Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Without Warning By John Birmingham eBook edition

parent-9780345502896 Removing the USA from the world political scene is a daunting task. Birmingham does a credible job of showing what a dangerous place the world would become without our power base.

This book examines a recent past in which the mainland USA was taken out of the world power equation. The plot devices and characters are well enough developed that by the end of this book you are ready for the sequel. Unfortunately, that next book is at least one year away from being published.

I like some of the story lines better than others. By and large though if you are a Science Fiction fan or a fan of the disaster novel this is a good read following an interesting premise.

Without the USA in play the world degrades quickly into disorder, as you might expect. Some outcomes seem likely and strategically correct. Others stretch credulity a bit but are plausible enough to carry your attention.

All in all Birmingham does a good job of drawing lines between the disappearance of the majority of US military power and the increase of chaos worldwide. This is a great spring break distraction or a really nice find if you haven’t read any of Birmingham’s other books. They are all worth reading if military fiction is one of the types of novels you enjoy. His knowledge base is solid and his writing skills are first class, so enjoy.

In Kuwait, American forces are stacked up, locked and loaded for the invasion of Iraq. In Paris, a covert agent, a woman who inhabits a twilight of lies and death, is close to cracking a terrorist cell. And just north of the equator, a forty-foot wood-hulled sailboat, manned by a drug runner, a pirate, and two gun-slinging beauties, is witness to the unspeakable. In one instant, all around the world, for politicians and peasants, from Gaza to Geneva, things will never be the same. A wave of inexplicable energy has slammed into the continental United States.

America, as we know it, is gone. . . . WITHOUT WARNING

Now U.S. soldiers are fighting a war without command or control. A correspondent records horrors for no one. Washington is gone and the line of succession is in tatters; the functioning remnants of government are in Pearl Harbor, Guantanamo Bay, and one desperate, isolated corner of the Northwest. For the jihads, it’s Allah’s miracle. For Saddam, it’s a chance to attack. Iran declares war on an America that doesn’t exist–except in the hearts and souls of the men and women who want it to.

In this astounding work of alternate fiction, John Birmingham hurtles us into a scenario that is unimaginable but shatteringly real: a world of financial ruin where a cloud of noxious waste–from America’s burning cities–darkens Europe, while men and women in offices around the globe struggle to make decisions that cannot hold and opportunists unleash their secret demons.

From a slick Texas lawyer who happens to be in the right place at the right time to a hard-working city engineer in Seattle who becomes his terrified city’s only hope, from the cancer-stricken secret agent to a drug runner off the Mexican coast and a U.S. general in Cuba, Without Warning tells a fast, furious story of survival, violence, and a new, soul-shattering reality. The first in an epic trilogy that will leave readers breathless and astounded, Without Warning offers a world without its policeman, its Great Satan, or its savior–as an unknowable future struggles to be born.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Smoke and Shadows eBook by Tanya Huff

Tanya Huff whose Science Fiction and Fantasy novels have occasionally delighted me in the past has developed a relatively new series.

The Smoke Trilogy begins with, Smoke and Shadows and I hope continues for a long time. So what is an old guy like me doing reading books aimed at a largely far younger audience?

Well, I have this eleven year old granddaughter who is writing a vampire story. I just thought reading a bit of the genre wouldn’t hurt too much.

In fact when I picked up the book I was quickly delighted by the fact that Huff has captured the weirdness and clarity necessary to write interesting fantasy novels. She is capable of populating them with characters that ring true under the wildest circumstances imaginable. I have no limits on what I will read if the author will just make the characters believable. The angst and fury of saving the world with the help of a prince of a vampire falls on a young man, Tony Foster. Ms. Huff populates the world around him with vivid and lively characters.

Tony is working in Television on the set of a vampire series while developing his career interest in TV production. He meets a wizard, works out the nature of the problem threatening our world, engages the help of his vampire friend/lover, a real prince of a fellow and, well, read the book!

Remember this was a research project for me. But in doing it I gave my granddaughter a gift of a new author, something we can never have enough of in life. I also understand her fascination with the whole Goth thing and the vampire genre as well a great deal better now.

I’ve liked Huff as an author since she broke into the SF/Fantasy scene sometime in the 1980’s. I have up to now ignored her vampire books. Now I find myself buying them all not just to give to my granddaughter but to read for my own enjoyment.

If you want to understand a culture read its literature in the native language. The subculture that fascinates this particular grand-daughter right now is Goth. The literature is populated with wizards, and warlocks and vampires and other interesting human and nonhuman types. Certainly that would have interested me at her age. It still does! I find that is true much to my amusement and gratification.

Give it a try, what’s a little bloodletting among friends?

In 1991, a new series soared into the fantasy firmament with the publication of Blood Price, the first novel in Tanya Huff's acclaimed five-volume masterwork, which followed the exploits of Vicki Nelson, private investigator, and vampire Henry Fitzroy.

Together, Vicki and Henry faced and survived perils ranging from demons, werewolves, and mummies to zombies and restless spirits crying out for revenge. In their trials they were aided-willingly or not-by an assortment of allies. Among these allies was a street kid named Tony Foster. Claimed by Vicki as a reliable snitch and by Henry as "one of his own," Tony found himself rescued from his dead-end existence and given a chance for a better life.

Relocating to Vancouver with Henry, and forced to get his act together, Tony embarked on a career in Vancouver's burgeoning TV industry, landing a job as a production assistant at CB Productions. In an example of art echoing life, the syndicated TV series Tony worked for was "Darkest Night," a show about the adventures of a vampire detective.
Except for his unrequited crush on the show's handsome costar, Lee Nicholas, Tony was pretty content, at least until the day everything started to fall apart on the set. It began with shadows-shadows that seemed to be where shadows didn't belong, shadows that almost seem to have an existence of their own....
Tony tried to ignore it, to tell himself it was all in his imagination-until he found Nikki Waugh's body... and felt the shadow's touch....
And when shadow appeared to cast its claim on Lee, and a crash stunt went wrong for no discernible reason, Tony could no longer ignore what was happening. He had to find out what was threatening everyone on the "Darkest Night" set. And, of course, he needed Henry's help.

It wasn't long before the trail left to CB Productions own special effects wizard, Arra Pelindrake-and a frightening explanation which only a young man with Tony's unique background could accept. But knowing what he faced was only half the battle-finding a way to survive the unsurvivable, and defeat the undefeatable-that was the real challenge!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Review For Out Of Time

This was a good novella, just right for those who don't want to read a massive science fiction novel. This was the authors' first published novel and it was really interesting, especially his take on the whole Roswell Incident of 1947. I recommend it for young adults, but adults will like it too.  **** (4 Stars)

Use Coupon Code BKS4ME @ Checkout to receive a Discount on this eBook Title.

Book Lover From Texas

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Fantasy And Women Oh My....


'FELAHEEN' by Jon Courtenay Grimwood. The assassination attempt using a poisonous snake could have come from anyone who had access to Emir Moncef. The viper bites his calf, but he survives because his twelve-year-old son witnessed the incident and screamed for help. His wife and his heir believe the obvious culprit is either a family member, an un-loyal servant, or another member of the inner retinue. However, an unrecognized son by a different woman Kashif Pasha believes the NR is behind the assault. Jon Courtenay Grimwood cleverly intertwines the key elements into this excellent entry. FELAHEEN makes three winners in a row.

'Captain Kirk's Guide to Women' by Bones Rodriguez. I was skeptical at first when I purchased this book, but after reading I was amazed at how entertaining and informative it was! I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a great book that has a lot of funny moments. This eBook certainly brought back all the memories of watching the show with a smile. I'm kind of a Trek fan, not really a Trekkie, and I don't know the show nearly as well as many of the people that will read this book. Use the Coupon Code below to receive a Discount on either of these two eBooks.

FELAHEEN eBook edition by Grimwood, Jon Courtenay
"Out of my way." Major Jalal jabbed his elbow into the kidney of one photographer and shouldered another into the gutter, watching as frozen slush filled the man's scruffy shoes. Ten paces at most separated the limo from the door of the casino but five photographers barred the way. Well, three now.
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Captain Kirk's Guide to Women eBook edition by Rodriguez, Bones
Casanova, Don Juan, James Bond -- these are men of legendary romance, but only one man can boast that his seductive powers take him boldly where no man has gone before: James T. Kirk. Captain Kirk's status as an interstellar stud is proven by his ability to seduce any woman, in any situation, in any part of the galaxy.
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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Absolutely wonderful, magical and captivating!


'Knighthood Of The Dragon' by Chris Bunch. I am usually not a military fiction reader, but I did get hooked on this series from the first book, Dragonmaster. I devoured the first two books and can't wait to get the third. The military strategy was outstanding and throwing dragons into the mix made it more interesting. The characters are strongly built and very real. The effect of war on people and countries tweaks your compassion.

'Lady Of Avalon' by Marion Zimmer Bradley. The Lady of Avalon, as with all of the Avalon series eBooks, is a very captivating book! The writing is of a very high quality. Bradley's writings have kept me in suspense chapter to chapter and book to book. This eBook was great, I read Mist of Avalon a few years back, and wanted to get more of the World of Avalon. This eBook does that and I also read "Forest House" and I'm reading "Mists of Avalon" again to get the whole feel of the world. Be sure to use the Coupon Code below at checkout to receive a Discount on either of these two Titles.

Knighthood of the Dragon eBook edition by Bunch, Chris
Dragonmaster Hal Kailas is captured by the Roche during an aerial assault against his people's enemies. Now, bound to a prison castle by dark sorcery, Hal plans a daring escape to secure not only his freedom, but also the freedom of his people.
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Lady of Avalon eBook edition by Bradley, Marion Zimmer
Set in the time before King Arthur, this novel by Marion Zimmer Bradley brings the mesmerizing world of Avalon brilliantly to life with epic grandeur-telling the story of three remarkable women who alter the fortunes of Roman Britain as they fight to reclaim the magic and traditions of a once glorious past.
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Buy either of these titles this week, and recieve an extra 5% off your total purchase - so read all you want - these titles and much more await you at eBooksAboutEverything.com!
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Monday, December 10, 2007

Books by Authors no longer with us


Review by Henri  Reynard

I just finished a book that was begun many years ago by an author who left us around 1988, Robert Heinlein. My goddamn spellchecker doesn't recognize his name, nor does it recognize that the word spellchecker should be one word not two. It is ignorant beyond recall but it is after all a Microsoft product. I would wager than most of the people who wrote that ignorant spellchecker knew his name.

Mr. Heinlein was among the best known and loved science fiction writers in the world. He was also, beyond a doubt one of the greatest writers of that genre in it's brief history. Spider Robinson who took on the task of writing the novel from Heinlein's notes has written a book -- Variable Star -- that I found interesting. It is a juvenile novel aimed at those much younger than I. It is, to my eye, true to the style and character development methodology used by the departed master.

I remember spending whole years waiting for the next novel by Heinlein.


Losing a great writer of your favorite genre is like losing a lifelong friend. Thanks to Spider for this one. It is the best I have seen of a crop of books done in the name of authors we miss.

There is a real tendency in the publishing trade to try to continue using the name of departed authors. Most often I am amused by that effort to profit by the name and characters developed by those who are no longer with us in the flesh.

Science Fiction has sometimes posed the idea that great actors and actresses could be rebuilt of bits and bytes and emulated. Then they could play roles in videos that were not yet written while they were still alive. I am certain that somewhere someone is writing a computer program that can be used to emulate great authors, it seems inevitable if unlikely to succeed.

It is interesting that these somewhat ghoulish practices are being used to revive famous character names and series. Thus we can continue reading new books that were never intended to be written by the original author. Of course the point of this is profit. I have no argument with that motive. I simply wish they all were as cleanly executed as this attempt. It annoys me when they are not well done, not that they are done at all. How do you feel about that?

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