October 14, 2008
A medieval village is transported to a technologically-advanced planet, where 12th century weaponry and terrestrial cunning miraculously defeat hoards of laser-toting aliens. This book proves that Earth is the USA of the galaxy – EARTH! EARTH! EARTH! – because we kick ass and take names. And that ain’t easy, because alien names are hard to spell, and our limited knowledge of xenobiology often makes finding their asses difficult. Recommended.
On a scale of medieval weapons ranging from the misericorde to the scramaseax, this book is: the zweihander.
October 2, 2008
Few founders of religions were as skilled and prolific authours as L. Ron Hubbard. Jesus wrote one book, and He’s been milkin’ it for two thousand years. Bhudda scribed some semi-pithy stuff, but nothing I’d buy in hardcover. And while Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki’s series of novels about teenage babysitters who also run a detective agency is passable, it’s mostly ghostwritten by Muhammad Subuh Sumohadiwidjojo. Hubbard’s the way to go. And if you’re going with Hubbard, give Final Blackout a try.
On a scale of famous Scientologists ranging from Edgar Winter to Tom Cruise, this book is: Beck.
April 21, 2008
When intelligent newts (I know it sounds like an oxymoron, but this is scifi) are discovered on the ocean floor, humankind enlists them to mine pearls. The newts then use the very pearl-mining tools we gave them to wage war. Sound familiar? It’s the same thing that happened when Reagan armed Afghani newts to fight the Russians in the 1980’s. This book is a brilliant satire that proves that, if war is hell, war with newts is a different, newt-ier kind of hell. Recommended.
On a scale of dark, moist things ranging from peat moss to the inside of a wrestling shoe, this book is: black forest cake.
January 4, 2008
A book is always more exciting when exclamation points are added to the title: The Old Man And The Sea! To Kill A Mockingbird! Absalom, Absalom!!!!!!! This book is no exception. It’s a series of stories set in S.M. Stirling’s Domination timeline, where British South Africans who call themselves ‘the Draka’ have enslaved humankind (you don’t have to have your body and spirit broken under the yoke of servitude to work there, but it helps). While interesting, the premise itself is far-fetched: only in science fiction could South Africa be an intolerant dystopia where an elite few withhold basic human rights from the masses. Recommended for fans of the Domination series.
On a scale of spin-offs ranging from The Golden Palace to Archie Bunker’s Place, this book is: Frasier.