Tag Archives: book review

Something Outside Your Interests, Yet Still Think It’s Great

I always enjoy getting positive feedback. Who doesn’t? Check out the following review of “Eat Fish And Die” at the Planetary Defense Command Blog.

The following comment impressed me greatly:

Normally, I would say that I don’t like humorous science fiction, and that I don’t care for a flippant writing style, but I really enjoyed this story. You know you’re reading work by a skilled author when you read something outside your interests, and still think it’s great.

Awesome! Of course, others may not like this quaint little story, some may downright despise it (no sense of humor obviously). But comments like this really make my day. Okay, hitting the Amazon top 100 list would be better. But hey! I’m not greedy.

Thank you Planetary Defense Commander!

Eating poop. Bon appétit.

As the media storm over David Petraeus’ sex scandal with biographer Paula Broadwell begins to subside, I find myself looking over all the blogs, YouTube videos, magazine articles, tweets, and gazillions of Facebook comments. So why get all riled up about this recent tawdry affair and its related biography? I mean, the fact that the Director of the CIA had (big air quotes) an affair is hardly novel. Get it? Novel … Biography…? (dead silence).

Sigh.

Part of it must be the sheer joy of spanking the monkey grin from (what little remains of) Broadwell’s reputation. I can’t say she doesn’t have it coming. Think about it: She’s great looking, has the bod of a Navy Seal supermodel (if there is such a thing), a toffee-nosed Harvard graduate, and (to top it all off) a New York Times bestselling author of a book she had ghostwritten for her. Jumping jealous Jehoshaphat, Batman! If you could have stepped into her shoes one day before the scandal broke—would you? Don’t lie! This was the kind of person that made every man, woman and child kowtow in respect: It was something we all dreamt about. Well, at least you did, I wager.

But as soon as the scandal broke, didn’t you want to just slug her? Oh, right. It’s not sporting to hit a lady. Well, didn’t you want to send her a nasty anonymous email? That’s perfectly acceptable, right?

Right?

But what about Petraeus? The same will not be said about him. Don’t get me wrong: things will be said, but he was at the top of his game, and has hordes of affluent (i.e., people who can make you disappear) supporters who will defend his reputation. In fact, given his status just before his book of revelation was, err, revealed, the ones most motivated to tar and feather him were his immediate family. With the news breaking just a week before thanksgiving, I’m sure they stuck in enough quills to make him look like Gobbler the Turkey. Though unlike that lucky bird, Petraeus was not pardoned by President Obama.

Maybe Gobbler and Petraeus could have switched places? Nah…

Anyway, if history is any indicator of the future, my money is on a quick comeback for Petraeus. No? Take President Clinton’s example. He’s in the same league of (cough, cough) extraordinary gentlemen, someone who needlessly screwed up his life. But look at him now. Other than making himself a top brand name, I see no long-term damage. Sadly, I predict for same jaunty future for our good General.

But the issue in the end is not infidelity, morality, honesty or even imbecilic career suicide. Nope. It’s about simple transparency. See, it’s like this. Young folks out there (you know, generation couch potato) don’t much value a person’s moral character. If you want to be promiscuous or squander relationships willy-nilly, go right ahead. They don’t care. In fact, they’ll jump right in and help you screw things up faster. Just one itsy-bitsy thing is required: you must share your exploits on the Internet. The whole shebang; the whole nine yards; the full metal jacket!  Uhm…you know what I mean. And if you can do that, well, no matter how bad your behavior is, the public will eventually forgive you for being human. Because in the end, you are just that: human.

That’s what our older generation of leaders don’t get (and, by the way, I think Broadwell’s Harvard groomed ego lets her see herself in that class). They want to be human, but portray themselves outwardly as Herculean gods, who don’t even poop like wee little mortals. What, you think you’re some kind of gift to mankind? Sorry, you two, but you’re not. And the public is going to make you eat your own poop over it.

Bon appétit!

Eat Fish And Die – Free on April Fools’ Day

For all you cheap tightwads out there, you’ll be happy to know that my short story, “Eat Fish And Die” will be free on Kindle throughout April Fools’ day.

Remember, you –the esteemed reader– can get some inkling whether or not my next novel, VOODOO ROBOT CHILI, will be funny.  Just read “Eat Fish And Die” (being that it’s  free, you won’t be sacrificing too much on this less-than- scientific experiment.) If you’re still not laughing, then we’ve determined one of two things:

A. My next book is probably not going to be very funny. Or….

B. You don’t have a sense of humor– and you’re a tightwad.

So get out that Kindle and download a copy. No excuse! And don’t forget to put your review in Amazon. Let me know what you really think, (keeping in mind that this request is limited to those people who like it).

Happy April Fools’

Bill the Galactic Hero – By Harry Harrison

Bill the Galactic Hero

Here is a book that is seldom read these days. Bill the Galactic Hero, by Harry Harrison. It’s a satyrical look at the military, couched in a zany futuristic world where mankind is pitted against a race of small alien lizards called, the Chingers.

It’s an important novel because it represents a particular sub-genre of science fiction. Namely, the military SF comedy. There are many military SF novels about, but ones that attempt humor are rare. And if it’s not fair to say rare, then I’d venture to say it’s rare to see one done well.

So what about Bill the Galactic Hero, and what makes it so special? It’s one of the early novels of its class, and well constructed with good pacing and fun dialog. More importantly, it takes a very satirical gibe at the industrial military complex, which — many would agree — is probably its most endearing quality.

The issue I have with it — and probably the point where there is some disagreement — is about how funny it is. I myself never laughed out loud while reading it. However, the situations that the protagonist (Bill) finds himself in are so bizarre, one can only smile. Even if you don’t laugh, one is compelled to read on.

To be fair, this book was published in 1965, and is based on Harrison’s experience in the military during WWII. Much of its humor now falls upon ignorant ears. Mine especially. However, with ample use of Wiki to research what the book is making fun of, it is possible to extract greater meaning.

Sadly, there are few books like this that have been published. Why, might you ask? I have no good explanation other than to say it’s damn hard. But one thing is clear. Harrison distinguished himself above the rest for his attempt.

He truly was a great writer.

A New Blog is Born

Hold your horses! My first post will be released on Sunday. In the meantime, read about my new book in my…uhm…”About The Novel” page? The tab for that is right up there, on the top of this page 🙂 Or you can read other things I’ve posted on my blog dedicated to my first novel, Freedom Club.

Enjoy.