Posted on | March 9, 2017 | Comments Off on A Small Collection Of (Mostly) Violent Bedtime Stories
— by Wombat-socho
It’s been so long since I’ve done a book post, I can’t even remember when it was. Sometime last year, for sure. Anyhow, before we get any further into 2017, I want to cover some of the books I read late last year, since not everyone reads everything, and I may have picked up something you missed.
I’m going to lead off with the latest novels in Larry Correia’s Monster Hunters International franchise, Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge and Monster Hunter Memoirs: Sinners. These were written by John Ringo and edited by Larry, and it shows. They’re the first two books in a trilogy about (Oliver) Chad Gardenier, one of MHI’s top hunters during the Reagan years: a former Marine who dies in the Beirut bombing but gets sent back with a mission. Chad’s not a particularly likeable guy. As is pointed out in the foreword, he always had a huge ego and is therefore not the most reliable of narrators, and that ego is nigh-insufferable in Grunge, which is set in Seattle. Sinners, on the other hand, is set in New Orleans, where MHI’s relationship with the Federal Monster Control Bureau is (to say the least) very different than elsewhere in the country since people in the Big Easy believe in hoodoos and monsters, and a bunch of gangbangers is downright honored to have a “hoodoo man” in their turf. I liked Sinners a lot better, frankly, and I think that was the consensus of most folks in the MHI group on Facebook as well.
Next up, a pair of books that are almost mirror images of each other: Kurt Schlichter’s People’s Republic and Tom Kratman’s A State of Disobedience. In Schlichter’s novel, Blue and Red America separate amicably (mostly) but years later, Red America (the People’s Republic of the title) is collapsing under its own ineptitude, and a spec ops vet has to penetrate California to rescue a wayward Texas heiress. I found it to be a tense thriller, even though it was too short and most of the characters a tad on the cardboard side. Kratman’s novel, on the other hand, posits a President like Hillary Clinton who wants to use the Government’s expanded anti-terror powers against her domestic political enemies. When a Federal raid on a Texas orphanage goes awry (much like Waco, but on a smaller scale) the Governor of Texas decides that Texas needs to go its own way, and that’s when the shooting starts. There’s more political maneuvering and talk about logistics than one might expect, but then, Colonel Kratman is a professional.
You may recall that among the links a couple years back to Mitch Berg’s Minnesota politics blog Shot In The Dark were some chapters of his novel Trulbert!, which related how Minneapolis adapted to the end of the economic world as we know it. Violence, mayhem, libertarianism, gang war, the NFL, and church militias feature prominently. It’s an amusing little short novel, and you may recognize a few characters in the book as people you’ve run into online. Or hopefully not.
David Drake’s Death’s Bright Day and S.M. Stirling’s Prince of Outcasts are the latest books in the RCN and Change universes, respectively, and if you like the other books in those series, then these books are something you’ll like as well.
Hajime Isayama’s Attack On Titan was a hit anime series a couple years ago, but the first volume of the manga left me cold; it was an action story that didn’t seem to move too quickly. John C. Wright’s Iron Chamber of Memory is not as annoying, but I’m having problems sticking to it. I keep getting distracted by other books.
Between Cirsova magazine and the bloggers at Castalia House, there’s a push on to bring back Pulp SF, which should delight every SF and fantasy reader not in thrall to the Puppy Kickers. However, I think posts like this one by Jasyn Jones are barking up the wrong tree. Isn’t there enough to loathe about the New Wave and post-modernist Pink SF without also trying to tarnish the legacy of John W. Campbell Jr.?