More text

Nothing says "I Love You, Dear" like screaming lower back pain!

Sometimes Wrong but rarely in doubt!

30 January 2017

The Redemption Trilogy

Mike Smith
Rating: Buy, Paperback, New

The Redemption Trilogy is a trio (d'uh) of books describing the adventures of Jon Radec and Sophia Aurelius.  The books are available through Amazon.  At the time of this writing the first book is free.

In the first book Jon Radec is the last surviving Praetorian in the midst of a coup by an admiral of the imperial navy. Flashbacks throughout the book serve to fill in back story as Radec tries to get Sophia to safety on Eden Prime, the capitol of the Empire.

The pace of the story is pretty good and the characters are likable.  The setting strains my credulity as does Radec's almost supernatural abilities but the story sucked me in despite the flaws and I thoroughly enjoyed the first book.The first book is the best of the three by the way.  I enjoyed it despite a number of glaring editing errors.  I find that gross grammatical errors kick me out of my willing suspension disbelief and into a rant about bad editing.  The worst sins for me are wrong tense and incorrect choice of a homonym like to, two, or too.  Spell check never catches this and the editors should actually read the results rather than depend on spell check.

The second and third book weren't really as good.  There are a number of sex scenes and those scenes combined with the editing flaws were just too jarring.  I don't really enjoy reading sex scenes in my sci-fi. There are books where it works, John Ringo's Ghost the first time you read it.  The second time you read it just skip the sex scenes.  Sex scenes in Sci-fi boil down to this truism for me, if I'm not getting any then I'm PO'd that a fictional character gets more action than me, if I'm getting some then I'm not really interested in reading about anybody's sex life. Your mileage may vary but sci-fi or fantasy erotica is not my cup of tea.

I also found that in order to continue a love triangle from the first book the author had to lop about thirty points off the main protagonists IQ to make it work.  I'm afraid I like smart characters and I find love triangles to be the worst plot device ever used.  In my opinion it should be relegated to the rubbish heap of literature.

Despite my somewhat harsh tone overall I don't regret buying the books but I'm unlikely to want to revisit the series or setting for subsequent series.

15 November 2016

Shadow of Victory

David Weber
ISBN 978-1476781822
Rating: Buy, Hardcover, Used

I'm generally a big fan of David Weber.  Lately I haven't enjoyed his books as much.  I stopped reading the Safehold Series because it became all intrigue and very little action or story advancement. I was a bit disappointed in the Sword of the South latest entry in the Bahzell Banahkson series.  This latest entry in the Honorverse is disappointing as well so far.  The opening chapters don't seem to have a hook.  It's chapter four before I encounter a character I recognize and even then I'm emotionally disengaged because this is the first Honorverse book from the Saganami Island storyline in three friggin' years.

Another word of advice to new authors out there, don't pick Polish last names for new characters.  No one but Poles and Russians can say the last names and that disrupts the readers ability to emotionally engage with characters.  Weber killed off a hundred or so people in the first three chapters and I yawned through the whole thing as I had no emotional engagement with the characters killed.

I haven't finished the book yet and I'll revise this review as I get further into the book or if ultimately I give up before I finish it.

It looks like the latter option will be the one I exercise.


I'm afraid I gave up.  Wen Spencer's Black Wolves of Boston eARC came out and while it has it's flaws there was a lot more adventure.

This trend towards intrigue by Weber is putting me off I'm afraid but I'm not the only member of his audience.  If intrigue is what you enjoy then you'll likely love Shadow of Victory.

14 November 2016


I gave two weeks notice this morning.  I have a couple of things to wrap up and then I'm in business on my own.  Pretty scary but I feel necessary step.

01 November 2016

Bureacracy At Its Finest

I received a letter from my professional organization as it process my application to offer professional services to the public, ie essentially issue a business license for my corporation.  The letter informed me that I should inform my current employer that I am offering professional services to the public, otherwise known as moonlighting.  I can't moonlight of course until they issue the license.

While the letter would be appropriate accompaniment to the license they're jumping the gun telling me to so inform my employer before I can even legally offer services.

Similarly I had to get permission use my profession's name in my corporations business name because you can't use my profession's name in the name of a company unless you have the business license. Nowhere in the literature on the business license application process do you get this information.  I knew to ask for a letter of permission because a colleague went through the process and informed me.

I once heard that laws are not there for the convenience of the people bound by them.  The arcane and somewhat labyrinthian process of setting up a business offering professional services has put the lie to the aforementioned quote.  It seems to me that laws are there expressly for the purpose of inconveniencing and confounding the people bound by them.

26 October 2016

State of Sci Fi and Fantasy

I've been branching out into authors I don't regularly read lately.  John Ringo, Larry Correia, Jim Butcher, Dave Freer and Sarah Hoyt can't write fast enough to satisfy my addiction and I've re-read almost everything that they've written.  It's been an instructive venture. Most of the other authors I've been trying are writing pretty dark stuff.

I'm friggin' sick of that crap!

It seems that today everyone has a negative view of the future.  Yes we're not enjoying the stupidly high growth of the 90's, we've been at war for 15 years, political correctness is leading to the ruination of the west, dogs and cats living together...

I read Terry Brooks Word and Void series and I did something I never do.  I waded through the first two books and then I read about a third of the last book and skipped to the end.  I didn't go back and finish the book.  I loved the Landover Books but the Word and Void books just weren't hopeful enough for me.  I'm not sure if I'll finish working through the Shannara books in chronological order. I may just go back and re-read the original trilogy which I enjoyed as a kid.

Arrow lost me since Oliver never catches a break.  I've lost interest in the Flash because of the time travel which is worn out meme as far as I'm concerned.  The DC cinematic universe is too dark and thus once again I like Marvel over DC.  I have to admit that I still like the recent DC movies despite their flaws.

I read most of Grossman's 'The Magicians' series and took the books out to the range and used them as targets. I used wadcutters so that books would stay together longer. I took the remains home and used it in the wood-stove to heat my house.  I really didn't like the books.  I won't be buying any more Campbell award winners unless I need targets and home heating.  The hardcovers only cost me $1 each at a used book sales at the local hospital auxiliary cafe so I don't begrudge spending the money and I got a lot of target practice with it.

I'm looking for those stories that give me hope, that transport me to a place where despite the darkness the light triumphs!  I really enjoyed Ringo's Black Tide Rising series and I hate zombie apocalypse stories.  I enjoyed the Black tide books because despite the horror and the near complete failure of society the story is about building a better brighter future.  I think the Monster Hunter Series is heading into the nadir of the storyline  but I still come out with a sense that good' will make evil it's bitch in the end.  Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden is always trying to do the right thing despite any cost to himself.

My advice to all the budding authors out there, write something that lifts up my spirits because otherwise you'll only sell me one book and if it's bad enough it'll be used for home heating because I won't inflict the pain on someone else.  I'm a nice guy that way ;-)