The Voyage of the Space Beagle – A Science Fiction Book Review

This is the story of a research space vessel travelling through the universe in a great scientific endeavor obviously named after Darwin’s ship HMS Beagle.  The ship is filled up with scientists of various disciplines; chemists, physicists, biologists, etc.    But one of the scientists is a generalist, or to be precise a Nexialist.  This man, Elliot Grosvenor is the story’s protagonist and the book is just as much about his struggle to proselytize his fellow scientists about the wonders of Nexialism as it is fighting various interstellar monsters.

This Nexialism is akin to the synthesists that Heinlein sometimes mentions in his writing.  They are able to rise above the narrow expertise of the subject matter experts in each of the sciences and see the big picture.  Gregory Kent, the head of the Chemistry Department is Grosvenor’s nemesis.  He uses all methods normal or criminal to prevent Grosvenor from spreading the gospel of Nexialism but, inexorably, Grosvenor’s string of victories in figuring out the nature of the threats that each of the alien monsters presents bring more and more of the scientists on his side until by the end of the story Grosvenor is able to take control of the mission and bend it to his purpose.

Interestingly one of the monsters, the Ixtl, is the source for the creature in Alien.  The creature takes its victims alive and implants an egg in each to reproduce its kind.  The other threats are less frightening; a cat-like predator, a hive mind that sends out its thought telepathically and finally a giant gas cloud that feeds off the life of a whole galaxy at a time.

Re-reading this book so many decades later it’s plain to see that as a kid I never noticed how badly A. E. van Vogt’s writes people.  In some ways it reminds me of the phenomenon I sense in Lovecraft’s writing.  There is a fertile mind that can create images that are striking but the dialog and the characters are flat and lifeless.  His human characters are not very interesting.  But a ten-year-old boy isn’t really interested in reading deathless prose.  Surprisingly, his monsters are livelier.  Perhaps he wrote from the point of view of the aliens.  And the science fiction in the stories can be quite entertaining.  The scientists have to jury rig all sorts of science projects to outwit their enemies in each chapter and the technical mumbo jumbo is a lot of fun.

So, do I recommend this book.  Let’s do it this way.  If you are from the literary camp of science fiction then forget it.  The Space Beagle won’t work for you.  If you like space opera of the old school then by all means give it a shot.  Just don’t get mad if you find out A. E. van Vogt isn’t Bill Shakespeare.

Killing Time

Sitting around at home trying to wait out the quarantine reminded me of an old story from Herodotus about a people trying to wait out a bad situation.  A famine isn’t the same as a plague but something about the story seemed appropriate for our present predicament.

The customs of the Lydians are like those of the Greeks, except that they make prostitutes of their female children. They were the first men whom we know who coined and used gold and silver currency; and they were the first to sell by retail. And, according to what they themselves say, the games now in use among them and the Greeks were invented by the Lydians: these, they say, were invented among them at the time when they colonized Tyrrhenia. This is their story: In the reign of Atys son of Manes there was great scarcity of food in all Lydia. For a while the Lydians bore this with what patience they could; presently, when the famine did not abate, they looked for remedies, and different plans were devised by different men. Then it was that they invented the games of dice and knuckle-bones and ball and all other forms of game except dice, which the Lydians do not claim to have discovered. Then, using their discovery to lighten the famine, every other day they would play for the whole day, so that they would not have to look for food, and the next day they quit their play and ate. This was their way of life for eighteen years. But the famine did not cease to trouble them, and instead afflicted them even more. At last their king divided the people into two groups, and made them draw lots, so that the one group should remain and the other leave the country; he himself was to be the head of those who drew the lot to remain there, and his son, whose name was Tyrrhenus, of those who departed. Then the one group, having drawn the lot, left the country and came down to Smyrna and built ships, in which they loaded all their goods that could be transported aboard ship, and sailed away to seek a livelihood and a country; until at last, after sojourning with one people after another, they came to the Ombrici,1 where they founded cities and have lived ever since. They no longer called themselves Lydians, but Tyrrhenians, after the name of the king’s son who had led them there.

Luckily OCF won’t allow me to get bored.

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The Age of Entitlement – A Book Review

Christopher Caldwell’s book, “The Age of Entitlement – America Since the Sixties” is a hard book to read.  As I described in several places it took me much too long to finish because many times I had to stop after about fifteen minutes of reading and put it down.  It was too painful to hear the seemingly endless litany of defeats, betrayals and acts of cowardice by our elected officials and their bureaucratic, academic, legal and corporate co-conspirators.  And yet I think this book should be read by anyone who doesn’t know the full history of how we have been stripped of our constitutional rights based solely on our European ancestry and normal male identity.  It is so infuriating to read, that it serves as the perfect eye-opener for anyone who still thinks that affirmative action and political correctness are harmless and just.

Caldwell walks us through the years, starting with the Civil Rights struggle against segregation in the South and shows the gradual but continual evolution of that movement from a crusade to end discrimination against blacks to a concerted program to discriminate against whites.  He shows how the logic went from successfully ending the unconstitutional denial of equal rights for blacks into implementing the unconstitutional practices of affirmative action, with its abrogation of free speech, freedom of association and property rights based on not equality of opportunity, but rather equality of outcome.  And since these decisions were made by unelected judges who were basically answerable to no one, no recourse was possible.  For every white man the burden of guilt never had to be proved.  It was always assumed.

After this Caldwell walks us through the expansion of the civil rights movement to embrace other “victims.” Next was women with the adoption by the left of abortion on demand and equal rights for women in the work place and the delegitimization of traditional marriage.  After this we get homosexual rights, immigrant rights and on to the explosion of immigration.  Finally, we come to the present day where demonization of European identity and culture is all pervasive.  We reach a point where open contempt for the native-born Americans is open and threatening.  We see these people marginalized and starved out of their homes by industry and government leaders who openly connive to replace them with immigrants legal and illegal.  They end up on welfare and waiting for death under the soporific influence of  cheap and plentiful opioids that have purposefully been allowed to flooded our streets and countryside.

Throughout Caldwell points out how the leaders of the conservative cause are always woefully unprepared or even unwilling to challenge incredibly unpopular programs and laws.  Time after time a leader will run for office on a platform to defend or revive some part of life that the progressives are undermining and again and again, we witness either a defeated attempt or no attempt at all to prevent the destruction of our way of life.

And at the heart of most of these campaigns are the progressive lawyers and judges working hand in glove with the progressives in the bureaucracies and in the non-profit foundations.  These foundations were set up by the elites that use them to push for the programs that they support but do not affect them personally.  Their schools and homes and families are above the level of being disadvantaged or impinged upon by these forces, unlike the common people that they demonize whose lives are thrown into chaos by these anti-social measures.

Equally distressing is seeing how the leaders of industry sided with the progressives in order to gain access to cheap labor by both exporting jobs to the third world and importing these third world workers right here in the United States as either legal or illegal immigrants.  And once the Tech Revolution was in full swing, we are walked through how the American men who dominated this industry adopted the progressive cause and used their new found tools to obliterate the brick and mortar retail landscape of the entire United States.  And with the diminution of newspapers, radio and television as advertising channels, communication companies like Google and Facebook now get to decide who is allowed to do business and who is not.  And they decide it based on whether they like your politics.

So, we reach the present day where any dissent from the official narrative that demonizes white men is not just shouted down but answered with de-platforming, unemployment, physical assault and sometimes criminal prosecution.  And as the book signifies on its last page.  That is what gave us the Trump presidency.

Personally, this book reinforced in my mind the necessity of challenging affirmative action in front of a conservative Supreme Court.  The fig leaf that affirmative action employs to shield its unconstitutional nature is the importance of “diversity.”  But since diversity doesn’t appear in the Constitution, a brave and honest court should strike down all the quota driven fairness devices and strip the Federal and State bureaucracies of their discriminatory mechanisms.  All that needs to be asserted is that equality under the law doesn’t need to provide equal outcomes for every individual.  Some people are smarter or stronger or more hard working or crueler or more beautiful or taller or shorter or luckier.  I can live with those things and believe me there are enough things that I wish I could do that I can’t.  But facing that is called sanity.  And it’s far from a bad thing.

I highly recommend this book.  It’s about time that someone published something as honest and informative on the subject of America’s descent into the maelstrom of social justice insanity.  It’s time that we throw our support behind whichever men are brave enough to lead the fight back to sanity.  And I know it won’t be easy.  As Steve Bannon said “If you think they are going to give you your country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken.”  He’s right.  They will fight at every step.  If the Supreme Court strikes down affirmative action, the big cities will riot and burn.  Well, that’s nothing new.  But it’s the only way back to a world where fairness and freedom even have their original meanings.

Good work Christopher Caldwell.  You wrote a horrible, urgently important, good book.  Bravo.

Galaxy’s Edge – Order of the Centurion – A Science Fiction Book Review

Order of the Centurion is another of the stand-alone Galaxy’s Edge series that branch off from the main narrative.  This first story in the series tells the story of a rash decision by a “Point,” which is derogatory slang for the appointed officers that the House of Reason has imposed on the “Legion.”  Lacking the training, discipline, skills and motivation to lead the supremely capable warriors in the Legion, they are despised by the men and real officers of the Legion.  And the points equally despise them back.  But these appointed officers don’t pursue Legion service as a career but rather as a political stepping stone in their efforts to reach the privileged position as an elite member of the House of Reason.

But one young man, Lieutenant Washam (or just “Wash), who was appointed to the Legion was different.  He was skilled, disciplined and motivated enough and he took advantage of the training that his other point brethren eschewed and became an actual legionnaire.

This is his story.  And it’s the story of how he allowed an old friendship with a fellow point to send them on an ill-advised but fate driven mission to discover the location of enemy artillery hidden deep in the deadly jungle that had taken a heavy toll of the Legion and the other Republic military services fighting the hostile Doros on planet Psydon.

Because the protagonist and his friend come from wealthy and high culture backgrounds this book differs somewhat from the earlier Galaxy’s Edge books in that the points are treated as outsiders by the legionnaires, at least at first.  A part of the story is composed of Wash figuring out how to prove himself to his enlisted men and at the same time keep his unskilled friend and superior officer from getting the whole platoon killed.

Although I though some of the internal monologue was a little unfocused, for the most part the action of the plot carries the story along at an exciting clip.

Although I am anxious for the Galaxy’s Edge books to continue on with the main sequence series, this Order of the Centurion is an enjoyable side course and I think the fans of the main series will enjoy it too.

Diversity is Our Weakness – Bakke Revisited

For someone as old as I am, one of the more horrific side effects of reading Christopher Caldwell’s book “The Age of Entitlement” is reliving all of the political debacles that he chronicles.  Each one comes back and delivers the same pain you felt originally plus the additional grief you get from reflecting on how that defeat reverberated through the years.

To select a specific example, Caldwell details the 1978 court case in which a white male applicant to the UC Davis medical school, Allan Bakke, was rejected in favor of a minority student.  Allan Bakke had board scores in the 96th, 94th, 97th and 72nd percentile while the minority candidate had scores in the 34th, 30th, 37th and 18th percentile.  Back then the California court rightfully ruled that Bakke had been discriminated against and also ruled that the California program that made this preference was racially discriminatory and must be eliminated.  But the University of California appealed to the Supreme Court and by a five to four vote the Court decided that although discrimination was being practiced, diversity was so important that quotas were acceptable as long as they were masked by calling them diversity “plus factors.”  Previous to this, no one had ever heard of diversity as a constitutional requirement.  So what we had was the very same anti-discrimination laws that the civil rights movement championed ten years before would now be purposefully broken by their government allies to disadvantage a population of people on the basis of race and gender.  How ironic.

This was the decision that sealed the fate of white male students across the country.  Women and various minorities would be put at the front of the line and regardless of how low their scores were they would get the seats ensured by the hidden quotas that all the universities employed.  And eventually the same system would be used by all the major corporations that were monitored by the Federal government which is essentially every one that had more than a handful of employees.

And that is where we are today.  The only difference is that additional “protected groups” like homosexuals and illegal aliens have been added over time to the rolls of the favored.  And now we have reached a place where every organization, whether a college, corporation or non-profit social group justifies this by employing a mantra that they drum into their employees, namely, “diversity is our strength.”

Diversity is our strength.  What does that even mean?  In what sense is it a strength?  I have personally witnessed diversity hires who have proven so incompetent that they effectively destroyed the functionality of a whole department.

I can remember a technical director standing up at a company meeting and during the “diversity and inclusion” sermon stating that he knew diversity was our strength because a company culture survey had confirmed that it was.  I tried not to smile, but failed because I remembered the last time a supposedly “anonymous” culture survey had provided results that contradicted the official narrative.  But anonymity was only maintained at the individual level.  All survey respondents were identified to the level of the supervisor above.  The low-level supervisors of the anonymous dissenters were told that their poor managerial skills were responsible for the “uninformed” nature of the contradictory responses of their direct reports and if the trend continued it would be handled by demoting the supervisors.  Naturally, the supervisors then begged their reports to toe the line if they didn’t want to see them fired.  So essentially the proof of diversity being a strength is that the company told the employees that it is.

Let’s look at it rationally.  If you wanted to hire mechanics what would you be looking for?  Several things; mechanical aptitude, strength, conscientiousness, experience and resourcefulness.  Now several of these general qualities we could hope to find in applicants of any race or either gender.  But if you are looking for strength and mechanical aptitude you would not be surprised to find that the great majority of the best applicants were men.  So, hiring an equal number of men and women as mechanics, while obviously producing more diversity than with an all-male staff is going to provide you with a weaker crew both in terms of strength and skill.

If you wanted to choose good medical school students what would you look for?  Until 1964 you would be looking for emotional composure, honesty but most importantly for very high analytical intelligence.  That is why science and math are the most important prerequisites for medical school.  But if after the civil rights era you would accept candidates solely based on their sex or race regardless of how low their testing scores for analytical intelligence were then you would get a weaker class of medical students.

This same exercise can be employed for any job that requires anything more than rudimentary skills.  In each case choosing candidates by a quota, regardless of fitness for the position does not give you a stronger employee, it gives a weaker one.  From this analysis I conclude that “diversity is our strength” is not just untrue but that the opposite statement is shown to be true.  If choosing applicants according to core job competency is subordinated to checking off gender and race boxes then you have purposefully picked less talented individuals as part of your selection process.  That is stupid.  And worse than stupid, it is dishonest.  And since the victims of this dishonesty, namely the co-workers, have to pretend they don’t see what’s happening it is also highly demoralizing for them.

There it is.  A dishonest process to defend an illogical goal.

There are many things that a conservative Supreme Court needs to do.  Reverse the homosexuality agenda, re-establish the right of free association and protect the First and Second Amendment Rights of all Americans.  But if I were to rank the priorities, I would say that ruling affirmative action unconstitutional is the first priority of a conservative agenda.  American society as a whole would benefit from the elimination of the dishonesty, incompetence and resentment that this insane practice foists on all of us.

Will the Supreme Court take up something like this?  Under John Roberts and with the current conservative/liberal 5/4 split it will not.  But with the 6/3 split that might soon exist it is possible.  And that is why I especially hope that President Trump ends up with a strong majority in the Senate after this year’s election.  I know he will be making an additional nomination within the next five years.  I want it to be a bold conservative judge who will make a bold step like eliminating affirmative action.

The Shorter Fiction of P. G. Wodehouse – A Book Review

Pelham Grenville (P. G.) Wodehouse was an Englishman who came to America in the early years of the twentieth century and made his name as an author of comic fiction and musical comedies.  I’ve never indulged in his work for the stage but I have read a good dose of his novels, both long and short and probably all his short stories.  You may know of him as the author of the Jeeves books.  In these stories, Jeeves is gentleman’s gentleman to a rather dim-witted young British aristocrat named Bertie Wooster who invariable runs afoul of everything in his life from unsympathetic aunts, to equally dim-witted friends, to ill-fated romances, to, …, well basically anything more complicated than a highball glass.  The charm in the stories is the narration and dialog that Wodehouse assigns to these characters.  Bertie is an amiable and good-hearted nitwit and Jeeves is the brilliant, ever sympathetic and always accommodating vassal to his hare-brained liege.

In addition to his Jeeves stories Wodehouse had a number of other series that all take place in a semi-mythical England inhabited by, the useless younger sons of English peers at the Drones Club, the friends of Mr. Mulliner hearing about his various relatives at the Anglers’ Rest pub, the golfers buttonholed by the Oldest Member of the country club and the unfortunate associates of Stanley Featherstonehaugh Ukridge reliving the misadventures of that much suffering man.

There is something like six hundred pages of Jeeves stories available and probably another six hundred pages of the shorter fiction for the other storylines.  But I would be dishonest if I didn’t admit that there is a great deal of sameness in the plots in the Wodehouse universe.  Bertie runs afoul of a number of girlfriends.  His Aunt Agatha is the cause of more than a few of his misadventures, and the romantic disasters of his friends Tuppy Glossop, Bingo Little and Gussie Fink-Nottle all start to run into each other in the matter of plot elements.

And this is unsurprising.  Wodehouse admitted that he approached his comic fiction in the same manner as he wrote musical comedy.  The plots are straight forward and paper thin.  But the whole thing is an excuse for the dialog that showcases the blithering idiocy of the protagonists and forces them to throw their fate into the lap of Jeeves who like some kind of domestic genie provides a miraculous solution to the tempest in a teapot that Bertie and his circle of acquaintances have gotten themselves into.

I enjoy the stories.  But I recognize that tastes will vary.  Luckily any library will contain copies of Wodehouse’s Jeeves and other works to try out.  As a fairly representative sample I would recommend the story titled Jeeves and the Song of Songs.  Read it and put up some comments on what you think of it.

Here’s a representative sample of the prose:

“I don’t know why, but somehow, I had got it into my head that the first thing thrown at Tuppy would be a potato. One gets these fancies. It was, however, as a matter of fact, a banana, and I saw in an instant that the choice had been made by wiser heads than mine. These blokes who have grown up from childhood in the knowledge of how to treat a dramatic entertainment that doesn’t please them are aware by a sort of instinct just what to do for the best, and the moment I saw that banana splash on Tuppy’s shirt-front I realized how infinitely more effective and artistic it was than any potato could have been.  Not that the potato school of thought had not also its supporters. As the proceedings warmed up, I noticed several intelligent-looking fellows who threw nothing else.   The effect on young Tuppy was rather remarkable.  His eyes bulged and his hair seemed to stand up, and yet his mouth went on opening and shutting, and you could see that in a dazed, automatic way he was still singing ‘Sonny Boy.’  Then, coming out of his trance, he began to pull for the shore with some rapidity. The last seen of him, he was beating a tomato to the exit by a short head.

#1 in Customer Service, The Complete Adventures of Tom Stranger (Tom Stranger, Interdimensional Insurance Agent #3) – A Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Review

For the sake of accuracy let me say that his is actually an audiobook.  It’s found on Audible which is an Amazon company.

This is the third installment in the Tom Stranger saga but Audible has bundled all the earlier episodes in with three new chapter in the series adding up to eight hours of listening time.  The Tom Stranger stories are a goofball joke that Larry Correia of “Monster Hunter International” fame spun out in 2016 as a lark.  But he got Adam Baldwin (of Firefly and Chuck fame) to do the narration and the first one was so much fun to listen to that I’ve kept up with the nutty series ever since.

The idea is exactly what the title implies.  Tom Stranger is an interdimensional insurance agent.  He travels throughout the multiverse settling claims on any policies meant to protect a client in one dimension from interference by any being from a different dimension.  So, as a for instance, while in our dimension back in 2016 Barack Obama was president of the United States, in another universe Adam Baldwin wasn’t just an actor but was also elected president.  So, when something from our universe threatened this alternate reality, Tom Stranger was called in by the policy owner, Adam Baldwin, to restore the balance and repair the damage.

Now Larry Correia was the originator of the Sad Puppies campaign against the SJWs of pink science fiction so tweaking liberals and other weirdos is a healthy chunk of the content and motivation for the stories.  But everyone else, including himself, Adam Baldwin and even nominal allies like President Trump come in for abuse somewhere in the story.  The only group that consistently escapes abuse are manatees.  Tom is presented exactly like the earnest insurance agent he is, humorless, efficient, extremely uncool and incorruptible.

I will say right up front that if you don’t like goofball humor and don’t appreciate pretty heavy handed SJW bashing this may not be your cup of tea.  Also, right now the book is free if you start a trial membership of Audible.  I guess if you cared to you can get it free and then cancel the trial membership. But I just bought it because I’m a trillionaire.  Otherwise it is $28 dollars which seems like a lot of money for a goofy book.  So, I’ll say that this book is definitely not for everybody.  Also Audible is one of those services where the audio file doesn’t reside on your computer but streams from their servers.  Being a geezer, this annoys the hell out of me.

Going back to the story, it’s something that I like but it has several things going for it for my tastes.  First off, I was a participant in the Puppy Wars and enjoy anything that tweaks the SF SJWs.  Secondly Larry Correia is a very funny guy and writes a really clever satire.  And finally, Adam Baldwin is great fun as the narrator.

So, there it is.  A specialty product that isn’t for everyone but satisfies a niche for a special audience.

Bronze Age Mindset – A Book Review

When Bronze Age Mindset (BAM) came out last year I heard a little bit about it at various sites.  When Michael Anton reviewed the book back in August I became interested and decided to read it.  When the author (Bronze Age Pervert or BAP for short)  published a response to Anton in October I reminded myself to buy it.  Now I’ve read it and I am trying to get my opinion into some kind of an orderly form.  But unfortunately, BAM isn’t that kind of a work.  It’s a mixture of philosophical treatise, civilizational diatribe, atavistic lament and fraternal advice.  One thing is for sure.  BAP wants this world to melt down hard enough so that he can securely raise the black flag and start slitting throats.

As has been noted previously by Anton, BAP is in at least part agreement with Nietzsche.  BAP reviles our age for its complete lack of heroic opportunities.  He believes that for at least a portion of modern men life in a modern democratic state is a death sentence.  A large part of the first part of the book describes his comparison of modern life to the life of the warriors of Bronze Age Greece as embodied in the Homeric works and the military dictatorship in Sparta.  Along the way he expends enormous vitriol decrying the modern world and its feminists, neutered males (bugmen), endless bureaucracy, politically correct institutions, slave-driving lifestyles and the generic ugliness of modern life.  He despises democracy as a false equivalency.  He believes in the superiority of the alpha male and his right to rule over the rest of society.

BAP writes this diatribe in a clipped version of English that uses internet abbreviations and leaves out definite and indefinite articles at random.  This doesn’t make it too difficult to read along but to my ear it is affected.  Toward the end of the book he lapses into grammatical English and is obviously very literate.

As for the pervert in his name (BAP), he does seem to espouse at least some kind of homoerotic sensibility but he seems to describe it as not a homosexual attraction but an appreciation of male physical perfection.  Either way for me it’s off-putting.  Also, he thinks that the seamiest parts of the underworld with its pornography and prostitution and other perversions is important and men like him are meant to delve into it and take possession of it for some redemptive purpose that involves destroying the bugmen order.

The book is uneven and ranges from poetic to almost psychotic.  Some of it is either humorous fantasy or the author believes in things that are obviously untrue.  For instance, he claims that Laotian is the same language as the dialect of Spanish spoken in Chiapas Mexico.

Toward the end of the book he talks more realistically about what a non-bugman can do to exist in the nightmarish post-normal world we find ourselves in.  Here he is addressing the non-pirate, non-superman part of the population that have jobs and families.  Some of the advice is actually very sensible and useful.

All in all, I found the book interesting.  He has some insights that even a normie such as myself finds resonant.  Undoubtedly the book is uneven and at times bizarre but it has valid points to make and it speaks to a part of every normal man who finds himself marooned in the modern Hive and wonders how we got here and how we get out.  It’s not for all tastes but if you’re interested in another take on the modern world this might be interesting to you.

 

 

 

Galaxy’s Edge – Tyrus Rechs – Contracts and Terminations – Book 1- Requiem for Medusa

By the title you can see that the Galaxy’s Edge franchise has branched out.  This book is the first installment of a spin off series that follow the adventures of quasi-immortal bounty hunter, Tyrus Rechs.  Tyrus was a component in Book 2 -Galactic Outlaws of the main sequence of the Galaxy’s Edge series.  This series is a prequel to that time line and gives us the back story for Rechs and several other important components of the ancient history of the Galaxy’s Edge universe.

Requiem for Medusa is a standalone story.  It’s a revenge story that involves Tyrus tracking down the murderers of the only woman that still had any connection to his weary soul.  The story reads like a noir but ends up as a military assault against desperate odds to take down the criminal gangs and the corrupt security apparatus that flourishes in the lawless depths of the Reach, the section of the Edge that had been abandoned for centuries to outlaw operations that even the Republic’s Legion left alone.

For the faithful readers of the Galaxy’s Edge series, this is not required reading.  This is a personal story of Tyrus Rechs and although it will answer some questions about Rechs, it won’t matter if you skip it from the point of view of the main narrative.  And this story differs from the other stories in that it contains a love interest component.  Whether this would distract the reader from the story is of course a personal preference.  But it should be mentioned in my opinion.

Now my opinion.  This is a separate story from the Galaxy’s Edge narrative but the characters are interesting and the character development for Tyrus Rechs doesn’t hurt him at all.  He performs his murderous rampage without any loss of skill due to the emotional component of his motivation.  There is a very clever plot device called the nano-plague that is probably linked to some of the other important ancient history for the Galaxy’s Edge universe but in this story, it is used to advance a plot element in the revenge story.

All in all, I liked this story and recommend it.  As with all the Galaxy’s Edge books it is well written, holds your interest and contains exciting combat action.  However, if you do not want to explore the periphery of the Galaxy’s Edge fictional universe it can easily be omitted without sacrificing your knowledge of the series.  Highly recommended.

 

 

Congratulations to the Dragon Award Winners

Special congratulations to Larry Correia and Brad Torgersen for their awards (list below).  Larry and Brad were charter members of the Sad Puppy movement and took an enormous amount of abuse from the sad pathetic people who game the Hugo Awards every year.  But based on the fate of Campbell Award this year I’m assuming it won’t be the Hugos for much longer but instead the Noras or the Samuels  or some other first name of an author who didn’t have the bad manners to be born a straight white man.

Larry championed the DragonCon’s fan popularity based Dragon Awards contest and it has since displaced the Hugos for all normal humans.  I’m a big fan of Larry’s Monster Hunter series because they’re great fun and because I’m hoping that Adam Baldwin will get the chance to play Agent Franks in the big screen version of the stories.  That would be awesome.