This is anthology of SF stories with characters from many cultural backgrounds.
"The Last Day" by Ellen Oh. Have you watched "Grave of the Fireflies"?This is anthology of SF stories with characters from many cultural backgrounds.
"The Last Day" by Ellen Oh. Have you watched "Grave of the Fireflies"? This story is like that. I wish I had not read it. It is horribly depressing. It's an alternate history where Japan didn't surrender after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They just kept fighting and we kept bombing them. It's a first person description of what it is like to live through an A-bomb attack.
"Freshee's Frogurt" by Daniel H. Wilson. The police report on one of the first incidents of the robot uprising. A deadly battle between a domestic robot and the two employees in a frozen yogurt shop.
Uncertainty Principle by K. Tempest Bradford. A young girl can remember changes to her timeline and needs to stop the people who keep making things worse. ...more
It wasn't as funny as I expected. I thought it was going to be a satire on D&D but it was just a standard dungeon crawl from the point of view ofIt wasn't as funny as I expected. I thought it was going to be a satire on D&D but it was just a standard dungeon crawl from the point of view of a goblin who is forced to come along.
I like Jig the goblin and Smudge the fire spider. To be honest I picked up this book because of Smudge. I have read the Libriomancer books (that have Smudge in them) and I wanted to read Smudge's origin story.
So, Jig the goblin is just trying to survive living in the goblin caves when he is captured by a bunch of "adventurers": two princes, their dwarf retainer, and an elf girl they have forced along with them. The princes want the "Rod of Creation" that was hidden in the mountain by a powerful sorcerer thousands of years ago. To get it they have to get past the goblins, the hobgoblins, the corpse worms, the lake of poisonous lizard fish, the necromancer, and the dragon. Like I said, a standard dungeon crawl.
The only thing that makes this story more interesting than your usually D&D novel is that the main character is a cowardly near sighted goblin who doesn't want to be there, instead of a pretentious hero on a glorious mission. I can really get behind Jigs dislike of adventurers.
Tymalous Shadowstar, the god who shows up at the end, is an interesting twist. Talk about deus ex machina. But how people think about religion interests me and I'm curious how the relationship between Jig and his god is going to develop in the following books. ...more
Unusual in a sequel, I liked this book more than the first one. I jumped right in and finished it in one day. I can't wait to read the third book.
ThiUnusual in a sequel, I liked this book more than the first one. I jumped right in and finished it in one day. I can't wait to read the third book.
This book is more straight forward than the first one. There is no jumping back and forth between story lines. The protagonist's motivation is known and clear from the start: protect and defend the system (especial one particular individual). It is also more openly political. The only problem I really had was the trip to planet side for the two week mourning period. That seemed a little forced. I might have been happier about it if Breq had been planning to go down and check things out all along. She is should have been planning a tour of the system anyway, not just hanging out in the station.
I don't quite understand the title. I could see it being called Ancillary Mercy because Breq is the captain of a Mercy ship this time instead of the being a Justice. But I don't see how this story had much to do with swords.
***Spoiler Warning**** There was an interesting parallel with the plot of the first book. 19's motive for the first book was to get to Anaander Mianaai and force her to acknowledge what she was doing. In the second book a oppressed fieldworker demands the right to speak her truth to power in the sincere belief that doing so will make a difference even if it costs her her life. It's interesting that while Breq's mission was successful, she did get the tyrant to admit what was going on, the field worker's mission was a failure. The powerful people she confronted were unable to understand what she was telling them, were unable to admit their role in the injustices being perpetrated around them. Or even see them as injustices. The only justice Breq was able to give her was to rescue her little brother from the fields. ...more
This is a great book for young people looking for more like Harry Potter. Although this is a lot less dark than Harry Potter.
Molly is a sensible 12 yeThis is a great book for young people looking for more like Harry Potter. Although this is a lot less dark than Harry Potter.
Molly is a sensible 12 year old girl from a loving family. She just happens to have a twin who is obviously the good twin, which means Molly has to be the evil twin. Well, not exactly evil, just a little bit wicked. Molly likes bats, and wears black, and has a silver vulture pendant. She also has a small talent for magic. She can make herself invisible if she holds her breath, and she can dance with her shadow. Which is why she thinks she can be the perfect new master of Hangnail Castle. Unfortunately, if she fails to secure the castle the Magic Board is going to decertify the castle and kick all of the minions out of their home. And what is a 12 year old girl supposed to do when the boiler brakes and it will cost eighteen hundred dollars to fix it. Magic is easy compared to maintenance on an old castle.
Ok so maybe this is for those of us who were Molly when we were young. I know I enjoyed it. I like Molly and I hope Ms Vernon writes another story about her. ...more
I have official read this book. I may have read it before but I don't remember when. Nothing in the book surprised me because I have read so many otheI have official read this book. I may have read it before but I don't remember when. Nothing in the book surprised me because I have read so many other stories based on this one. But I can't remember actually reading this book before. But now I can say I definitely have read it.
Boy, that Bram Stoker is wordy. And the story ended so abruptly I keep forgetting how it ended. I have a better memory of Dracula's death scene from "The Dracula Tape" by Fred Saberhagen.
Anyway. This is the Mother and Father of all vampire stories so it worth reading. There are older vampire novels ("The Vampyre" (1819) by John William Polidori, "Varney the Vampire" (1847) James Malcolm Rymer, and "Carmilla" (1872) by Sheridan Le Fanu) but none more influential. ...more
I liked it better than the first book. There was more Lena Greenwood.
Each chapter begins with a section by Lena telling the story of her past beforeI liked it better than the first book. There was more Lena Greenwood.
Each chapter begins with a section by Lena telling the story of her past before switching to Isaac talking about the current plot. Which involves mechanical bugs, werewolves, and wendigos.
I still think Isaac is a bit superficial. But I'm really liking Lena and Smudge.
This book definitely sets up a sequel, and I'm going to keep reading.
The only real problem I have with this book is the cover. Lena is supposed to be a "heavyset Indian girl". I wish I could find some fan art where she looked like she is supposed to. Apparently Jim Hines feels the same way. http://www.jimchines.com/2012/09/code......more
**spoiler alert** Well, it was Ok. I'm a little disappointed. I had hoped for more wizardry in the 11th century. I was looking forward to an explorati**spoiler alert** Well, it was Ok. I'm a little disappointed. I had hoped for more wizardry in the 11th century. I was looking forward to an exploration of how 21st century technology would look in the 11th century. What problems they would face and how they would change history. But there is little of that.
Paul is an undergrad physics student. His adviser does an experiment accidentally sends Great Britain back in time a thousand years, to an alternative timeline. Paul is on a nearby island when the experiment takes place and doesn't get sent back, but when he tries to reverse the switch he and his girlfriend get sent back. So, they are reunited with their Great Britain.
Meanwhile in the middle of the 22nd century. Presumable a 22nd century where Great Britain suddenly disappeared and was replaced by 11th century Great Britain, a German physicist named Wulf Schroder decides he wants to join 21st century Great Britain in the 11th century. But he overshoots and comes out a hundred years earlier. Because of superior 22nd century health advancements he lives for the hundred years it takes for future Great Britain to show up. And spends that time teaching his children and grandchildren advanced physics but not doing much else.
Once Great Britain does show up Paul meets Wulf, through an amazing number of coincidences. And Wulf teaches Paul what he needs to know to reverse the switch.
There is some political intrigue and a bunch of stuff with teenaged boys. A disturbing amount of corporal punishment and medieval ideas about education from a 22nd century physics professor.
I was initially pleased that the author can write dialog and believable characters. The level of the basic writing quality is very good. I have encountered a few mistakes that a professional editor might have caught, but no text is ever free from errors so that is minor.
My first major concern is the total failure to include any kind of diversity. There is only one named female character, Vicki seems to be little more than a plot device to allow Paul to explain the experiment to us and to move Paul around where the author wants him. Wulf's wife, the mother of his children, is not named and lives and dies entirely in one paragraph, having produced the five children that were her sole purpose. Wulf's daughters are equally invisible. Is the author trying to alienate half the human population?
First off there was no such thing as "science" or "scientists" at that time. (The word scientist was coined by Rev. William Whewell in 1834.) Latin scientia "knowledge, a knowing; expertness," isn't documented until the 12th century. Monasteries and monks were the repositories of learning throughout the middle ages. The church had no objection to the teaching of math and "natural philosophy". If Wulf had written an elementary math text he would have beaten Fibonacci to it by 200 years http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibonacci (Fibonacci introduced Arabic numerals to Europe http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_n...) He would have revolutionized Western mathematics with just basic algebra and pi. And the church would have had no complaints because math is not heresy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quadrivium He was a little early for the Crusades but he could have claimed to have traveled in the Holy Land. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusades And maybe the Abbott would have appreciated learning about double entry book keeping. Math is amazingly easy in Arabic numerals. Can you imagine doing it in Roman numerals?
I have a real problem with Wulf's entire narrative. He walks up and asks to join the order right off without even considering just taking shelter in the monastery. He has enough money to stay as a paying guest. Then he gets married and has children just so he can teach them. There is no discussion of teaching his daughters, or of taking in any students who might be interested. In the hundred years he spends there he could have turned the Isle of Wight into a major center of learning. His daughters could have helped him just as much as his sons. This was the time of Hildegard of Bingen http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hildegar... Convents were practically the only place for women who were interested in learning math and natural philosophy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_... They might even have had a copy of Aristotle's work on Physics which was the standard for centuries. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_...
And then there is the issue of him beating his sons who didn't want to learn math. 1) It is much harder to teach math to people who really don't want to learn it. He could have attracted students who were interested. His daughters would have been very motivated to get out of the drudgery of manual labor and dying in childbirth. 2) He needed calligraphers to copy his physics texts. And he probably needed potters and metal smiths too, to make those staffs. He had some basic understanding of electronics and chemistry. The periodic table of elements, I hope. If you are working with electronics you need ceramics and metal. His basic understanding of germ theory would have been a big help too.
Neither Paul nor Wulf have any sense of money. Wulf should have been more careful with his gold and not just given away ingots without trying to get a deal. And Paul should have thought about how he was going to pay to get across the Solent. He is really in dire straits financially.
Why isn't there rioting in the streets? There should have been major problems when the Chunnel suddenly disappeared. Even if cars weren't chopped in half there should have been a pile up when a wall suddenly appeared across the tunnel. And accidents in tunnels are messy. And Vicki isn't the only person to be missing family who are out of the country. Parts of the military would have also been out of the country.
I have lots of problems with Gil Snyder. Why would a power hungry man willingly give up his newly won power to a monarch? And why is that monarch a King instead of a Queen (another sexist disappearing of a female character for no reason). Queen Elizabeth the 1st did just fine dealing with other monarchs. But I can't see the British people giving up democracy just because they went back in time. Not unless the elected government declares marshal law because of the emergency. Which they should have, but don't seem to have done. Everyone is acting as if nothing has happened.
Why did students give Paul dirty looks when he pilfered food for his trip. I used to do that in college. Mostly fruit. We paid for a full meal plan. He wasn't going to be there for lunch he was just taking the food he had paid for and wouldn't be able to get because he was going on a trip. It is against the rules but most students do it anyway.
But those last were just minor complaints.
It was on OK time travel story, just not the "Wizards of Science" I hoped it would be. ...more
It was OK. I will read the sequel. I love Smudge, the fire spider, and I'm arachnophobic.
I like the idea of using books for magic, and the many referIt was OK. I will read the sequel. I love Smudge, the fire spider, and I'm arachnophobic.
I like the idea of using books for magic, and the many references to popular SF&F are fun. The plot was good. It kept me guessing till the last moment.
I had some problems with the writing and characters.
The main character, Isaac Vainio, seems like a Gary Stu an avatar for the author to live out his fantasies. I was disturbed by the character of Lena Greenwood. She was created in a book as a sex slave. The character Isaac agonizes over getting into a relationship with her because he doesn't want to be an abusive jerk. He eventual decides that it isn't his fault she is what she is, and since she is acting as much as she can according to her own will, it is OK for him to be in a relationship with her. While it isn't Isaac's fault that Lena is a sex slave, it is Jim C. Hines fault for writing her that way. I can't stop feeling that Hines is just trying to justify having a fantasy sex slave.
There are some other ethical problems. Lena Greenwood frequently questions Isaac about the ethics of his choices. But these ethical problems are never addressed in any depth. The biggest failure of this kind was when they go to the vampire day care center. The vampires run a day care center for human children over their nest to protect themselves by using the children as human shields. Isaac needs to talk to the head vampire to get information but he takes the time to make vague unsupported threats that he will destroy them if they hurt any of the children. This might be justified if he was just learning about this scheme, but he has read the reports and already knew about the day care center. If he was really worried about the children he should have dropped by earlier. And this was a really bad time to threaten them, he is looking for information and needs their good will. The only reason he does it is because the author wants to assure us that he is a moral person. And he utterly failed. This scene just felt fake, a show put on for the reader.
Over all the writing felt immature, like a first novel, written by someone with little experience in developing characters or dealing with moral ambiguity. I usually prefer more depth in characters.
But otherwise, it was an action packed romp with a intriguing plot. ...more
This generally classed as a paranormal romance, but this particular story doesn't have much romance. I'm Ok with that because I preferGood fast read.
This generally classed as a paranormal romance, but this particular story doesn't have much romance. I'm Ok with that because I prefer the paranormal action adventure with a female protagonist plot line.
For a book with a female lead I'm surprised it doesn't pass the Bechdel test. Mercy doesn't have many female friends and she doesn't talk to them about anything but the men in their lives. Most of the women she knows don't like her and most of her friends are male.
Mercy is surprisingly submissive for a woman who runs her own business and can kick ass as well as she does. Makes me miss Anita Blake, there's a woman who is secure in her own power. I guess the submissiveness is part of the romance genre. Meh. I'd rather read about strong women. That Jesse character might be able to kick some ass when she gets older. ...more
An alien race that has three sexes. Any sort of exertion can cause the male and female sexes to lose their minds. So all heavy and outdoor work has toAn alien race that has three sexes. Any sort of exertion can cause the male and female sexes to lose their minds. So all heavy and outdoor work has to be done by the neuters while the males and females stay inside and try not to sweat. They all go through puberty twice at which point they can change sex in any direction, or not.
This is a short story about a girl who changes to neuter at her first puberty.
It's a coming of age story with not much plot. I liked the main character and would like to read more about its adventures.
Danny's annoying cousin Spencer has been kidnapped by knights and is being held hostage in a castle. DannIf you like Dragonbreath you will like this.
Danny's annoying cousin Spencer has been kidnapped by knights and is being held hostage in a castle. Danny, Wendell, and Christiana have to go rescue Spencer before his mom finds out and throws a fit. It's a good thing the local bus system serves Austria (when Danny is involved). ...more