The Rare And Beautiful Whistling Purple Mud Ants Of Potawango Island

…they whistle while they work

The Doclopedia #667

 Assorted Quick Book Reviews: The Great War: 1896-1898

This is the first of Winston Churchill’s three volume set covering the “Great War”, or as we know it now, the “Steam War”. It covers the two years before the actual shooting started, which Mr. Churchill was pretty familiar with, having been a spy for Britain in Prussia, France, Russia and even the United States.

From his first look at a “steam powered walking gun platform” to a ride on a submarine to seeing the Americans testing “giant steam robots”, this book is full of information about the weapons of that war. It is also equally full of stories about the political wranglings of a dozen or more countries. Opinions on politicians wise, stupid, daring and cowardly are given in Sir Winston’s usual blunt style.

If you haven’t read this trilogy of books yet, do so. It’s a good read and will get you hooked for the next two volumes.

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The Doclopedia #668

Assorted Quick Book Reviews: It Came From The Word Processor!

Subtitled “Science Fiction & Horror Movies of the 1950s Re-imagined”, this book contains not so short stories by some of the great science fiction and horror writers of our day.

According to the introduction, they were all at UltraCon in 1990 when somebody started the topic of old 50s science fiction movies up. One thing lead to another and then somebody issued a throwdown: choose a movie from submissions put into a hat and write a story retelling it. Eight writers took the challenge. Later on, they were compiled into this book.

Since this is a short review, I’ll just list the writers and the movies they chose in no particular order, because they all rocked.

Isaac Asimov “It Came From Beneath The Sea”

Harlan Ellison “The Amazing Colossal Man”

Stephen King “Them”

Anne McCaffrey “I Was A Teenage Werewolf”

David Brin “Godzilla”

Connie Willis “This Island Earth”

Roger Zelazny “Forbidden Planet”

George R.R. Martin “The Fly”

These stories range from damned scary to very funny to tragic. The authors notes are almost as good.

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