Monthly Archives: December 2017

When the Gods Fall

Fallen Gods
James A. Moore
Angry Robot
mass market paperback $7.99
ebook $6.99

I would like to thank Angry Robot Books for the review copy of this novel.

I was quite irritated at the end of this book.  Note I said the end of the book, not the ending.  The ending was great.  I was irritated because I was at the end and there was no more book to read.  I wanted to keep reading.  I was irritated that I couldn’t and will have to wait for probably a year before the next book in the series comes out. Continue reading

Christmas Spirits from Paul Finch

In a Deep, Dark December
Paul Finch
ebook, $1.49

I’ve always enjoyed Paul Finch’s work, but somehow I missed this collection when it came out a few years ago.  And while the afternoon of Christmas Eve may be a tad late for some of you to enjoy these stories, you should keep it in mind for next year.

In a Deep, Dark December contains four short stories and one novella.  I took a detailed look at the novella, “The Killing Ground”, a few years ago.  You can read the review here. I’m not going to rehash what I said.  I did reread the story, and it held up quite well.  Instead I’ll discuss the other stories.
Continue reading

Poe’s Shadow

In the Shadow of Edgar Allan Poe: Classic Tales of Horror, 1816-1914
Leslie S. Klinger, ed.
Pegasus Books
Hardcover $24.95, Paperback $15.95, Digital $15.95

Here’s a little something for the horror aficionado, although I suspect most horror fans will have read many of the stories in this volume.

While Poe himself has no story in the volume (and why not, I want to know), his influence is seen in most of the selections, if for no other reason than Poe’s reputation has eclipsed most other writers of the supernatural from the Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries in the minds of the general public.  The horror fan will recognize most of the names, if not all.  The tales Mr. Klinger has chosen are not always the best known works by the better known authors such as M. R. James, E. T. A. Hoffman, or Arthur Conan Doyle.  I do wonder why W. W. Jacobs was not included in this volume; probably because his career extended to far past the period the anthology covers. Continue reading

Not Enough Millstones

With only a few exceptions, my posts are family-friendly.  If they were movies, most would be rated PG-13 or lower.  Not this one.  Consider it a hard R.  The content to follow deals with sexual predation of children and is not suitable for younger readers.  Some adults might want to take a pass on this one as well.  You have been warned.

“It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.”
Jesus Christ, Luke 17:2 (NKJV)

The Last Closet
Moira Greyland
Castalia House
ebook, $ 5.99

Moira Greyland, in case you didn’t know, is the only daughter of Marion Zimmer Bradley (MZB) and Walter Breen. MZB was a lauded feminist science fiction and fantasy author, best known for The Mists of Avalon and the Darkover series.  Breen was regarded as one of the foremost numismatists in the country.

Breen was convicted of child molestation and died in prison in the early 90s.  Breen had been a known pedophile for decades.  He was banned from a Worldcon (Pacificon II) in the early 1960s because of his behavior around children.  This was quite controversial at the time.  A large number of fans didn’t think he should have been banned.  A number publicly stated that they didn’t think the children had suffered any harm from Breen.

My, how times have changed.  Now we have codes of conduct, microaggressions, safe spaces, and expulsions based on one person’s say-so.

None of this information about Breen is a big secret.  What has come to light more recently is that MZB was also a child molester, and according to Greyland, she was worse. Continue reading

Blogging Brackett: Alpha Centauri or Die!

Alpha Centauri or Die!
Leigh Brackett
Ace Books, 1963

I thought I had read this one, but I think I was confusing it with The Starmen of LLyrdis.  I would have remembered the story if I had read it previously.  The ISFDB lists this book as being a fix-up of “The Teleportress of Alph-C” and “Ark of Mars”.  I’ve not read those stories, so I’ll refrain from putting my foot in my mouth by commenting.

By setting most of her work in the wilds of the solar system, particularly Mars and Venus, Brackett focused on adventure more than politics.  When political considerations arose, they tended to be in tribal or feudal systems of government.  That’s not the case here.  A centralized government controls all aspects of the solar system.  Human space travel has been outlawed.  Individuals are assigned a job and a sector in which to live.  It’s almost impossible to move from one sector to another, never mind from one planet to another.  All transport between planets is done by computer controlled spacecraft.  The entire economy is centrally controlled, and individual initiative is quashed.

This is not a system of which Brackett approves. Continue reading

A Leigh Brackett Renaissance?

Leigh Brackett, circa 1930

Today is Leigh Brackett’s birthday.  She was born December 7, 1915 in California.  I posted yesterday that I would try to get a review of her novel Alpha Centauri or Die.  Obviously that didn’t happen, although I did get all my exams written.  That review will go up next week after the smoke from the semester clears and all the tears have dried.

What’s that, you say?  You don’t know who Leigh Brackett is?  Well, Pilgrim, you’ve come to the right place.  (You are a pilgrim, right, searching for pulp enlightenment?) Continue reading

Tis the Season…

…for final exams.  They start at 7:30 AM on Friday morning.  The students are moaning and groaning (as are the enrollees), and the administrators who decided that was a good time to start will probably just be sitting down to their first cup of coffee then.  Me, I’ll have been up for over two hours at that point in the morning.

So why should any of you care?  Leigh Brackett’s birthday is tomorrow.  I’ve got a review I hope to get written of Alpha Centauri or Die.  I think I can get it written tonight, but I’ve said that for the last three nights.  I’ve still got exams that need to be written.


I’ll post something about her birthday tomorrow.  If it’s not the review, that will follow as soon as I get all the end of semester stuff cleared away.  Other than tomorrow, things will probably be pretty quiet around here for the next five to seven days.  I’m planning to post more once classes are over.  We’ll see.