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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The Blue Turkey Tango

…nothing like the Whiskey Foxtrot Tango

 

The Doclopedia #666

 Assorted Quick Book Reviews: I’ll Be Damned: My Life As The Real Prince Of Darkness

You’d think that when Satan himself finally writes his autobiography, it would be pretty interesting. You’d be wrong. Oh sure, there are some juicy tidbits here and there (Not So Spoiler: many politicians were/are on a first name basis with Old Scratch) and some interesting background stuff (he loves pro sports and hates roleplaying games), but most of this book is either whining & bitching or ranting against God and mortals. Really, in places, it’s a real Daddy Issues fest. Also: Satan, we get it, you hate us mortals and are SO much better than all the archangels. BORING! Don’t buy this book until it hits the “free ebook” level, which ought to be in about a month.

We Still Like Monkeys, Even When They Act Stupid

…or eat all our fruit.

 

The Doclopedia #664

Assorted Quick Book Reviews: Indiana Jones And The Man Of Bronze

If you are a fan of Indy, Doc or pulp era stories in general, you’ve already read this. If you are just somebody who likes a cracking good adventure, you’ll want to read it.

Set in 1933, the story starts out with Indy at an archaeological conference in Paris where he meets old friend and mentor William Harper “Johnny” Littlejohn. In short order, they are on the track of thieves who have stolen several very unusual artifacts found in South Africa. When people around them start encountering “the man who walks in darkness” and then dying horribly, they call in Doc and the rest of the crew. From there, it’s pretty much nonstop action, with a couple of brief romantic interludes between Indy and Pat Savage. The identity of the evil villain behind everything will surprise you.

So, go read this book and then wait for the eventual sequel and movie.

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The Doclopedia #665

Assorted Quick Book Reviews: Batman: Gotham Animated

There are Batman graphic novels and then there are Batman graphic novels, but in the long and often strange history of them, this is one of the strangest…and funniest.

It all starts out very dark and violent with the Joker & Batman battling it out in a high tech physics area of Wayne Enterprises. Since he’s about to get his clock cleaned, the Joker activates a quantum physics doodad and opens a portal to another dimension, out of which pour animated cartoon characters that we all know and love because in some stroke of genius, DC Comics got the ok from Warner Bros., Disney, Amblin Entertainment and many other cartoon makers to use said characters.

Then we get to page 5. Yeah, that’s right, all of the above takes place in the first four pages. Then we fast forward a couple of days later and for the next 51 pages, it’s all about those toons becoming heroes, villains or just messing around in Gotham City with Batman and darned near his entire Rogues Gallery trying pretty much unsuccessfully to deal with them. There are some huge laughs in that, especially a conversation near the end between Batman and the Joker where they long for the good old just plain deadly days.

Highly recommended.

The Amazing Spider-Mom

…Marvel should buy that one from me.

 

The Doclopedia #663

Assorted Quick Book Reviews: Fifty Shades Of Potter

Ok, so you are either going to love or hate this one. It’s your basic Harry Potter BDSM slashfic, but taken up a few notches in both quality and kink. Few sexual stones are left unturned and, what with the magical & fantasy elements, several new ones are created for Harry & Co. to turn over. I don’t care how jaded or prudish you are, at some point, your naughty parts WILL tingle.

A couple of warnings are in order. First off, those of you in the BDSM community who think a Sub is a Sub and a Dom is a Dom may not like that all of the main characters in this book are Switches. Yes, everybody gets a chance at seeing how the other half lives. In some instances, this just seems contrived. In others (Hermione, Snape & Luna), it seems logical.

The other warning? This is not a stand alone novel. Many unanswered questions (as well as the crazy sales) mean that there will be a sequel