The Other McCain

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

Off The Shelf

Posted on | July 7, 2015 | 7 Comments

— compiled by Wombat-socho

Been a while since the last book post, for which I apologize; for obvious reasons, I’ve been trying to avoid picking up new books, and I didn’t get around to picking up a card for the local library system for a couple weeks after I got here. Now that I’ve done that, time to update you on a few books worth reading and one that isn’t.

Along with the release of the Tom Cruise/Emily Blunt flick Edge of Tomorrow, the folks at Viz decided to release the original light novel by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, All You Need Is Kill, under the movie’s title. My opinion of Edge of Tomorrow? Not only was the movie better, they would probably have done better to novelize the movie script, because the script is more coherent and has a better ending than the novel, which is your typical Japanese romance while trying hard to pretend it isn’t. There’s a manga version of All You Need Is Kill available, and the county library has a copy, but I wasn’t even remotely interested in picking it up.

Much better is Charles Stross’ Neptune’s Brood, a sequel of sorts to Saturn’s Children via the short story “Bit Rot”. The protagonist, Krina Alizond-114, is a posthuman cyborg searching for her sister and only gradually becoming aware that she may be on the wrong end of the biggest banking scam in history. It’s a decent read, though Stross’ tendency to infodump and his obvious fondness for Communism make a couple of sections rough going. Still, not bad for free.

Man-Kzin Wars XIV is the latest anthology of stories set in Larry Niven’s Known Space universe, and there’s not a dull story in the lot. With peace having broken out -or so it seems- the monkey-boys and ratcats are coexisting and even cooperating, but that doesn’t mean things are all calm and peaceful. My personal favorite, Matthew Harrington’s “Leftovers”, involves my least favorite character in the series, ARM General Buford Early, trying -and hilariously failing- to outthink a Protector. If you liked the first thirteen volumes in the series, you’ll like this one too.

Thanks to the Amazon Prime Lending Library, I was able to check out Peter Grant’s Forge a New Blade, the sequel to his War To The Knife. It’s a worthy sequel, and Grant deserves praise for not succumbing to Clancy-Weber syndrome and expanding each of these books to 700-page doorstops. He could quite easily have gone into mind-numbing detail about what the dozen or so secondary characters are doing off-stage, but avoids this temptation and delivers a nice little compact novel instead. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

Finally, one from the vaults – Stephen Sears’ Gettysburg. I was expecting great things after reading Sears’ Landscape Turned Red, an excellent account of the extremely bloody Battle of Antietam, and I was not disappointed. You won’t be either.


7 Responses to “Off The Shelf”

  1. John Rose
    July 8th, 2015 @ 5:41 am

    Have you had a chance to check out John C. Wright’s “Count To A Trillion” series?

  2. JeffWeimer
    July 8th, 2015 @ 7:16 am

    I’m leaning towards EoT for my long-form Hugo #1. Interstellar was too treacly for me.

  3. JeanCMoore
    July 8th, 2015 @ 8:05 am

    Some New Features with theothermccain….. Go To Next Page

  4. Wombat_socho
    July 8th, 2015 @ 11:03 am


  5. Wombat_socho
    July 8th, 2015 @ 11:07 am

    I’ve read all of it that’s out so far and am looking forward to the next volume in the series. Reviewed The Judge of Ages last June, in fact. There’s a list of stuff I’ve reviewed here, though I haven’t updated it in a while.

  6. HaroldJYoung
    July 9th, 2015 @ 12:27 am

    Some New Features with theothermccain….. Go To Next Page

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    July 9th, 2015 @ 12:37 pm

    […] Off The Shelf […]