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[Book Review] The Forever War

The Forever War / Joe Haldeman

Well.  I can certainly see where comparisons between Old Man's War and The Forever War are made.  I love that Scalzi wrote his book without having familiarity with this one, and his introduction to this edition is kind of precious.

The Forever War is a 40 year old novel, deliberately set so that characters could have served in Vietnam.  In some ways it has aged poorly, and in others it seems like something written today.  But then, some themes are as relevant now as then.  It's a space opera about war, about the world changing around you, and perhaps the vagarities of chance.

This was technically the July Virtual Speculation read, but at this rate I don't have to pick a list for next year, just finish up this years...  Life has been a bit, overwhelming.

Discussion Fodder
There are some markedly different cultural structures at the start of the story, including the bed rotation roster, the "Fuck You, Sir" response, and the deliberate c…

[Fiction] Magic & Shadows

The following is a narrative and epilogue for a character I played in Pandaemonium, at HLG Con, October 12-13, 2018.

Once there was a child, like any of us.  Playing the games we all play.  Running wild with friends, due home by dark to be welcomed back by parents

A child grows and changes, the pieces not always fitting the mold set by the parents.  Algebra seems so… tedious compared to the thrum of a tuned engine, the just so fit of a pair of jeans, to secrets held in the shadows.  Childish mischief transmutes into the usual adolescent rebellion.  Or started as such.  There were so many fascinating things to learn, interesting things to try, expanding the consciousness.

It was a laugh when the straights started crossing themselves instead of laughing or mocking.  Why not take on their scorn and wear it as a badge of pride.  Watch out for the scary witch.

It only takes a moment for everything to change, one decision made so quickly you don’t even remember making a choice.  Some punk b…

[Book Review] Night and Silence

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Night and Silence (October Day #12) / Seanan McGuire

Previously reviewed:
Once Broken FaithThe Brightest Fell Oh Toby.

When I began my review for The Brightest Fell, I remarked from the start that it felt like the book marked a turning point, that we had hit a new stage, that debts were starting to come due.  That isn't to say that she never pays a price, but the prices are becoming more dear.  What she stands to lose more precious, and what she retrieves is not quite whole.

Toby starts this story vulnerable.  There's the humor we all love and expect, but she is raw and exposed, her network weakened.  Tybalt is keeping distant and Gilly has been taken.  Threads of Toby's family history are starting to show, and at it's heart, Night and Silence is a book about family.

The ending is uneasy, uncomfortable, and it should be.  This isn't a happy ending.  Things are too raw, too forced by necessity.  There is hope, but there is also grief from change and the loss that com…

[Giveaway] Phoenix Unbound & More!

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To celebrate the publication of Phoenix Unbound by Grace Draven, Penguin RnadomHouse is offering a Paranormal Romance "Starter Kit" giveaway!

https://sweeps.penguinrandomhouse.com/enter/fantasy-romance-starter-kit-giveaway

I mean... look at these books.  I'm a huge fan of Patricia Briggs' writing across the board, and I quite enjoy Anne Bishop's novels of The Others.  The collection overall is a great starting point for sampling fantasy romance.

The giveway runs through the 19th!  Check it out.


PHOENIX UNBOUND by GRACE DRAVEN
Ace Trade Paperback | September 25, 2018

A woman with power over fire and illusion and an enslaved son of a chieftain battle a corrupt empire in this powerful and deeply emotional romantic fantasy from the USA Today bestselling author of Radiance.

Every year, each village is required to send a young woman to the Empire's capital--her fate to be burned alive for the entertainment of the masses. For the last five years, one small village'…

[Book Review] Islands in the Net

Islands in the Net / Bruce Stirling

Like this book, my life has been a bit of a hot mess lately.  This isn't entirely a criticism of the book, Islands in the Net is a book about futureshock and war, so if it wasn't a hot mess I'd probably be a bit dubious.  We follow along with Laura as she is buffeted along the shockwave of wars and conspiracies fought across corporate rather than national lines.  An interesting read looking back through the years at how things change and how things stay the same.

 I read this back in May as my Virtual Speculation read, and then missed a few months.  Almost done with the July read (which I mixed up with Augusts).

Discussion Fodder:
What can you say about the different political, social, and economic systems present in the book?  How are they different or similar from what you know?  How are they different or similar from each other?What do you think of the Data Pirates and their havens?How is technology represented.  Is, as Prentis says, …

Unfinished Tales : Part One : The First Age : II. Narn I Hin Hurin

Wow.  I did not budget my time appropriately for the length of this chapter.  Almost 100 pages plus notes.  Whoops.  Also, it seems that while Emily was doing a subsection every two weeks, I thought we were doing the whole thing in two weeks.  So I'm both late and early on this I guess?

For my next statement I also need to beg forgiveness, because I could very well be completely off the mark.  But this section reminds me of a Greek tragedy.  But maybe it's just the incest?  Regardless, the story of Turin is that of a Tragedy.  The tale of Tuor is one of gold and light, that of Turin is of dark and tarnish, though great deeds happen in both.

He is born of Hurin, in a house of legacy and sorrow.  His sister dies young and her name to never be spoken but he remembers her still and speaks of her in his own way to a man of the house, Sador.  Tragedy continues, as Hurin himself is lost to Morgoth, and then the Easterlings come and Turin at nine is sent away for his safety to find Th…

[Book Review] Empire of Silence

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Empire of Silence (Sun Eater #1) / Christopher Ruocchio

This month I got my hands on a pre-pub copy of Empire of Silence, Christopher Ruocchio's debut novel.   It is, at this point, already out and on bookstore shelves, but I've been busy and at about 600 pages it took a little longer to get through.

As a side note, my copy has a quote from James S. A. Corey rather than David Drake on the cover as shown in the image here.

Empire of Silence gives us an Space Opera with flavors of epic fantasy, starting us at the very end with our narrator awaiting execution.  I'd say it's a good read for fans of Pierce Brown's Red Rising.

From the publisher:

Hadrian Marlowe, a man revered as a hero and despised as a murderer, chronicles his tale in the galaxy-spanning debut of the Sun Eater series, merging the best of space opera and epic fantasy.

It was not his war.

The galaxy remembers him as a hero: the man who burned every last alien Cielcin from the sky. They remember him as a mons…