In a lot of ways Nathan Lowell's books hearken back to the Golden Age of science fiction when authors just wanted to tell a good yarn. I find anotherIn a lot of ways Nathan Lowell's books hearken back to the Golden Age of science fiction when authors just wanted to tell a good yarn. I find another fascination in how he always manages to have some element of business always be a key plot element. In this one, it turns out to be the importance of good inventory stock. Twist! Betcha didn't see that coming! Granted it is in smugglers' space, on the run from murder charges, with a surly crew of misfits - and that's where the fun comes in.
This book has a couple of unanswered plot holes, young leads who shoot to a bit too much importance with too few real impediments, and seems possibly a bit rushed to the finish. But all in all, it was good fun, just like so many of the Golden Age adventures we remember so fondly....more
Never has a tale of post-apocalyptic America been so gently told. It was surprising and unusual and I'm surprised I never heard of Pat Murphy before mNever has a tale of post-apocalyptic America been so gently told. It was surprising and unusual and I'm surprised I never heard of Pat Murphy before my mother urged me to try this book.
After The Plague decimates the country, the cities are all cut off from each other. San Francisco is populated largely by artists whose whims are transforming the city into something otherworldly. When they get word that they are the next target for a military cult, they decide they will fight the war their way — with art.
This had a dreamy, fantastic quality that I really liked. I especially liked Murphy's imaginings of how artists would shape the raw material of an abandoned city to show their vision. And it is an unusual book which made me delight in the way the war was fought. Some of the attacks which repelled the conventional soldiers actually made me laugh out loud. Creative and diabolical, while still somehow remaining essentially peaceful....more
Let's be honest, I'd never have picked up a book about such a specific topic if not chosen by our special guest for an upcoming Good Story is Hard toLet's be honest, I'd never have picked up a book about such a specific topic if not chosen by our special guest for an upcoming Good Story is Hard to Find podcast. Having figured out the requisite number of pages to read daily (12) in order to finish in time, I viewed it mostly as an assignment.
Now I can say that this book should simply be considered fascinating, never as an "assignment." The author somehow manages to invest the story with the immediacy that makes me interested in Julian's next steps, understand the military campaigns from both the soldierly and strategic points of view, and always read more than my allotted 12 pages.
It's really interesting to read about someone who sounds as if he had Augustine's intelligence but went from Christian to pagan (albeit about 100 years before Augustine took the reverse course). Of course, being intelligent is far from being an honest truth-seeker, so there is that.
Having finished the book I can say that Julian is the sort of enemy one could admire. His strategy to defeat Christians was really clever and had he lived he might have been able to organize the pagans to put up a good fight. I can see why he is still considered interesting despite his short reign....more
Informative and interesting introduction to the resurgence of shrubs, a colonial drink that can best be described as a fruit syrup which is a fairly sInformative and interesting introduction to the resurgence of shrubs, a colonial drink that can best be described as a fruit syrup which is a fairly simple combination of fruit, sugar, and vinegar. Think of something like a lemonade concentrate to get an idea of what these are going for taste-wise. These can be used to flavor sparkling water or actual cocktails.
This book has the basics and then the updated, edgier versions which include things like tomatoes and peppers. I generally liked it except that the cocktail section gave recipes for using specific shrubs but not a more generalized guide to using the shrubs. Of course, one can use the cocktail recipes as a more general template for experimenting on one's own. ...more
Definitely a juvenile book for younger kids but not written condescendingly to the readers. I liked that there were problems the kids handled and probDefinitely a juvenile book for younger kids but not written condescendingly to the readers. I liked that there were problems the kids handled and problems that the adults appropriately took care of. The kids didn't "save" everyone but contributed mightily to helping with the overall problem the Martian colony faced. ...more