So this week, I’m still reading Great North Road, the science fiction murder mystery by Peter F. Hamilton that I was reading two weeks ago.
So this week, and probably for a week or two more, I’m reading Great North Road, a science fiction murder mystery by Peter F. Hamilton. As far as I know, this book, like the excellent Fallen Dragon, is a standalone novel, unrelated to and not set in the same universe as the “Commonwealth” novels (the also-excellent Pandora’s Star and Judas Unchained, the what-most-people-seem-to-consider-better-but-I-consider-only-pretty-good “Void” series, of which I’ve so far only read the first one) or the “Night’s Dawn” series, of which I’ve so far read, uh, nothing. It’s also, being Peter F. Hamilton, a doorstopper, or would be if it weren’t an eBook, which is why I’ll probably still be reading it next week. Fortunately, like most Hamilton books, it’s shaping up to be―you guessed it―excellent.
This week I’m reading volumes 1-3 of The Great Iron War, by Dean F. Wilson, a science fantasy steampunk series in which Earth (or someplace like it) is invaded by outsiders, called “demons” (even though I’m pretty sure that’s not what they are) who come in search of iron. Hence the name of the war.
So lately I’ve been reading Harbinger of Doom, a bundle of three fantasy novels by Glenn Thater:
So this week I’m reading The Golden Queen by Dave Wolverton, which starts out looking like a whimsical Irish fantasy novel before turning into a galaxy-spanning science fiction epic in which several adventurers and a talking bear (because why not?) with a name like a vacuum cleaner attempt to drive the conquering alien insectoid race known as the Dronon out of human space.
This week I’m reading Khe, by Alexes Razevich, which is one of those unusual SF novels which (so far, at least, and I’m 79% of the way through it according to my Kindle) takes place entirely on an alien world, with no human beings present at all. The majority of the characters are doumanas, members of a race which seems to be quite birdlike, only without the wings, the feathers, the beaks, or the claws. Umm, well, I guess they’re not actually birdlike at all, except that they can “see” the magnetic field of their planet, and they’re migratory, unlike African swallows. The story concerns one of these doumanas, Khe, who, after undergoing an experimental treatment to sort of help her lay eggs (it’s complicated) develops the ability to accelerate the growth of plants, at the cost of taking years off her own life. Upon realizing that she’s likely to die a very early death due to being continually pushed to improve crop production at her commune (yes, they live in communes … again, it’s complicated), she decides to take her chances in the wilderness.
This week I’m reading A Plague of Demons by Keith Laumer, another of the e-books that I downloaded directly from Baen’s Free Library. This is not the sequel to the much-loved A Plague of Angels (that would be the quite avoidable The Waters Rising); rather, it’s about aliens in North Africa harvesting brains. Why? I don’t know yet. Maybe they sell them in roach coaches that roam zombie-infested areas. (Or maybe not.)
Then I re-crossed the street, slowed, and gave half a dozen grimy windows filled with moth-riddled mats and hammered brass atrocities more attention than they deserved. By the time I reached the end of the long block, I was sure: the little man with the formerly white suit and the pendulous lower lip was following me.
Another protagonist being followed by another unskilled tail? I see a trend! Clearly our villains need to invest in a training program for their operatives.
And, of course, here is this weeks teaser from The War of the Ravels!
“They were issuing weapons to every man who could hold a blade,” Cynidece said. “Even you probably would have gotten one, if Aldric hadn’t tucked you into his fancy cab and given his horse a smack on the rump to make it run along home.”
So over the holiday last week, we watched the movie District 9. Originally my wife had declined to screen this film, but after hearing from several friends about how good it was, she agreed to go see it. I had also told her it was supposed to be good, but apparently, after suggesting she might like Hellboy because it was made by Guillermo del Toro (she is a huge fan of his Spanish-language movies like The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth), suggesting she might like Kung Fu Hustle because because it was “probably like a Jackie Chan movie”, and trying to convince her that Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome is a classic of 80s filmmaking, I lack credibility. Go figure.
Thanks to my parents’ ongoing efforts to clean junk out of their basement, I have been getting a steady stream of antediluvian scribblings (and typings). Here is a rather lengthy opus, most likely from when I was about ten, involving an alien saddled with a rather poor grasp of his own technology, not to mention a ridiculously hard to pronounce name.