Tales of the Screaming Eagle
by Clayton Callahan
(Caution: You won’t really be able to look inside this image for a preview. Have to follow the Amazon link down under for that.)
Jan Pulaski has embarked on a great adventure, taking his Anthropology education off world to Tarkan. He wants to create a work of ground breaking research showing how human culture diverges from its Earthly path after having been on unsupported colony worlds. Sounds good…in his head.
Catching a ride on a local operation into the dangerous bad lands changes his life and has him rethinking his path in it. He lands in a bar, Veterans Bar, to spend his time waiting for an opportunity to get back to Earth. Little did his conscious mind realize his real study would begin in the bar.
Mr. Callahan tells a believable story that just happens to take place in a SciFi environment but could easily have been true in any Vets bar in existence today. Thumbs up on the world building. I enjoyed this work well enough to give it four out of five stars.
(Book 4 of the Revelation Space series)
by Alastair Reynolds
The hero or butcher of a couple of the books, Neville Clavain, has spent twenty years on Ararat contemplating. Felca has been claimed by the sea and the Pattern Jugglers and Neville longs for rest. As the unofficial patriarch of First Settlement he gets pulled back into things by his friend Scorpio, a fiftyish Hyper-pig. Something new has arrived and they need Clavain. That is how things begin.
A moon circling a gas giant in a system far away may contain the secret to allow humans to survive the inhibitors. It may be worse and the trek is certainly draining as sacrifices are made. This is the second work in this series which has dealt with the theoretical construct of an Indoctrinal Virus, infect people with a virus that makes them have religious urgings.
I thoroughly enjoyed the performance of this audio book though there were times, while driving alone, where I cursed Alistair Reynolds for writing such infuriating characters. More so on the religious segments when I fantasized about the overly pious falling under something heavy.
This book and performance get the five star treatment from me. Enjoy.
To The Stars
by Harry Harrison
Jan Kulozik is an upper crud Brit Engineer who leads a posh life stepping on ‘proles'(proletariat’s) on his way to completing projects that bring him fame and fortune. At least until he is rescued during a boating accident by an Israeli submarine which shouldn’t exist. Then his picture of the world changes and he begins trying to do things that will equalize the class abuse by helping foreign agents. Mayhem, intrigue, action, betrayal and punishment ensue.
Jan Kulozik is indentured to the colony on the Agricultural world of Halvmork. (Nanu-Nanu) This planet has a forty one degree axial tilt which scorches half of the planet every four years. Ships are supposed to come to take the corn harvest to the other colony worlds which would starve without it but they are late by six weeks. A hazardous trek across the planet must happen to save the people and the harvest. Jan tangles at every step with hideous matriarch called the Hradil. People die, most of the corn is saved and Jan is in peril due to his flaunting of the Law.
Jan Kulozik is leaving Halvmork to secure benefits for it’s people in the rebellion but is seized by Earth Commonwealth forces before leaving orbit. Escaping he has quite a chase until cornered by his Security douche brother-in-law and shoved into a huge conspiracy resulting in more space war, Entebbe style raids, missile attacks and lots of chaos. Will there be anything left. I suggest you find out.
These three works make up the ‘To the Stars‘ trilogy which I originally read over twenty five years ago. They were so good I reread them now with a more critical eye. There are some things that were time dated and are now nonexistent but the story flows. This was a product of the big six and now I can see where the editors perhaps phoned it in several times. Misused, misspelled and missing words. The three Ms live large in this collection. Three stars for editing, Five stars for the story for an overall rating of four stars.
Starring Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook
I can not believe how the best movies seem to get absolutely no theater time or good receptions. This film is excellent from the writing to the execution and post production.
The TBR travels through time to try and correct wrongs with as little contamination as possible. Done before you say? Bomber seeks to change the world through escalating mayhem. Done before you say? Not like this I say. The pea is under a shell. The three shells, at least, are named Jane, John, and maybe Fizzle-Bomber. Your mission is to figure it out and not to dwell on the possible ripple effect of changing past events. The effects and action were just where they needed to be in this film. Done, 5 out of 5. We want more!!!!