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westfargomusings

Evolution isn't working fast enough. More dumbasses need to be shot.

Month

August 2015

Scalzi And Who’s A Jerk

Well done fisking. I guess Scalzi is just reinforcing the rule that SJWs always lie.

The Arts Mechanical

I hate to call ANYBODY a liar.  I  would like to believe that they may be mistaken. Or not have a knowledge about the facts.  Or willfully blind.  Outright lying?  Not usually. That especially goes for authors.  There was a time not too long ago when I held Authors in rather high esteem.  I still do for most.  For some though, like Mr. Scalzi that’s been rather eroded.  Especially when I see stuff like this:
http://whatever.scalzi.com/2015/08/24/being-a-jerk-about-the-hugos-not-as-effective-a-strategy-as-you-might-think/

He starts out saying that the puppies acted like jerks.  As if somehow the puppies created a world wide media smear campaign to smear the clique that ran world cons.  Or pressure authors to withdraw their nominations.  Or derided fans who nominated the “wrong books” as “wrong fans.”  The puppies did all that?  Actually no.  That was Scalzi and his friends.

His primary complaint is that the puppies created slate.  He’s all angry about that.  As…

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The Chaplain’s War

My review of Brad Torgersen’s The Chaplain’s War

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A chaplain serving in Earth’s space fleet is trapped behind enemy lines where he struggles for both personal survival and humanity’s future.

The mantis cyborgs: insectlike, cruel, and determined to wipe humanity from the face of the galaxy.

The Fleet is humanity’s last chance: a multi-world, multi-national task force assembled to hold the line against the aliens’ overwhelming technology and firepower. Enter Harrison Barlow, who like so many young men of wars past, simply wants to serve his people and partake of the grand adventure of military life. Only, Harrison is not a hot pilot, nor a crack shot with a rifle. What good is a Chaplain’s Assistant in the interstellar battles which will decide the fate of all?

More than he thinks. Because while the mantis insectoids are determined to eliminate the human threat to mantis supremacy, they remember the errors of their past. Is there the slightest chance that humans might have value? Especially since humans seem to have the one thing the mantes explicitly do not: an innate ability to believe in what cannot be proven nor seen God. Captured and stranded behind enemy lines, Barlow must come to grips with the fact that he is not only bargaining for his own life, but the lives of everyone he knows and loves. And so he embarks upon an improbable gambit, determined to alter the course of the entire war.

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It’s All About The Bling

Sarah sums it up right here, in it barest, most minimalist form. This is what SP3 is about.

“…it’s a genre worth saving.

And saving doesn’t speak to going back to the past, but to porting the same enthusiasm and life to present day sf.”

According To Hoyt

So, let’s suppose there was an award that no longer meant increased circulation for the book that sported the little seal on the cover: how far would you be willing to fight to preserve the right to have the award given to the people you wanted/to have the chance at the award yourself? If you were, that is, someone who played by the rules of the “in” group, the writers and publishers we’ll call “the old establishment”?

I am making a leap here, as I’m not sure the Hugo no longer boosts print runs at all.  I know it no longer boosts them as it used to, because the Hugo used to be d*mn big noise, when I came into the field.  The hierarchy when I came in, as told to me by older and more scarred pros was as follows: The Hugo meant an increase in circulation; the Nebula…

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Trouble In the Brasses

My review of Charlotte MacLeod’s Trouble In the Brasses

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While stranded in the wilderness, an orchestra confronts a killer in its ranks.

Although he is a decorated officer of the Mounted Police, Madoc Rhys’s tin ear has long been an embarrassment to his musically fixated family. But when his father’s orchestra needs a policeman, the Mountie gets a chance to make daddy proud. It began as pranks among the brass instruments, but something is rotten inside the Wagstaffe Symphony, and is about to graduate to something criminal. Called in to look into the tensions within the group, Madoc arrives just in time to see the French horn player keel over.

The death appears natural, and the orchestra boards the plane to its next engagement. But when a storm forces them to make an emergency landing and take shelter in an eerie old lodge, the extent of the danger becomes clear. Madoc may never understand music, but he has a good ear for murder, and is about to show off his chops.

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The Year When Stardust Fell

My review of Raymond F. Jones’ The Year When Stardust Fell

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Mayfield was the typical college town. Nothing too unusual ever happened there until a mysterious comet was suddenly observed by the scientists on College Hill.

And then one day the modified engine on Ken Maddox’s car began overheating mysteriously. By morning it didn’t run at all.

Art’s Garage, local headquarters for hot-rodders, was soon so full of cars that wouldn’t run, that Ken’s science club began working in the garage after school. It didn’t take long for the club to discover that all the moving parts on these stalled cars had fused together. Soon all machinery had stopped in Mayfield. There was no longer any light or power anywhere. This mysterious creeping paralysis was spreading.

The copper-yellow glow of the comet seemed to have brought the whole world to a grinding halt. Airplanes, trains, generators and heavy machinery were immobilized. Finally man was left with only a few primitive tools and communication became possible only by means of amateur radio. In the resulting chaos parts of Mayfield were burned and looted by hunger-crazed mobs that stole and killed as they advanced.

Here is science fiction at its thrilling best. A startling and thought-provoking book that shows how human nature might react to catastrophe.

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The Old Silent

My review of Martha Grimes’ The Old Silent

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Violence finds a burned-out Richard Jury when he becomes the only witness to a murder in a cozy inn called the Old Silent. Though Nell Healey shot her husband in cold blood, Jury will go to any lengths to help her and break through her reticence to untangle a web of twisted motives-and twisted lives.

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Freaks

My review of Tess Gerritsen’s short story Freaks

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A bizarre death comes with a supernatural twist. Homicide cop Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles have seen their fair share of mortal crimes, but the death of Kimberly Rayner may qualify as inhuman in more ways than one. When corpse of the emaciated seventeen-year-old girl is discovered next to an empty coffin in an abandoned church, mysterious bruises around the throat suggest foul play. Caught fleeing the scene is the victim’s closest friend, Lucas Henry, an equally skeletal, pale teenager who claims he’s guilty only of having a taste for blood-a craving he shared with Kimberly. But the victim’s distraught father doesn’t believe in vampires, only vengeance. And now, another life may be at risk unless Rizzoli and Isles can uncover the astonishing truth.

I’ve never read a Rizzoli and Isles story before. I’ve only caught a couple of episodes of the TV series, but I liked them. In this short story there isn’t much character depth actually shown, but quite a bit hinted at in the way the two characters play off each other. I thought it was well done. The minor characters seemed very stereotypical. But in a short story that’s not really a bad thing as it allows the author to convey a lot of unsaid things to the reader without taking up much space on the page. This isn’t much more than a couple of short scenes strung together, but it was paced well and was interesting to read. It makes me open to actually spending some money on her other stories.

Beggars In Spain

My review of Nancy Kress’s Beggars In Spain novella

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Leisha Camden is a genetically engineered “Sleepless.”

Her ability to stay awake all the time has not only made her more productive, but the genetic modifications have also given the “Sleepless” a higher IQ and may even make them immortal.

Are they the future of humanity? Or will the small community of “sleepless” be hunted down as freaks by a world that has grown wary of its newest creation?

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A Kiss of Blood

My review of Pamela Palmer’s A Kiss of Blood

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Only one woman can save Vamp City…

One of the few humans who managed to escape the deadly twilight world of Vamp City, Quinn Lennox vows to never return. But the vampires want her back, for only she has the power to renew the magic of their crumbling world and free the vampires trapped within.

When the dangerous and all-too-seductive Arturo Mazza comes for her, Quinn knows she can never trust him after the betrayal she suffered at his hands. But with her beloved brother’s fate hanging in the balance, and her own power beginning to emerge, she chooses to risk all on yet another perilous journey back to Vamp City. And though she tries to deny it, her heart begins to hold hope that even a ruthless vampire can learn the meaning of true love.

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