As I mentioned in a previous post, I often do some reading in the target genre prior to and during working on a book. Now, I don’t really read a lot in the horror genre, with the exception of some Lovecraft, and Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International and Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, while involving monsters, aren’t really horror per se (though they are similar enough to what I write; there probably wouldn’t be a Jed Horn series without MHI). But in the workup for Older and Fouler Things, I finally picked up a book I’ve been meaning to read for a while, Residue, by Steve Diamond. Short version: it is phenomenal.
Part of my “creative process” (damn, I hate that term) often involves reading in the genre I’m going to be working in. Call it “setting the tone.” I’ve had a few standbys for the shooter genre, ranging from Larry Correia’s and Mike Kupari’s Dead Six series, to Jack Murphy’s Deckard series, to Jack Silkstone’s PRIMAL series, among others. Brad Taylor’s Pike Logan series has been pretty good (though I’m way behind on that one), along with Dalton Fury’s Kolt Raynor series. I’ve also gone with some of the older books, such as Forsyth’s The Dogs of War, which I reviewed last week. Part of the inspiration for the upcoming Brannigan’s Bastards has been the old Pinnacle/Gold Eagle Action-Adventure series, such as The Executioner, Phoenix Force, Able Team, and Stony Man. But a larger part, among those old pulp shoot-em-ups, has been the Soldiers of Barrabas, or SOBs.
My latest is up on Breach-Bang-Clear, concerning weapons being, in the words of Sam in Ronin, “A toolbox.” Knowing your tools means that firearms aren’t like the latest iPhone. (Of course, the Facebook comments on B-B-C’s page have already gone off the rails…never read the FB comments!) The NRA recently decided to disallow revolvers and 1911s from their “Carry Guard” classes. They have since reversed that decision, probably after millions of gun owners took to the internet to tell them it was stupid). This decision seems to have once again highlighted the differing opinions in the firearms community about what is and is not an “obsolete” firearm. I almost said, “reignited the debate,” but who are we kidding? It’s never stopped. Read the rest on Breach-Bang-Clear. Also, a fellow denizen of the “Men’s Adventure Paperbacks of the ’70s and ’80s” Group on Facebook, Greg Hatcher, has read and reviewed Lex Talionis. It is an excellent review. “I’m not much of a joiner, usually, but I do belong to an online community that is devoted to reading and collecting the men’s adventure paperbacks that dominated drugstore spinner racks in the sixties and seventies. It happens that many of us write the
Reader Samuel, on Goodreads, has posted his review of Lex Talionis. What he wrote can only be described as, “high praise, indeed.” TAPS “I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I’ll kill you all.” – USMC General (Ret) James Mattis. “Let’s roll”. – Todd Beamer. “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.”- Nathan Hale. “You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out…you might as well appeal against the thunder-storm.”- US Army General William T Sherman. I’ve always held that Orwell, creator of the most iconic dystopia was wrong about many things. Contrary to his writings, what we hate, will not destroy humanity. Kill some of us perhaps, but that hatred, will keep the embers of life, of defiance burning to let us endure such suffering. No, what will destroy us, as argued by Huxley, will be what we love, cherish, and take for granted. The delusion that the
This post is a bit of an apology, truth be told. I reviewed this book a few years ago, on the now-defunct “Hot Extract.” Overall, I found the book to be a decent shooter thriller, and something of a wish-fulfillment fantasy for a lot of shooters who have been in the sandbox and the rock-pile, chasing ghosts and being yanked back by the choke-chain by higher whenever it seemed like they might get somewhere to the shooters and go too far to higher.
As you may have determined from my review of Somewhither, I have been impressed by the work of John C. Wright. Somewhither was an awesome roller coaster ride with as much depth as it had spectacle. Iron Chamber of Memory is different. It is a much slower burn. Don’t get me wrong, there is action, adventure, and derring-do. There is also romance, though in more than one sense. I’ll get to that in a bit. Slower burn or no, unlike Somewhither, I read Iron Chamber of Memory in a day. Thanksgiving Day, to be precise. It’s taken me this long to write the review because how to review such a book was a bit of a conundrum. The story starts out with Hal Landfall, a poor graduate student working on a paper on Arthurian legend, looking for his missing friend Manfred on the island of Sark. (Sark is a real place, a small island in the English Channel, just east of Guernsey.) Manfred has recently become the hereditary lord of Sark, and Hal is seeking him in the middle of the night, at a bizarrely labyrinthine mansion where the Lords of Sark reside, presently unoccupied. (Unlike the island, the mansion,
How does one describe John C Wright’s Somewhither? That is, indeed the question. While this book won the Dragon Award for Best Science Fiction novel this year, Science Fiction doesn’t quite cover it. In some ways, it’s about as Science Fictional as Star Wars. But since it deals with multiple parallel universes, with technological interfacing between them, I suppose the label “Science Fiction” works. It could just as well have been called “Philosophical/Metaphysical Action Adventure,” though even that wouldn’t quite cover it.
Jack Murphy definitely has a way with titles. Gray Matter Splatter is a title that few could pull off, particularly in a day and age of nonsensical buzzword thriller titles like True Faith and Allegiance. But Jack pulls it off, somehow. Gray Matter Splatter is a breakneck bloodbath in the Arctic, a bit of a change of pace from the last couple Deckard installments.
I’m a little late getting to this one, as the omnibus version came out in June, but I finally got to it. (My TBR pile is pretty tall, and since I’m usually working on reading about six books at a time, not to mention writing, it can sometimes take a bit.) I haven’t read any of the rest of the Perseid Collapse series, but that doesn’t take away from Ross Elder’s contribution. There is little extra background needed, and what is needed is provided. The book opens after the Perseid Event (the nature of which is never clear in the Scavenger Trilogy, though there is some speculation), with society already pretty well in collapse. We meet the protagonist, Zack Morris, as he’s investigating an abandoned house.
Family in trouble, ancient mysteries, warlords, and rocket ships that take off and land vertically, as God and Robert Heinlein intended. These is a short list of some of the awesome stuff to be found in Mike Kupari’s first solo novel, Her Brother’s Keeper. It is hundreds of years in the future, on the far side of the Great Interregnum, a dark age where human interstellar civilization effectively ceased to be. Humanity is starting to build a spacefaring civilization again, rediscovering many of the lost artifacts and worlds of the Second Federation, many of which are far beyond their technical knowledge.