21FEB2019 – Quote of the Day

“That nations that have gone for equality, like Communism, have neither freedom nor justice nor equality, they’ve the greatest inequalities of all, the privileges of the politicians are far greater compared with the ordinary folk than in any other country. The nations that have gone for freedom, justice and independence of people have still freedom and justice, and they have far more equality between their people, far more respect for each individual than the other nations. Go my way. You will get freedom and justice and much less difference between people than you do in the Soviet Union.”

Margaret Thatcher

Galaxy’s Edge (Volume 9) – Retribution – A Science Fiction Book Review

This review is of the concluding volume of Jason Anspach’s and Nick Cole’s Galaxy’s Edge series.  But to be totally accurate it is the last volume of “Season 1.”  That’s right folks, science fiction series never die, they merely turn another page.

This episode carries forward where the previous volume, Message for the Dead,” left off.  Goth Sullus has defeated the Republic, been declared Emperor by the House of Reason, captured the entities controlling the Cybar army and looks to be ready to consolidate his empire.

But things have changed by the beginning of this book.  Because Sullus has thrown in with the House of Reason, the loyal and valuable core of his Black Fleet and Shock Troopers are disillusioned with him and are leaving in droves to join up with the small remnant of the Legion that has escaped destruction.  The book has all the remaining cast of characters from the earlier books and centers on the activities of now General Chhun and Kill Team victory and Aeson Keel and his crew as they team up to stop Sullus before he can consolidate his hold on the galaxy.

A separate story line sets up the arc of the future Season 2.  Prisma Maydoon is sheltering on a refuge planet supposedly safe from the war blanketing the rest of the galaxy.  But danger finds her and she must save herself from a deadly attack.  During this trail she decides that her fate is to find out what Goth Sullus is in order to destroy him.  This leads her to escape from her refuge and head out of the galaxy to advance to the next stage in her development and face her destiny.

The war and battle scenes live up to the excellent past of the series.  The characters are engaging.  The Prisma Maydoon story is a little too adolescent girl with magical powers for me.  I guess Buffy the Vampire Slayer, River Tam and all their spiritual sisters have used up all of my empathy for four foot ten inch super girls.  But that is just a small part of the book and the story is great.  There is plenty of revenge to enjoy and lots of action to relish.  And the story is faithfully completed (for the most part).  Highly recommended.

Trump Announces Rosenstein’s Replacement

Everything takes forever in Washington.  Now it’ll be a month until we have Rosenstein’s replacement in place.  Rosen is currently Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation.  I hope President Trump has some feel good stuff coming up soon because I haven’t seen any winning in a while and I’m getting bored.

White House Officially Announces Rosenstein Replacement – Jeffrey Rosen to Deputy AG…

The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 2 Episode 2 – The Man in the Bottle

Arthur Castle and his wife Edna own an old family business, an antique shop that is basically insolvent.  Not only can’t he pay his bills but his neighbors borrow money from him too.  An old lady neighbor brings in an old wine bottle she found in a garbage can and tells him it’s a family heirloom.  Arthur tells her it’s an old wine bottle but gives her a dollar anyway.  Edna sees the “no sale” sign on the cash register and bemoans their fate saying “I wish we could find a way out of this.”  Arthur drops the bottle on the floor and a genie dressed in a stylish English suit appears and tells them he will grant them four wishes.  Arthur and Edna disbelieve him so Arthur’s first wish is a test.  He wishes for the shattered glass in one of his floor-displays to be made whole again.  Immediately it is fixed.

Arthur and Edna become excited and Arthur wishes for a million dollars in five and ten-dollar bills.  The genie grants the wish and the money floats down onto the floor of the store.  The generous Castles start gifting money to all their friends and neighbors and announce their intention to take a trip to Europe.  Just as the last friend leaves a man with a brief case appears and announces that he is from the IRS.  After the money they gave out and the taxes they pay they only have five dollars left from the million.  When the genie returns Arthur calls him a con-artist.  The genie explains that consequences should be expected when an uncarefully considered wish is made.  Arthur starts to wish for an after-tax million when Edna tells him that money isn’t a safe wish.  They debate about positions of power; a corporate big shot or a mayor or higher.  Arthur is worried about the people voting him out of power.  So, he settles on a national leader that cannot be voted out of power living within the twentieth century.  So of course, the genie makes Arthur into Hitler in the bunker.  One of his staff gives Arthur a beaker of poison to suicide with.  Considering his options Arthur uses his last wish to be back as Arthur Castle just as he was before all of this started.  And as he drops the flask in the bunker, he becomes Arthur dropping the genie’s bottle on the floor of his store.

Edna and Arthur have a new-found appreciation for their merely unfortunate circumstances and Edna adds that at least the display case glass is still intact.  Immediately Arthur shatters the display glass with the end of the broom he was using to sweep up the shards of the genie’s bottle.  As Arthur empties the fragments into a garbage can on the street in front of his shop, the bottle is surrounded by the smoke from the genie and reassembles.

This is an extremely silly fantasy.  But as you know I like extremely silly stories.  The story is very far from original but the sentimentality is not overbearing so a B seems about right.

The Twilight Zone – Complete Series Review – Season 2 Episode 1 – King Nine Will Not Return

This first episode of the second season is a war story.  James Embry is a World War II American bomber pilot.  He wakes up on the desert floor next to his B-25 bomber named King Nine.  He has problems remembering the exact sequence of events but he remembers that there was a bombing mission over Italy that was supposed to return to the North African base but they had crashed in the Sahara Desert.  None of them had parachuted away so they should all have been around the plane dead or alive.  But Embry can’t find any sign of his crew.  After running around and searching in and outside of the plane for most of the show he finds the grave of one of the crew members.  When he looks back at the plane, he thinks he can see the crew but when he runs back to them, they disappear.  He starts to become incoherent and imagines that maybe he’s dead.  He spots some planes in the sky but realizes that they are modern jet aircraft and didn’t exist in 1943 when the plane crashed.  Now he becomes almost catatonic and lays on the ground crying.

Next scene is in a hospital where a doctor and a psychiatrist are discussing how Embry was walking down the street in 1960 when he read a newspaper that had a headline about the King Nine being discovered crashed in the Sahara.  The psychiatrist states that Embry was reacting to the guilt he must have felt because he was not able to fly when that last mission in his plane crashed.  When Embry awakens, he discusses his dream with the doctors and they tell him that it is reasonable for him to be powerfully affected by the news of the discovery of the wreck.  He tells them that it felt incredibly real.  When the nurse comes back with Embry’s clothes that were taken from him when he was admitted.  Removing his shoes from the box a very large quantity of sand falls out.

Okay, so I get it that the trauma of war time loss is an important subject that can be explored and used as the basis of a sf&f story.  But this episode is way, way too thin.  Robert Cummings is a decent actor and very likable but to watch him walking around talking to himself and ranting and raving is not entertaining.  It’s actually quite annoying.  I can’t give this a good mark.  It’s a D-.

18FEB2019 – American Greatnesss Post of the Day – Foggy Crossroads by Angelo Codevilla

Codevilla reviews what he thinks the choices are for President Trump.  Either deliver the Wall and Immigration Law enforcement or lose in 2020.  He also discusses the bi-party ruling class and what part they play in our awful politics.  No surprises here.  Just the outline of what to look for going into the coming election cycle.

Foggy Crossroads