The Other McCain

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

Shortly Before The Detour

Posted on | April 8, 2017 | Comments Off on Shortly Before The Detour

— by Wombat-socho

First, some administrivia: I’ll be in Minnesota from tomorrow morning through next Tuesday night, and so there will be no daily bloggage, nor will there be an FMJRA this Saturday. Rule 5 Sunday will be delayed until Sunday, April 16, when we’ll have the Easter Sunday Double-Dip Edition, so go ahead and send in your links this weekend and I’ll collect them all on the weekend after I get back.

Given that it’s tax season, I’m not getting as much reading done as usual (and still less since Block cut my pay this season, the bastards) but I am getting some done, and I have a few opinions to share. I checked John C. Wright’s Somewhither out of the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, and just couldn’t finish it. It’s heroic fantasy, and very well-written, but I put it down one night and never picked it up again. Your mileage may vary. On the other hand, Marko Kloos’ Fields Of Fire, is a very different kind of book, seeing as how it’s the fifth book in his Frontlines series, and it does not disappoint. Humanity is striking back at the alien Lankies, with a massive invasion of Lanky-occupied Mars with everything including the kitchen sink, but as the blurb reminds us, no battle plan survives contact with the enemy. Kloos may have lined up with the Puppy Kickers, and there’s an occasional guffaw-inducing moment, but by and large this is a good book and I fully intend to pay for a copy once the cash flow improves.

Also worth reading is Nick Cole’s Soda Pop Soldier, which is Exactly What It Says On The Tin, a novel about a young man fighting for a soda company. It’s virtual warfare, of course, and unfortunately PerfectQuestion’s been on the losing side for a while now, which means life is hard and he has to scrape up money where he can – by fighting in the highly illegal Black. There’s also a mysterious fellow who wants to buy his help in dominating the world, the equally mysterious Grandfather, and a spy who’s selling out Perfect and his buddies. Cole does a great job of keeping all the plot balls in the air and bringing them together in a (literally) explosive climax. Five stars, will definitely be reading again. A heck of a bargain for $3.99.

This month’s blast from the past is Michael de Larrabeiti’s The Borribles, the first book in a picaresque trilogy that continues in The Borribles Go For Broke and Across The Dark Metropolis, which has the dubious distinction of having its publication delayed for fear it would exacerbate existing tensions between the police and Londoners. I suppose that technically these are urban fantasies, though there’s nothing magical in them but the Borribles themselves (and their Rumble enemies, a parody of the popular Wombles) who are street kids with elvish ears who never grow up or grow old, and live by petty theft and scrounging in the decaying older parts of London and other cities. The plot of the three novels revolves around the Great Rumble Hunt, an assault by a picked squad of Borribles on the headquarters bunker of the Rumbles with the aim of killing the twelve leaders of the Rumbles; this done, the two sequels deal with the consequences of the hunt – factional fighting between the Borrible tribes, and the rescue of Sam the horse from the bobbies’ Special Borrible Group. Worth reading if you haven’t already.


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