Curse of Chalion

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cover of Curse of ChalionThe Curse of Chalion

author: Lois McMaster Bujold
asin: 0380818604
binding: Mass Market Paperback
list price: $7.99 USD
amazon price: $7.99 USD

This book seems to start off a little slow — however, there's a lot of background information on not only the main character, Cazaril, but also on the world this series is set in, and it's information necessary to get the reader into the world. Unlike some other dreadful titles I've read in the past, Lois actually does a decent job of spreading the infodumps amongst useful bits of story that help carry it along.

Most of the characters in this book are well-rounded and multi-dimensional, which is a big plus. As this is the first I've read of her writing, I can't yet compare it with her forays into science fiction, but if the characterization and storytelling are anything like this book, I'm sure I will enjoy reading those, too.

I'm normally not one for fantasy, but I would recommend this book to anyone just starting down that path.

Igniting the Reaches

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cover of Igniting the ReachesIgniting the Reaches

author: David Drake
asin: 0441001793
binding: Paperback
list price: $5.99 USD
amazon price: $5.99

This book is the first in a series loosely based on the career of Sir Francis Drake.

It starts out as a story of traders seeking new trading routes for their goods, but then an "incedent" happens which turns the whole thing on its head. Their principal rival trading state decided earlier to close its borders, and our gang gets caught up in a firefight. This being the straw which breaks the camel's back, Our Heros turn to commerce raiding.

One of the things that throws me is the Mirror Worlds. There isn't a real explaination of it in this book, but as it's a major plot point, I'd like to have seen a better explaination of it.


Just the other day, I read a fun little short story about lost love. The "hook" (the "love" lost) was a TI graphing calculator that got crushed.

I get this itch in my hindbrain to draw a comic panel based on the scene, see? Arrgh! I couldn't get to sleep that night until I put it down on paper. After I get this scanner I recently acuired hooked up, I'll probably post it.

Anyhow, a really odd coincidence happened a few days later -- my uncle presented me with a TI-81 graphing calculator that he had found in the street, which was run over a couple times. It still works just fine, it's just scratched and dented all to hell.


cover of WhateverOld Man's War

author: John Scalzi
asin: 0765315246
binding: Paperback
list price: $12.95 USD
amazon price: $10.36 USD

You can find your way into Scalzi's brain, and find out about his other works, over at his blog, The Whatever.

Stuff, right?

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cover of Stuff, right?The Right Stuff

author: Tom Wolfe
asin: 0553381350
binding: Paperback
list price: $16.00 USD
amazon price: $16.00

I'm surprised I didn't read this before now. I put it off for years, expecting a dry history text, but I was pleasantly surprised. Tom Wolfe presented the material in a narrative style that grabbed my attention, pulling me in. This was quite a good read.

Universe Explodes!


Jim Baen's Universe magazine premieres this month.

The first issue includes stories by Greg Benford, Alan Dean Foster, Elizabeth Bear, John Ringo and John Barnes; classic fiction by Mark Twain; articles by Jim Baen, Eric Flint and Travis Taylor -- and many more.

Plus, there's a section of the magazine exclusively for stories from brand-new writers.

Issues will appear six times a year as ebooks, with each one available electronically in a variety of formats with no copy protection (no DRM). One of those formats intended for printing!


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cover of BoundaryBoundary

author: Eric Flint
Ryk E. Spoor
asin: 1416509321
binding: Hardcover
list price: $26.00 USD
amazon price: $26.00 USD

What is a paleontologist doing on Mars? Pushing her boundaries. . . .

A delightful romp through one possible very near future.

This book is definately more "hard sf" than either of these authors has done previously, and they are definately stretching their literary boundaries with it. However, if you enjoy hard sf stories, you'll probably like this one. I'm eagerly anticipating the next book in this series, Threshold.

Shadow of Saganami

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cover of Shadow of SaganamiThe Shadow of Saganami (The Saganami Island)

author: David Weber
asin: 1416509291
binding: Mass Market Paperback
list price: $7.99 USD
amazon price: $7.99 USD

This is the first book in the second spin-off series in the Harrigton universe.

Despite all the eye-glazing political intrigue (which I'm not particulary fond of), there's still enough in the way of interesting interpersonal relationships and 'boots to the ground' action you've come to expect from the Harrington universe.

Planetary Defense

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cover of Planetary DefenseAn Introduction to Planetary Defense: A Study of Modern Warfare Applied to Extra-terrestrial Invasio

author: Travis S. Taylor
Bob Boan
R.C. Anding
T. Conley Powell
asin: 1581124473
binding: Paperback
list price: $34.95 USD
amazon price: $31.45 USD

An interesting foray into the what-ifs and why-fors of preparing for an extra-planetary attack of some sort or another.

This book not only delves into the hows and whys of a "classic" alien invasion (as seen in science fiction), but non-standard approaches that should be accounted for.

For example, the book also deals with: preparing for collisions with Near Earth Objects; preparations for civil defense, in the case of natural disaster; dealing with a resource depletion scenario of our own devising by reaching out to the stars.

I recommend this book to:
* Science fiction authors

Kildar (Ghost series)

cover of Kildar (Ghost series)Kildar

author: John Ringo
asin: 1416520643
binding: Hardcover
list price: $26.00 USD
amazon price: $26.00 USD

Problems, problems, problems! All Mike Harmon ever wanted to be was a SEAL. But after problems in the teams, college student was a decent second best. However, trouble seemed to follow him where he went. Now, after having angered every terrorist on Earth and at least five governments, buying a farm in a third world country was looking pretty good. Of course, nothing was ever simple. With Chechen terrorists knocking on the door and tenant farmers with a truly Byzantine culture, the question was whether he could drag the keldara into the 21st century before the Chechen put them back in the 6th. Kildar answers the question: Where would an international security specialist and former SEAL choose to retire-if he's going to buy the farm, it should be one with beautiful women and the best beer in the world. Valhalla on Earth complete with Vikings.

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