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Showing posts from November, 2016

Review: Legacy

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Legacy by David Lynn Golemon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Legacy Event Group Thriller #6 by David L. Golemon is a really good read for anyone who enjoys government conspiracy theories and ancient alien theories. Golemon creates a rich and exciting world that spans across eons of time as it explains the secrets of Mars, Earth, and the forgotten history of mankind.

While Legacy is admittedly the first book in Golemon's series I have read, (it looked interesting on the public library shelf) I plan to read the rest of them in the near future. Golemon's voice and easy-to-read writing style bring the action and adventure of Legacy to life as the drama plays out in a well-structured timeline that takes place between the Nazi's of World War II and what appears to be the very near future. Political intrigue, governmental posturing, and religious fanatics who are hell-bent on maintaining the unquestioning superiority of their brand of God all combine to make Legacy a suspense…

Review: Fringe Runner

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Fringe Runner by Rachel Aukes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked (3 stars) Fringe Runner because it was similar to one of my favorite space operas, that being Firefly. I enjoyed the way the author brought diversity in the differently abled character, Throttle (my favorite character) and the author's voice made for easy reading. Now, on to some other things...

Fringe Runner borrows from, and in some instances quotes, Joss Whedon's fan-favorite television series, Firefly. The characters are likable, even though many are somewhat two-dimensional facsimiles of the character archetypes found in the Firefly series.

I found the dialogue somewhat stilted and forced at times as the characters seemed to be restrained from fleshing themselves out into what they might have become if the author wasn't trying to force them into the mold of Whedon's characters. Don't get me wrong. I, and many people I know, love(d) Firefly, but I see a difference in using Whedon's stor…

Review: The Mote in God's Eye

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The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved this book!

The Mote in God's Eye is an exciting, thought-provoking read that leads the reader on a wild adventure into a first contact situation with an alien species, which is interesting because the inhabitants of Niven's universe have never encountered a truly alien intelligence before.

I found that I connected well with Niven's characters and identified with many of them, which was a nice change considering I didn't like his award-winning "Ring World" very much.

I highly recommend The Mote in God's Eye to Science Fiction lovers of any caliber.

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Review: Pandora's Star

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Pandora's Star by Peter F. Hamilton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I finally finished this book, but it took some effort. The overall premise of the story is fascinating, but it was hard to slog through. There are many, many character arcs to try to keep up with and there were times when I had to go back and re-read to try to figure out who was doing what and where they were doing it. I liked Pandora's Star because of the interesting ideas, but I'm hesitant to continue reading the series.

Aside from the massive scope of the story, the thing that wore me out the most was the seemingly unending exposition. Yes, I get it, we're reading about an entire civilization of interlinked worlds, but there were many pages that I just skimmed because my eyes were glazing over and I was about to fall out of my chair.

The character development on some of the characters within the novel was good, but I had a hard time really connecting with many, or admittedly most of them, which …

Election Thoughts-How Do We Explain it to Them?

How Do We Explain it to Them? I honestly never imagined I would be writing something like this today, so I'm writing completely off the cuff here.

We as a people, as a nation, stand shocked today by the revelations of last night's election results. I had the unfortunate circumstance of watching this whole thing play out while I was at work (the whole time I was wishing I could be drinking something very high in alcohol content because, Damn!)

I see folks on social media, on both sides of the fence, almost equally shocked. The "Wow, I can't believe he actually won! I wanted him to win, but I didn't actually think he would..." as well as the "Holy Shit? He actually won? I can't believe my fellow Americans would actually elect this moron!" posts flooded social media this morning. Many of my friends, friends who identify as LGBTQ, friends of color, friends of differing religious viewpoints, and friends who have younger children are terrified of wha…

The 'Roman Coke' Incident

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The 'Roman Coke' Incident I arrived aboard the USS Belknap on September 21, 1994. (but my bags were still in Chicago) It was my first real duty station beyond Great Lakes. I was a real sailor! After a trip to the Navy Exchange to acquire some new working uniforms that would carry me over until my seabag arrived, I was good to go.
The things I remember most vividly were the walk down the long concrete pier and crossing the gangway onto the quarterdeck. The long walk down the pier was windy and there was a chill salty breeze on the air. The waters around Gaeta were absolutely rank, stinking of human waste and filth, but it was my first experience with the ocean and I didn’t know any different. Maybe the whole ocean smelled that way, how was I to know? I simply remember the crisp, cool salty breeze that carried with it the smell that I would grow to love-that briny smell of the ocean. I was nervous as I crossed the gangway and approached the quarterdeck. The quarterdeck of a Nav…

Review: Ark

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Ark by Stephen Baxter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ark, by Stephen Baxter is a great read! I loved how he addressed climate change and took it up a notch with the Earth surprising us by spewing forth subtectonic waters. (which according to my own research might actually be possible as there is evidence of water bound in mineral form within the Earth's magma, and at least one reputable article concerning an ocean's worth of water below eastern Asia) Why did this water come spewing out suddenly? No one knows, but sea level rise went well beyond the expectations of current climate change predictions (as if that weren't bad enough...)

A desperate plan is hatched to ensure the survivability of humanity, an arc of sorts that will use an Alcubiere Warp Drive to travel to a distant planet. Our characters are thrust into situations of life and death as a group of young people who have trained all their lives for the mission to save humanity, but things don't always turn …

Review: Saturn: A Novel of the Ringed Planet

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Saturn: A Novel of the Ringed Planet by Ben Bova
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Saturn: A Novel of the Ringed Planet was a good read, but I had to keep putting it down and coming back to it because it was a bit drawn out without much going on at some points. While I love Bova's work, and consider him to be one of the great Science Fiction Authors, I considered the book to be a little lackluster considering the possibilities of the plot.

The novel presents a great social experiment, a human colony of 10,000 people who will be living in a massive ship in orbit of Saturn. The major religious organization on Earth plans to take over the colony, via carefully planted people, who will save these secularists and scientists from themselves and bring them into the fold of the church proper with the help of a charismatic ex-con.

If you're a fan of Bova, you'll enjoy this book, but it is somewhat long winded.

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Review: Earth Alone

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Earth Alone by Daniel Arenson
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I want to share some positive thoughts about this novel before I go on. I love the level of diversity the author brings to the table. We see a drafted Human Defense Force that is doing its damnedest to protect humanity, and they are drafted from all walks of life. We see folks of differing backgrounds and various nationalities who are working together to accomplish a mission. I love this idea and wish we could see more of it, both in fiction and reality. Now the hard part...

Okay, I'm going to be brutally honest here and say that I had to force myself to finish this one. Why? You ask. First and foremost, I felt like I was reading an ever so slightly revised rendition of the Starship Troopers movie; and there were so many things lost in translation between Robert Heinlein's original Starship Troopers and that horrible movie that it literally hurt my brain. Yes, it's fine to reuse tropes but some variety is ni…

Review: The Moon Maze Game

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The Moon Maze Game by Larry Niven
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Moon Maze Game was an interesting read that was fast-paced and full of fun 'gamer' tidbits that were great for an old D&D gamer like myself. Set in the future, where LARP has become a sport, The Moon Maze Game takes the reader on a fun-filled ride through a futuristic LARP game based on H.G. Wells The First Men in the Moon. The main conflict is centered around a prince of a small African nation who is heavily invested in these LARP games, but is a target for a group of terrorists who desire to free their country from what they see as dictatorial oppression. The more interesting conflict, at least in my opinion, was centered around an old argument between the game-runner and two of the players.

Overall, I enjoyed the author's use of LARPing as a plot device and found the book to be an easy and fun read.

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