Posted on | May 27, 2014 | 49 Comments
— compiled by Wombat-socho
I confess to having failed the Loyal Readers by not mentioning that I’ve finally gotten around to reading the first two Monster Hunter novels by International Lord of Hate Larry Correia, which were conveniently packaged in The Monster Hunters along with the first one I’d read, Monster Hunter Alpha, which is itself an excellent tale of modern horror set in a small Michigan town. While you can certainly read the Monster Hunter novels in any order, I think your appreciation of them is definitely improved if you read Monster Hunter International and Monster Hunter Vendetta first. To sum up for those who haven’t read them before, the Monster Hunter novels are about Owen Zastava Pitt, an accountant who finds himself volunteering for the secret war on vampires, werewolves, and other things that go bump (and slash, and chomp) in the night after barely managing to kill his boss, who turned werewolf and decided Pitt would be a good late-night snack. Mysteriously, Pitt doesn’t himself become infected with lycanthropy – narrowly avoiding death at the hands of the Federal Monster Control Bureau – but gets a job offer from legendary monster hunter Earl Harbinger and Earl’s lovely daughter. The offer is to join Earl’s company of hunters, kill monsters, and get filthy rich collecting the bounties. Of course, Owen accepts, and the result is (so far) four novels chock-full of ultraviolence, cliffhangers, massive property destruction, and other entertainments. I am definitely looking forward to Monster Hunter Nemesis, wherein the MCB’s Agent Franks goes off the reservation – and you should, too.
Larry Niven is famous as the author of Ringworld, of course, not to mention The Smoke Ring. He’s at it again with Greg Benford in Bowl of Heaven, wherein a human ramscoop en route to the Earthlike exoplanet Glory comes across a gigantic half-Dyson sphere using its sun for propulsion – which is also headed for Glory. The bowl is inhabited, of course, and ruled by the long-lived, gene-manipulating Astronomers, who remind me more than a little of the fithp from Footfall, and the Astronomers are uncertain whether they want to “adopt” or exterminate the newcomers. Interesting read; nowhere near as good as Ringworld, but it has its charms.
Last in the list of books I’ve read this weekend is This Doesn’t Happen In The Movies, a nice little noir mystery by Renee Pawlish which is entertaining enough if you like noir, and hey – the price is right!
In the wider world of science fiction, apparently the increasingly irrelevant SFWA picked their Nebula Award winners recently, and excluded all the bad, evil, cismale patriarchal oppressors from the winner’s circle. Sarah Hoyt has a few things to say about that. As for the clash between Hachette and Amazon, Vox Day has pertinent comments.
Like Stacy, I’m going on the road next week and will be in Las Vegas from June 3-6. Since I’m planning on visiting both the Heart Attack Grill and In-N-Out Burger, there will be burger posting in addition to the usual Live At Five posts.