Review: Space Tripping by Patrick Edwards

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Publisher: Inkshares

Publishing Date: March 2016

ISBN: 9781942645214

Genre: Scifi

Rating: 4.2/5

Publishers Description: Chuck never thought too deeply about whether aliens existed — not until Jopp, an intergalactic transport pilot, drunkenly crashed on Earth and tried to steal his truck. 

Review: I had some fun reading this. Kind of a cross between Jinx on a Terran Inheritance meets Hitchhiker’s Guide.  A real epic space fantasy that is very tongue in cheeky while delivering fun characters wrapped in constant movement.  Do not take the science behind the farce seriously and make sure you have a good time. I look forward to the next adventure and more aliens!!

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Review: Forever Free by Joe Haldeman

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Publisher: Open Road

Publishing Date: September 2016 (1999)

ISBN: 9781504039574

Genre: SciFi

Rating: 2.4/5

Publishers Description: Offered the choice of retaining his individuality or becoming part of the genetically modified shared Human hive-mind, Mandella chose exile, joining other veterans of the Forever War seeking a new life on a wasteland world they called Middle Finger.

Review: Why they keep re-publishing old crap is beyond me. Why not republish Ringworld or Red Limit Freeway or the Hobart Floyt series? At least you will get some bang for your buck.  This was probably the best novel I have read from this author, although it is infused with his wifes presence (Marygay) in the storyline which has become a bit vain and over-used in presentation. 

A banished veteran remnant resides on a planet where they eke out an existence under the hive minded aliens and Humans. Dick brain and Merry Gayness decide one day to be self-centered and hijack a ship, flee at the speed of light and come back in 40,000 years in hopes that their overlords are gone. Just think about the holes in that theory and you will wonder why anyone would consider it. Forget that they really don’t care what their kids do, as long as their desires are fulfilled.

Anaywaaay, the novel (like other novels in this author’s world) devolves into this incomprehensible finish that shifts suddenly from hard science fiction to something verging on comedic fantasy. I don’t really want to know how the author arrives at these endings but it is fun to guess. Brain fart? Ummmm, big ending compensation for middling story line? Creative universal take on life that fits no established understanding of physics. Fairy’s are fun?  Earth aliens are easy? Well anyhoo, have fun (or not) with this. I did a little bit but not a lot.

Review: Guardian by Joe Haldeman

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Publisher: Open Road

Publishing Date: October 2016 (2002)

ISBN: 9781504039598

Genre: Historical Fiction / SciFi?

Rating: 1.7/5

Publishers Description: Sent from her Georgia home to Philadelphia to escape the carnage of the Civil War, Rosa Coleman studied astronomy and mathematics, ultimately settling into a new life as the wife of a wealthy man and mother of young Daniel. But when she discovers an unforgiveable secret about her reprobate husband, Rosa takes the boy and flees to the West on a desperate escape that takes them from Dodge City to San Francisco one step ahead of the Pinkertons hired to bring them back home.

Review: Man, this was some boring ass shjt. More like historical fiction told from a first person POV with an alternate reality ending. I really want to jump on the Joe Haldeman bus because I feel left out, or stoopid for not getting why everyone thinks he is so great. I have not liked any of his novels so far but things are looking up with Forever Free. Read this while scab farming.

Review: The City of Ice by K.M. Mckinely

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Publisher: Solaris

Publishing Date: December 2016

ISBN: 9781781084861

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.3/5

Publishers Description: An ancient city. A wondrous invention. A perilous journey. The epic sequel to the incredible debut novel The Iron Ship. Deep in the polar south stands a city like no other, a city built aeons ago by a civilisation mighty and wise. The City of Ice promises the secrets of the ancients to whomever can reach it first. It may prove too little knowledge too late, for the closest approach of the Twin in 4000 years draws near, an event that has heralded terrible destruction in past ages.

Review: Ruh roh, not as good as the first novel in the series, “The Iron Ship” which honestly was/is a tough act to follow. This novel that continues to loosely follow the lives and journeys of family “Kressind“, jumps around like a kid on candy. Other characters are added into the storyline and it does take awhile to culminate the fractious lives of the many into a salable novel. What was really weird was the fantasy steam punk version of 50 Shades of Grey, where a young prostitute is chosen by a lesser god to get porked in various ways with leashes, bindings…..well you know the drill.  If I sound slightly misogynist then I merely echo the content of the novel, and really fail to bring its reality to the fore. I can continue in this vein but I might upset a certain Feminist in the Netherlands. 

Still, this was frickin’ good. This is some of the best, or should I say consummate character development I have ever read. It blows the mind how elegant the play is between the movement and the characters. What transpires in every scene is interesting in so much that you are transported to another reality. There is so much going on that to iterate any of the memorable passages would fail to do the whole justice. And don’t get me started on the world building. GET THIS!

Review: The Golden Gate by Robert Buettner

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Publisher: Baen

Publishing Date:

ISBN: 9781476781907

Genre: SciFi

Rating: DNF

Publishers Description: An exciting future thriller from nationally best-selling author of the Orphan’s Legacy science fiction saga. A face-off with killers in order to guard a secret that could change humanity forever.

Review: It wasn’t that this novel was more boring than Coldplay, hospital beds and Henry Kissinger, it was the dialogue that hampered every interaction with infused mannerisms. Yet, if you have followed my reviews, you may know by now that I loathe the over-use of expediters and word choices. At the top of the word choice list sits “actually”. You hear it every day with bearded millennials attempting to be smart and taken seriously for their uniqueness while wearing the same clothes; like knit caps, satchels, Clark Kent glasses and jean pencil pants (with the cuff rolled up). In this world of knowitall-isms the dire need to preface every response with “actually” will begin to erode your fore-brain until you’re found spastically retching or sawing at your wrist with a butter knife.  “Wow, he said ‘actually’, he must be really smart so we should stop and listen closer?, harder?”.

Well, anyhoo, this blighted work almost beat the record for the use of actually (I think the record is 100+) but came in sole possession of second place with an astounding 65+. Read this while churning goats milk with a coat hanger.

Review: The Future That Never Was by Kin S. Law

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Publisher: City Owl Press

Publishing Date: December 2016

ISBN: 9781944728090

Genre: Steampunk

Rating: 2.7/5

Publishers Description: Pillage and plunder is what air pirates do, but for Albion Clemens, that will have to wait. The Manchu Marauder needs to find his American stepfather, Captain Samuel, lost to the wayward winds of a Steam Age Europe. Unfortunately, Captain Samuel has stolen the Laputian Leviathan, a powerful pirate artifact that’s got agents of Queen and calamity sniffing at his coattails.

Review: Initially this was a whole lotta fun to read. A world of dirigibles set in the steampunk genre, air pirates and some mild sexual tension. Plying the air with good and ill intent and a grand mystery plus the search for a missing person whom may not be missing at all.

About 2/3 of the way through, the story line started to get jumbled and lacked cohesion in terms of the story line. It is hard to fill in the gaps when there is no informational content that can lead to an absent conclusion. Just a weird mishmash of high paced movement coupled with good scene descriptions and lacking in logical progression. You just kind of find yourself spit out, and damn it, you just have to accept it.

This really was a lot longer than it needed to be and gets a bit tiring with the hot pirate chick flashing her creamy boobs with jangles in her hair and beribboned corseted attire fitted with hidden recesses for knives. There is also a somewhat annoying shifting point of view, chapter to chapter and you sometimes have no idea who’s POV you currently reside in. Still, there is fun to be had. A mild three stars.