Monday, December 19, 2016

The Corporation Wars: Dissidence By: Ken Mcleod

The Corporation Wars: DissidenceThe Corporation Wars: Dissidence by Ken MacLeod
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this alot, A fun hard scifi that's right up my alley, I love it when space and future stories aren't pretty. They are brutal affairs. A great mix of military style science fiction and space opera.

This is worth your time, I am in the middle of the second book of the trilogy now

The ideas come hard and fast in this book, if you like deep scifi that makes you think, go get it

and Merry Christmas!

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Herriot For A Christmas Read

James Herriot's Treasury for Children: Warm and Joyful Tales by the Author of All Creatures Great and SmallJames Herriot's Treasury for Children: Warm and Joyful Tales by the Author of All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don't always read a Christmas story this time of year, but when I do, I like it to be gushingly heartwarming, perhaps naively innocent, and if you want to throw a moral in there for good measure, by all means!

Treasury for Children: Warm and Joyful Tales by the Author of All Creatures Great and Small has all that and more to spare! How can it not? I mean, just look at that title!

Does this shout "Christmas" to you? Perhaps not, but at least one of the stories happens during Christmas and others have a winter-time setting. And besides, stories don't have to be about Christmas to feel like it.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'd like to digress...

Is this real life?

I often find myself asking that whenever I read a James Herriot book.

James Alfred "Alf" Wight, aka James Herriot, wrote some lovely stories based upon his career as an animal vet in the Yorkshire Dales up there in northern England. Not all of his stories are true. Clearly in this collection of shorts at least one is a complete fabrication of his own design. However, it's also clear (to me anyhow) that most of what happens in these charming tales quite likely could have happened to a country vet and quite likely did happen to Herriot.

Why is this important? Search me, but I guess it maybe has something to do with my need to attach significance to the subjects, the animals. In all of his books there is life and death, and it's important to me that these things contain all the weight and importance they deserve.

Digression Over!

In summary, if you're looking for an uplifting read this holiday season, you can't go wrong with this one, or honestly any of Herriot's books! Don't let the "...for Children" part of the title throw you. This book is for young and old...hell, it's even for us grumpy middle-aged farts!

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A Tasty Drop of Block

A Drop of the Hard Stuff (Matthew Scudder, #17)A Drop of the Hard Stuff by Lawrence Block
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's high time I started on book one in Lawrence Block's Matthew Scudder series, because I am LOVING what I'm reading so far!

Scudder is a once-cop, once-private investigator cum investigator (just seems to depend on the day and his finances) who's battling alcoholism. (view spoiler) He's forced into a case somewhat close to his hardened heart, so he ends up looking into it just as much for the pay as for his own conscience.

In fine Block fashion, the reader is left wondering "Is this the guy who done it?...No wait, it's gotta be this guy! Or maybe..." almost right up to the end. I might've figured it out sooner, but I got stuck on this one character and having made up my mind it was him, I spent a third of a book looking for clues specifically for this one guy, thus missing any clues that would've pointed to the real killer. I swallowed the red herring bones and all. The clue that I was on the wrong track came when my killer got killed. Doh!

Folks that are looking for a straightforward mystery or crime story won't get it in A Drop of the Hard Stuff. Nope, and that's the beauty of it for me. I prefer books with some literary merit (SNOB ALERT!) and this has it. I'm not talking about highfalutin poetical bs, I'm talking about a little more character development than what you usually get with the genre stuff. You get plenty of character in this one! Scudder is working on his first year of sobriety and so many of the scenes take place in AA meetings. Block described some dynamite scenes of temptation and inner turmoil that really made you feel for these sad sods.

Even though I felt like this book provided some great insights into that world, of course not everyone's going to be down with reading about depressing AA meetings. Even I got a tad bored a time or two. There isn't a lot of action in this one, but when it heats up, it gets intense.

Now, it's time for me to start from book one. I am completely ready to get to know this Scudder fellow from the beginning!</["br"]></["br"]></["br"]></["br"]></["br"]></["br"]></["br"]></["br"]></["br"]></["br"]>

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