Monthly Archives: December 2009

Torch of Freedom by David Weber: a review

At heart, this is the tale of a Mesan (think: slavers) attack on Torch (think: former slave colony) using the remnants of the Peep (read: Soviet Union hardcore) fleet as a proxy. There’s a story thread with Victor Cachat and Anton Zilwicki (two of my favorite characters in this–or any–story) doing some (effective and decidedly brutal) field work, and a family rescued from a dismal-but-interesting life on a largely abandoned space station/resort. This leaves out a host of complications we’ve been watching since co-author Eric Flint joined the party; we can see a bigger war developing, but perhaps Cachat and Zilwicki have set it back a bit.

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Agent of Vega and Other Stories by James Schmidt: a review

Most of the stories in this book involve law enforcement/secret agent types working for the Overgovernment (the government’s name actually varies from story to story, but OG is one of those names and seems like a good description). The main characters are ends-justify-the-means sorts, often with superpowers (telepathy, usually, and sometimes other advantages). On the whole, the stories read like mysteries, but rather exotic mysteries. One story’s an unabashed traditional horror story, which seems a bit odd in this context.

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Mutiny by Julian Stockwin: a review

First we take a little tour in the Med, where Kydd gets in over his head with a married lady at Gibraltar, then visits Venice. This is followed by a vivid portrait of the Nore mutiny, where Kydd works closely with lead mutineer Dick Parker. Finally we make a quick voyage to Camperdown, and watch the battle from inside–nicely executed chaos. There’s a lot of story packed into this novel, and a surprise development at the end.

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Or Else My Lady Keeps the Key by Kage Baker: a short review

Silly little pirate tale. But told with Baker’s usual flair.

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Selling e-Books

I see lots of points of failure. Baen’s Webscriptions site moves the Selection step to the purchase point, and makes the UnZIP step voluntary. That’s a bit better, but both stores, to my mind, assume too much technical literacy on the part of their customers. Obviously that’s what Amazon’s Whispernet is intended to address.

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The Writing Life by CJ Cherryh: a review

The author’s intention was to document her daily activities (routine would be pretty misleading), showing what the life of a professional writer looks and feels like. The first few entries are pretty sketchy; thereafter it’s a fairly traditional blog except that there really is a lot of emphasis on the discipline required to make a living by writing.

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It’s a FEATURE, Stupid

There’s no failure, here, and fairly often (including this time) I’ve picked up the package before Amazon gets around to notifying me that the package is “lost.” Folks who use post office boxes for mailing address have deliberately traded one sort of convenience for another. The package was exactly where I expected it to be, and I picked it up with the rest of my mail.

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No-Hitter, Two One-Hitters in Twin Bill (1980)

The largest Waterloo Stadium crowd in several seasons–6,180–was treated to sterling pitching performances as the Waterloo (Midwest) Indians swept a doubleheader June 7 from the Appleton Foxes, 3-0 and 1-0.

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Wish List

Both the Kindle and Sony eBook stores have serious deficiencies. The selection is just plain unsatisfactory if you’re serious about books. But Sony seems to be completely missing the point. Good thing I didn’t expect to make much use of their store. I’ll mostly be finding my reading material elsewhere.

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