Books 8/15

Well I’ve finally got some time to catch you up on the latest reading:

The Bad: Sandworms of Dune. Just dreadful. Undeveloped characters, unbelievable plot and far too miraculous of an ending. Don’t bother, really only useful as a sleeping aid on airplanes. Very good at that, put me straight out.

The Good: Old Man’s War by Joh Scalzi. Good stuff, very good stuff indeed. Military sf set in the way future. More than just military sf really, it has characters that are real and believable, a plot line that moves quickly and resolves itself without any Dues Ex Machina trickery, actions scenes that grab and hold, physics that I don’t have the math for (read the book) and a few socio-economic musings on how earth and its colonies might interact. Oh and did I say that Scalzi can be quite funny as well. So yeah Starship Troopers jumps into your mind right? Well it should but this one takes that story and twists. Twists it away from some of the politics of Robert Heinlein which though still interesting and much discussed, have gotten a bit stale for this reader. In place of the politics of Earth and enfranchisement is a discussion of alien species and military policy. I don’t want to give anything way so I’ll end with an encouraging word. If you have any interest in military sf, space opera, or liked Troopers and are interested in another angle about some similar topics – READ THIS BOOK.

More Good: Mainspring by Jay Lake. Just starting this and I’m about 90 pages in after about 90 minutes of reading. Steampunk set in a rather different New England, read the book, and featuring the God as Watchmaker as a central part of the story. My only complaint so far was that the hero got helped a little too easily by strangers who seem a little too eager to help, but maybe this gets explained later? Anyway I can already recommend this book to folks who like quick moving stories set in interesting worlds not completely our own but still familiar.

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One comment on “Books 8/15”

  1. If you like Old Man’s War you have to check out the sequels. the Ghost Brigades and The Last Colony. Zoe’s Tale is also coming out soon. Scalzi is awesome. He has a great blog too @ Scalzi.com/whatever.


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