Crimson Society Vol. 1
by Hunau, Trigo and Celestini
Published by Action Lab Entertainment
Jack Crimson has a nocturnal problem, he is a werewolf. His partner Lacey is trying to get him to seek help with it and she is determined to…sate the beast. In his ultimate frustration, instead of Viagra, Jack seeks out a sketchy doctor who says he has a cure for him. V33 is a mystery drug but it does result in Jack being a more effective killer, of Vampires. Apparently the doctor had no intentions of curing Jack at all but did give him a set of Cyborg arms and screwy programming that makes him even more out of control.
This is an INDEPENDENT comic. Not an imprint of the dominating corporate talking heads. The quality of the comic is excellent in both story and artwork. The printing quality makes this introductory volume I got from Denver Comic Con an excellent value. I’m giving this work 4 out of 5 Geek points with a possible Nerd-gasm.
Ready Player One
by Ernest Cline
narrated by Wil Wheaton
Wade Owen Watts or WOW as his initials on video games would be is a teenager gamer extraordinaire. This isn’t because he squanders time and money living in a virtual world to escape from reality…well, not mostly. James Halliday, an eccentric billionaire game designer died with no heirs and the mass of Earth are spending a lot of effort in solving the gaming mystery he set up to give away his fortune after dying. WOW is dead broke and victimized by his dead beat Aunt so he has incentive to crawl out.
WOW only really has virtual friends and goes to school online. The bulk of his world is a construct.
The story is well told how WOW and his few friends compete with a vile corporation to unravel Halliday’s monumental string of gaming clues. There is murder, theft, romance and nostalgic journeys back into the day of Galaga, Zork, D&D, Joust, Pac Man…long list buddy.
Excellent story professionally delivered by Mr. Wheaton. Four out of five.
The Prefect (Book 5 in the Revelation Space series)
by Alistair Reynolds
narrated by John Lee
Back in the Yellowstone system this story is set amongst the Glitter band, a group of ten thousand human space habitats that are governed democratically via an organization called Panoply. Each of the habitats have a central stalk that houses a poling core, using abstraction (a hand waving term for network), representatives from each habitat rotate through the civic duty of voting.
This idyllic thing comes crashing to a halt as an Alpha level imprint from the Silvestri 80, Aurora, takes over four habitats and manufactures warbots called Weevils to spread. Meanwhile, a creature from the past called the Clockmaker which was thought destroyed resurfaces to threaten the maybe invincible Aurora.
Field Prefect Tom Dreyfus, Deputy Field Talia Ing, Deputy Field hyper-pig Sparva are just some of the key spicy characters leading the fight against the dark annihilators of humans in this installment. I enjoy how the author juggles multiple story lines into a mesmerizing tapestry of entertainment. Five out of five for this one. Excellent job!
Hellblazer Vol. 1: Original Sins
Author: Jamie Delano, Author Illustrator: John Ridgway, Illustrator: Alfredo Alcada, Illustrator: Tom Mandrake
For those who are in the uninitiated this is the series of comics that birthed John Constantine and they are very gritty. Demons abound in Constantine’s world and there is one common thing he cannot be counted on…not getting you killed.
Throughout the stories in this first volume he is hounded by a herd of ghosts of friends past that he has let down. They are still trying to help him come to peace with himself. Good luck. As he bounces back and forth across the pond he is also stalked by Nergal, who has brought him back from the brink of physical ruin after a not so thought out exit from a speeding train. Nergal wants Constantine to act as his tool.
I liked the stories. I loved the art. I’m a fan. Four out of five for the quality of the volume product by the way.
Alive and wearing a purse
Stark’s Crusade: Stark’s War, Book 3
by Jack Campbell
narrated by Eric Michael Summerer and Jack Campbell
This is the third and final installment in the Stark’s War trilogy…I think. Those of you who have seen my previous reviews of Stark’s War and Stark’s Command may get that the surviving mutinous NCOs of 1st Division hold the Lunar Colony. They have continued to repel raids attacks from other countries and US led shenanigans to protect the colony and to keep from being a television spectator sport.
They have been infiltrated, had turn coats leave doors open and had their remaining Earthbound family members used as hostages yet they’ve held the line. Now it appears the pentagon will try autonomous robotic warriors to bring about an end to this struggle. Anyone who has followed the Terminator series or Phillip K. Dick’s The Other Variety (turned into the movie Screamers) which featured a host of killing machines termed Autonomous Swords can sense where this story is taking us so I do not want to spoil it for you.
This is an excellent Military Science Fiction trilogy and was well delivered by both the author and the narrator. Considering my taste on audio books I almost took a pass on this one because of the short length of the installments. My opinion, yes it is personal, is that all three volumes should have been marketed as one thirty plus hour unit. I will still give this a five out of five. Great job guys!
The Hub of the Next You Universe and associated shenanigans may be found at
Shattered Worlds: Book 4 in the Koban Series
by Stephen W Baxter
narrated by Eric Michael Sumerer
Book 4 involves Earth and hub space finally getting informed about Koban and the outlaw by necessity humans that are aiding against the Krall. The depiction of Earth politicians is unsurprisingly unchanging from the picture available in the present day. What is surprising is that the current Tor Gattrol (misspelling of alien title may have occurred, not an apology) has not figured out where the superior fighting humans have come from.
The narration was excellent. I’m giving this a four out of five and now I’m stuck waiting for book 5…some day.
The Sword of the Lamb
by M.K. Wren
This vision of the future takes place around the year 3200 and depicts humankind as star faring, but only so far. Set in the Centauri system the Elite Houses of a future feudal system determine how to keep the system going in their favor while keeping the Bonds and Feshs working productively. I’m not sure entirely why this could go this way but I embraced the story.
Rich and Alexand Woolf are the only two heirs of the Woolf House. Rich is diseased and will not live far into adulthood while Alexand is disenchanted with his lot and the system that allows them their station in life. Things must change.
The House system is somewhat reminiscent of Dune yet not so far flung that Earth based references are lost. An organization of scholars and ethical people are working behind the scenes, Phoenix, to path the way for social change and bettering humankind. Their methods and decision making remind me of Harry Seldon from Foundation and his psycho-historical equations to model the future. The slang of the Outsiders reminds me of William Gibson’s works in Cyberpunk. Enough name dropping.
This is book one in the series and I enjoyed it enough to consider reading the remainder when my TBR is under control again. That’ll be…sometime. The only down side for me was the arranged marriages and being immersed in so much Elite House machinations angst. If you like Space Opera and epic stories then this is for you. I’m giving it a three out of five.
Koban: Rise of the Kobani, Book 3
by Stephen W. Bennett
narrated by Eric Michael Summerer
Excellent continuation of the series, this installment introduces us to another planet in the Koban system that the Kobani (Humans) dub Haven. They discover two of the slave races left behind by the Krall called the Prada and the Torkey. Advances to the Kobani genome and technology proceed at the steady and explainable pace, and the story is well told.
Escalation of raids on Krall supply worlds and augmenting SpecOps in Human space struggles are rampant in this book. Also, the preliminary dealing with Rimmers and Hub Humans and dancing around the proscriptions of genetic tech begin to get traction here. Where in series a normal sag in the story line occurs, this one surprises by not doing that. I’m giving it four out of five stars.