent comfort reads. I can’t recommend these books enough.

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Ridiculous Acronyms and the People Who Use Them

I had cause recently to dwell upon the insane acronyms I encountered during my time in the Army., mostly because I recently found out that the Army had come up with one for e-cigarettes that sounded about right (i.e. stupid): Electronic Nicotine Delivery System, which is ENDS.

Many comments were made on the post where I learned this, informing me of what might be a Soldier-made acronym for the same thing: Personal Electronic Nicotine Inhalation System.

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Show Review: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

I’m not really an anime person for a number of reasons. While anime can contain some beautiful and/or interesting art, all too often they just do the weird faces (I know, chibi is the term) way too much. Just as often there characters simply become annoying (Naruto). They also have a tendency to be pacifistic to the point of madness, which I suppose is principled, or go too far with the Eastern version of moral relativism, a sort of ’embrace your sins as a part of yourself’ in a way that never existed in Western thought. To cap it off, the genre tends to just go off following the histories of people I don’t care about (Bleach).

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood does none of this. It is the best anime I have ever watched and I recommend it to anyone who likes Brandon Sanderson (or just good fantasy stories) and Babylon 5 but finds Naruto annoying.

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Announcing Valor

After several months of research, editing, and planning, I am pleased to announce the release of Valor, my short story collection, now available on Amazon.Valor Book Cover

Valor consists of five short stories set in fantasy and science fiction worlds, all focused on courage– though not always the same kinds of courage. I wrote these short stories over the course of the past several years, mostly on deployment. While this is not an epic undertaking and it won’t change the world, I’m proud to finally let these tales out into the wild.

Video Game Review: Vermintide II

I played Vermintide II over its free weekend. I highly recommend it if you’ve got some time to kill and some friends to play it with.

Vermintide II is, as you might guess, the sequel to Vermintide. Both games are set in the Warhammer fantasy universe as the world is actually really coming to an end. No seriously, Games Workshop blew it up at the conclusion of the arc.  I played Vermintide some time ago on PC, and I was very terrible but I enjoyed it. I played the sequel on the Xbox and did much better but still not really great. Once again, I enjoy video games, but I am not good at them.

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Book Review: Mortu and Kyrus in the White City

This short story by Schuyler Hernstrom came to my attention as I wandered through the Mad Genius Club, I believe, or one of blogs of one of its contributors. It caught my eye because it addresses one of the more disturbing classic sci-fi short stories out there.

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