Monday, July 26, 2021

Marion Zimmer Bradley - Seven from the Stars (1961)

Review.

More old stuff dating back to the golden era, this is the second part of an Ace 'Double', a pocket containing two novels in one book.

The aliens, so different from humanity at the beginning of the book, blend in a little too easy. The whatever-the-name-enemy from another dimension is not convincing. And the story didn't age very well.

Monday, July 19, 2021

A C Hadfield - Carson Mach

 Review.

I love my cheap, macho military / action / adventure SF. And because dumb books are easy to digest whilst doing something else I'm more than happy to look the other way.

But... there are limits. Especially when the same mistakes are made over and over again.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Broken links!

Due to a variety of reasons (most of those boiling down to me being stupid) I had (and still have!) to re-create a number of posts. I'm updating bit by bit all the broken links, but that's taking some intensive manual labor, so several links might still be broken for the upcoming weeks 😕

My apologies...



Sebastien de Castell - Traitor's Blade / Knight's Shadow

Review.

Let's start with the verdict... Though it's a four book series, the first two are a very decent two-book set. And a very good read! Swashbuckling, light on magic, great on adventure. I'm a sucker for good swashbuckling, so yeah, I love it...

Monday, July 5, 2021

Lindsay Buroker - Dragon Blood Omnibus

Review.

There's a whole subset of romance novels in fantasy settings, which all seem to follow a certain pattern. This is one of those.

Sometimes they stand out (Rachel Aaron's DFZ series, for example) and sometimes they are 'pulpish' (like this one). Great if it's your thing, but Lindsay Buroker can do better, as she proved with her Dark Currents series.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Wallpaper - Roadkill Bar & Grill

I edited one of the images I found on https://www.collectedcurios.com/ and modified it a bit to make it a better wallpaper.

Lunch, anyone?

More wallpapers (every month a new one), click and scroll down.

(Click on the images themselves to enlarge.)


Monday, June 28, 2021

Helen Harper - Slouch With / Star Witch / Spirit Witch

Review.

If you like romance and fantasy, Helen Harper must be somewhere on your bookshelf. Nevertheless, she does write light, bubbly, funny tales, and this is one of those.

Contemporary witch who is way more powerful than she lets on, is lazy as hell, has a love / hate relation with a good looking male 'official', and a very rude cat (seriously).

Monday, June 21, 2021

Tim C. Taylor - Marine Cadet / Indigo Squad / Renegade Legion

Review.

An interesting premise (five million kids were sold into slavery to protect earth) takes an interesting route (let's gene engineer our cannon fodder and make them think they matter) then ends up as yet another 'soldier becomes sergeant becomes general'.

The story wanders around a bit, rambles and wanders now and again, and I still haven't figured out if the main character is a little naive... or if it's the writer.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Nathan Hystad - Confrontation

 Review.

Military SF is a guilty pleasure of mine. Let's read another two.

Today, that's Confrontation by Nathan Hystad. Oh dear... (read on)

Monday, June 7, 2021

Hyperpolice (1997)

Review.

Yeah, I know. Lot's of old anime lately.

Hyperpolice. Starts of as a comedy, but does introduce some more moral points of discussion during the series. Only 25 episodes, and not very well known... in the west.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Wallpaper - Destination (Calvin & Hobbes)

 

It's summer, and life and work are changing yet again. The future is... unclear.

It's a good thing I'm not the only one who doesn't know where he'll end up.

The truth is, most of us only discover where we are heading when we arrive...

Monday, May 31, 2021

Jack McDevitt - The engines of God (1994) / Deepsix

Review.

Strange... I'm pretty sure I've read some of his work, but I cannot recall a single title. Oh well... I had totally different expectations of these two books. I was expecting large, grand space opera, and though it features explorers, fighting for their lives, spaceships, aliens and what not... 

Monday, May 24, 2021

Sanctuary (2008)

Review.

Amanda Tapping takes care of abnormals. Innocent young man ends up protecting supernatural beings. Some evil machinations try to take the sanctuary for aforementioned supernatural beings down. Troubles ensue. I think that's pretty much it 😁

Monday, May 17, 2021

Chapter Size and Reading Speed

Writing.

(This is a follow up to Book And Chapter Sizes)

Do you need chapters, and is chapter size related to reading speed? I think it is! Read on...

Babylon 5 (1993)

Review.

I never saw all episodes of B5 thus far, so I'm watching them now. (But I realise that I saw quite a few, to be honest.) I watched this late at night, on a Hong Kong television channel whilst I was working in China, back in... 1994? Time flies...

Thursday, May 13, 2021

The Retro-Plotter part 2 - No job is done until the paperwork is finished

Writing.

Why and how I keep track of events in my own stories... no matter how bad they are 😁

This is a sequel to The Retro Plotter part 1, and before I dive in, keep in mind that everyone has their own system. This is just an example of how I do things. Your approach might be far superior to mine!

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

The Retro-Plotter part 1 - Notes and pseudo-script

Writing.

Plotters plot, pantsers invent on the spot. I'm a bit in between.

Yes, I plot a bit, but I also make up things as I go. So how can I keep track of things?

Monday, May 10, 2021

VirtualBox 6.1 blocks outgoing WOL packets

Symptom 1: WOL tools no longer work after installing VirtualBox.

Symptom 2: SqueezePlay no longer works but SqueezeLiteX does.

Symptom 3: Connect App no longer works

Configuration: PC1 running WIN10 + WOL tool + VirtualBox --> PC2 running WIN10

(For clarification: the WOL tool is NOT running INSIDE VirtualBox.)

Continuum (2012)

Review.

Continuum wrapped up. It could have used a few more episodes, but this was all they got.


So, what do we have here? Time traveler turns into buddy cop show turns into avoid the next apocalypse. Near the end there's a hint of alternate universes, but that never went anywhere, probably because the show runners were informed it was time to wrap things up.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Corona - T Plus 358 - Side effects


Column.

One of the more curious side effects of this whole Corona mess is a loss of sense of time. We've been locked in our homes, stuck in an endless rut of repeating events, surrounded by the same four walls. For so long now that we're all losing our sense of time, even without catching actual Covid. Nothing seems to change, except for the weather, so perhaps it's only natural to forget about unimportant things like seasons, appointments, and clocks...

The 'why' game (4WC)

Writing.

Solve prompts for short stories, work out mini-plots for your chapters, avoid (stupid) mistakes, and expand your chapters. All that by simply applying the 'why' game, using just five (5) simple words, that's all it takes...

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Writing to a prompt part 2 - The 'why' game (4WC)

Writing.

You can turn any 'prompt' into a short story, and it's worth doing so. At least to try to, now and again.

All it needs is proper application of the 'why' game. And then that same ruleset can be used to check what has been written.

Best of all, it  works for everything, longs as well as short stories. Read on...

Monday, May 3, 2021

Shadow and Bone

Review.

Shadow and Bone is a fantasy series on Netflix, with shades of The Witcher, Game of Thrones, Shanara, and every other fantasy series ever. Which doesn't make it bad. In fact, it throws in enough interesting twists to make it worth your while.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Wallpaper - Lake Sakura

 

In May 2010 I visited Japan. I love that place. Summer started early that year, and the cherry blossom was (mostly) finished by the time we arrived. Well, there are still good images to be found on the internet 😉

Friday, April 30, 2021

It's... Complicated - Fate / Evangelion / Sword Art Online - viewing order

Some anime series can get rather complex... And some of those series made it to NetFlix (NL).

I haven't seen the following (yet) but I thought it best to start with figuring out the proper viewing order. So, as far as I can tell...

Monday, April 26, 2021

The Event (2010)

Review.

Looks promising. Regular 'government's hiding stuff we have visitors with their own agenda' show. I've only sampled a little the moment I wrote this so I might be very, very, very wrong... Well, at least my disappointment will then be genuine. That's me. Delivering genuine disappointment since 1965.

Update. Finished it! Read on...

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

To those wo still take Wattpad serious...


... congratulations! Indeed, Wattpad is a serious problem 😁

Yeah, I know, I'm just jealous of those very successful authors with millions of (unpaying) readers. Then again, am I that jealous?

Yes.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Steven Gould - Jumper (1992), Reflex (2004), Griffin's Story (2007), Jumper (movie, 2008)


Jumper
 (the 2008 movie) could have been the start of a great franchise, even if it had little to do with the books.

Young guy discovers he can jump, the goes kind of undercover, until the 'Paladins' (an anti-Jumper organisation dating back to the middle ages) catch up with him. Bad things happen.

But... how about the books? (And their relation to the movie?)

Saturday, April 17, 2021

F1 - Bad Poetry in Motion (Balls of Steel)

Writing.

As I said before, if you suffer from writer's block then write some bad poetry. Coincidentally, the new F1 🏎️ season just started. Tomorrow's race two, and with some (bad) luck Mercedes will be just as boringly reliable as always...

But... it did inspire me to write some bad poetry...

Friday, April 16, 2021

Writing to a prompt part 1 - From prompt to (mini) plot

Writing.

How would you write a (short) story based on the following plot?

' A clubber who wants to damage a diabolical, holy symbol, but it will introduce a dangerous technology to the world. '