The Other McCain

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

Indian Country and Other Not-So-Happy Endings

Posted on | July 11, 2017 | Comments Off on Indian Country and Other Not-So-Happy Endings

— by Wombat-socho

The last time I had the energy to do a book post, it was during a slack time of tax season, and since then things have been busy, seldom in a good way. For one thing, I lost my Kindle somewhere along the way back from Balticon, and I was also rear-ended down by the MGM back in April, which kept me from working for two weeks, and that put me behind the financial curve. Things are starting to get better, though, and I’ve been picking up a few books here and there besides the freebies from Amazon’s Kindle Prime Lending Library.

I want to talk about Kurt Schlichter’s Indian Country first. This is, of course, the prequel to his smash hit People’s Republic, and as he explains in the foreword, the events of last fall threw a monkey-wrench into his future history, written as it was in a setting Twenty Minutes Into The Future. So there are some minor tweaks. We start with Kelly Turnbull on active duty in Iraq, whacking terrorists with his comrades in the Iraqi police; afterward, he’s called in for a meeting where he’s sounded out about an unspecified role for an unnamed agency as the United States is on the verge of splitting up. Later, while he’s cooling his heels as commander of a basic training company in Oklahoma, he gets tasked to go into the People’s Republic and do the job he was originally trained to do – free the country folk of southern Indiana from oppression. It’s not supposed to be a combat mission, but the progressive leaders of The People’s Republic don’t know when to leave well enough alone…It’s a good read, and I recommend it.

Not quite along the same lines is the Frank Herbert classic Dune, which won the Hugo for Best Novel back in the 1960s when that actually meant something. This is essentially a coming-of-age novel that revolves around Paul Atreides, Duke of Arrakis after his father’s betrayal and assassination. Arrakis is a desert world, and the sole source of the spice so desperately needed by the Spacing Guild’s navigators, but Arrakis has secrets the brutal Harkonnen family never discovered during the years they held it in fief, and the tale of Paul learning those secrets has aged rather well. Dune’s sequels, Dune Messiah and Children Of Dune, were decent brain candy but nowhere near as great as the original.

Hans Schantz’ A Rambling Wreck is the sequel to The Hidden Truth, in which a young man comes across a global conspiracy that’s subverted science, rewritten history, and corrupted society – and lives to fight another day. A Rambling Wreck is what happens on that other day, as our hero makes his way to Georgia Tech to gain the knowledge he needs to fight more effectively and survive. I’m only partway through it, but so far it’s a good read.

Al Moe’s Vegas And The Mob: Forty Years Of Frenzy is a popular history of the Mafia’s involvement with the casino business here in Sin City, which didn’t start with Bugsy Siegel’s acquisition of the Flamingo right after the war. The book is written in a loose, conversational style and occasionally veers off on marginally-relevant tangents like the casinos in Reno and Tahoe (the latter mostly notable for Frank Sinatra’s involvement), the death of Marilyn Monroe, and the madness of Howard Hughes – which may have been more methodical than anyone thought, as his arrival at the Desert Inn began the decline of the Mob’s stranglehold on the casinos. Worth reading if you’re interested in the history of organized crime and/or Las Vegas; available through the Kindle Prime Lending Library.


Comments are closed.