Review: Fuzzies and Other People by H. Beam Piper

Well, Happy Readers, if you read my review of Fuzzy Sapiens not long ago in which I lamented the need to give only two stars, I have good news. The third book is much much better. I can genuinely recommend this one, and thus the whole series.

I plan to read several more H. Beam Piper short stories, since I’m in that head-space at the moment. I will most likely combine them into a single review post… but who knows, all two of you may get multiple stuffs!

In the mean time, here’s my review of the book at hand, and a nice Michael Whelan cover for it too! Look at those little guys! Aren’t they just so stinkin’ cute!?

Goodreads Blurb:

There were still so many things Fuzzies had to learn.

…that’s the final line of H.Beam Piper’s classic Fuzzy Sapiens, where the story broke off twenty years ago [55 years now]. Following Piper’s tragic suicide in 1964, there were persistent rumors that he had written a sequel to Fuzzy Sapiens, a third Fuzzy novel; some of his friends had been told about it, a few had even read parts of it. But the manuscript itself remained lost until it was discovered in a trunk in a basement in Pennsylvania.

Now, at last, return to Piper’s Zarathrustra. It’s been twenty years for us – but only three months since Jack Holloway found and befriended a small golden-furred being…three short months that have changed both their lives…

You can buy a paperback copy here:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0441261760

And now my review…

Fuzzies and Other People (Fuzzy Sapiens #3)Fuzzies and Other People by H. Beam Piper
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The third book in the Fuzzy Sapiens series is actually better than the second, but not quite as good as the first. What makes it somewhat better is the fact that much of it takes place ‘in the wild’ were a heretofore unknown band of Fuzzies are living and surviving. You get to see things from a non-human native viewpoint that avoids the anachronistic foibles of the second book. It has a much faster pace, and is much less mired with theoretical cocktail hour discussions. Cocktails and cigarettes are still the old go-to scene filler and transition mechanism though.

The story picks up immediately after Fuzzy Sapiens ends. It resolves the fate of the major bad guy and the criminals from that book, but that is treated as more of a side plot. The major story is of the band of ‘Wild’ Fuzzies lead by Wise One in the newly established Fuzzy Sanctuary. It shows you how they survive on a daily basis. It also shows how their lives are greatly improved by their interactions and relationships with humans.

Overall, this was a good capstone to the series. I know there are other divergent series books out there. If you’ve never read the story of H. Beam Piper’s life and the history of this series, I recommend you do so. It’s quite intriguing if a bit sad. The other works by Piper are also something I highly recommend anyone who enjoys Little Fuzzy should check into. Most of them are in the public domain and can be found for free on Project Gutenberg and Amazon. I plan to find and read all of his other works that I have not read already.

So, on that note, I rate this book at three stars and call it a Satisfying Read.

View all my reviews


Hey! Happy Readers! Did you know you can…

Buy My Books!?!?


If you like intrigue, humor and a bit of speculative technological supposition, you should pick up a copy of my technothriller-comedy eConscience Beta from Amazon today!

Peacekeeper Incorporated’s breakthrough nanotechnology could bring repeat offense crime to an end, freeing society from the need for criminal incarcerations. But first, they have to finish testing it. With funding on the line, and time to prove out the project getting short, the lead scientist must find a way speed things up. That’s unfortunate for his guinea pig, and anyone who would stand in his way.

Can the goal of ending most crime justify committing one… even a few?
And what happens when you conflate altruism with egotism?

Find out in eConscience Beta, where two lab techs and an uncouth petty criminal must outwit a brilliant but sociopathic scientist who’ll stop at nothing to establish his legacy as the man who ended crime.


If Science Fiction Space Adventure is more your speed, then you should check out my anthology, Horizons Unlimited: Volume 1.

HORIZONS UNLIMITED

Matter conversion technology—Matt-Con—has broadened the scope of mankind’s existence. It has opened up the real possibility of viable colonies on other planets in our solar system, and even space itself. Anywhere matter can be captured or energy from the sun can be felt, the possibility of expanding human habitation exists.

In this volume:

Quicksilver

The space station Chariot of Helios—on its way to Mercury to become a power collection station for Earth’s growing need for energy to power matt-con tech—encounters a strange anomaly that threatens ship and crew.

Escaping Aurora

The sudden destruction of mankind’s first atmospheric terraforming platform leaves three unlucky exonauts struggling to survive in the skies of Venus aboard a cobbled-together airship. Meanwhile, the commander of the space station above battles obstacles that might keep her from rescuing her stranded husband and crew in time.

HAPPY READING!

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LibertyCon 32, Technomancy and Other Tales

Another LibertyCon has come and gone is rapid flash of excitement. It seems like each year it goes by faster than ever. Obviously, the old addage of ‘Time flies when you’re having fun’ is absolutely true!

I am late with this After Action Report (apologies to my Happy Readers… all two of you?) so I have read several from others already. It seems that many of the Pro Attendees of LC32 have decided to invoke whimsy in the composing of their tales. Thus, the form is now stuck in my mind with the voice of the narrator of mythic fantastical adventures… so that’s what you’re gonna get too!

Part I: The Begin-ining

Procrastinating as long as possible, I, along with the Maternal Parental Unit (hereafter referred to as MPU) made our plans for driving up to the big Nooga. The MPU had never ventured to a Con before, so I spent many hours being distracted from preparations by sharing detailed information about minutia that she would most likely not remember. Finally, when Wednesday arrived, I compiled the clothes, books, and All The Things, and then loaded them up into Old Blue (my truck) with only the Needfuls (toothbrush, coffee pot, Captain Morgan, etc.) and Perishables (sandwich making materials, Cokes) left to be thrown aboard right before launch.

A typically restless night ensued (encroaching oldness and mis-working leg/knee/hip nerves suck, FYI) with only six hours of sleep for myself. When the alarm sounded Friday morn I stumbled to my favorite appliance to brew the Elixir of Liveliness. From there, the morning ablutions were initiated while the Sapho Brewed… for two minutes. Then… DISASTER! TRAGEDY!

The wizardry that is modern electrical power failed at the most inopportune moment BEFORE THE COFFEE WAS DONE! The worst part was that I also could not perform the Hygienic Rituals (aka take a shower) because the WELL IS ELECTRIC!

After expressing my woe to the Lightening Wizards of Georgia Power, I turned to the befuddling task of brewing the Elixir in an Ancient Cauldron upon the outdoor cooking appliance with Bottled Dragon’s Breath (I made coffee in the percolator on the grill). While the water boiled, I gathered those things that I could and put them in the Horseless Conveyance which lathered me with perspiration because Georgia in summer. I did finally get my first cup of motivation, and as I took the first sip, the power returned! Thus, there is now documented proof that Coffee Fixes Everything!

Not terribly far behind the original schedule that I had, the MPU and I began our trek to the Kingdom of Chattanooga to join with the Forces of Good and Fairly Descent for the next three days. The typical argument with the Wayfinding Familiar (Google Maps) was engaged proving once again that Talking Computers know fuck-all about anything when it comes to actual helpful driving methodologies with only the occasional warning about upcoming turns. My own familiarity with The Way (Do You Know The Way?) prevented any misdirections, and we arrived safely at the Castle Marriott.

With a bit of juggling of gear and luggage, the MPU was escorted to our temporary quarters while I stabled Old Blue. More sweating (because Tennessee in summer) from the trek across the campus, and then a bit of unpacking left us ready for some more enjoyable tasks. It was time for the Convention to begin in earnest!

Part II: Day the First

After a quick and painless stop to check in with the Master Wizards in the Hall of Registrars, we descended the Magical Staircase to the gathering area.

Badge with Honoraiums

Soon we were among the Astromancy Conclave known as the Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop (TVIW) to learn of their plans for future engagements. Lead by their chosen First Among Equals, Doug Loss, the Conclave continues to push forward with efforts to some day expand the Realms of Man beyond the star of Sol to others within the Ethaer of the Void. Apparently, the previous events have engendered such curiosity in the Astromancy sector that the Tennessee Valley Continuum inadvertently expanded to include a much larger geographical region that includes the Land of Kansas. The next gathering will be in ‘Wichita’. One can only assume this township to be the home of ground of the Tau Witches, but further investigation is needed.

Following that, we listened intently to the Ministress of Scientific Explanations, Stephanie Osborn (one of her many titles and honorariums), as she explained the Double-Dynamo model of the Sol star as put forth by the Technowizard Zharkova. It was highly detailed, and as usual for most scientific panels at the Convention of Liberty, I came away much more enlightened on the subject of solar cycles and minutia of maximized minima.

Unfortunately, the need for sustenance and lack of sufficient sleep the previous night forced us to withdraw from the activities for a time. A brief nap turned into an extended one, resulting in a failure to attend to the opening ceremonies. I felt a bit guilty for this, but quickly got over it as the nap was quite refreshing. This was a good thing, as I was scheduled for my first participatory event in which I would be reading from my own works soon after that.

As the appointed time arrived, I entered the event room and prepared my readings and placard. I had been informed that my co-reader would be going second as he was coming directly from the Hall of Vendors where he would be attempting to hawk his wares. Now, the time for said reading being one that was barely an hour after the large gathering of acquaintances for Opening Ceremonies and quite close to supper, many people were otherwise engaged. Thus it was that the audience was exactly one… the MPU.

This was not wholly unexpected, and somewhat of a relief as I was not exuberant about the prospects of going hoarse while reading my own words. You see, my throat had become somewhat scratchy of late, and I did not hold out full hope of it standing up to thirty minutes of constant use.

We were not alone for long, however, as the second reader, Hanz Schantz, arrived and engaged in a friendly conversation with us regarding his writings and our indirect collaboration in the wordsmithing of a mutual acquaintance. We parted company shortly thereafter, and I am still not certain if he acquired an audience of his own. Although, I did have word that someone showed up for my reading after I departed, having been rendered late by the same extended napping affliction we had suffered previously. Now two instances do not a pattern make, but I was on the lookout for Sorcerers of the Somnambulantic arts for the rest of the stay. They are sneaky and not to be trusted.

Afterward, we wandered the halls and ways for a time investigating the wares of the Room of Deals and the Alley of Art. We placed bids on some small treasures, one of which I was able to claim as my own. It now adorns the wall of my abode. I choose to call it the Eyes of the Wampuscat. A very fortuitous find!

Eyes of the Wampuscat

At the mid-evening hour, the MPU and I acquired seating in the hall where several soldiers and enforcers of law told tales (mayhap they were lies, but the benefit of doubt is given) about strange happenstances during their time of active duty to their respective liege lords. Each tale had but one requirement… they must being with the phrase: “No Shit, There I Was, Just Minding My Own Business.” They were most entertaining (true or nay), and were met with much laughter, and resounding applause at the conclusion of each. After an hour, we excused ourselves because the chairs were beginning to cause posterior numbness.

After carousing in the Vault of Challengers (game room) and possibly the Suite of Edible Delights (Consuite), although my memory fails, we retired for the evening to rest up for the events of the next day.

Part III: Day the Second

The day began smoothly despite the failure of the Favored Appliance to engage at the correct time so that the Elixir of Liveliness was hot and waiting upon our awakening. I blamed the Somnambulantic Sorcerers, although I had no proof and could not take it to the proper authorities. It was a minor setback, however, and we were soon ready to depart our quarters and engage in the day’s events.

Unfortunately, as I bent to disengage the Portable Computational Device, I placed my right levator scapulea, or some adjacent musculature, into a bind with my shouldered bag of holding doing some damage (which is still mending nearly a week anon) that would cause problems later. But for now, we continued onward to the scheduled engagments.

We once more ventured into the realm of the Astromancers where Les Johnson, the non-representing representative of the Overrealm’s space program, NASA (I think that stands for Notional Association of Spacial Astromancy… need to confirm), regaled us with all the news of the accomplishments of the various Astromantical organizations throughout the realms of Earth.

Next, we attempted to sit in on the gathering of the preeminent experts on Cerebral Sciences lead by the renowned Mind Wizard, Robert E. Hampson. Despite it’s riveting and informative topics, the aforementioned muscular injury became acutely painful, forcing an early exit.

Some medicinal attention and a short stint of horizontal therapy later, I was ready to continue (although I was cautious to only take seats on the right side of any chamber as the ability to look leftward was beyond me). We joined a panel that include the Guest of Honor Sarah Hoyt, and Scientist/Author Jeff Greason where they discussed the future of humanity in space in relation to the anthology Space Pioneers. It was typical commentary by Sarah, who never takes a direct path to the point of a topic when a meandering one will do much better for entertainment purposes!

We crossed paths with the Word Weaver & Herder of Zombies, Daniel Humphreys as we wandered away. I acquired a Badge Honorarium, as did the MPU, in which we were declared Survivors of the Z-Day Apocalypse. I explained to the MPU that while this was indeed a reassuring turn of events, my avatar in the Paxton Locke universe was not so lucky. RIP Agent Beckwith, may your soul find rest after your unfortunate immolation!

Afterward, we took in some of the scenery of our host Kingdom and the Castle Marriott before seeking sustenance at the Suite of Edible Delights on the uppermost floor of the castle.

It was in this place that one of the highlights of our visit occurred. I finally made contact with my dear friend, The Mistress of Pumpkins, Julie Pascal, who joined us for our repast. Julie is a boon companion who has journeyed through vast territories with me and my Dungeoneering crew over the past two years. Although we had never met face to face, our ethereal communications while engaging in the pastime that the mortal realm calls Dungeons & Dragons had already made us fast friends. We would continue in each other’s company for some time as we paid visits to the Gaming area. We discussed various and sundry topics of small import and while there the MPU and I were presented with samples of artwork from the aforementioned Mistress of Pumpkins. The following day, we would be gifted copies of said artwork and have them signed for posterity. One of my favorites is below.

Later, the time approached for my entry into the world of participatory paneling. Namely, the ‘Industrial vs Mecha’ panel. Engineers (aka Technomancers) would square off against the Conjurers of Fictional Fighting Machines (Mecha) to determine the ‘practicality’ of such constructs. I will go on record as being a proponent of said devices, however, my assigned task as Advocate of the Abyss in regards to feasability no doubt damped the spirit of those who likewise wish such creations were possible. Our Moderator, Mr. William Joseph Roberts guided the discussion. Technomancers James Shart and myself (Jacob Holo defected to the other side when his proclivity with wordsmithing tales of such machines became known) were pitted against the wiles of Mecha Bards Jon Osborn and self-proclaimed Dwarf, Chris Woods. Although there was later disagreement on the victors of said confrontation (the Technomancers won, hands down, but Dwarfs are known for never admitting defeat), everyone agreed that a splendid and humor-filled time was had by all. We may have even invented some new Theoretical Technomancy for use in later Bardic tales!

Eventually, I tried my hand at hawking wares in the Alley of Vendors, where I sold a few copies of my own tomes.

More excellent conversations were had with passing friends, such as the burgeoning Illusionist Robert Evans whose Filmographic works were on display during the Con. Alas and alak that I did not manage to attend them, but a failing I intend to resolve next year!

The close of the day included the gathering of the Mad Scientist of the Table Round, although they are not all mad. Well, not completely at least. I was supposed to be a participant, but failed to arrive in a timely manner, thus I relegated myself to the back of the audience chamber instead. This, I believe, was the best place for me to be as I was both mentally (I R Dumb) and physically (neck problem) incapable of engaging on the same level as the Genii who filled the fore of the room. As always, I walked away both smarter and more in awe of the brain-power present at this gathering! It is staggering!

This lasted until the wee hours of the new day, but we still had to begin the struggle of preparing our belonging to be moved out of our guest suite the following morning. Luckily, the Somnambulantic Sorcerers failed to inflict any further delays on our persons, and we were able to awake and conduct our affairs without major malfunction the following morning.

Part IV: Day the Third

After we vacated our guest suite, we enjoined the function known as the Kaffeeklatch. Apparently, this is a word derived from a language spoken outside the Overrealm that means Coffee Gossip. I fail to see the need for such obfuscation by using foreign nomenclature, but there it is. We did indeed gossip as we sat drinking our 2nd Coffees with friends Doug Loss and Anita Moore. It soon became very hard to hear as the tumult of voices in the room rose to a volume that kept understanding impossible beyond four feet or so. Still, it was a good time.

This was immediately followed by yet another stint (and not a profitable one) at the Alley of Vendors. Afterward, we packed away the last of wares in the Horseless Conveyance in the Tiered Stable and then rushed to the Suite of Edible Delights for some hurried noontime sustenance before the last participatory panel of the Con.

The Superversive Press Panel, hosted by the Mistress of Dancing Cows, A.M. Freeman, began with introductions, and a word from the Avatar of the Publisher, Sir Jason Rennie. The voice sounded oddly like that of Jon Del Arroz with a really bad accent from the Upside-Down Kingdom, but that may just be my perception. Many of the books of Superversive nature, including the newly realeased Planetary Anthology: Jupiter, were present and on display. The panel’s members included: Julie Pascal, Jon Del Arroz, A. M. Freeman, Julie Frost, Ben Wheeler, Marina Fontain, Monalisa Foster, Arlan Andrews, Hans Schantz and myself. It was a great time for me as I was able to meet some of the many Digital Realm acquaintances face-to-face for the first time.

Superversive Press Panelists
(l to r) Monalisa Foster, Marina Fontaine, Ben Wheeler, Julie Frost, A. M. Freeman, Jon Del Arroz, Julie Pascal, J. D. Beckwith (not shown: Hans Schantz, Arlan Andrews)
The Avatar of Jason Rennie (voiced badly by Jon Del Arroz)

I did manage to acquire physical copies of the Tomes of the Wanderers (Planetary Anthologies) in which I have stories. (I also got some swag! There may have also been cows dancing, but such events are better left to the imagination.)

Superversive Press Anthologies + Swag
My Physical Bibliography
My Physical Bibliography

Part V: The Winding Down

Following our brief autograph session, the MPU and I had planned to depart early, but decided to stay and attend the Closing Ceremonies. We were glad that we did, for it was very informative and the MPU came to a better understanding of just how much the people of this convention care for each other. The expressions of gratitude to the staff, despite the session’s subtitle of “Bitch at Brandy”, and the voicing of camaraderie by one an all as they declared themselves FAMILY again and again, just reinforced the feelings that I have always had after each and every time I have attended. LibertyCon is not a meeting of strangers (although we are all strange in our own unique way) with common interests. No, it is, and hopefully always will be, a Reunion of Old Family and the Adoption of New.

So, in conclusion, fond memories were made, new friends acquired, and creative intensity was renewed for this Technomantic Wordsmith at LibertyCon 32. I hope, Happy Readers, that one day you too can have such a wonderful experience.

This blog is now almost 3000 words long! This totally counts as writing! Until the next blog… Happy Reading!

$0.99 Book Sale!

OK, folks, in celebration of LibertyCon 32, I have both of my titles on sale for just $0.99 through July 5th!

The con is over now, but I will have an after-action report tomorrow, hopefully. It was a blast, as usual!

In the mean time, go grab a copy of my two awesome books at Amazon! Just click the images below.

HAPPY READING!

HORIZONS UNLIMITED
Matter conversion technology—Matt-Con—has broadened the scope of mankind’s existence. It has opened up the real possibility of viable colonies on other planets in our solar system, and even space itself. Anywhere matter can be captured or energy from the sun can be felt, the possibility of expanding human habitation exists.
In this volume:
Quicksilver
The space station Chariot of Helios—on its way to Mercury to become a power collection station for Earth’s growing need for energy to power matt-con tech—encounters a strange anomaly that threatens ship and crew.
Escaping Aurora
The sudden destruction of mankind’s first atmospheric terraforming platform leaves three unlucky exonauts struggling to survive in the skies of Venus aboard a cobbled-together airship. Meanwhile, the commander of the space station above battles obstacles that might keep her from rescuing her stranded husband and crew in time.
Also includes the short story Null Gravitas

Peacekeeper Incorporated’s breakthrough nanotechnology could bring repeat offense crime to an end, freeing society from the need for criminal incarcerations. But first, they have to finish testing it. With funding on the line, and time to prove out the project getting short, the lead scientist must find a way speed things up. That’s unfortunate for his guinea pig, and anyone who would stand in his way.

Book Launch: Planetary Anthology: Jupiter

Announcing

Planetary Anthology: Jupiter

Planetary Anthology JUPITER IS OUT NOW!

My short story Be Careful Where You Poke Your Gungnir is one of eighteen stories in this new release called Planetary Anthology: Jupiter published by Superversive Press.

Be Careful Where You Poke Your Gungnir is a new story in the universe of Horizons Unlimited, the organization that created Matt-Con tech. Its the same universe as Quicksilver (Mercury Anthology), and Thirty-Seven Shades of Yellow (Venus Anthology), Xolotl Ressurected (Earth Anthology), and Escaping Aurora (Horizons Unlimited Volume 1).

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Here’s the teaser synopsis:

Be Careful Where You Poke Your Gungnir – One man with a vision thumbs his nose at Earth’s bureaucracy as he pushes mankind’s Manifest Destiny to Valhalla Crater on Jupiter’s moon Callisto, the largest known impact crater in the solar system, and the perfect place to test a theory that can free humans from their biological dependence on Earth itself… but it may take a bit of practice.

Get your copy on –> Amazon!

Take a look at this awesome launch video put together by Ben Zwycky.

Here’s the blurb:

PLANETARY: JUPITER

“Lord, you told me that Zeus is far away, and the sun is close.” He raised his eyebrows conspiratorially. “What if it’s not true?”

Jupiter has dominated both our mythology and our science for centuries, from the earliest myths of heavenly powers to the revolutionary discovery of Jupiter’s moons by Galileo in 1610 to the current fly-by of the orbiter Juno, we are fascinated by Jupiter’s majesty.

Jupiter inspires these stories of leadership, often unexpected or unwanted; stories of fatherhood, sought or accidental; stories of defiance and of perseverance. Discover stories that allow us to travel back into Myth or to bring Myth into our present; stories that allow us to fly to the stars to take our future place in Jupiter’s orbit; stories to discover who we are, and to meet the aliens that we become.

Included in this volume are:

Sunward by Jeb Kinnison
The Jupiter Ghostbots by Lou Antonelli
Still Harvest by B. A. Booher
Encounter on Ganymede by Colleen Drippé
The Wretched Fate of Frankenstein by Robert Wenson
Subsonic Dreams by Arlan Andrews, Sr.
Leadership Qualities by Julie Frost
As Above, So Below by Jake Freivald
yrmidon by R.W. Ware
Finding Jove, or the further adventures of… by L.A. Behm II
Kronos & Kids by Robert Wenson
Daddy Issues by Karina Fabian
The Servant’s Journey by A. M. Freeman
I Only Have Eyes for Io by Robert Wenson
Diamond Studded by Bokerah Brumley
Icarus Falls by Richard Paolinelli
Be Careful Where You Poke Your Gungnir by J.D.
Beckwith
Freeze by Jane Lebak

Review: A Price Too High – Frontiers Saga: Part 2: Rogue Casts #12

This one was a fast paced read. It’s quite good with one big annoyance that I can’t talk about without spoiling the book. See review below.

I might get one more review in before the end of this month, but I’m not sure. LibertyCon is coming up in three weeks, and I am also shoulder deep in prepping our custom D&D Campaign. Yes, I finally just bit the bullet and decided to go homebrew instead of pre-made. I just couldn’t find one with the right tone that fit the levels we want to play (5 to 10, maybe higher). So, The Sunken Tower of Leilon is currently being expounded upon in Fantasy Grounds. Our first session went very well, despite the lack of combat. And we have decided to scale back to a bi-weekly game rather than weekly to allow for sanity to be maintained by yours truly.

But you probably didn’t care about all that D&D stuff, so back to the review.

Here’s the Amazon Blurb:

Part 2: Episode 12

…An enemy in retreat

…A new world to protect

…A new potential ally on the horizon

…A new chance to go on the offensive

The Dusahn have taken a massive blow, and with the Aurora’s improved jump range, Captain Scott and the Karuzari Alliance can finally keep them at arms length.

Now, a previously unknown world may hold the key to defeating the Dusahn, and possibly even to bring peace to the entire galaxy. 

The question is…Can they be trusted?

And now the review!

A Price Too High (The Frontiers Saga: Part 2: Rogue Castes, #12)A Price Too High by Ryk Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This episode of Frontiers Saga probably deserves 5 stars. I’m not giving it five stars though, because it SPOILERED me into thinking that SPOILER was SPOILERING, and that’s just now something you should do to your readers without some foreshadowing.

It’s a really good book, though. The various story arcs are extended and some new ones are added. The characters are true to form throughout. The action is evenly mixed with intrigue to give it an exciting pace that kept me wanting to read just a little more.

The only negative is the surprise that isn’t a surprise. I can’t say any more than that without spoiling the whole book, and I want people to read my reviews and find them useful, not hate me. So, this one will be shorter than most. All I can say is that if you’ve been reading the series, keep reading. It’s been terrific so far, and I believe it will continue to be so.

I give this one 4 stars and call it a Just For That You Don’t Get Five Stars Read! Happy Reading!

View all my reviews


Check out my books over on Amazon.com! I currently have two published. Both are available on Kindle Unlimited, and on Kindle Owners’ Lending Library for free if you have Amazon Prime.

If you like intrigue, humor and a bit of speculative technological supposition, you should pick up a copy of my technothriller-comedy eConscience Beta from Amazon today!

eConscience Beta

Peacekeeper Incorporated’s breakthrough nanotechnology could bring repeat offense crime to an end, freeing society from the need for criminal incarcerations. But first, they have to finish testing it. With funding on the line, and time to prove out the project getting short, the lead scientist must find a way speed things up. That’s unfortunate for his guinea pig, and anyone who would stand in his way.

Can the goal of ending most crime justify committing one… even a few?
And what happens when you conflate altruism with egotism?

Find out in eConscience Beta, where two lab techs and an uncouth petty criminal must outwit a brilliant but sociopathic scientist who’ll stop at nothing to establish his legacy as the man who ended crime.


If Science Fiction Space Adventure is more your speed, then you should check out my anthology, Horizons Unlimited: Volume 1.

Horizons Unlimited

HORIZONS UNLIMITED

Matter conversion technology—Matt-Con—has broadened the scope of mankind’s existence. It has opened up the real possibility of viable colonies on other planets in our solar system, and even space itself. Anywhere matter can be captured or energy from the sun can be felt, the possibility of expanding human habitation exists.

In this volume:

Quicksilver

The space station Chariot of Helios—on its way to Mercury to become a power collection station for Earth’s growing need for energy to power matt-con tech—encounters a strange anomaly that threatens ship and crew.

Escaping Aurora

The sudden destruction of mankind’s first atmospheric terraforming platform leaves three unlucky exonauts struggling to survive in the skies of Venus aboard a cobbled-together airship. Meanwhile, the commander of the space station above battles obstacles that might keep her from rescuing her stranded husband and crew in time.

HAPPY READING!

Review: Fuzzy Sapiens by H. Beam Piper

First off, Happy Readers, let me say that the precursor of this book, Little Fuzzy, was excellent. It should be read and enjoyed by all sci-fi fans at some point. I wish that I could say the same for the sequel, but it just doesn’t equal it. It’s not bad, but it’s just not great.

I do have hopes for the third book in the series, but we shall see. I’m currently reading the next Frontier’s Saga entry, and should have that review up soon as well.

In the mean time, here’s my review of the book at hand.

Amazon’s Blurb:

The Pendarvis Decision had declared the Fuzzies to be intelligent beings—guaranteeing them protection and security. But just how much were those assurances worth?

The Fuzzies were about to find out. . . . Someone was going to make big profits by exploiting them, and there wasn’t much that could prevent the Fuzzies from becoming just another extinct species on Mankind’s conscience. . .

And now my review…

Fuzzy SapiensFuzzy Sapiens by H. Beam Piper
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book is an OK read, and being an OK read is not a terrible thing. I sincerely enjoyed Little Fuzzy when I read it a few years ago. H. Beam Piper is one of those ‘old school’ sci-fi authors that I found quite late, but have enjoyed immensely. This sequel to Little Fuzzy is only a mediocre read, however, because of its slow pace and lack of dramatic plot. It tends toward the analytical side of the developing Fuzzy situation which is boring. The only real excitement happens in the last 5% of the book.

One of the strangest quirks (It’s not necessarily a negative, but I didn’t like it) I encountered while reading this book is the anachronistic feel of it. I’ve seen this in other books, especially from authors of the 40’s, 50’s & 60’s who fail to generalize their scientific advancements enough to overcome the paradigm shift of the digital age. I usually can get past it, but this time the slow pace of things made it really stand out. I think I’ll coin a new genre term to describe it called Anachronistic Analog Punk… Ananapunk. Ananapunk is where futuristic technology is still based off of analog technology that is now obsolete, but the story is not focused on being that (as Steampunk is toward the Victorian Era steam technologies, etc.), it simply IS that by virtue of being written prior to the digital tech curve. It’s effectively Atompunk or Steelpunk, but written IN the era it depicts. I’ve seen it before. Sometimes I like it; sometimes I don’t. This time I didn’t. Thus the two star rating.

There’s also the issue of the social customs of the ‘era when written’ being carried over so far into the future, and being a focal point of the story. Cocktail hour and tobacco smoking are a highly overused personal action for almost every character. It’s the filler and transition to almost every scene. It is monotonous and cannot be avoided or ignored during the read.

But, still, the story of Fuzzies and the discovery of who and what they are, as well as human reactions to them are interesting enough to keep me reading to the end. In fact, the third book in the series looks to be more interesting than this one, so I will probably read it as well. It also has the benefit of being a ‘manuscript found in a trunk after the author’s death’ which means I’m already interested.

So, while not being exactly a superlative story, it was interesting, and I am glad to have read it, if for no other reason than continuity of the series leading to the third book. I give it two stars and call it a Semi-Descent Read.

View all my reviews


Ah, yes, the shameless promotion!

Buy My Books!


Check out my books over on Amazon.com! I currently have two published. Both are available on Kindle Unlimited, and on Kindle Owners’ Lending Library for free if you have Amazon Prime.

If you like intrigue, humor and a bit of speculative technological supposition, you should pick up a copy of my technothriller-comedy eConscience Beta from Amazon today!

eConscience Beta

Peacekeeper Incorporated’s breakthrough nanotechnology could bring repeat offense crime to an end, freeing society from the need for criminal incarcerations. But first, they have to finish testing it. With funding on the line, and time to prove out the project getting short, the lead scientist must find a way speed things up. That’s unfortunate for his guinea pig, and anyone who would stand in his way.

Can the goal of ending most crime justify committing one… even a few?
And what happens when you conflate altruism with egotism?

Find out in eConscience Beta, where two lab techs and an uncouth petty criminal must outwit a brilliant but sociopathic scientist who’ll stop at nothing to establish his legacy as the man who ended crime.


If Science Fiction Space Adventure is more your speed, then you should check out my anthology, Horizons Unlimited: Volume 1.

Horizons Unlimited

HORIZONS UNLIMITED

Matter conversion technology—Matt-Con—has broadened the scope of mankind’s existence. It has opened up the real possibility of viable colonies on other planets in our solar system, and even space itself. Anywhere matter can be captured or energy from the sun can be felt, the possibility of expanding human habitation exists.

In this volume:

Quicksilver

The space station Chariot of Helios—on its way to Mercury to become a power collection station for Earth’s growing need for energy to power matt-con tech—encounters a strange anomaly that threatens ship and crew.

Escaping Aurora

The sudden destruction of mankind’s first atmospheric terraforming platform leaves three unlucky exonauts struggling to survive in the skies of Venus aboard a cobbled-together airship. Meanwhile, the commander of the space station above battles obstacles that might keep her from rescuing her stranded husband and crew in time.

HAPPY READING!

Review: Primordial Threat by M.A. Rothman

Great Science Fiction that has you rooting for the good guys and your jaw dropping for the science! I wanted to read this because it reminded me of the types of books I read as a young sci-fi fan. Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven, Exit Earth by Martin Caidin, Shiva Descending by Benford & Rotsler, and especially a little known series called America 2040 by Evan Innes (aka Hugh Zachary). Yes, some of them were total cheese, but I loved them at the time. I was not disappointed!

This one has it’s foibles, but I still enjoyed reading it very much, and intend to read more like it. I think there will be a sequel to this one which I’ll definitely pick up when it’s released.

On a personal note (which I’ve been dropping into the blog more lately), my various plans continue to fall through, so I’m sweeping the mess of my ideas into a pile and looking for a rug to cover them with while trying to come up with more. The big one, the computer upgrades I tried to get set up to run that 3D CAD program I mentioned before, were not compatible with my PC This means I would have to buy a new (expensive) computer to go along with the already expensive Solidworks package… *sigh* These expenses are not in the cards at the moment, unfortunately. Oh well, that’s life. A good excuse to get back to writing I guess… unless someone really rich wants to gift me $10k?

Anyway… I’ll just be over here holding my breath </sarcasm> while you Happy Readers check out this review!

Amazon’s Blurb:


The year is 2066 and the world is oblivious to the threat it faces.

The fate of humanity lies on the shoulders of Burt Radcliffe, the new head of NASA’s Near Earth Object program.

He’s been rushing the completion of DefenseNet, a ring of satellites that are both part of an early-warning system as well as the means to eliminate incoming threats.

Yet Burt knows that despite the world’s best efforts, nothing can be done about the alert he’s just received.

Coming out of deep space is a danger that’s been approaching since the dawn of time. A black hole. An unstoppable threat that promises death for all in its wake. 

Dave Holmes was a modern-day Einstein. As the original architect of DefenseNet, he’d had visions of this Primordial Threat before he disappeared, yet he’d left behind no details on how the problem might be solved.

Can Holmes be found, and if so, will his solution even work?

The world has less than a year to find out.

And now my take on the book…

Primordial ThreatPrimordial Threat by M.A. Rothman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This novel gave me some great flash-back moments to when I was young and reading exciting science based sci-fi that drew me into the genre. I only wish I still had the naivete of an uncritical reader so that I could ignore the little foibles I saw… Not many, but a few. The book is a winner though because I was into it from cover to cover.

A little less than 50 years from now, the Earth is in the path of a black hole and nothing can stop it. So what do you do? You science the shit out of it! And that is all the details I can tell you without spoilers.

So, I’m going to get past my ‘complaint’ phase first to get it out of my way. I like this book, and I’m giving it 4 stars because I WANT to give it 4 stars. I refuse to let my nit-picky side bring it down lower, but I at least have to acknowledge what those nits are, so here goes. There are a lot of convenient pre-emergency events that had to have happened for there to be a chance at survival in this situation (for values of ‘survive’). There are at least TWO different Deus Ex Machina moments that had me shaking my head. There are plot points that are contrived to engender those. The ‘villian’ (not the black hole) is also a contrivance to keep the difficulty level set to high. Also, the ‘As you know, Bob’s’ are an absolute plague at the start. These are the ‘critical reader’ points that I wish I could be less attentive to like when I was younger. I would never have even noticed this 25-30 years ago.

Oh, and no spoilers, but the last chapter should have been left off. It’s a cliffhanger setup for a sequel revealed at the last minute. It should have been used as the prologue of the the next book instead. I believe I would have had that opinion even as a youngster.

The character development is great, and I was truly invested in the welfare of the top six. The plot is decent. There are a few hurry-up-and-get-to-the-point moments of ‘as-you-know-Bob’ type exposition at inconvenient moments that affected the pacing, but that is offset by the next challenge being hot on its heels. The science used is backed up fairly well, and the afterword of the book even gives a summary of the main ideas as they exist in reality today. The pace of the story is good and kept me wanting to read the whole thing. The writing style and descriptiveness is on par with any comparable sci-fi book you might find out there.

The best part of the book is the ‘big concept’ science that goes into the survival plans, and how they are pursued for implementation. You just gotta love … well, again, no spoilers … but trust me, if you’re a sci-fi fan, you’ll love it!

I give this one four stars and call it a Big Think Nostalgic Read!

View all my reviews


And now for the obligatory shameless promotion!

Buy My Books!


Check out my books over on Amazon.com! I currently have two published. Both are available on Kindle Unlimited, and on Kindle Owners’ Lending Library for free if you have Amazon Prime.

If you like intrigue, humor and a bit of speculative technological supposition, you should pick up a copy of my technothriller-comedy eConscience Beta from Amazon today!

eConscience Beta

Peacekeeper Incorporated’s breakthrough nanotechnology could bring repeat offense crime to an end, freeing society from the need for criminal incarcerations. But first, they have to finish testing it. With funding on the line, and time to prove out the project getting short, the lead scientist must find a way speed things up. That’s unfortunate for his guinea pig, and anyone who would stand in his way.

Can the goal of ending most crime justify committing one… even a few?
And what happens when you conflate altruism with egotism?

Find out in eConscience Beta, where two lab techs and an uncouth petty criminal must outwit a brilliant but sociopathic scientist who’ll stop at nothing to establish his legacy as the man who ended crime.


If Science Fiction Space Adventure is more your speed, then you should check out my anthology, Horizons Unlimited: Volume 1.

Horizons Unlimited

HORIZONS UNLIMITED

Matter conversion technology—Matt-Con—has broadened the scope of mankind’s existence. It has opened up the real possibility of viable colonies on other planets in our solar system, and even space itself. Anywhere matter can be captured or energy from the sun can be felt, the possibility of expanding human habitation exists.

In this volume:

Quicksilver

The space station Chariot of Helios—on its way to Mercury to become a power collection station for Earth’s growing need for energy to power matt-con tech—encounters a strange anomaly that threatens ship and crew.

Escaping Aurora

The sudden destruction of mankind’s first atmospheric terraforming platform leaves three unlucky exonauts struggling to survive in the skies of Venus aboard a cobbled-together airship. Meanwhile, the commander of the space station above battles obstacles that might keep her from rescuing her stranded husband and crew in time.

HAPPY READING!

Review: Calexit

I decided to pick this one up to read in bite-sized chunks a few stories at a time. Then it was good. I read the whole thing in two days like the page turner it was. It’s kind of chilling, and while I don’t think things would go exactly this way, I also don’t think it would be too far off. That’s what makes it scary to me.

Anyway, the aforementioned page-turner, along with acres of grass-cutting, a D&D session, and a woodworking project plan, means the story I was supposed to finish is still left hanging. Gotta fix that soon.

I’ve also been doing a bit of digging/planning into purchasing a 3D modeling software package (Solidworks) and finally taking a stab at contract design work. Writing between profitable work-from-home engineering jobs sounds really good, but that first monetary step is a doozey! Wish me luck, because I’m about to pull that trigger (I think…*wince*).

Anyway… here’s the review!

Amazon’s Blurb:


When California declares independence, their dreams of socialist diversity become nightmares for many from the high Sierras to the Central Valley. Follow the lives of those who must decide whether to stand their ground, or flee!

In San Diego, the commander of Naval Special Warfare Group One finds his hands tied by red tape, even as protesters storm the base and attack dependents.
In Los Angeles, an airline mechanic must beg, borrow, or bribe to get his family on the plane out before the last flight out.
Elsewhere, a couple seeks out the new underground railroad after being forced to confess to crimes they didn’t commit.
In the new state of Jefferson, farmers must defend themselves against carpetbaggers and border raiders.
And in the high Sierras, a woman must make the decision to walk out alone…

Featuring all-new stories set after Calexit from JL Curtis, Bob Poole, Cedar Sanderson, Tom Rogneby, Alma Boykin, B Opperman, L B Johnson, Eaton Rapids Joe, Lawdog, and Kimball O’Hara.

And now my take on the book…

Calexit- The AnthologyCalexit- The Anthology by J.L. Curtis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The premise of this anthology is real. The stories are fictions… we hope.

The prospect of California seceding from the Union after the 2016 election has been bandied about, and it gained more traction that one might think. 2020 is right around the proverbial corner, and its results within the current highly heated (boiling) political climate might end up being even more conducive to such conjecture.

This DYSTOPIAN anthology presumes a specific set of (mostly) common events surrounding an ACTUAL CALEXIT and projects them out to a conclusion. Now I will say the conclusions are biased. If you are even the slightest bit left of center, SKIP THIS BOOK! If you are right of center, just try to remember what happens if you drink too much of the Koolaide. Those caveats put forward, I can say that for what the collection is, it does a great job of focusing on consequences of letting ‘desired behavior’ be the focus of governance without regard to ‘human nature.’

I wish I could say that the stories in this book are far-fetched, but some of them are eerily prophetic considering what was known when they were written versus some current headlines in 2019 as I write this review. It’s scary to see a dystopian premise come to life before your eyes. Although, if one is a student of history, this is not the first time such things have happened.

The best thing about this anthology was the fact that it was a page turner. The stories, full of angst, tension and drama as they were, are still so well written that they suck you in and won’t let go of you until you finish. The level of ‘make me mad’ injustice used in some of the stories was like a sock to the gut sometimes, which made the endings that much more satisfying (and mandatory to reach before stopping).

What follows are individual story reviews. The way I reach my overall rating is to review each story (0-5 stars) and average them together for the book. For this anthology, I give 3.3 stars overall, and I call it a Gut Punch Read.

Be warned, the individual reviews probably contain spoilers:

A Matter of Honor by JL Curtis (4 star)

A SEAL Commander inherits the Navy’s fallback command inside the new Republic of Cali. The job of orderly withdrawal for U.S. Troops and their dependants turns ugly as resentful and criminal elements overrun the state.

I was shocked at this one a bit. It was written as a prequel to another novella, The Morning The Earth Shook, which I will no doubt have to read. The only reason it does not get 5 starts from me is the overabundance of mil-speak (which I do not comprehend) that seems to bog it down in places. The plot, pacing and characters are superb.

Last Plane Out by Bob Poole (3 stars)

An airplane mechanic watches civilized & prosperous society fall apart around him as he struggles to move his family out of Cali once their whiteness makes them persona non-grata.

The story is a bit slow, but does reflect a realistic picture of third-world warlordism and similar rule by mob might that you find in a crumbling society.

Carpetbaggers by Cedar Sanderson (4 stars)

A young man steps straight into adulthood as the needs of the new state of Jeffereson, as well as those of his family, neighbors & friends, become a responsibility he has to take on out of necessity.

This is a great story, if a bit odd in the juxtaposition of ‘frontier justice’ vs. ‘modern society’. A bit of it is hard to believe simply because there is a regression of technology that is too steep to justify. Setting that aside, however, the characters and plot are fantastic.

Night Passage by Tom Rogneby (5 stars)

A complete travesty—reversal, in fact—of justice for a raped woman forces her and her husband to flee for their very lives from a corrupted Republic of Cali to seek asylum in the U.S. across the Nevada border.

The first part of this story was VERY hard for me to read. It made me MAD! It was so ridiculously awful of an example of injustice for the main character that it is almost unbelievable… almost. That’s the problem… I could also see it actually happening in 2019, and that both scares and pisses me off to no end. So, I skimmed the parts where the system was used to crush the MC, then picked back up for the inevitable flight. The story is great, but if you are like me, you WILL have a few blood-pressure issues while reading. Be warned, but read it anyway!

Roll, Colorado, Roll! by Alma Boykin (3 stars)

Water management of the Colorado River basin is a delicate thing. It is even more delicate when maintenance fails and unreasonable demands are made by those who don’t even realize they are screwed if it fails.

I learned a bit about the precarious water situation of California by reading this. It is a weak spot in the national infrastructure if it is completely accurate… which I don’t doubt. A good story, if a bit technical.

Final Flight by B. Opperman (3 stars)

A prepper and his son gather their last few belongings as they prepare to leave Cali for the last time. Unfortunately, they waited bit too late and the State Councilor for wealth redistribution shows up before they can leave. He has to delay them until his son can get home from a neighbor’s house cross-country. He only hopes he can do it without killing anyone.

This is an excellent tale for both its lone-wolf prepper defense and the cause and consequence of how Cali got to where it is at this point in the scenario. I enjoyed it, even though the ‘telling’ is heavy, and the explanation of the MC’s son’s adventure is rushed and sounds a bit redundant. Multiple viewpoints and overlapping scenes could have eliminated the redundancy feel. Also, the amount of time it took for the convoy of state people to get up the driveway, even with delays, seemed off for its length. So, only 3 stars as a result.

Freedom’s Ride by LB Johnson (1 star)

A woman in a cabin daydreams about hunting… then I got bored and annoyed and quit reading it.

This one is written with a very strange style. It doesn’t set a very good stage for the ‘now’ of the story before it starts flashing back. Several thousand words are written in ITALICS. It is very verbose and reflective. I’m sure it’s fine if that’s what you are in the mood for, but I was looking for action, drama & thrills, so I quite disliked the whole thing. I started skimming after the first ten pages of italics, then skipped to the next story. I don’t usually do that, but I had to here. I give it a single star (instead of zero) because the prose (yes, it reads like prose) was written well. This is a clear case of the author’s stylistic choices overshadowing the plot.

The Farm by Eaton Rapids Joe (5 stars)

Beauracracy, self-agrandizement & ego drive a power hungry Board of Education examiner to attempt to destroy the farm of the only couple who are actually managing to produce food for a region on the brink of starvation.

This story is great. It’s one of those where the good guys outsmart the bad guys because the bad guys are dumb-asses. Well written with great characters, plot and feel.

By Hook and Crook by Lawdog (2 stars)

In the new Cali, a new breed of Coyote emerges to serve the needs of the new refugee class fleeing the state.

Short and sweet, this story is about a man who uses his special talents to help extract a family from failed state.

Fifth Column by Kimball O’Hara (3 stars)

An undercover counterinsurgent helps to orchestrate the fall and overthrow of the depraved failed state that Cali has become.

This one is a very realistic and harsh take on the steps needed to recover the state of California from its socialist catastrophe. Well written and believable. The plot and MC are great as well. There’s not much action, but lots of intrigue.

View all my reviews


And now for the obligatory shameless promotion!

Buy My Books!


Check out my books over on Amazon.com! I currently have two published. Both are available on Kindle Unlimited, and on Kindle Owners’ Lending Library for free if you have Amazon Prime.

If you like intrigue, humor and a bit of speculative technological supposition, you should pick up a copy of my technothriller-comedy eConscience Beta from Amazon today!

eConscience Beta

Peacekeeper Incorporated’s breakthrough nanotechnology could bring repeat offense crime to an end, freeing society from the need for criminal incarcerations. But first, they have to finish testing it. With funding on the line, and time to prove out the project getting short, the lead scientist must find a way speed things up. That’s unfortunate for his guinea pig, and anyone who would stand in his way.

Can the goal of ending most crime justify committing one… even a few?
And what happens when you conflate altruism with egotism?

Find out in eConscience Beta, where two lab techs and an uncouth petty criminal must outwit a brilliant but sociopathic scientist who’ll stop at nothing to establish his legacy as the man who ended crime.


If Science Fiction Space Adventure is more your speed, then you should check out my anthology, Horizons Unlimited: Volume 1.

Horizons Unlimited

HORIZONS UNLIMITED

Matter conversion technology—Matt-Con—has broadened the scope of mankind’s existence. It has opened up the real possibility of viable colonies on other planets in our solar system, and even space itself. Anywhere matter can be captured or energy from the sun can be felt, the possibility of expanding human habitation exists.

In this volume:

Quicksilver

The space station Chariot of Helios—on its way to Mercury to become a power collection station for Earth’s growing need for energy to power matt-con tech—encounters a strange anomaly that threatens ship and crew.

Escaping Aurora

The sudden destruction of mankind’s first atmospheric terraforming platform leaves three unlucky exonauts struggling to survive in the skies of Venus aboard a cobbled-together airship. Meanwhile, the commander of the space station above battles obstacles that might keep her from rescuing her stranded husband and crew in time.

HAPPY READING!

Review: Key of Stars (Abolethic Sovereignty #3) by Bruce Cordell

I’ve finally wrapped this series up. It has been a good one. I actually need to go look up the D&D 5e equivalents of some of the character traits and abilities of the heroes and monsters now!

In case you care what I’m up to… I’m still behind on the campaign setup, but I have most of the outline in my head. I also have a huge need to finish a short story and write a couple more. It’s the same problem I always have though… sit down in the chair and write. I manage to find a billion ways to avoid that until I have a deadline (even an artificial one), but once I get going, it’s hard to turn it off! I wish I could explain it… or maybe I can. I think I may be a binge write as well as a binge watcher!

Anyway… here’s the review!

Amazon’s Blurb:

Lovecraftian horror from award-winning Forgotten Realms® game designer Bruce R. Cordell.


Raidon Kane survived his clash against the eldest aboleth, but came away with his mind shattered. Destiny hands Raidon one last chance to avert the Abolethic Sovereignty’s agenda, but only if he can find within himself the strength to care. Raidon, the warlock Japheth, and Anusha, a young woman whose dreams are made real, must find Key of Stars before it is used to open the Far Manifold, and all reality drowns in a tide of horrific insanity.

And now my take on the book…

Key of Stars: Abolethic Sovereignty, Book IIIKey of Stars: Abolethic Sovereignty, Book III by Bruce R. Cordell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The final book in this trilogy is both good and bad-good. By good, I mean that the story is well written (as were the first two books), and action/pacing flow well. By bad-good, I mean that it introduces some new elements that are secondary to the main story and leave them unresolved (un-detailed may be a better way of saying it) at the final close of the story. They are good threads, but they are left dangling in a way that leaves a bit of unresolved disappointment in the reader’s mind (this reader at least). That being said, I still can recommend the book with a forewarning that you might have an uncontrollable desire to go looking for more.

The characters we’ve come to know begin with a somewhat flummoxed state of mind. They have the huge threat of the Aboleth Sovereignty and the floating city of aberrations, Xxiphu, literally hanging over their heads, but they are at a loss as to what they should do about it. The big bad(s) (there are multiple, even thought they prevented the biggest bad from waking up in the last book) are a palpable threat, but they have no real idea of how to deal with them. Luckily, the continued leadership growth shown by Anusha pulls them together to deal with the problem, and our adventure begins in earnest.

The plot is excellent, and you can tell that the events of book three were planned from the beginning of book one. Most of the main points are resolved, including a few surprises (which I will not spoil here). There are a few new characters introduced at the last minute that are quite interesting and lead to the ‘unresolved’ feel I mentioned previously. The pacing and action kept me immersed in the story from start to finish. The main characters continue their growth to become people you care about even more. Except for one, that is; I was disappointed not to find out what happened to Seren who does not join the party on its quest. Some aspects of the characters circumstances are not fully explained and others paths seem rushed to a conclusion. Those are the only negatives in the book that prevented me from giving it an additional star.

Ultimately, the story is an excellent one (through the whole series), and I can recommend it quite easily. I give it three stars and call it an Overall Good Read.

View all my reviews


And now for the obligatory shameless promotion!

Buy My Books!


Check out my books over on Amazon.com! I currently have two published. Both are available on Kindle Unlimited, and on Kindle Owners’ Lending Library for free if you have Amazon Prime.

If you like intrigue, humor and a bit of speculative technological supposition, you should pick up a copy of my technothriller-comedy eConscience Beta from Amazon today!

eConscience Beta

Peacekeeper Incorporated’s breakthrough nanotechnology could bring repeat offense crime to an end, freeing society from the need for criminal incarcerations. But first, they have to finish testing it. With funding on the line, and time to prove out the project getting short, the lead scientist must find a way speed things up. That’s unfortunate for his guinea pig, and anyone who would stand in his way.

Can the goal of ending most crime justify committing one… even a few?
And what happens when you conflate altruism with egotism?

Find out in eConscience Beta, where two lab techs and an uncouth petty criminal must outwit a brilliant but sociopathic scientist who’ll stop at nothing to establish his legacy as the man who ended crime.


If Science Fiction Space Adventure is more your speed, then you should check out my anthology, Horizons Unlimited: Volume 1.

Horizons Unlimited

HORIZONS UNLIMITED

Matter conversion technology—Matt-Con—has broadened the scope of mankind’s existence. It has opened up the real possibility of viable colonies on other planets in our solar system, and even space itself. Anywhere matter can be captured or energy from the sun can be felt, the possibility of expanding human habitation exists.

In this volume:

Quicksilver

The space station Chariot of Helios—on its way to Mercury to become a power collection station for Earth’s growing need for energy to power matt-con tech—encounters a strange anomaly that threatens ship and crew.

Escaping Aurora

The sudden destruction of mankind’s first atmospheric terraforming platform leaves three unlucky exonauts struggling to survive in the skies of Venus aboard a cobbled-together airship. Meanwhile, the commander of the space station above battles obstacles that might keep her from rescuing her stranded husband and crew in time.

HAPPY READING!

Review: A Rock and a Hard Place – Frontiers Saga: Part 2: Rogue Casts #11

Finally, I have completed this book. The lag this time I blame on the new season of The Tick on Amazon, HBO’s Westworld (Season 1 & 2), a sudden urge to work on three 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles, and I’m sure there was some Twitch GTA5 RP watching in there too. Also, there was the pre-writing research & obligatory ‘day dreaming’ about a new story I’m plotting in my head. It’s amazing how much time you spend just staring into space as you try to herd your mental cats into a story.

Anyway, this one is a good read. Lots of buildup time, but none of it dull. It all pays off in the end as the final battle is awesome. I can recommend it to you Happy Readers without any qualms. I’ll probably be picking up that 3rd book in the Abolethic Sovereignty Forgotten Realms series next, but we shall see.

The short story(ies?) and the D&D campaign will be taking priority for the next week or three, so the blog will go quiescent again….

Oh, except for one tinsy little thing that’s coming real soon…

Planetary Anthology Jupiter Bookcover

PLANETARY: JUPITER will be out soon from Superversive Press with my story “Be Careful Where You Poke Your Gungnir” included in the mix. It’s a Horizons Unlimited story set a bit farther down the timeline than most of the ones so far. I’ll do a full blog on release day!

For now, back to the main topic… Book Reviews!

Here’s the Amazon Blurb:

Part 2: Episode 11

Two worlds preparing their defenses…
A ship struggling to get back in the fight…
An enemy continuing its relentless attack…
A former enemy that could hold the answer…

With the fate of billions in his hands, Captain Scott is offered a way to save them all and end the bloodshed, but if it backfires, he could lose everything.

Sometimes, there is no good choice. 

And now the review!

A Rock and a Hard PlaceA Rock and a Hard Place by Ryk Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another stellar addition to an already epic series!

Ryk Brown has added another 5 star to my list of books. This episode of The Frontiers Saga: Rogue Casts is a steady build of tension culminating in the epic final battle scenarios that avid readers have come to know and love.

A bit of intrigue and a smorgasbord of problems starts off the plot of this one with the crew of the Aurora and the peoples of the Karuzara Alliance once more on their back foot trying to catch up. The title is definitely apt, and the whole time you read you are wondering how they will manage to pull it off this time. There’s even a bit of a scare when talk of another ‘self sacrifice’ situation is presented to Nathan. It doesn’t take long for events to come to a head as the typical race against the clock to keep ahead of the enemy ensues. Luckily, Nathan Scott is still the best strategist and motivator in two sectors. But you’ll have to read it for yourself if you want to know HOW he manages to squeeze them all out from between A Rock and a Hard Place! (<– You see what I did there?)

View all my reviews


Check out my books over on Amazon.com! I currently have two published. Both are available on Kindle Unlimited, and on Kindle Owners’ Lending Library for free if you have Amazon Prime.

If you like intrigue, humor and a bit of speculative technological supposition, you should pick up a copy of my technothriller-comedy eConscience Beta from Amazon today!

eConscience Beta

Peacekeeper Incorporated’s breakthrough nanotechnology could bring repeat offense crime to an end, freeing society from the need for criminal incarcerations. But first, they have to finish testing it. With funding on the line, and time to prove out the project getting short, the lead scientist must find a way speed things up. That’s unfortunate for his guinea pig, and anyone who would stand in his way.

Can the goal of ending most crime justify committing one… even a few?
And what happens when you conflate altruism with egotism?

Find out in eConscience Beta, where two lab techs and an uncouth petty criminal must outwit a brilliant but sociopathic scientist who’ll stop at nothing to establish his legacy as the man who ended crime.


If Science Fiction Space Adventure is more your speed, then you should check out my anthology, Horizons Unlimited: Volume 1.

Horizons Unlimited

HORIZONS UNLIMITED

Matter conversion technology—Matt-Con—has broadened the scope of mankind’s existence. It has opened up the real possibility of viable colonies on other planets in our solar system, and even space itself. Anywhere matter can be captured or energy from the sun can be felt, the possibility of expanding human habitation exists.

In this volume:

Quicksilver

The space station Chariot of Helios—on its way to Mercury to become a power collection station for Earth’s growing need for energy to power matt-con tech—encounters a strange anomaly that threatens ship and crew.

Escaping Aurora

The sudden destruction of mankind’s first atmospheric terraforming platform leaves three unlucky exonauts struggling to survive in the skies of Venus aboard a cobbled-together airship. Meanwhile, the commander of the space station above battles obstacles that might keep her from rescuing her stranded husband and crew in time.

HAPPY READING!