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

Month

January 2016

Free Stories by Sarah Hoyt

My reviews of Three Tales of the USAians and Three Fantastic Surprises by Sarah Hoyt

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Three short stories that have appeared on the author’s blog, According to Hoyt, all dealing with the concept of fighting for the ideals laid out in the founding documents of the USA.

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear (2014)
The Bombs Bursting In Air (2015)
On a Far Distant Shore (2015)


Three great little stories of a dystopian future where the ideals of the USA have been largely outlawed and forced underground. I very much enjoyed them.

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear is about a young boy and his sister escaping from government forces as they crack down on the members of a movement who believe in Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. 5 stars

The Bombs Bursting in Air involves an agent of the state who’s been betrayed and begins to learn the true meaning of freedom and that half heard references are often completely off base. 5 stars

On a Far Distant Shore is a story of redemption and willingness to sacrifice to do what needs to be done for the good of all. 5 stars

Thanks to Sarah A. Hoyt for offering this collection for free on her website AccordingToHoyt.com

Continue reading “Free Stories by Sarah Hoyt”

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Borders, Immigrants and Invaders

I agree with Sarah, when things come too easily people put no value in them. Make the process difficult and people will want to fight for it.

According To Hoyt

Back when I was giving birth to second son (when I gave birth to first son, it took too long and I don’t remember most of it) I went to that hyper rational, coolly detached place I go when I start getting drunk. And I realized with blinding clarity that birth pain was necessary.  If we didn’t have that, what would it mean is that women might genuinely forget that they’d given birth.  So evolutionarily, birth pain serves a purpose.

I remember twenty or thirty years back, some kid died during hazing to a fraternity.  I didn’t fully get it and still don’t.  There is no Greek system in Portugal and my husband never joined a fraternity.  (What would a fraternity for mathematicians be?  The infinite Pi?) But one of the guys being interviewed said that if there was no “price” for entry, nothing to go through to get in…

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Exit the Milkman

My review of Charlotte MacLeod’s Exit the Milkman

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When the dullest man in town goes missing, and Professor Peter Shandy must figure out where to look
Although he towers over his neighbors, Jim Feldster is otherwise unremarkable, except for his mastery of cow milking and his membership in every lodge, rotary club, and brotherhood that Balaclava County has to offer. And anyone who’s met his wife, Mirelle, a vicious gossip with a hysterical streak, can understand why he never misses a meeting. But one night their neighbors, the sleuthing academics Peter and Helen Shandy, wake at 2:47 a.m. to the sound of Mirelle screaming. Jim hasn’t come home, and she will lose her mind if he isn’t found quickly. None of Jim’s lodge brothers know where to find him, and Peter’s investigation turns up few clues. But when a mystery author comes to town and Mirelle is found murdered, Peter begins to wonder if the master milker is less wholesome than he appears.


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Value, Quality and Responsibility

Over at Mad Genius Club Amanda wrote a post that turned into a bit of a shit storm. It started out with some misunderstandings about what Kristen Lamb had blogged about a couple weeks ago. Mostly the misunderstandings happened because I feel Kristen’s original blog was rather poorly worded and could have used some editing. But, because of the misunderstandings, and the jump in hits and some questionable comments that started coming in Kristen got her hackles up, which led her to make some comments on Amanda’s post that raised the ire of a bunch of people over there. For awhile it really digressed into a bunch of monkeys flinging poo at each other. It looks like everyone has apologized and things have settled down for the time being.

Some things that we can all take from this:

  • Don’t post anything when your judgement might be impaired. Drinking? Take a step back. On meds? Take a step down. High? Take a couple steps back and rethink how you got to where you are. Upset? Take a step back. Many of us are reactionary. We take things way too personally. If someone makes a criticism, step back, look again at what they said and see if what they said makes sense in context with what you wrote.
  • Be clear when you say something. What you said and what you meant to say aren’t necessarily the same thing. Don’t beat around the bush on a topic. Don’t say one thing, and then a couple of paragraphs later say the opposite. If you leave something open to interpretation, people will interpret it (most likely in a way unflattering to you). Don’t hedge about what your point is. I really like “X” and use it all the time, but… When you put that ‘but’ in there you just called into question the validity of whatever you had before it.
  • Don’t assume everyone is in the same boat as you. When you say something like The way it works is… people will assume you are talking about how it works everywhere, not just the one little part in your neck of the woods. Just because the library in your town is crappy doesn’t mean the library in my town is crappy. If someone can point to where things are different than what you say, you look like a fool and damage your image. This goes back to being clear, make sure everyone knows it’s based on your experience only.
  • Be humble and apologize, sincerely, when wrong. Instead of getting upset, look at what was actually said. As I said before, what was said and what was meant are not necessarily the same thing. Could someone take what you said in a way different from how you meant it, and that got them upset? Could what someone said be taken in a way different from how you originally took it? Most of us don’t intend to offend. If we say something that is wrong, apologize. If it’s because of ambiguity in what was originally said, it might be a good idea to go back edit that part. Be sure to mark that as an edit though if posting. Sometimes the facts are not as we perceive them. Whatever you do, don’t behave like Irene Gallo and merely apologize because people got upset rather than for what you actually said. That’s not an apology. Mistakes can be made, don’t make it worse with a false apology. You are the only one responsible for your words.

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Into the Looking Glass

My review of John Ringo’s Into the Looking Glass

 

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The experiment opened a gateway to the stars-and Hell’s own spawn was on the other side. Science fiction adventure by the author of the New York Times best sellers When the Devil Dances and Hell’s Faire.

When a 60-kiloton explosion destroyed the University of Central Florida, and much of the surrounding countryside, the authorities first thought that terrorists had somehow obtained a nuclear weapon. But there was no radiation detected, and, when physicist Dr. William Weaver and Navy SEAL Command Master Chief Robert Miller were sent to investigate, they found that in the center of the destruction, where the University’s physics department used to be, was an interdimensional gateway to… somewhere. An experiment in subatomic physics had produced a very unexpected effect. Furthermore, other gateways were appearing all over the world-and one of them immediately began disgorging demonic visitors intent on annihilating all life on Earth and replacing it with their own. Other, apparently less hostile, aliens emerged from other gateways, and informed Weaver and Miller that the demonic invaders-the name for them that humans could most easily pronounce was the “Dreen”-were a deadly blight across the galaxy, occupying planet after planet after wiping out all native life. Now it would be Earth’s turn, unless Weaver and Miller could find a way to close the gateways. If they failed, the less belligerent aliens would face the regrettable necessity of annihilating the entire Earth to save their own worlds. . . .


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The Forlorn

My review of The Forlorn by Dave Freer

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HUMANITY’S LAST HOPE LIES IN THE BALANCE … The relentless search is on: Find the opal-like sections of a matter transmitter, scattered across a continent. Without them the only human colony-planet dies. The pieces are hidden in the vast deserts, tangled jungles, medieval cities and stark fortresses of this world. They are defended by fanatics. The fifteen sections are technological miracle-workers, more precious than fist-sized diamonds in a colony regressed to the 14th century level. Yet, the various hunters will let nothing in their way. Against humanity’s questers race the Morkth, space-traveling xenophobic alien destroyers of Earth. They are determined to destroy all these human vermin, soon. But first they want the matter-transmitter … They want it badly, and they destroy anything that tries to stop them. They have nukes and lasers to the colonists’ swords and spears. It’s no contest. All that stands between the Morkth and the destruction of the planet are three unlikely heroes: A street-child thief, a dispossessed and totally spoiled brat of a sixteen year-old princess, and a confused, amoral, Morkth-raised human. If they can gather all the transmitter sections before the Morkth do, then there is a chance of survival. But the Morkth already have several sections, and the others are lost, or guarded and hidden. It seems like a lost cause… a Forlorn Hope. But it’s all humans have.


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The Atomic Times

My review of Michael Harris’ The Atomic Times

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Catch-22 with radiation.
Area 51 meets Dr. Strangelove.
Except it really happened.

Operation Redwing, the biggest and baddest of America’s atmospheric nuclear weapons test regimes, mixed saber rattling with mad science, while overlooking the cataclysmic human, geopolitical and ecological effects. But mostly, it just messed with guys’ heads.

Major Maxwell, who put Safety First, Second and Third. Except when he didn’t.
Berko, the wise-cracking Brooklyn Dodgers fan forced to cope with the H-bomb and his mother’s cookies.
Tony, who thought military spit and polish plus uncompromising willpower made him an exception.
Carl Duncan, who clung to his girlfriend’s photos and a dangerous secret.
Major Vanish, who did just that.

In THE ATOMIC TIMES, Michael Harris welcomes readers into the U.S. Army’s nuclear family where the F-words were Fallout and Fireball. In a distinctive narrative voice, Harris describes his H-bomb year with unforgettable imagery and insight into the ways isolation and isotopes change men for better–and for worse.


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History made

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NDSU just made a little bit of history on January 9, 2016. They became the only team to win 5 consecutive NCAA Football National Championships. It’s something that’s never been done before, at any level. Sometimes the term ‘Dynasty’ gets thrown around a little too freely in athletics. In this case it may be a little understated.

I don’t think you can really call this ‘surprising’. I wrote before about the tradition that NDSU has winning. They have done it for a long time, with lots of different coaches and lots of different players at two different levels.

I think the most impressive thing about this year’s team was how they limited every one of the teams they played in the post season this year to a season low in yardage. Every single one. Continue reading “History made”

Chicks In Chainmail

My review of Chicks In Chainmail edited by Esther Friesner.

 

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Here they come, and they’re out for blood. For too long, they say, have hot blooded babes in brass bras and chain-link bikinis been held up to scorn as the embodiment of male fantasy wish-fulfillment and non-functionality. You think their swords won’t cut, their clubs wont’t crush? You think they look “cute?”


4 Stars

Overall I loved this book. Most of the stories were fantastic, but there were a couple that were disappointing. I’m definitely looking forward to digging up more in this series.

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