Posted on | June 3, 2014 | 17 Comments
Apologies for the lack of Live At Five this morning, or even the token offering of In The Mailbox, but after being up since 0300 in order to make my 6 AM flight to Las Vegas, I was in no position to give either of those posts their due justice. However, before I saunter down Fremont Street to my doom at the Heart Attack Grill, I thought I should at least mention a few books that are worth your attention – or maybe not.
Matthew Harrington is probably best known for his contributions to various Man-Kzin War anthologies, and for his collaboration with Larry Niven, The Goliath Stone, which is an amusing story about nanobots, human evolution, space exploration, and a few other things. He has an anthology out, The Original Uncut SOUL SURVIVOR: and other stories in which he displays not just the quirky humor in evidence from his other works, but tenderness, passion, and a few other things you might not have expected if all you’d seen were the aforementioned stories about Kzin and mad scientists. Most anthologies, I’m happy if half the stories are good; this one runs considerably higher than that, and is a steal for $4 on the Kindle. Buy it now before he or his agent recover their senses! Better yet, borrow it first from the Amazon Prime Lending Library, and then buy it so he gets a double dip of royalties.
In David Drake’s most recent RCN novel, The Sea Without a Shore, Adele Mundy moves beyond being the Deadliest Librarian in the Universe and develops her aristocratic/diplomatic talents to solve what at first seems like an impossible set of tasks, even for the Unstoppable Force of Daniel Leary and his signals officer. If Drake ever stops writing these, I may have to start reading the Aubrey/Maturin novels, which I understand they’re modeled on.
Also worth your time is an oldie but goodie, Steven Brust’s Brokedown Palace (no relation to the drug movie of the same name) which is an offshoot of his Vlad Taltos novels, which I started reading and then stopped for no good reason I can remember. Anyhow, it’s an interesting fantasy about four princes living in a decaying palace in an out-of-the-way kingdom, and well worth your time.
And then there’s Robert Conroy’s 1920: America’s Great War. This account of a German/Mexican invasion of California and Texas gets 4/5 from Amazon reviewers, but it left me cold; individually, each of the factors that leads to the book’s conclusion are plausible, but when you lump them all together, it blew out the suspension on my disbelief. Too many things go right at just the right time, and even the things that go wrong turn out not to be so bad in the end.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with a Single Bypass Burger, or maybe two. Pictures will be posted in the burger post later this week.