The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

A Hideously Overdue Collection Of Book Reviews

Posted on | January 22, 2016 | 6 Comments

— compiled by Wombat-socho

I had originally intended to do these right after Christmas, since I’d been sent a few books to review and picked up some as well, but I came down with a bad case of what fellow conservative geek blogger Moe Lane refers to as “Fallout Flu”, which lasted well into the new year. And it wasn’t even the shiny new Fallout 4! No, I picked up Fallout 3: Game of The Year Edition and Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition for cheap as part of Steam’s Christmas sale and have been playing the latter with great fervor, since it’s a wonderful game with all kinds of stuff to do besides the usual killing, pillage and burning, though there’s plenty of that as well. I am looking forward with great anticipation to finishing Fallout: New Vegas – but not just yet. 🙂

So. First out of the box, we have Karl Gallagher’s Torchship, a fun little book about the adventures of a merchant ship after the Singularity, when humanity has been split into three parts: people who have been absorbed by the AIs, people who are dead set against being absorbed by AI and have tight controls on IT, and people on the edge of human civilization who’d like to have something smarter than a pocket calculator so as to make their tough lives less so. There’s adventure, skulduggery, space war, and some discreet, non-explicit sex. This isn’t expressly a young adult novel, but you wouldn’t go wrong giving it to a pre-teenager. Recommended.

I am continuing to enjoy Vaughn Heppner’s Lost Starship series, though the third book, The Lost Destroyer, doesn’t have nearly as much space opera in it as its predecessors. Instead, the first part of the book is mainly a battle of wits between young Captain Maddox and mad scientist Professor Ludendorff, while the second is a desperate scramble to stop a planet-busting weapon that the New Men have somehow acquired, one that makes their space cruisers look like childrens’ toys by comparison.

If you haven’t read Don Surber’s Exceptional Americans: 50 People You Need To Know, either on his blog or as a book, you really owe it to yourself to do so – better yet, give it to a kid you know as a counter to the drivel being ladled out in public schools these days. The sequel, Exceptional Americans 2: The Capitalists, is also good and well worth picking up and/or gifting. They’re both on sale, so act quickly before Don comes to his senses and marks them back up to their original price!

Unfortunately, not all the reading experiences have been good. I was sent a copy of Z-Minus after warning the sender that I didn’t like zombie books in general. The exceptions to this rule being John Ringo’s Under a Graveyard Sky and its sequels; unfortunately, Perrin Briar is no John Ringo. The main thing that ruined the book for me and made me put it down after a couple of chapters was the protagonist, who was just downright unlikable. What kind of asshole tries to abandon his eight-year-old daughter in the middle of a zombie apocalypse? This one. No thanks. Maybe he got better, but after two chapters of putting up with this schmuck, I’d had enough. Not recommended.


  • DeadMessenger

    When you’re done with the Fallout games, there’s also Fallout Shelter for iOS. So you’ll be busy for awhile, Wombat.

  • Steve Skubinna

    As for zombie novels, World War Z is very good. It’s presented as an oral history of the Zombie War, so even though you already know that humanity is going to survive the individual stories are gripping. And given the global scope it covers some interesting ground, as different cultures respond in their own ways. Two of my favorites are the Japanese geek with a WWII sword and the PRC submarine officer.

    One glaring omission, probably because they all would be dead, is there are no accounts from Berkeley type accomodationists who insist on understanding the zombies’ legitimate grievances.

  • Wombat_socho

    It’s also on Android, so I actually started playing it on my phone before I got the games. Nothing on my phone so far has been as creepy as the vaults in the actual game, though.

  • Wombat_socho

    I’ve had World War Z recommended to me, as well as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but I think I’ll pass. I have a couple of Fallout games to work on, and baseball season is coming at the end of tax season, so I want to save my book-reading time for stuff I’ll have a reasonable chance of enjoying.

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    I can see that your income doesn’t depend upon literacy.