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{ Category Archives } War

The Limehouse Text

The Limehouse Text by Will Thomas When Thomas Llewelyn inadvertently attacks a young woman with whom Cyrus Barker has a mysterious relationship, he gets himself into a world of hurt — and not just by getting his shoulder located.  This third book in the Barker & Llewelyn series follows the pair as they investigate the […]

Futility, or Wreck of the Titan

by Morgan Robertson The Wreck of the Titan sounds like a derivative story.  Here are a couple excerpts of the first chapter that highlight the similarities between the ship in the book and the Titanic: She was the largest craft afloat and the greatest of the works of men. In her construction and maintenance were […]

Consider Phlebas

Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks When a genre fiction book starts with a T.S. Eliot epigraph, you worry that you might be in for some rough times, or at least, you do if you’re me.  But Banks’ book doesn’t cling to pretentiousness, it dives into the space opera subgenre headfirst, and works very well […]

How will you spend your last day?

If the Terminator series is to be believed, Skynet woke up yesterday and its first attack on human kind will happen tomorrow.  While I don’t think this is likely, just in case Skynet is watching: I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords. (Just a little Pascal’s Wager there.) A few thoughts about tomorrow’s apocalypse: […]

Red (comic)

Red, by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner Warren Ellis is my favorite comic book writer.  From The Authority and The Planetary to his more recent APPARAT comics and Crooked Little Vein, he has a smart approach to dialogue and plotting and a solid sense of what comics are about. Red, which I hadn’t heard of […]

The Martian Chronicles

By Ray Bradbury I hadn’t read this book yet — I know, that’s sad — so I thought I’d give it a whirl.  Bradbury tells a series of stories that document the rise and fall of humankind on Mars.  It’s a compelling collection, with good lessons about the dark side of humankind and our tendencies […]

Super Spy

by Matt Kindt Kindt’s lovely graphic novel approaches spy stories with the alt-comics bent, reminding me a bit of what a spy story might look like if Quentin Tarantino plotted the screenplay, but then Wes Andersen wrote the dialog and the characters.  A few extra thoughts: Reminds me more of Le Carre than Fleming.  These […]

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A little Gatling music

Mr. Gatling’s Terrible Marvel: The Gun That Changed Everything and the Misunderstood Genius Who Invented It. by Julia Keller I’ve been keen to read this book for a while, as its title and day-glo cover beckoned me each time I walked by the bookstore. And then, glory, I found the hardcover for $9 on a […]

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Sly Mongoose

by Tobias Buckell Sly Mongoose is the third book by Tobias Buckell that takes place within the same far-future universe in which human beings have expanded but have done so on the technology of more advanced species, so now they’re trapped holding on to what little they have left. Using this historical backdrop, Buckell crafts […]

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Freedom and Truth

History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving by Deborah E. Lipstadt Truth isn’t part of a cultural conversation if freedom of speech doesn’t accompany it. That’s the most salient–of many–lessons that emerges from Dr. Lipstadt’s powerhouse account of her 2000 trial defending herself from a libel suit by David Irving. I can’t […]

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Liberation

Liberation: Being the Adventures of the Slick Six After the Collapse of the United States of America by Brian-Francis Slattery Slattery writes of an anarchic United States after the dollar has collapsed and the country has ripped itself apart.  Slavery has returned as an organized venture (people on the verge of starving to death sell […]

Shards of Honor

rating: 4 of 5 stars Bujold tells the story of Cordelia Naismith, a scientist from Beta Prime who gets captured by Aral Vorkosigan, a Lord from Barrayar, and thrust into the political and military intrigue of that planet. The book moves along at a good clip, with solid character development and an interesting set of […]

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For shame

So Brian lobbed a meme this way (by means of film blogger Dennis Cozzalio, Joseph B., and Adam at DVD Panache). Most challenging, for me, is the articulate, intelligent voice Brian brings to his blogging. His esoteric and awesome choices befit someone of his intelligence and cinephilic taste; mine will seem more pedestrian, I’m afraid. […]

Don’t take your love to town

Kenny Rogers did it well before, but there’s something about the melancholy rockabilly style of Cake that makes mournful songs just heartbreaking.  I just listened (while hanging drywall) to their cover of “Ruby Don’t Take Your Love to Town.” Ruby seems like a pretty big jerk in the early part of the song, but when […]

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The coming Monkey Apocalypse

In the past few months, I’ve become more and more convinced that one of Avery’s children’s books is actually a missing apocalyptic text, revealing to us the end of the world, in rhythmic rhyme. If you aren’t familiar with Al Perkin’s Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb, check it out in the kids section of your local […]

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