Book Blog
We Have Always Lived on Mars (Review) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 22 April 2018 09:05

o this was one a coworker handed me, a short piece of fiction of a failing Mars colony from Tor Books.

Imagine a Mars colony totally cut off. Earth no longer communicates. Dust covers their sky – they’ve not seen the moons or stars or anything. The colony has no resources to expand. All they can do is carefully monitor life support, sending out old folks to die while replacing them with occasional births. Everything is dusty and worn and bleak.

So Nina, one of the young women of Mars, turns out to be special. With her suit ripped in a tumble, she should be dead. But she’s not! Apparently she’s one of the first of Mars who has adapted to its climate and air levels. She could be the one they send out, to go beyond the small range of a suit tank, to see what’s out there. Maybe she could find an old crashed supply rocket of something. Perhaps she can help turn this colony around and make it thrive.

What she finds is… unbelievable.

And I’m using that term in every sense. I don’t buy the ending gotcha – there are too many holes to support this.

Don’t trust my judgement? You can read it for yourself, all seventeen pages, HERE. Love to know what you think.

>>>AND FOR THE SAME PRICE THAT THIS IS ON AMAZON, YOU CAN GET A FULL BOOK (MINE). CHECK IT OUT HERE!<<<

Last Updated on Sunday, 22 April 2018 09:08
 
The Lost City of the Templars (Review) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 15 April 2018 08:36

nother bookshop pluck – a strange novel that caught my eye with the grandiose title and a picture of a distant lost Amazon city with a crusader sword stuck in the ground. But now that I think about it, it really wasn’t a templar lost city, but a strange revelation about my favorite ancient race (anyone care to guess?)

So I apparently walked in midway through the showing of this adventure yarn. Two-fisted ex-Ranger John Holiday apparently has been a thorn of the side of just about everyone – the American political system, a massive security corporation, the Vatican, and especially the shadowy force seeking to reestablish themselves, the templar order (long through to have been burned as bankers, sorry, witches but still a shadowy presence that authors love).Nothing special here – John hops from peril to peril, nearly killed here, at the wrong end of an invasion there, just dodging bullets and cutting his way out of duct tape (before he’s to be thrown out of a plane high above the Gulf of Mexico), all that hero stuff.

It turns out that his trail this time leads him to an Amazon city (that really didn’t seem like it could possibly hide as well as it did). Turns out the city isn’t dead, but home to ex-Phoenician travelers who might or might-not have equipped an expedition to maybe or maybe-not bring the Ark of the Covenant to their jungle Shangri-La  - the story kept changing and I lost track of the truth here. Yeah, I’ve got my own thoughts on the validity of a Phoenician attempt to equip and launch huge ocean-going vessels from the Levant during the time of Christ (since Alexander, some three hundred years before, and pretty much removed them from the game of Civilization). Also, there was at least one violation of Chekhov's Gun(i.e. a lost valley of dinosaurs that had nothing to do with anything – not a single evil corporate merc was eaten by a velociraptor in the making of this book).

Look, this is a genre that people like, the hero who is in a constant battle with forces far bigger than himself, filled with all sorts of meaty weapon’s details, sneeringly homosexual villains and new scenic places to be ambushed in. I’ve gotten hooked into that story-type in the past (I can assume that this is what cowboy tales became). If you share this taste, you should perhaps consider Paul Christopher’s books. I’m just still shaking my head about those Phoenicians.

>>>YOU WANT STORIES ABOUT PHOENICIANS? HOW ABOUT MINE? I’VE GOT HEAVILY-RESEARCHED NOVELS AND FUNNY SCIFI, ALL ABOUT THESE ANCIENT TRADERS OF OLD. FOLLOW THIS LIKE TO AMAZON!<<<

Last Updated on Sunday, 15 April 2018 08:38
 
Mark Twain for Cat Lovers (Review) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 08 April 2018 11:15

o here is the book that provoked me into traveling around the world with Mark Twain (i.e. Following the Equator) – a little collection of Twain’s essays and observations about a topic dear to me. Bikes? No, cats.

Turns out the crusty ex-riverboat pilot was a lover of our feline friends, always having a couple about. He even kept a billiard table and allowed his kittens free-range across it, with a cat lurking in a hole and swatting at massing balls considered part of the game’s hazards.

There are wonderful stories here, from his classics about a boy climbing out on an icy roof to shoo away howling cats, only to slide off and land amid a young lady’s candy-pull in his nightshirt. There are cats observed slipping between the bars of Westminster Abbey, cats on ships (who visit their shore families while in port but somehow know when to return (something our cats never learned in the game Solar Trader)). There are even cats that get blown up by mining dynamite, dead cats for children to play with, Indian cats, and even the tale of Bambino, his cat of cat, who escaped his New York residence and was later “interviewed” by a sharp woman journalist.

Really, this is the perfect bedside book; short tales to amuse the reader in a pre-sleep moment, to send him into the land of Nod, to dream of cats. Going to say that you should check this one out.

>>>NO CAT’S IN EARLY RETYREMENT, BUT A CUTE DOG. CHECK OUT MY EFFORTS HERE. CHEAP AND AVAILABLE<<<

 
Following the Equator (Review) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 01 April 2018 22:26

othing teaches us more about a person’s true self and soul than travel. I’ve had friendships end on long trips. Perhaps because we see how our acquaintances react to stress, or that we see them out of the context of their typical background, who knows? All that matters is that we’ll see them in a new light.

Following the Equator was a travelogue by Mark Twain of his trip around the world in the late eighteen hundreds. The unwritten background is that he was in financial straits through bad investments, forced to go on a world-wide speaking tour (which he loathed) and to tie in this book to the feat (I can only guess what he might have through about writing, not from his heart, but from necessity).  

So we follow him west, from Paris across America (not much there) then on to Hawaii, the Fijis, Australia, New Zealand, Ceylon, Mauritius, Mozambique, and South Africa. At each stop he describes his experiences, often journeying out by train if possible to see (and record) as much as possible. And in between these places, he describes his travels by steamship, the good and bad.

So yes, you will truly see the world as he saw it, the people, the places, the poverty and the politics. Its as if you are at his shoulder, listening to his commentary about the shortfalls of his Indian servants, the heat of Australia, the native clothing, the interactions of races, all of it. I found it fascinating when he described the crazy rituals along the Ganges at Varanasi (which I’ve been to, and which I found easily recognizable through his pen). And what is lost to us, the tropical Pacific cities of broad streets and gardens we can at least see for what they were.

While sometimes it is hard to determine his facts from his tall tales (he said he shot thirteen tigers in northern India), this occasionally skirts what we (in our era) think of as basic human decency. All across the globe at that time, the empires were expanding and colonialism was in full force. To see, as he seemed to, the destructions of peoples as inevitable is to simply throw up one’s hands at any other solution. At one point (and forgive me if I misunderstood the old pilot) he claims that aborigines being poisoned and Africans being sealed up in caves and smoked to death as “mercies” compared to the painful deaths they might experience otherwise is shocking to someone in the twenty first century. In essence, he’s placing the profits of concerns such as the East Indian Company (and diamond concerns, and plantation efforts) above the life and livelihood of native people. To hear it spoken of as bluntly as Twain does is shocking – it’s why, I suppose, we no longer speak of politics around the Thanksgiving table.

But I’m off topic. In a nutshell, it is an interesting (if not rather scattershot) book about traveling around the globe before one could do it so easily. Well worth a look for the historians out there. And best of all, it’s free HERE.

>>>I THINK I’LL STICK TO WRITING FOR FUN. WRITING YOUR WAY OUT OF DEBT SUCKS. SO LOOK AT MY EFFORTS, DO FOR THE LOVE OF WRITING AND PRICED TO MOVE. FOLLOW THIS LINK<<<

Last Updated on Sunday, 01 April 2018 22:28
 
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